Ottawa Custom Home – Family Home to Empty Nester Paradise

This article has been updated. Please see Family Home to Empty Nester Retreat – Renovating for the Empty-Nester Lifestyle.


Your children have finally left the nest and you are considering your options. You’ve been considering a move to a new home in the Ottawa area that is more suitable for your Empty Nester lifestyle, but you love your neighbourhood. Your neighbours have become good friends and you enjoy the familiarity of local businesses and amenities; so you don’t want to leave and start all over again in a new community. Well, you don’t have to move! Renovate instead!

During the month of May we’re going to explore several ways that you can turn your family home into a space more suitable for Empty Nesters, a custom-designed home that will make life easier now as you move into a new stage of life and for many years to come as you age gracefully in the place you call HOME.

This week we’ll look at reconfiguring and opening up your home to suit your new Empty Nester stage of life.

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 12.00.17 PMRooms Revisited

When designing a custom home renovation for Empty Nesters we always consider repurposing unused or unnecessary spaces. Think about your home… are there rooms you use rarely or not at all? Wouldn’t you like all of your rooms––especially those on the main floor––to be useful, efficient spaces that serve your day-to-day needs? As you move into the Empty Nester stage of life, explore how you can use your space differently. For example you may want to consider:
1. Leaving the second floor for guests and family visits and moving your master suite to the main floor. An under-utilized living/dining room or den can become a luxurious master suite.

2. No longer want the laundry room in that dark corner of the basement? No problem! Repurpose a den or other main floor or second floor space as a laundry room.

3. It’s a great idea to identify a location suitable for a residential elevator should you ever need one in the future. Even if you don’t want or need it now, identify a pantry, walk in closet, mud room or laundry room and plan the renovation to allow for ease of installation in the future.

4. With your most important priorities taken care of on the main floor, modify the space on the second floor to function well for less-frequent tasks. Now that you’re an Empty Nester, you won’t have as much laundry and with retirement maybe you can spend less time in the den. Think about moving those rooms to the second floor.

5. Take a careful look at storage needs. You may no longer have the volume of “stuff” generated by children and teenagers, but you’ll want to plan for functional, easy access to all of the items you need day-to-day and at special times during the year. Well-designed storage eliminates clutter while still keeping everything within easy reach when and where you need it.

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 12.00.32 PMOpening Up the Interior

Do you love to entertain? Turn an old-style segmented floor plan into an open-concept great room with the kitchen, dining room and living room combining to create a gorgeous space that wows your guests. A renovation opens up so many possibilities and if you work with an experienced architectural designer like Jim, he can help you see options you may never have thought possible––options tailored to your needs and wants. When reconfiguring the layout, walls can be removed for open concept space throughout the home. Keep the openings wider for flow and ease of mobility when adding new doors and halls. Sliding doors are easier to open and close from a stationary position for those who develop mobility issues and must use a walker or wheelchair.

Add a secondary suite

Maybe you could use some extra income to supplement your retirement income? Do you have an elderly family member who is unable to live on their own and now requires family support? When you move into your senior years in a decade or two you may want a live-in care person or family member who will assist you and allow you to stay in your own home. Why not plan a secondary suite either in the basement or on the second floor? The suite can be designed to evolve with your changing needs to accommodate a renter, family member or healthcare worker/nurse. Reap the rental income benefits now and maintain flexibility for the future. Designing the custom renovation to include a rental unit also makes your home more valuable on resale as it will be very attractive to those seeking extra income from a rental property.

Hundreds of considerations go into planning a truly efficient, functional and beautiful interior renovation. You don’t have to navigate the complexities on your own. Jim Bell has the expertise and 30 + years of architectural design experience to design a spectacular home to serve you now and well into the future. Take a look at what he has created for his clients, and contact him for a no-obligation consultation.


Family Home to Empty Nester Paradise – Part 2 >