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Small Home Designs for Empty Nesters

Updated on September 20, 2018
viryabo profile image

Working as a professional interior designer for many decades, I've had cause to be involved in design & build residential building projects.

Now that your grownup children have left home, this is a new phase in your life. You can now live in a smaller house.

It is true that most empty nesters feel a sense of sadness and loss, and letting go is not easy, but, this is life and 'life happens'.

Now that you are newly ‘liberated’, this is your opportunity to explore and rediscover aspects of life you've always wanted to enjoy but never had the time and probably the finances to achieve.

This stage of life is a good time to resume a long-forgotten hobby, go back to school, learn a lucrative craft, travel, and give a serious thought to downsizing - living in a smaller home.

A perfect sized home design for empty nesters. A 3 bedroom home with ample facilities and open spaces.
A perfect sized home design for empty nesters. A 3 bedroom home with ample facilities and open spaces.

For so many years, the large family home has been the family base, a home filled with love, fun, constant activities, and many rooms, but now they've all gone their bedrooms, bathrooms, playroom, and workroom has become redundant. The large family house has suddenly become unused. Now, you can do without all this extra unused space.

Empty nesters can now benefit off the extra investments they made during the course of their lives - buying a family house or building that huge family home. The now-too-large home can be sold off and replaced with a smaller more compact home that will be just perfect for this new-found freedom.

Sell the Big Family House. Buy a Smaller Home

With the disposable income created by selling off their now-too-large family homes, it is easy and possible for empty nesters to provide for their future, so, now that your lifestyle has changed, you can do some of the things you have always wanted to and provide yourself a new home with a pleasant design.

The home's design must be pleasing, versatile, and practical with open plan areas that flow into each other, a good-sized kitchen and entertainment space indoors and outdoors.

You'll also want to ensure the new home has an elegant kitchen, leisure and relaxing zones, spacious bathrooms, ample storage facilities, space to work from home (study or do crafts) and just a couple of ensuite bedrooms, including the master suite.

The smaller home designs must be as low-maintenance as is possible especially if you plan to travel more, and will be away from home for longer periods of time.

And though the home may be smaller and more compact, it doesn't mean giving up on luxury touches. In fact, you can afford a bit more luxury than you could in the past so go for that interior design elegance and style. You deserve it.

Popular Home Design Features

Most empty nesters favour the contemporary open plan scheme rather than the traditional closed-design concept. Other preferences include:

  1. Open plan
  2. Combined living and dining area
  3. Vaulted ceiling
  4. Fireplace or columns.
  5. Minimal walls
  6. Be able to entertain informally
  7. High ceilings
  8. Open kitchens
  9. Ensuite master bedroom
  10. Patio, porch, or deck

Critical Design Challenges

An empty nester will rather live in a one-level home than a one-storey house that requires stairs. Having to go up and down a staircase is a critical design challenges. if you intend to build or buy, it is wise and more practical to think 'bungalow'.

This doesn't mean that a one-storey house is a bad idea. As long as your bedroom is on the ground floor and has en-suite facilities and a dressing room. Access to a private patio garden area or a relaxing sun porch is an added plus. The 2nd bedroom on the upper floor can be made a guest suite.

© 2011 viryabo


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    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thanks Bracaza

    • bracaza profile image

      Benedict Racaza 

      5 years ago from Phils

      simple but cute

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks masses Denise.

      Actually i'm an interior designer and work in the building industry, doing interior design works, renovations and restorations. I do some custom design furniture as well.

      I think i might catch up (hopefully by tomorrow), fingers and toes crossed :lol:

      Thank you for visiting and for your nice comments.


    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      I love your hubs about homes and home designs. Is this your profession?

      Don't worry about the catchup, you'll do it. :)


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