An Accessory Dwelling Unit, commonly referred to as an ADU, is essentially a self-contained housing unit situated on the same residential property as the primary dwelling.
Think of it as a supplementary house, albeit smaller in size, positioned either adjacent to or as an extension of the primary residence. The term “accessory” is somewhat misleading, as it only denotes its secondary status, rather than accurately describing its functionality, which often surpasses the connotations of the word “accessory.”
For Martin Brown, who relocated to Portland, Oregon, and started a family there, the need arose for additional living space when his son, Sebastian, came into the picture. His mother-in-law also expressed her desire to live nearby to be closer to her grandson. Instead of opting to purchase a new home, Martin contemplated converting their garage into a suitable residence for his mother-in-law.
The resulting ADU is a cozy and fully equipped home, meticulously designed to accommodate all the essential features of a typical residence. Surprisingly, despite its modest size, it turned out to be more spacious than expected. To enhance its separate-home ambiance, they added planters and a walkway, creating an inviting atmosphere the moment you step inside.
Within this snug abode, you’ll find a comfortable sofa bed, ideal for relaxation and doubling as a guest bed when needed. A fireplace graces the space, ensuring warmth and coziness during colder seasons. The kitchen is not lacking in functionality, boasting a full-sized fridge, a two-stove burner, and a single sink. While there are no conventional cabinets, ample shelf space is provided, ensuring convenience and accessibility. Hanging racks are utilized for pots, pans, plates, and utensils, with the added bonus of being perfect for drying dishes.
A loft bedroom above accommodates a queen-sized bed and a cozy reading nook. The stairs leading to this bedroom have been cleverly designed to save space, featuring alternating tread stairs that efficiently cover the vertical distance. One hopes that Grandma will find these stairs user-friendly for years to come! Adjacent to the stairs is a pocket door leading to a compact yet functional bathroom.
An essential strategy for maximizing the perceived spaciousness of this ADU is the strategic use of natural light. Rather than traditional windows, the design prioritizes privacy but incorporates a massive glass door and skylights that flood the interior with light. Even the kitchen, located beneath the loft, benefits from a glass porthole, which allows the loft’s skylight to bathe the kitchen area in natural brightness.
Martin ensured that the ADU retained a semblance of its original structure. The exterior still reflects the charm of the 1920s-style garage, albeit updated with a fresh coat of paint. They opted to preserve the original concrete floor, ensuring the structure’s durability and stability. Remnants of the old garage, such as fittings and locks, were thoughtfully integrated into the kitchen counter, contributing to its rustic-industrial aesthetic.
In sum, this remarkable tiny home serves as an inspiring example that may prompt you to consider it as a viable housing option for your parents, in-laws, or even yourself!