How Lea Created A Warm & Inviting Living Room For Her Neighbor’s Multi-Generational Home

What does multi-generational dwelling imply? By definition, it refers to a number of generations of a household dwelling in or on the identical property whereas sharing obligations resembling cooking, payments, tending to youngsters, and different family obligations.

As somebody who comes from a really small household (ahem, solely youngster right here), I’ve all the time romanticized being surrounded by a big household and sometimes envied households who’ve a powerful household dynamic. Our next-door neighbors being one in every of them. After years of friendship and an enormous multi-household water struggle one summer season that included everybody operating by way of one another’s houses, ducking and dodging water balloons, we’ve shaped a wonderful bond and a wonderful mess. A few of you’ve got in all probability seen our neighbor’s youngsters on my Instagram feed as a result of they’ve grow to be our prolonged household and it’s been a pleasure to look at them develop from the infants they had been once we first met them. Our neighbors immigrated from Ethiopia with their youngsters (now adults) and now additionally embody their grandchildren (first technology). Their family consists of Mother and Dad (or aka Grandma and Grandpa), their daughter, whom we’ll name “H” right here, her husband and their two youngsters, H’s sister, in addition to their Aunt and Uncle with their youngsters).

After the pandemic, I used to be so able to get out of my very own 4 partitions and work on a artistic venture however one which felt sentimental to me too. That’s when my neighbor “H” and I had been chatting about their very own dwelling and the way SHE was prepared for a change. Concurrently, Slumberland Furnishings additionally reached out to me to work collectively and the timing couldn’t have been extra aligned! I’ve labored with Slumberland Furnishings earlier than on a few tasks, I really like that they’re a family-owned enterprise, and thought to myself this could be an ideal collaboration since this venture is all about household.

“H” was prepared, like so many people, to clean up their dwelling after over a yr of isolation and was wanting methods to modernize their dwelling house. My problem? How one can create a snug and delightful house for everybody whereas additionally remaining useful for his or her giant household wants and in addition not simply tossing out Mother and Dad’s present items. 

Right here’s what the house regarded like earlier than we obtained began:

Even sans a 13-year-old celebration crammed with balloons, the house felt crowded and the big rolled arm furnishings didn’t permit for the most effective furnishings placement and circulation. So I started by placing collectively a temper board to examine how we might profit from this shared house.


Once I spoke with “H”, she shared her important precedence was to determine a greater seating association. After measuring, collectively we chosen a sectional couch for its comfortability for Dad (aka Grandpa) and in addition for giant household gatherings and lounging. It immediately brightened the house and created a strong dimension and circulation. We additionally chosen a rug as a result of their earlier rug was actually tiny and “H” felt it was essential to usher in a contemporary shade. Oftentimes, household or the youngsters are taking part in on the ground so we actually wished the rug to really feel snug as effectively. I actually love the way it added some blues and terracotta colours to this room. Designing an area with a number of folks and generations in thoughts as the first focus additionally meant that Mother (aka Grandma) wanted to really feel prefer it was nonetheless their dwelling and never only a house we flipped the other way up on her. Bringing in her love of heat wooden tones helped create their aesthetic stability and when Mother first noticed the items coming collectively she fell in love so my coronary heart was really full.

Sectional | Rug | Espresso Desk 

Espresso Desk | Lamp | Rug

Aspect be aware: This espresso desk was additionally chosen for simple maneuverability when bigger flooring house is required, as you’ll see later.

Media Cupboard | Sectional | Diffuser | Ceramic Candle | Gold Candle

Having a large-scale TV within the house was additionally essential however to maintain it from feeling prefer it was the deal with this wall and floating aimlessly, we chosen this media cupboard that may pull double responsibility – it supplies floor house, anchors the TV from “floating away”, conceals tech and youngsters toys/video games whereas additionally protecting the nice and cozy wooden tones that Mother loves a lot. This media cupboard labored nice because the TV above it was so giant, the size was the best proportion and its fashionable scale additionally didn’t take up an excessive amount of actual property. Beforehand the one gentle supply on this room was the canned lighting within the ceiling so popping in a brass flooring lamp simply felt proper for not just some visible top within the nook but additionally some good studying gentle within the night. The curtains had been customized made in Ethiopia and they’re GORGEOUS, beforehand hung slightly too low on the window (a standard design mistake however one that’s straightforward to repair) “H” put in a monitor on the ceiling as a good way to boost them proper as much as the ceiling.

