6 types of housing for multi-generational living

Asha Bogenfuerst Asha Bogenfuerst
TANZ AUS DER REIHE, ONE!CONTACT - Planungsbüro GmbH ONE!CONTACT - Planungsbüro GmbH Modern houses
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Multi-generational living has always been a part of Indian culture. It is common and widely the norm for both single and married adults to live with their parents. Not only is it accepted, it is even expected. Adults are expected to stay with their parents and take care of them until they pass on. Although some modern families have moved away from this, most people in India still follow the traditional pattern of living.

Even families in the United States and Europe are taking up the concept of multi-generational living again after decades of living separately as nuclear families. The concept of multi-generational living has made a comeback in the Western world due to the financial crisis and economic recession. When a few families pool their resources together and share it, the financial strain is lessened. It is also more convenient in a sense as grandparents can look after grandchildren, and adults can support their elderly parents. Multi-generational living is like living in a community. Living in a multi-generational home can have many benefits. 

This idea guide features 6 types of housing for multi-generational living. Let's browse through these ideas and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each type of housing. We hope you find some helpful ideas here. 

Low-rise apartments

Low-rise apartments with 3 floors such as the one pictured here are another option for multi-generational living. The advantage of living in apartments is that it has security and may have other facilities such as a playground, pool, and gym. 

One of the disadvantages of living in an apartment is the lack of garden space. Elderly people especially might want a garden to tend to. Another thing is that most apartments do not allow pets, and after all pets need at least some garden space to live decently. 

2 in 1 house

This 2 in 1 semi-detached house was designed for two families to live under one roof. The two homes are connected through a narrow corridor inside the house. Each home has its separate living room, dining room, kitchen, and so on. Although the house shares the same garden, the outdoor patio for each home is separated by a partition. With this type of design, two families can live in the same house under the same roof, and yet have their own privacy. 

This house is designed by Schiller Architektur BDA, architects based in Germany. The house was custom-made designed for two families who wanted to live under the same roof, yet have their own private lives. 


Farmhouses are generally quite big and are therefore ideal for accommodating two or more generations of family under one roof. They are usually located on the outskirts of cities, making it a healthy environment for children to grow up in. In the countryside, children can run around and play freely. It is healthy for children to have this connection with nature growing up. As for the parents and grandparents, having a more peaceful environment to live will definitely improve the quality of life. 

One advantage of living in a farmhouse is that it usually comes with a large compound around it and lots of land surrounding it as well. This makes outdoor activities and hobbies like gardening more feasible. 

Container community housing

For large families who want to live together on a budget, this container community housing concept might be a good idea. Basically several shipping containers are transformed into living units and stacked on top of each other in a dynamic way. Each unit has its own balcony and living areas. Maybe one unit could even serve as a communal living space where all the families can get together and have meals. 

One disadvantage of this design is that it may be hard for elderly people to climb flights of stairs. Another drawback is shipping containers retain heat inside and it can be quite uncomfortable to live in a container without air conditioning if it's hot outside. 

Browse through tropical style houses here on homify for more ideas and inspiration. 

Terrace houses

Terrace houses are typically a row of houses that are joined together, making it ideal for the concept of joint living. Families who choose to live together can even renovate the terrace houses to be connected to each other from the inside. 

Although multi-generational living may be convenient for keeping families close together, they may also be the cause of many arguments and family drama. So it's a good idea to have some privacy, yet be connected to each other, and terrace houses are ideal for that. 


Townhouses are typically tall, narrow row of houses consisting of three or more floors. With the townhouse design, two families could possibly live together in the same house without getting into each other's space too much. For example, the floor where you enter could be the communal floor with a living room and dining, while the ground floor could be for grandparents and the upper floor for parents and their children. 

One of the disadvantages of townhouses is the narrowness of its design, and it may also be hard for elderly people to climb 3 flights of stairs. 

We hope you have found some ideas for multi-generational living here. For more related inspiration and ideas, have a look at joint family living

Which type of housing did you like best and why? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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