Home designs for dual occupancy

Phrases such as ‘multi-gen’ and ‘dual occupancy’ have been gaining traction in recent years as homebuyers discover the benefits of designing two homes in one.

Two homes in one? How does that work?

With a few tweaks at the design stage, a home can easily include a self-contained suite that provides an extra element of independence.

It may be that you have adult offspring at home, or your elderly parents are set to move in. Maybe you’re teaming up with a friend or sibling to jump on the property ladder and while you’re happy to share the mortgage, you each need your own space.

You may even be looking to generate extra income with an independent space you can rent out to Airbnb guests, students or FIFO workers.

Whatever your motivation, sharing can make housing more affordable and give you more bang for your buck.

And even if sharing isn’t on your current agenda, adding in features that suit dual occupancy or multi-generational design will help future-proof your new home should things change down the track. They’re also likely to make it more appealing to future purchasers.

One storey or two?
Two-storey home designs easily lend themselves to multi-gen living or dual occupancy because they have two clearly defined zones – upstairs and downstairs. This can make it easier to provide that sense of independence and separation that is so important in a multi-gen design. Single-storey new home designs can also be easily adapted for dual occupancy and you’ll even find a range of cool designs already ideal for sharing.

Ensuites all round?
Creating ensuite, or semi-ensuite, access to a bathroom goes a long way to providing an independent zone. Many multi-gen designs include what is effectively a second master suite to give that added privacy and sense of separation.

Separate living spaces
If you have the space, you might want to consider making the bedroom in the independent zone big enough for a small couch, and maybe even a desk, so that it becomes more of a studio space. The addition of a kitchenette in a second sitting room – maybe one that adjoins the bedroom – would further increase the studio vibe. Including space just big enough for a washing machine would complete the independent set-up.

Separate entry doors
Having independent entries into the home is a practical design feature that enables everyone to come and go as if they were in a separate home. This could be as simple as swapping windows for sliding doors in the bedroom, providing the room can be easily accessed from the street.

Needless to say, it’s important not to skimp on storage in an independent living and bedroom space. A big wardrobe, plus space for some bookshelves or built-in cupboards if you can, helps keep the zone feeling spacious and organised.

The Preston Beach Dual Key Floorplan (below) - one of our dual occupancy designs with two front entries allowing for two separate living areas, complete with kitchenette, living area and master suite.

If you’d like more expert tips on homes designed for dual occupancy, fill in the form today and one of our Design Consultants will be in touch.