Sectional | Bookcase

Bookcase | Ceramic Bowls | Mojave Candle     

For styling, I saved items extra minimal right here however I’ve little doubt this shelf will maintain many pretty botanicals sooner or later. I additionally love that it added a focus to this wall (the place there wasn’t any beforehand). It additionally provides performance and a show house for H’s rising crops and artisan-made dwelling items from Ethiopia like this woven basket.

Whereas onsite putting in/styling and taking pictures their dwelling, Auntie “Z” provided us their conventional espresso, and let’s simply say this was not out of a Keurig. Later knowledgeable by “H” that it’s customary to supply espresso, tea, fruit, or home made bread to friends of their dwelling. Ethiopia can be identified for its spectacular coffees and Auntie “Z” was able to share with us the standard method of creating Ethiopian espresso.

You begin with roasting the beans on the range over a flame, which creates slightly little bit of smoke. As soon as totally roasted or near being finished she is going to stroll across the room to the friends or folks sitting across the room ready for the espresso and splash just a bit little bit of water within the pan to create much more smoke. That is finished so that folks can benefit from the aroma of the espresso, she is going to even waft it in the direction of friends to actually get a very good expertise and it reveals appreciation for the particular person making the espresso. The beans are roasted at completely different ranges which might actually dictate the style.

The beans are then floor and put with water right into a espresso pot often known as a Jebena and boiled over a low flame.

As soon as settled, the pourer (there is just one) will begin prepping folks’s espresso, milk, sugar, and typically a contemporary Rue (herb) as a garnish within the espresso.

Just one particular person pours and you don’t contact or pour that particular person’s espresso. 

What I beloved most about this custom is not only the expertise they shared however that that is used as a type of what is now known as “self-care”. A second to loosen up and proceed to grow to be a group or a tighter household unit. Household and group are crucial within the Ethiopian tradition and though on a regular basis lives are busy, guaranteeing this custom of connecting stays a prime precedence on the weekend. I beloved that. Perhaps that’s what all of us want in our lives, prioritizing constructing household and group bonds. There’s loads to be stated about this in at present’s world and far to be realized, I feel.

So how do you design a front room for multi-generational dwelling? I actually don’t have a definitive reply to that query as a result of each household construction is exclusive. One of the best reply I may give is to prioritize shared house that every member of the family can take pleasure in individually and collectively. Pondering again by myself household and the monetary struggles and stresses of balancing work with infants/youngsters I might have LOVED having the help of a multi-generational family. There are such a lot of positives to this household dynamic that I’m shocked it hasn’t grow to be extra of the norm right here in America. (I see you, rising prices and inflation). Perhaps it needs to be? Unintentionally, I’ve been speaking (high-quality, possibly drilling into their heads) this sentiment to my very own two youngsters, now younger adults (23 and 24), and the way I don’t ever need them to depart. I would like them to deliver their households to dwell right here in our dwelling and permit me to assist increase youngsters ought to they select to have any. Anybody who is aware of me is aware of I’m in no hurry in anyway to be an “empty nester”. In actual fact to me, that sounds fairly miserable. What’s the level of getting a wonderful dwelling with nobody to share it with or to take pleasure in and dwell in it? To create these stunning messes that (talking from my 40-something-year-old self) disappear within the blink of an eye fixed. 

I can not thank “H” and household sufficient for permitting us into their dwelling and sharing such a wonderful custom with us. And likewise an enormous thanks to Slumberland Furnishings for serving to us create a wonderful front room match for multi-generational dwelling and for supporting our story.

*Design by Lea Johnson of Creekwood Hill
**Images by Sage E Imagery

The submit How Lea Created A Heat & Inviting Dwelling Room For Her Neighbor’s Multi-Generational House appeared first on Emily Henderson.

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