in-law apartment

Paint & Decor for an In-Law Apartment 

June 5, 2023

Options such as ‘aging in place’ or adding an in-law apartment to an existing single-family home are becoming more and more popular across the nation. The cost of assisted living facilities and the desire to remain independent well into the golden years has many families choosing to modernize homes for seniors or add on to their own homes to create an in-law suite or apartment. 

In fact, multigenerational living is a booming home trend since 2016, according to Pew Research Center. Currently, over 20% of the nation (1 in 4 adults) live in an in-law apartment or suite. 

Whether your senior loved one wants the companionship that a multigenerational living arrangement can provide, or needs a little help with mobility issues, an in-law suite within a home may be the perfect solution for families wanting to remain together. 

in-law suite

What Are In-Law Suites? 

In-law apartments are becoming the norm in our society but can take on different appearances depending upon the area, zoning by-laws, and the amount of space available. describes an in-law apartment as “either connected to the main dwelling of the home (perhaps in the basement), or an external, separate structure, like a small cottage on the property or a converted garage.” 

Most often an in-law space will include a bedroom, a full bathroom (often tailored to the needs of the senior), and a main living space. Depending upon the space and local by-laws for zoning, many in-law spaces have either fully operational kitchens or a kitchenette so that the main dwelling does not need to be accessed for every meal. 

in-law suite

Design and Decor Choices

In-law apartments are often small spaces carved out of a main home or an additional space that connects to a home. Either way, optimizing the space is usually a top priority when designing and decorating. 

Here are a few tips on making the most of these essential, but small spaces. 

  • Choose properly sized furnishings that make the most of the space. 
  • Paint using light or neutral colors to give the space an airy appeal. 
  • Keep the walkways wide and clear of clutter for safety. 
  • Add mobility devices such as grab bars for mobility safety. 
  • Add extra lighting that is motion censored for nighttime trips to the bathroom. 
  • Consider an extra entrance for privacy. 

For more inspiration on designing, painting, and decorating your in-law suite, visit In-Law Suite, The Spruce article on “What’s In An In-Law Suite?” and “Designing an In-Law Suite.” As always call Jerry Enos Painting if you need painting assistance as you design your senior loved one’s home within a home. 


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