Suggestions for Floor Plans for a large family

I’m hoping somebody can point me in the right direction. We are thinking of remodeling our home, and are trying to come up with some possible floor plan ideas. Traditional floor plans do not look like they would work for us. Tiny bedrooms with 9 kids is not my ideal home :o Our kids are used to sharing and we’d hate to split them up. They would be lonely!!

So if anyone has seen a source or a show or a blog that displays a home of a large family, I would love to see it.

a little FYI, we are expecting #9. Our current oldest is 17, the youngest is 1.5 years. We are fairly even split between boys and girls :slight_smile:

Thank you for any help you can give me!

I don’t know where you can see any predrawn floor plans, but I have always said that if I could have things my way, I would put a stackable washer/dryer in every bedroom. You know, those smallish ones - so the kids’ clothes would never come out of their bedrooms unless they were on their backs. Smaller is better, too, because we all know they’d never put a whole lot in there anyway…

lol If I could trust them not to take turns “riding” in the dryer…that would be a fine idea :wink:

I’ve tried looking for pictures of bedrooms just to give me a jumping off point, but most just list ideas to increase privacy for siblings that share. I found a picture show of the Duggar’s home, and that gave me some ideas to talk about with the architect, I’m just hoping I can have some ideas before we start talking plans. I just find most modern homes are not designed for un-conventional families like mine :slight_smile:

I’ve thought about this a lot!!! I’m feeling very cramped in our house just with our 7.

On my list for a desirable house:

large dining room (of course!)

Two living type areas (a family room and a living room)

a kitchen with a bar–so kids can sit and talk with me while I cook.

a largish laundry area with a large sorting table and shelves for individual baskets plus a hanging rack. I’d love to have a double set of washer dryers, so when I did laundry, I could really do it.

I’d love to have two girls rooms connected by a bathroom and two boys rooms that connect by a bathroom. I’d like to have built in dressers/with closet.

I’d love to have a master bed with my own bathroom and room for a crib

There’s a 7 bedroom house not far from here that’s for sale. It used to be a boarding school back in the old days. It’s unfortunately over our budget. And, it only has 1/2 acre–no room for my dh’s beloved livestock. Sometimes, I pull up the listing and dream a little just for fun.

Good luck. share your pics or plans when you settle on it.

My best friend growing up had that. They were 8, 5 girls and 3 boys. The 2 oldest girls shared one room and the 3 youngest shared the other (the family had 2 older boys, 5 girls, then 1 younger boy). It was fun! :slight_smile: One of the girls in the 3 girl bedroom room slept on a trundle bed if I am not mistaken.

Hello Mary,

I would be happy to guide you and your family. I need some information, specs on your existing home and few other details. Remodelling is one thing, floor plans for a new home is another…PM me and we will go from there.

We had a new house built a couple of years ago and we used an architect because our lot was unusual. We only have three children but we looked at tons of houses, floor plans, books etc.

One idea that I liked which I think would work if you have a large family is to have small alcove type bed areas that open onto a larger shared space. So each child has a little privacy, enough space for a bed and bedside table and some shelves. The bedspace has a pocket door that slides into the wall and opens onto the shared space. This way you can have a number of children share a relatively small space for so many but they all get a little space that’s just theirs. It’s important to get some natural light into the alcove so it doesn’t feel like a cupboard. Small windows or skylights for example.

All people of all ages love a “hideout” a little snug place where they can hide away, so these little alcove rooms are very popular with all ages. If a child needs to nap, is upset or just wants some quiet time they can take themselves off for some privacy but don’t need the dimensions of a traditional bedroom to do it. The shared space has clothes storage, toys, desks etc. Instead of tons of tiny rooms with one child in each you could make the space into 2 or 3 “suites” with 3-4 bed alcoves in each and shared space for toys and desks. You can design the beds to have trundles underneath so you have extra space for overnight guests.

Then your children share space but also have the opportunity for privacy. The little ones can sleep in their alcove with the door open so they can see the others, while older children might prefer to have privacy at bedtime. It also means an older child can read in bed while the other children sleep and they don’t disturb each other.

