Watch: Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen on living with this two daughters and their families
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has revealed the benefits of three-generational living. The father-of-two, 57, spoke enthusiastically about the joys of living under one roof with his wife Jackie, two adult daughters and grandchildren, and encouraged others to give it a try.
Pointing out the advantages from an ecological point of view, the interior designer and TV presenter, quipped, "We're reducing our carbon footprint by all hunkering in together" and joked they were also"saving on bath water".
Speaking on on ITV's Good Morning Britain, Llewelyn-Bowen pointed out that their domestic set-up could be a brilliant solution to the UK's childcare problem – especially when extortionate nursery fees make it unviable for some parents in the UK to work during the current cost of living crisis.
"The crazy thing is this is exactly how families were 200 years ago," Llewelyn-Bowen reflected. "You used the older generation as a social support network for the younger generation to be able to do their thing. It was a weird idea in the 20th century that actually young people left home to work."
Sharing the details of his own work/home life balance, he explained: "We now just operate a family business where we live above the shop... Jackie is now [providing] full-time childcare for the three grandchildren which allows both our daughters and their husbands to really focus on their careers... and it works!"
In his enthusiasm, he appeared to be on a mini mission to 'convert' other families to follow suit.
"The crazy thing is you look at a country full of grandparents who never see their grandchildren, who are so lonely because of that, and you see their children struggling because they can’t get childcare to work for them," he said. "Why don’t they come together and actually create the perfect balance?"
The Llewelyn-Bowen clan are fortunate enough to live in a 17th-century, grade-II listed manor house in Siddington, a small village near Cirencester, Gloucestershire. He acknowledged on the ITV breakfast show that he was in a privileged position to have the means to enjoy what's known as' 3 Gen Living'.
Llewelyn-Bowen recognised it might not be an option for every family, pointing out, "We're lucky – we definitely have space to do that."
Nearly one million UK homes now have three generations living under one roof, according to 2021 figures from insurance firm Aviva. Due to unaffordable house prices, it's not uncommon for grown-up children to still live with parents into their 30s.
Now an estimated 14% of homes in the UK – about 1.3 million households – have a grandparent or two living there as well, according to the study of 4,000 adults. This is a 50% rise from the previous five-year period.
Llewelyn-Bowen's shared-household scenario clearly makes him, his wife Jackie and their two daughters Cecile and Hermione happy and he shared his belief that at the moment, post-lockdown, lots of UK families might be re-evaluating their lives, "wanting them to be a bit more nourishing and more fruitful".