Designing high-end homes for Sydney’s multi-generational living boom


Forget the granny flat, modern multi-generational home design is about creating flexible spaces within the home that respect the privacy and lifestyle of each of the inhabitants.

At Playoust Churcher we are passionate about creating multi-generational living solutions for our Sydney clients that don’t impinge on their desire for a stylish and functional home. You can have both.

With an ageing population and Sydney house prices as they are, this is a trend that is only going to gain in popularity.

Designing high-end homes

Early considerations


“No matter whether our client mentions the option of multi-generational living or not, it’s always a consideration we discuss in our early conversations,” explains John Hooghuis, Playoust Churcher Design Director.

“Sometimes our clients will raise it with us as they have elderly parents who they want to provide for… or in some cases, our clients are a young family who will use the other part of their home as a source of income with the knowledge that in the future their children may be able to utilise the space.”

It pays to think about the future uses of your home early in the design conversations for the best possible result. It might not be on your radar now… but if you are building or renovating your dream home, it’s likely you plan to be there for a long time. Those early conversations could save you a lot of pain – and money – down the track.

Privacy concerns

Privacy concerns


While we can’t help with personal boundaries when your mother-in-law moves in… we can help with creating clear and defined physical boundaries that provide privacy for everyone living in your home.

And privacy really is a crucial success factor for multi-generational home designs.

“If you don’t have privacy then no-one in the home will feel comfortable,” says John.

“Where possible we design separate entries so it can truly feel like a second residence in the home. We also include private outdoor spaces which don’t overlook each other.

Multi-generational living solution

That’s one of the problems with the classic granny flat in the backyard… whenever you step out of your back door you are both staring into each others space… or whatever space is left after the granny flat goes in.”

Wherever we do incorporate a granny flat as a multi-generational living solution, we always position it in a way that avoids those common privacy concerns.

Like with the Pymble renovation. The owners wanted visual privacy but it wasn’t as important to them to have access to separate outdoor spaces. We positioned the granny flat near the pool, facing away from the back part of the house to give the privacy the family needed.

Innovative solution

Possibilities and solutions


There is no one size fits all approach to multi-generational home design… rather it’s about working with the site and building a solution that enhances the design and flow of the home.

For example, on a corner site, separate entries are very easily achieved.

It’s a matter of looking at the site, working through the wish list and coming up with an innovative solution that gives the best result.

A high-end home

“When we raise a multi-generational home design with some of our clients, they initially dismiss it as it isn’t on their radar. But when we explain the benefits and options they get quite excited,” reveals John.

“They may be able to use the second residence as another income source to help pay the mortgage… or we will often end up creating a master plan so they have the option of a multi-generational home in the future when they need it.”

With the right architect, you can design a high-end home that incorporates multi-generational living. The Mosman home we designed was a large and grand residence with a separate residence for the grandparents on the ground floor.

We added a lift to make movement through the home much simpler for the elderly residents and achieved a very high-end finish on every element of the home.

Multi-generational home design experts


As experienced North Shore and Northern Beaches architects, we have been designing multi-generational homes for our clients for many years. We take a sensitive approach that pairs what you want and need from your home with our good design philosophy. The result is a multi-generational home that truly feels like home for everyone who lives there.

Contact us to discuss your multi-generational living requirements with one of our passionate and talented architects.

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