One idea that the Duggars use that I think it a real time/work saver is to store all the clothes right by the laundry. With a big family and the never ending laundry it makes sense to have clothes racks and cupboards right by the laundry so there’s no need to take it to another part of the house. Instead everyone comes to the dressing room to pick out their clothes. I wanted a laundry upstairs as it cut out walking up and down with clothes. The kids got undressed and put their clothes straight into the basket in the laundry. With a big family however it might work out better to have the laundry next to the kitchen if it’s an all day affair. Again have natural light and lots of it in the laundry area if you don’t want to feel you are spending much of your time in a poky cupboard.

A good idea is to think about how your family live and proportion your budget according to how much time you spend doing a particular activity. The laundry is a good example. If you spend lots of your day doing laundry make your laundry spacious and a really efficient workroom. Make it a pleasure to be in. If you hardly use a formal living room for example you might want to eliminate it and use that space for a bigger office or a playroom etc.

A word of caution, unless you think you will live in your house for the rest of your lives you should also think about resale. If you change the floorplan to suit your large family try to give it enough flexibility where it could be changed again by a buyer. Otherwise you may create a home that cuts out all buyers unless they have similar family.

Congratulations, it’s very exciting to have the opportunity to make your house work for you!

HAAAAA! I never thought of that - definitely could see my boys trying that.

Our house is very old - over 100 years old - very pretty but not only is it not designed for 7 kids, it’s “victorian” which translates to “no closets”. We have enough room, I guess, but it’s not layed out for what we want to do with it. For example - there is not really anyplace for the kids to do crafts and/or homework other than the dining room table and then that gets abused…

With that maybe think about your storage needs and where you are going to put everything - maybe that will be a place to start.

My dream home for raising kids

two dishwashers
just move from right to left M-W-F
and left to right on Tu-Th-Sat. run them both every day

the walk-out basement (we had this) so they come in and out this way, all the games, sports equipment, muddy boots and the worst of the clutter stays down there

with this exception, after school they have to come in upstairs through the mud room so you can corral their backpacks to save homework and school communications

two bathrooms, one girls one boys, completely covered in ceramic tile and sealed with a floor drain, you can have shower cubicles with drains too, but there are no steps or barriers to water freely draining out. so to clean the bathroom you put away all the toiletries, pick up all the towels, turn on the showers, turn them off, spray all the surfaces, turn on showers again to rinse, and squeegee with a giant long handled squeegee, should take 5 minutes. you also have a hose coming out of the wall with a sprayer that has a canister for cleaning solution, so it can spray solution or clear water, to do the toilets (multiple no waiting) and sinks). all this water drains into the floor drain

there is a washer dryer combo outside each bathroom so towels are washed daily by the oldest kit, and used right out of the dryer

kitchen with bar and stools around 3 sides, enough to seat everyone, for all except the one sit-down meal of the day (or week). If there was a way to have drink dispensers between every two seats that would be great

walk in pantry, and walk in refrigerator, like in restaurants, with wire shelves (east to clean not pest friendly) with rubber floor mats that get scrubbed each week in the driveway, no, wait, these rooms have floor drains too, as does the kitchen, to make cleaning easier.

a video game room preferably downstairs, so TV-games-etc never invade the living space, where adults have soothing music of their own preference piped in

parent’s bedroom is at the opposite end of the house from the kids bedroom. New babies sleep on their end, once they are ready for regular beds the go in one of 4 large bedrooms with bunks and lofts: big girls, big boys, little girls, little boys (the latter two have waterproof mattresses and covers and easily washable comforters and bottom sheets only) there is a washer dryer combo for each two bedrooms so those clothes including bedding are dried and put away right there. imagine, no more laundry baskets in the living room, or on that dining room table (which you once coveted).

I suppose if you have little kids it is not wise for an automatic grate to come down at midnight to keep them on their side.

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now, I want this house!

We only have one child so far, but I’m already dreaming of this house too! hahaha! I especially love about hte bathrooms!!!

