Matching your house to your lifestyle begins with an exploration of your needs and wants. Most home designers will have some type of "discovery process" that will help identify the basics for your home design. It will start with the configuration of your lot and proceed through items such as privacy requirements, work areas, outdoor spaces, etc.
Almost all "discovery processes" used by home designers focus on the use and space requirements of the rooms in the house. This is good, but too little attention is given to the personal needs of the people actually living in the home.
Without performing a comprehensive assessment of the client's functional abilities, identifying areas of the home where modifications are necessary is often overlooked. You can also find out original design drawings online through various websites.
As the child grows, the shelves and rods can be moved to better accommodate their reach. Appliances present a similar situation as it is necessary for the controls to be accessible.
Front mounted controls on washing machines and dryers enable their use. Safety also comes into play. A child trying to use a microwave placed overhead is a recipe for disaster!
There are a couple of tools that a designer can use to evaluate the needs of their clients. Anticipating the future needs of individuals may prove a little trickier, but we can start by understanding the process of aging.
Whether we like to think about growing old or not, it is inevitable, and people's functional abilities diminish over time. A well designed home will easily adapt to these changing needs and allow people to stay in their homes longer.