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What is a Multigenerational Living Home?

January 6th, 2024

By Sofia Alonso

4 min read

In today's modern world, the traditional western concept of home as a space for just the nuclear family is undergoing a significant transformation. Many of us now face the challenge of finding a living arrangement that not only accommodates our immediate family but also our extended kin - parents, grandparents, or adult children. This need arises from various factors: cultural practices, the financial pressures of independent living, the desire for closer familial ties, or the practicalities of providing care for elderly relatives. Recognizing this pain point, we must ask ourselves: How can we create a living space that meets these complex, diverse, multigenerational needs?

At AV Architects + Builders, we have honed our expertise in designing and building homes that perfectly cater to the nuances of multigenerational living. With over 20 years of experience in creating luxury homes in Northern Virginia, our understanding of family dynamics, coupled with architectural innovation, positions us uniquely to address this emerging trend. Our designs are not just about creating spaces; they are about understanding and respecting the delicate balance between communal living and individual privacy, a balance crucial for the harmony of a multigenerational home.

In this article, we promise to provide you with insightful and comprehensive guidance on understanding multigenerational living. We will explore the economic and social advantages, the cultural resurgence of extended family living, and the critical design elements that make a multigenerational home functional, comfortable, and harmonious. By the end of this piece, you will have a clearer understanding of how AV Architects + Builders can help you create a home that not only accommodates but also enriches the lives of all your family members, regardless of their age.


Understanding Multigenerational Living

Economic and Social Synergies

The appeal of multigenerational living is grounded in its practical benefits. Economically, it offers a sustainable way to manage living costs, easing the financial burden on individual family members. Socially, it creates an environment of mutual support, where childcare and eldercare responsibilities are shared, strengthening familial bonds and fostering a sense of community within the household.

Cultural Resurgence

This living arrangement also reflects a cultural shift towards communal values, especially in Western societies where individualism previously dominated. This resurgence is influenced by a variety of demographic changes, including increased life expectancy and a growing appreciation for close-knit family relationships. It’s a return to roots, a nod to the way many cultures have traditionally valued extended family living.

Pool-House-Nano-WallAV Architects + Builders, Virginia, Backyard Retreat

Designing for Harmony in Multigenerational Living

Prioritizing Privacy and Independence

When designing a multigenerational living home it is important to balance respecting individual privacy while also fostering communal living. Spaces should be meticulously planned to incorporate living areas, ensuring private spaces for each generation. Features like separate entrances and individual bedroom suites are key to maintaining harmony and independence within the home.

Communal Spaces: The Heart of the Home

While private spaces are crucial, the essence of a multigenerational home lies in its communal areas. You should design these spaces to be welcoming and inclusive, promoting family interaction and shared experiences. These areas serve as the heart of the home, where memories are made and bonds are strengthened.

MACKENZIE-AvArch-TacomaHouse-16Selections-7AV Architects + Builders, Virginia, Solar House, Photo by Maxwell Mackenzie

The Benefits of Multigenerational Living

Strengthening Family Bonds

Multigenerational homes offer more than just a living space; they provide a nurturing environment where family bonds are fortified. The shared responsibilities and experiences foster a unique sense of unity and teamwork, which is invaluable in today’s fragmented world.

Cultural and Emotional Enrichment

These homes become crucibles of cultural and emotional enrichment, where different generations can share their traditions, values, and wisdom. This intergenerational exchange enriches the family's cultural tapestry and provides a grounding sense of identity and belonging.

Sustainable Living

Furthermore, multigenerational living is a step towards more sustainable living practices. By pooling resources and optimizing space, these homes reduce the ecological footprint of the family, contributing positively to environmental conservation efforts.

MACKENZIE-AvArch-TacomaHouse-16Selections-6AV Architects + Builders, Virginia, Solar House, Photo by Maxwell Mackenzie

Building a Legacy of Togetherness with Multigenerational Living

The concept of multigenerational living, once a tradition, is now a growing necessity in our modern world. As we navigate through various challenges, from financial pressures to the desire for closer family ties, the need for a home that caters to extended families has never been more evident. At AV Architects + Builders, we recognize this evolving dynamic and have dedicated ourselves to designing homes that not only meet but exceed the expectations of multigenerational families. By reading this article, you’ve taken a significant step towards understanding the immense value that such a living arrangement brings, not just in terms of economics and social benefits but also in fostering a sense of unity and cultural richness.

The challenge of finding a home that perfectly blends communal and private spaces for extended families is one that many face. This need is particularly acute in scenarios where you're looking to bring together different generations under one roof, each with their unique requirements for space, privacy, and comfort. AV Architects + Builders, with our extensive experience and innovative design approach, stand at the forefront of addressing these needs. 

If you're considering transitioning to a multigenerational living arrangement, the next logical step is to explore how AV Architects + Builders can make this a reality for you. Our approach goes beyond mere architectural design; it's about crafting a living experience that resonates with your family's unique dynamics. We invite you to reach out to us, to dive deeper into how our designs can accommodate and enrich the lives of all your family members. Whether it's integrating separate entrances for independence or designing communal spaces that become the heart of your home, we're here to guide you every step of the way.

We are AV Architects + Builders, a family-owned firm with over 20 years of experience in designing and building luxury homes in Northern Virginia. Led by Francisca and Tony Alonso, our firm is not just about constructing buildings; it's about creating homes that become a legacy for your family. We understand the nuances of multigenerational living and are committed to designing spaces that foster togetherness, respect individuality, and embrace the cultural and emotional richness of extended family living. Let's build a home that celebrates every generation of your family, today and for years to come.


9903 Georgetown Pike Suite 201
Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 865-5065