My DH’s bathroom tidiness level is somewhere around a sixthgrader’s :slight_smile:

:thumbsup: What a house! I think I’d even keep the grate if I could afford it ;):stuck_out_tongue:

I love reading your ideas, and I’m happy to see that I’m not the only one that would prefer two large boy & girl rooms to a bunch of smaller rooms. My DH had it put into his head tha we could add to the top of the house and then divide the rooms upstairs. I’d preferr to add to the top, but extend the two bedrooms into two larger bedrooms and create bathroom suites, one for the girls and one for the boys.

Right now we have a salt box type home that has two bedrooms and one bathroom upstairs. The bedrooms are 19x11, but with slanted roofs, that hinder bunk beds. I’d like to straighten the walls, extend the space a bit, and create a common area for desks and books, etc. The bathroom definitly needs to be remodeled…its old!! The girls really want their own, and I can’t blame them!

Anything I can add to my kitchen would be a plus. I have a corner of a counter to work with, and 4.5 cabinets for my dishes. The basement holds our food on shelves. To say the least, this house is not suited for a family of 10! So I don’t think I’d turned down any improvements in the kitchen.

I haven’t met the architect yet, I just worry she won’t understand the needs of a large family. I will have to practice saying “no thank you” in a firm voice to make sure I get what I need, rather than what she thinks I may need. I could be worrying for naught. Like I said, we haven’t met yet. A family friend just had her design their remodeling job, and loved it. They were a family of 5 though :slight_smile: Let’s see what she can do with a family of 10 and counting :wink:

Now to pray that it all goes well. This is a huge financial step, and the future is scary to say the least.

thanks everyone!!

If you go with two big bedrooms, one for boys, one for the girls - each of those rooms has it’s own bathroom. Off the bathroom opens a huge clothing/dressing room - racks and shelves, maybe a couple of “vainty” mirrors, enough room for ALL the clothes, ironing board and washer dryer. This way, clothes are easy to put away and they do not end up tossed all over the bedroom.

I like the idea of plainer sleeping spaces with a playroom or upstairs family room for hanging out. Rather than toys and stuff in the bedroom. The rooms opening off a shared bathroom is good too–makes for more bathroom privacy also.

Definately I’d want a ‘mud room’ so that dirty shoes aren’t tracked in the house. A good sized laundry room with a utility sink, folding table and room to hang dry clothes as needed. It seems that the time in laundry is with the dryer so maybe 2 dryers for every washer? :smiley:

A big enough dining room would also be very important to me. In fact one of the big pluses about our house is the dining room (an actual room and not just a “dining area” stuck onto the living room or kitchen.

This is fun. Let us know what you end up deciding on!

I’m going to hazard a guess and say that with 10, cost IS an object. So you really need to prioritize needs versus “what if” fantasy. 4 sets of washer/dryers is probably not the most useful way to spend your limited budget, for example.

Is DH handy? If it were me, I’d home build triple bunks. Minimize the use of floor space that way. Make sure closet space is enormous so you don’t need dressers (at least 3.5 feet accessible width per kid in the room and use organizers to have shelves and two levels of rods). This will work for YOU as well as ensure the floor plan has market value many years down the road when it is your empty nest to sell. I like your instinct that what you need is well planned rooms, not lots of them. This also fits better for eventual resale. I wouldn’t try to give each kid a desk. Instead, plan work nooks in several places in the house (dining room, bedrooms, basement, etc).

Plan places for shoe storage. A massive mud room with room for coats, snowpants (climate dependent!), mittens, hats, shoes and backpacks would be awesome.

Laundry needs a bit of thought. Definately should not be on the main level. Either plan in an adequate space on the bedroom level or put in a chute all the way to the basement. Either one has advantages and drawbacks. The basement likley has a lot more room to hang dry things, iron, fold, etc at YOUR convenience, but its a lotta stairs. An upstairs laundry likely means cramped room, little space to hang dry, no permanent ironing spot and piles of clothes sit in your line of sight all day (argggh!). Less stair climbing though.

A garden shed seems like a godsend here too. Just all those bikes alone would eat half a two car garage! Throw in a lawn mower, tools, etc and where do you park? Outside I’d bet. Sheds are cheap compared to other stuff.

