The days of putting in-laws and parents in basement or attic apartments is long gone: today’s families are opting for more chic, stylish options for mom and pop. Check out the rest of the amazing “granny flats:”
Architects Tolya and Otto Stonorov redid this 400 square-foot barn in Oakland and moved in with an infant while renovating a main house on the property. Deep window ledges and a movable stainless steel kitchen island make up for a lack of counter space. The design is flexible enough to turn into a studio or home for Tolya’s mom.
Empty-nesters built this tiny floating in-law for themselves minutes from downtown Portland. Architect Russ Hamlet used space-expanding materials—for example, a corrugated metal ceiling that reflects light off the river. After a year, the couple built a bigger houseboat nearby, and kept the in-law to use as a guesthouse and getaway.
When a 130-foot-tall Douglas fir tree that measured nearly five feet across fell on her property, just 100 yards away from her house, the middle-aged homeowner decided to turn the tree into a rental cottage —and extra rental income. Milled on site, the tree became framing lumber, siding, flooring, ceiling boards and even furniture.
A couple bought a Victorian house with a 1917 outbuilding, and turned the extra structure into a home for mom. They found the original building permit, issued for 50 cents, which allowed them to renovate in place, although it was over the modern-day setback line. Removing a bearing wall by adding a flush beam hidden in the ceiling created a large, open space.
Mom and daughter, Billie and Suzie McKig, bought a property in Berkeley together, with room to build this new cottage in the backyard for mom. They share the garden. The front deck is built around a live oak tree. A gas fireplace with a stone surround and built-in shelves for collectibles make it homey.