a chef's kitchen, custom beer taps and abundant light

The owner built this backyard cottage as a rental but fell in love (with the cottage) during the design process and decided to rent out his house instead. Designed to emphasize custom details, this DADU reflects of the owner’s lifestyle.

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The overall strategy with this backyard cottage, as it is with most of our designs, is to keep the structure simple allowing a larger percentage of the budget to be spent on finishes. As the height and size of DADUs is limited based on the size of the lot, the maximum allowable footprint for this cottage was 328 sq. ft. 

It features an open floor plan on the ground floor with a kitchen, living and powder rooms.  Upstairs is a master bedroom complete with a kitchenette, and a bath with laundry room. 

Ceramic tile accentuates the entry area. The view from the entry towards the kitchen and patio beyond.

Ceramic tile accentuates the entry area. The view from the entry towards the kitchen and patio beyond.

The kitchen is located along one wall making it both compact and simple. A movable kitchen island creates a flexible work space and accordion doors open onto a new patio filling the ground floor with light. 

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Exposed wood joists add warmth and texture in contrast with the concrete floors

Exposed wood joists add warmth and texture in contrast with the concrete floors

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A door located at the bottom of the stairs allows for the two floors to be used independently.

A door located at the bottom of the stairs allows for the two floors to be used independently.

Where some houses may come with a man cave this DADU features a "man wall" with big screen tv, electric fireplace, weight rack and the ultimate amenity, beer taps. A keg fridge is located behind the wall in the under stair space.

Custom-built beer taps. A keg fridge is located behind the wall in the under stair space.

Custom-built beer taps. A keg fridge is located behind the wall in the under stair space.

The city of Seattle limits both the eave and ridge height of cottages allowing greater height for a gable roof which we took advantage of to good effect. The master suite features vaulted ceilings and abundant light. A kitchenette allows this room to be used separately from the first floor.

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The master bath features vaulted ceilings and skylight. A laundry room is tucked off to one side under the eaves, a shower under the other with beautiful tile work featured throughout.

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backyard cottages - this is what it is really like to live in your daughter's backyard

ballard backyard cottage featured in country living magazine

When Meredith Stannard, 66, retired from her job earlier this year, her soon-to-be-former coworkers couldn't wait to see the backyard cottage she and her partner Elyse Zandonella, 69, had decided to downsize into. "Everybody was curious," she says. "I started doing these happy hours where I'd have one or two people over at a time. There's a lot of buzz with people wondering if they could do this too."

When Meredith Stannard, 66, retired from her job earlier this year, her soon-to-be-former coworkers couldn't wait to see the backyard cottage she and her partner Elyse Zandonella, 69, had decided to downsize into. "Everybody was curious," she says. "I started doing these happy hours where I'd have one or two people over at a time. There's a lot of buzz with people wondering if they could do this too."

photo by Matt Hagen  Last November, the couple moved from a 1,300-square-foot home in West Seattle to a 613-square-foot cottage in the backyard of a house owned by their daughter Drew, 33, and son-in-law Jacob, 37, in the city's Ballard neighborhood. Their mini-house now stands where a dilapidated detached garage, formerly envisioned as a possible writing studio for Drew, once stood. Click to read more about their experience in  country living  article by Maria Carter.

photo by Matt Hagen

Last November, the couple moved from a 1,300-square-foot home in West Seattle to a 613-square-foot cottage in the backyard of a house owned by their daughter Drew, 33, and son-in-law Jacob, 37, in the city's Ballard neighborhood. Their mini-house now stands where a dilapidated detached garage, formerly envisioned as a possible writing studio for Drew, once stood. Click to read more about their experience in country living article by Maria Carter.