Design

When your new roommates are mom and dad

Architects provide makeovers of childhood bedrooms for young adults who move back in with parents.

Millennial Dune Claudio moved back into her childhood room at her parents' house.Millennial Dune Claudio moved back into her childhood room at her parents' house.Millennial Dune Claudio moved back into her childhood room at her parents' house. (Photo: Courtesy of PKMN)

High unemployment for young people has been a worldwide problem in recent years, with many young adults being forced to move back in with their parents after job losses or while they look for self-sustaining work.

In Spain, where youth unemployment has reached epic levels at more than 50 percent, a group of architects at PKMN has created an innovative project aimed to help young adults feel more at home in their childhood bedrooms.

The architects have conducted a pair of test cases for Home Back Home. Helping two young women figure out how to adapt outmoded spaces to meet current needs, the architects built low-cost prototypes, repurposing and transforming existing furniture, which kept costs for each project under $1,500.

Dune Claudio, 28, moved back into the 97-square-foot bedroom in her parents' house, crammed with furniture they had bought her as a teenager. The architects helped her to create a sewing station by taking apart some of the existing furniture and rebuilding an adjustable sewing table as well as leaving enough floor space for a mannequin.

Architect Edel Montón had to move in with her grandmother because there was no room at her parents' house. The 114-square-foot room was (naturally) full of "granny"-style furniture, like a vintage bed and chandelier. The updated room preserved some of the original pieces but modernized the look and functionality with an airy desk space, flexible shelving and cheerful geometric patterned wallpaper.

These aren’t glamorous makeovers, but clever low-cost interventions to help make a hopefully temporary situation more bearable.

“The project is an intermediate solution, a kind of symbolic action to take back your old space according to your new situation,” the designers said. They added that while their focus is on space planning and redesigning existing spaces, part of the work includes helping young adults to navigate and manage the emotional hurdles and renegotiate boundaries with family members. The designers hope to expand the ongoing project to create a platform for young adults around the world facing the same issues, as a means of building community and sharing resources.

Architect Edel Montón ended up moving in with her grandmother.Architect Edel Montón ended up moving in with her grandmother. (Photo: Courtesy of PKMN)

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