Susan had a cottage built behind her small California bungalow to provide more space for when her daughter’s family visits. The tiny dwelling was designed and built by New Avenue Homes, and is meant to comfortably house two people.
The cottage has just 469 ft2 (43.6 m2) of floor space, including a shed attached to the gable end. Because the shed side faces the street, New Avenue gave it abundant curb appeal by using a nice door sheltered by a Craftsman-style roof canopy with knee braces and shaped rafter tails. It would be easy to mistake the shed door for the main entrance, but the actual entry door is around the corner facing a brick patio shared with the main house.
Susan’s cottage has a very spacious loft bedroom. The center of the roof is high enough for the average person to stand in the loft, creating a space that is usable as a room and not just a shelf for sleeping on.
Sleeping lofts are of course common in tiny houses, where ground floor space is at a premium. To save more space, a ladder is usually used to access the loft. Stairs take up quite a bit of room but they are easier and safer to use.
For Susan’s cottage, New Avenue included a staircase but minimized the space used with a tightly spiraling design. The space below was put to use as a storage closet and kitchen shelving.
The ground floor bathroom has a large shower but a bathtub would have fit too. A pedestal sink gives the bathroom a more open appearance than a vanity. The difficult-to-access below-sink storage of a vanity is instead replaced by shallow shelves and cabinets next to the sink.
The new cottage replaced an old garage in the back corner of Susan’s yard. Old growth redwood boards salvaged from the garage were cleaned up and used for much of the interior trim, stairs and built-in storage.
Update: Susan’s cottage is now available for vacation rentals through Airbnb.