The first floor of any family home is many things. It is, first and foremost, the entry level to your home, with at least two doors leading to the outside world. It’s also likely to be the busiest part of your home, due in no small part to the types of rooms that tend to be included. Whether you’re rushing to the front door to receive a parcel, spending time with your kids in the family room, or hosting guests in the dining room, there’s always something going on, While the second floor is dedicated to peace, sleep, and relaxation, the first floor is active and dynamic – which is why it’s worth ensuring that your first floor is as good as it can be.
In an effort to help you achieve a first floor that is suitable for modern family life, below, we’ve put together a few ideas you may want to consider implementing in the future. Starting with…
Install lockable windows
The first floor of your home is undoubtedly the most vulnerable in terms of security. While it’s always beneficial to install security systems, CCTV cameras, and smart home monitoring devices, the oldest tricks in the book are also helpful. In particular, it’s incredibly important to ensure all the windows on the first floor – even those you presume are too small to be used as an entry route – can be locked, either by changing the windows themselves or adding locks to your existing windows.
Avoid going full “open-plan”
Open-plan first floor designs have been popular for many years and, in some cases, they can be beneficial. However, for families, open-plan designs tend to be far more trouble than they are worth. The smells from the kitchen permeate into the family room, there’s no way of preventing the noise from the family room’s TV impacting kids who may be doing homework at the kitchen table, and there’s less privacy and personal space for everyone. It’s therefore usually best to focus on partial open-plan designs, perhaps combining the dining room with the kitchen, or the kitchen and dining rooms, rather than opening each room up to create one big area.
However, if you want to give a full open-plan design a try – or you already have one in situ – you can always erect non-load bearing walls should you prefer greater separation in future, which the video can help with.
Opt for window film to maximize light while still providing privacy
Privacy is an important consideration of the first floor of your home, especially if strangers can see into your property due to the proximity to the sidewalk. You can use hedges to add an element of privacy, but this option tends to result in a darker interior space. In order to preserve the natural light and achieve the privacy you need, products such as etched glass window film are preferable to hedges, while also being more affordable and far, far simpler to maintain.
Hopefully, the ideas above will help to ensure that you and your family are able to enjoy a first floor that is safe, secure, and conducive to wonderful family life. Enjoy!