Got a decent basement that can be partially finished? (no water leaks or such problems) Basements make a great place to send noisy raucus kids to play and is a nice way to get the TV away from ‘in your face’ all the time. IMO, TV shouldn’t be front and center on the main level of the house. Sends a depressing message. Banish it to the basement where it SHOULD rank in family importance.

If doing a total rebuild, resist architect attempts to add soaring double height ceilings. These are echo chambers and will ruin MANY a nap. Not good for small kids and wasteful of space too. 9 foot main floor ceilings are a better way to a similar end.

Energy efficiency. If doing a total rebuild, take the opportunity to insulate well, get good windows (double pane, inert gas filled), 90%+ furnace, power exhaust water heater (or tankless) and maximum windows on the southern exposure (with foil lined cellular blinds for blocking summer heat). This will pay you back fairly quickly especially since the taxpayer (i.e. me and my future grandkids) is currently paying a portion of the cost.

Resist trendy and go with classic. Stainless is all the rage, but looks like dung with kiddy fingerprints all over it. Decline. White appliances are never trendy and never tacky. Architects will practically demand you get granite in the kitchen, but it can stain. Formica is still cheap, available in many styles and won’t give you a heart attack WHEN the kids some day damage it.

Laminate floors are trendy, but fragile - especially if you have boys. They don’t look too good when said boys puncture it by dropping iron frying pans and you can see the particle board underneath! (Luckily I learned this via in-laws, not my own kitchen). Wood still looks good even when dented. Ceramic similarly chips. Stay cheap with sheet linoleum or go expensive with real oak (actually not much more than ceramic).

Lighting. If things are going to be torn down to studs prewire for as much lighting as you can think of. Overhead lights, kitchen undercabinet lights, recessed kitchen ceiling lights, sconces etc. Even if you have to wait until later to actually buy the lights, prewiring is cheap and makes basic spaces look expensive and custom.

When I get into a “one day, I want to build a dream home” mood, I go to The House Designers. You can view floorplans for free (they have like a million of them), and get lots of good ideas. I found one that I absolutely love on this site, and then added all the little “extra” things I wanted (like a playroom, a bigger laundry room, a basement, etc.).

this is excellent advice, if you can make the closets accommodate storage systems–very affordable modular basket/shelf/cart systems and Lowes and Home Depot–you will have much better use of space in the bedrooms

rather than 3 tiered bunks go to Crate and Barrel or one of those stores that features modular kids bedroom furniture and look at loft/bunk arrangments, with creative planning and no dressers you can sleep 4-6 and have 3 desks or work tables.

get toys and hobbies out of the bedrooms and someplace else and in a large family you have to limit what they are allowed to keep, and what they share.

color code the sheets and towels-- all the same size bunks have blue sheets, all double beds have yellow etc.

but buy all white bleachable towels, do your bathroom decorating some other way, those bundles of towels at Sams are a great deal

Yes to all of this. Although, I do have to say that our laminate is holding up beautifully. We’ve had it a couple of years now and there isn’t a mark or chip and my kids play hard and are messy. Toss our big old dog into the mix and I’d have to say the laminate was worth it.
Also, our bunk beds have a trundle in the bottom. It slides in and out as needed. So far ( where’s the knock on wood smiley face) no one has been closed into the bed…but I’m sure someone will think of that at some point!!
I’d love to add on to our house, but that’s not going to happen. DH says with what I want to do, it would be cheaper to move:blush: We really do love our home, but when we built it we had one child and were not sure if we would be able to have more…fast forward 8 years and we just had our 4th baby. And within the year my father will be moving in with us:eek: We have been getting rid of a ton of junk! The less stuff you have, the more living space you get! Make sure you are adding on for things you really need and get rid of the rest!
Our laundry is right off the kitchen. I love having it right there so I can keep up on it, but it’s not very big. About the size of a small walk in closet and I have my pantry in there as well. DH hung shelves all the way around the room for extra storage. It also gives me a place to hang up clothes as I take them out of the dryer. If I had the room I’d get a second dryer. Laundry would be done in no time!
Oh it’s fun to dream. A bigger dining room, more counter space in the kitchen, another bathroom, a craft room…

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