Courtesy of Dwell April 16, 2018

Courtesy of Dwell April 16, 2018

A Shared Space is a Happy Space

by Abeer Sweis
July 12, 2018
Remember the TV show “Golden Girls”? How about “Friends”? Or perhaps “Three’s Company”? All of these shows included family or friends sharing a home. We called them roommates at the time, now in this new “sharing economy”, we refer to these living situations as house sharing or even co-living. House sharing can take on many different configurations, but the premise is simple: friends, family or colleagues sharing a house.

House sharing is not just for Millennials or Baby-boomers seeking social interaction. Although there can be many advantages of sharing a home; reduced living costs, shared child care and dog sitting, as well as a lower impact on the environment, what we love most about the concept of home sharing is both the wellbeing and communal aspects.

Designing for house sharing has unique considerations. House sharing can be one home or multiple homes on a property. The shared home needs to have spaces to share and spaces for privacy. Should the home have multiple kitchens, multiple family rooms, or do the occupants share all common spaces? Getting building permits for non-traditional configurations can sometimes be a challenge. And what about resale value if a home is broken up into separate living quarters?

The designers at SweisKloss have embraced this 21st century version of home sharing and have created some unique and clever space-saving areas, storage and shareable spaces that make co-living comfortable, modern and elegant. For one of our clients we designed a second story addition for her aging mom that had all the amenities of a complete home, including a separate entrance. Mom had all the advantages of living with her family and still felt like she had her own space for both solitude and entertaining her friends.

Until recently, most of the house sharing options had code limitations or they were “guesthouses” which are not rentable and could not legally contain a kitchen.

In 2017 the State of California created legislation that mandated local governments to allow Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s), which can either be part of the home or remain as separate structures.

Next week we’ll take a look at this next “big housing boom.”
Abeer Sweis