You’ve just purchased your first home, and it’s time to make it feel like home. If you are moving in with your significant other, children, or even pets, it can be challenging to make all the necessary alterations without spending too much money, time, or effort.
Whether you are about to have a baby or your parents are about to move in with you, the chances are that your bachelor pad needs some serious modifications to make it appropriate as a family home. Although there are no hard and fast rules to transforming your bachelor pad into a family home, here are nine things you can do to get started on the right foot.
Renovate Room by Room
Planning renovations room by room can be more efficient and cost-effective than doing them all at once. Since minor remodels take less time, you can run several projects in parallel, saving money and allowing you to enjoy your family home while they’re ongoing. For example, converting part of your bachelor pad into a nursery before doing any other redecorating work means that once the baby arrives, they can move straight into their new bedroom instead of bouncing from one temporary residence to another.
Create an Open Plan Living Space
A common problem with bachelor pads is their design — focusing on only one room rather than creating an open-plan living space. The solution? Cut up that wall. Open-plan living spaces feel bigger and help reduce clutter, making your home feel more like a home and less like a hoarder’s paradise. It can also help you feel that your entire living area looks more open, and you can add more appropriate family furniture.
Add Personality through Color
Rooms with strong color themes feel warm and welcoming, especially if you’re re-painting. Choose one or two colors, depending on how many walls you want to paint, and be sure they fit your style (neutral tones are popular choices). Paint all of your walls in that color and add accent pieces like rugs, curtains, and artwork for the character.
Add Modern Furniture, Lighting, and Artwork
When you’re picking out furniture, think about elements that define your home as something other than a bachelor pad. Adding modern furniture in neutral colors, such as mid-century-style chairs and tables, can give your place an instant makeover. Lighting is another key element. A modern chandelier with clear light bulbs is a surefire way to incorporate some personality into your pad, whether it sits above a dining table or over your living room sofa.
Consider Your Kitchen Layout
Once you’ve got all your appliances and furniture in place, think about how they work together. Some kitchens are set up with an island of prep space or eating space, which is ideal for families—they can easily sit around and chat while prepping and cooking food. Consider whether you have enough seating area for everyone when it’s time to eat; if not, rearrange things so that they do.
The goal should be for everyone can move around freely without bumping into each other constantly. A good kitchen layout should also keep everything within easy reach. Measure countertop heights and distances between outlets, lights, and faucets, then compare them against typical appliance height/reach requirements, making sure everything will fit where it needs to go.
Get Rid of Inappropriate Items
In your effort to transform your bachelor pad into a family home, you may find yourself faced with some difficult decisions. What’s appropriate in a bachelor pad can be downright distasteful when you think about exposing it to your family and guests regularly. A great place to start is purging inappropriate items from your bachelor pad. You can sell them or give them to friends instead.
Change Your Flooring
Wood is an excellent flooring choice for bachelor pads because it offers an elegant, luxurious look, but it also makes spills and general cleaning easier. But if you’re transforming your pad into a family home, take out that wood and put in something more kid-friendly like laminate or vinyl. If you plan on living there for more than one child, think about getting ceramic tile or hardwood instead—it will hold up better over time.
Some companies specializing in flooring can help you make these changes with a budget in mind. They have plenty of choices, so don’t be afraid to explore other options. The flooring company may even be able to send someone over for a more thorough inspection.
Invest in Additional Bedrooms
If you’re hoping to make your property feel more like home and less like a bachelor pad, adding bedrooms is essential. Not only will children appreciate having their room and space for an extra pair of eyes on them at night, but you’ll also add resale value—most people love having enough bedrooms for guests.
Whether you’re looking to transform your bachelor pad into a family home or are already engaged in those first years of parenthood, these eight ideas will help turn your home into an extension of you and your family. Just remember that there’s no right way or wrong way to make your house family-friendly.