The typical family home has changed a lot over the last 300 years. It has evolved to not only incorporate advances in technology and the availability of new materials, but also in line with how we choose to live our lives.
What hasn’t kept pace, however, is the layout of our homes. Much of London’s housing stock was designed in the 1800s and no longer caters to the needs of modern family life. The way we use space is different—bedrooms have become ever more private places, with the master suite often becoming a type of self-contained apartment. Children are less likely to share bedrooms than ever before, and they often need to be a big enough space to double up as a place for schoolwork.
Demands for increased space are only set to grow as our interpretation of the ‘home’ evolves further. Already people’s homes double up as their work-out space and a place for their grown-up children or parents to live. Technology has drastically opened up the option to work remotely and people are keen to make a space in their home for work that doesn’t interfere with the rest of their lives.
While space is at the top of many people’s wish lists, it is for far more than just practical reasons. Discerning Londoners have come to expect thoughtful, practical and elegant design from most of the purchases and areas of their lives, and there’s no reason why the same expectations of modern design shouldn’t be sought out for the most significant aspect of living—the home.
Ashchurch Villas, a collection of stunning family homes recently launched near Ravenscourt Park in west London, is the perfect example of how space and design can be combined through a thoughtful layout. The homes come with a large double reception room on the first floor, which harks back to traditional evening entertaining space but with the practicality of a family friendly living space on the ground floor for daytime activities.
They are a contemporary take on the traditional townhouse but designed with modern family living in mind. This is epitomised by the rare addition of a secure mews studio, with separate access from the main house and separated by a secluded garden. An independent space, away from family life, offers the perfect solution for the home-office, somewhere for a nanny or au pair to live or even a personal yoga studio.
Our homes have become so much more than simply a place to eat and sleep, they now need to cater for many different facets of our lives. This requires flexibility and imagination, especially when it comes to designing space. It is clear that the family home of the future will look radically different to that of the past.