When you watch HGTV, you hear a lot of times when someone is either looking at a home or needs a renovation that a particular design choice is what they want because they "like to do a lot of entertaining". I was never much for having large parties and friends over all the time, so I didn't get why that always seemed so important. Then I had four kids. Then those kids got married and had kids of their own. The whole "we do a lot of entertaining" makes sense to me now, although 2020's pandemic slowed that down a bit. Not only has my perception of "entertaining" has changed, I realize it means different things to different members of my household and I need to take that into consideration. It was also a huge factor when I chose the home I live in now.
Adult's View: An entertaining space can mean so many different things to different people! It may be a space where you can have big dinner parties with a lot of seating so people can mingle before and after a meal, it can be a "man cave" or a "she shed" where not only groups can enjoy a space, but it can be a getaway space for someone in the family to go and entertain themselves. For adults it can also mean having an adult bar in the basement or a patio or deck for outdoor entertaining. As HGTV has shown us, it's a huge consideration when someone is shopping for a home, but often even varies between the adults in the household. When this happens, compromise is the key to finding out what works for your household. As we have learned when we have been stuck at home for months, having a place to just relax and enjoy each other is important. It may not be as important as being sure everyone has a place to sleep, but it is important. Make sure you know what kind of "entertaining space" is important to all members of the family. Grandma may only need a corner to do puzzles in peace and quiet, so keep that in mind as well!
Child's View: Depending on the age of the children in your household, entertaining space will be very different. Small children may need and love a playroom filled with toys and space to bring their friends over to play and teens may want a place where they can watch a movie with their friends, swim in the pool or a good space for video games. They won't care if your dining room is big enough or if the home is "open concept". When we downsized (and then our family grew exponentially in a year) our "open concept" smaller home was OK for family dinners, but there was no real space for the grandkids to play. They had the smallest of the bedrooms for their toys and a TV and since it was out of sight from the "open concept" living, dining and kitchen space, one of the parents always got stuck in that tiny room with the kids. It just wasn't working at all. On top of that our outdoor space didn't have a whole lot going for it either. Even if your children are grown, if you know you will be having grandchildren over, think about having a space that works for them when they are there. You don't have to have a playhouse in the backyard, but even having a room big enough so they can bring their toys, watch tv or play video games will be well worth it. Not just for them, but for their parents when they visit as well. So don't forget the important young ones in your life when you are looking for a new home. If they are happy with a space for fun, trust me, the entire family will be happy.
Pet's View: Pets need a place to have for themselves too. Maybe it's a spot to keep their toys, or a place to HIDE when all the humans are entertaining themselves! They may need a place to run, climb or look out the window. I have this great bay window that could be an awesome place for plants or a great window seat, however when I got my cat, she decided to eat the plants in that area so we cleared it out. She loves to lay in that window so now it has an not-so-pretty super soft blanket for her to enjoy watching the squirrels, birds and even deer when they come in our yard. Big dogs may need a big safe yard to run in or be close to a dog park so they can get all their energy out and live happily in your home. If you have pets, considering what makes them enjoy their time is important too. An animal that doesn't have any way to get rid of pent up energy can destroy the inside of a home when left to their own devices. You may want to think about that when you are looking for a house.
This month I have covered so many things that every member of a household may need in a new home. They need to feel safe, they need the home to be not only beautiful, but functional. Chores and maintenance come with every home, so making sure everyone can do their part as easily as possible is a big plus. Also they need to be able to enjoy the outside and inside not only for fun purposes, but for a place to be themselves. When you consider the people and animals in your life that you love, you WILL find the perfect home for everyone.
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush--Associate Broker and Long-time Homemaker