Things to look for in a family home

As 2020 comes to an end, the first wave of “pandemic babies” are due this December…mine being one of them! The last nine months have flown by, right? While organizing my own home for the little one’s arrival, I’ve made a list of must-haves that I hope to one day implement in my future dream home. If you are lucky enough to be able to design your home from scratch, or if you are shopping for a resale home to start your family in, I hope you find this list helpful.


In a perfect world every family home would have two entrances — a side entrance for everyday use and a grand foyer that would be used to greet guests.
Either way, aim to have plenty of space to tuck away a stroller and a nook to plop the little one on while you teach them how to tie their shoelaces. There should also be lots of storage space for bulky coats and salty winter boots. Regardless of how many foyers your future home might have, it’s important to ensure that the flooring is durable and easy to clean. Avoid hardwood and carpet in this area and try to stick with non-matte tiles. It might also be a good idea to choose a dark-coloured grout!
A powder room near the main foyer for your guests to freshen up would just be a cherry on top.


Located either near the entrance to the garage or the side entryway, the perfect mudroom is set up with a laundry area, large utility sink, storage space and a “pet shower”. Being able to hose down some furry feet (or maybe even a very messy child) without dragging that dirt through the house is every homeowner’s dream!

Bedroom Locations

Personally, I’m a big fan of split-level homes — where the master bedroom retreat is located on its own half-level from the other bedrooms. That way it’s far enough to provide some privacy but close enough to keep an eye on things. However, this is solely a personal preference. For some families, it’s important to have all of the bedrooms in close proximity. Either way, my suggestion is to really take your time with this and try to imagine your family in the various layouts before making your decision.

Kitchen Lookout

This is more applicable now than ever before, since so many Canadians are spending a lot of time in their kitchens these days. Personally, I love kitchens that are truly the heart of the home, located more in the centre of the house and therefore separating the living and dining room, or a family room and a living room. This provides a better vantage point from the kitchen, allowing for better supervision of the kids. Ideally, a play area can be set up in a room directly adjacent to the kitchen.


And here are a few random thoughts to complete my list based on my experience and the feedback I’ve heard from various clients about their family homes. Open-riser stairs are a no-go with small kids or pets, as well as glass railings or really smooth hardwood stairs. Storage is king — I haven’t even given birth yet and my basement is already full.
A covered front porch for the win! Since it takes longer to leave and enter the house when little humans are involved, having one is helpful when you have to open and close multiple umbrellas when it’s raining.

We can all dream about that perfect mudroom (or maybe that’s just my pregnancy brain), but it’s important to remind ourselves about what’s truly important in life and what makes a house feel like home which is the company of friends and family. If you are lucky enough to have both, remember to count your blessings and not take it for granted, especially during this upcoming unprecedented holiday season.