3 Ways to Make Your Home the Neighborhood Hangout

As a good parent, you want your child or teenager to be able to have plenty of independence. That means making neighborhood friends to hang out and have fun with. At the same time, as much as you want them to be independent, you appreciate the peace of mind that comes from them being under your own roof, where you can check on them every so often.

If you want your kids to spend time at your house, especially with their friends, though, you're going to have to make your house a place where they all want to be. Fortunately, there are a few changes you can make to ensure no one ever has to be forced to spend time at your place, but instead comes willingly.

Home Theater

If you want to be the place to go when the weather's too cold or wet to be outside, installing a home theater room is just what you need. These rooms typically incorporate a large screen with a projector, comfortable theater-type seating, and a high-quality surround sound system to make it feel like you're at a movie theater. The only limitation in most theater rooms is the amount of seating that's available, so if you want to become a regular hangout, set aside plenty of room for the theater and install plenty of seats in that space.

One thing to remember as you consider how to install a theater room are to purchase the highest-quality projector your budget will allow. Since many setups have the theater seats quite close to the screen, a lower-quality projector will produce unsatisfactory images for those only a few feet away from the picture. Another thing to remember is to install dimmable light fixtures on both sides of the screen. Since watching a screen in total darkness can cause eyestrain and headaches, these fixtures serve to provide the right amount of light to ensure the only thing harmed during the movie is the villain.

Swimming Pool

If you want to make your home into a year-round hangout, in addition to a theater room, it's a great idea to install a swimming pool. Not just any pool though. A custom-built in-ground pool with a waterslide. As these types of pools become more popular, inground pool prices continue to fall, meaning the pool of your dreams might be closer than you think.

An in-ground pool creates more of an oasis atmosphere, providing places to enjoy time in the water, as well as a nice deck to catch some rays. An above ground pool can only be exciting as long as a few games of Marco Polo, but an in-ground pool can satisfy all season long.

Kitchen

There's nothing that will attract teenagers faster than free food. If you want your child's friends to come back, time after time, let them know your fridge is always open to them. If you really want to go all out, an upgraded kitchen, with several different seating areas for your child and their friends to hang out, will make for a great investment. Since the fridge is the center of most teenagers' food choices, a large french door refrigerator with bright LED lighting will ensure they always know what you have available.

To make your kitchen even more of a hangout, non-traditional elements, such as televisions, video game systems, or even game tables can create a space that no one will ever want to leave. Though it may seem different, if you truly see your kitchen as the heart of your home, it's important to do everything you can to ensure it's always pumping its hardest.

Be Safe

While it's unlikely that your child's friends will see you as someone they can really open up to, just making your house a safe space is one of the best gifts you can give them. Making sure to refrain from language that is negative or critical and being willing to have a serious conversation with them now and then can be a breath of fresh air for young people who are working hard to figure out the world around them. Though they'd never admit it, having an adult they can trust at a house that's fun is just about as good as it gets.

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