I think I mentioned that there were 11 ADUs on Accessory Dwellings 2015 ADU Tour, and that we focused our route specifically on the backyard cottages that would be most like the one we would build. In the end, there were three that really stood out to us. If you missed Number 1 and Number 2, catch up on them now. Number 3 was the Eliot Residence.
The Eliot cottage was designed by Dennis Myers of Lifespace Design and the contractor was Rob Bilyeu of Bilyeu Construction. Interestingly, this ADU took much less time to construct than the others we toured. Design to occupancy only took 7 months, compared to 17 months for the Hulick House and a whopping 19 months for the Killingsworth ADU. In which case, it’s not entirely surprising that this was also the least expensive of the three at $192/sq ft (compared to $217/sf and $300/sf, respectively).
This was one of two ADUs on the tour used as the primary residence by the property owner. In this case, the main house was rented to a young family. You can see in the photo above that the cottage has its own fence creating a small gated yard. Even though it is not set back terribly far from the main house, there is a distinct feeling of privacy.
The design and finishes are all top notch. Of everything we toured, it had the most homey feel – like you really could move in and live very comfortably right away. It was clear that they had put a lot of thought into the layout. Plenty of room for a couch, two chairs, and a nice dining table. Plus, you can’t see it in the picture above, but there is room behind the stairs for a hidden media center.
The kitchen is also quite spacious, especially given a total of 600 sq ft. It has all of the amenities, and three times the counter space of our old Brooklyn apartment!
Both the bedroom and bath are upstairs, which I considered a very wise choice since it leaves room for more living space below. The bathroom is a walk-through from the hallway and bedroom, so the bedroom can still be closed off to visitors for privacy. You can probably tell that the bedroom is compact, but that there’s still room for a little reading nook. I love that! The closet is tucked into the short hallway entry to the room – also clever.
All of these features really won me over, but my absolute favorite part was the little office off the stairwell landing. So perfect! The only way this little house could be any more perfect would be if I could pick it up and set it down on a nearby island with a view of Puget Sound from that office window. I would sit there and write for days on end.
Pros: Efficient layout, functional spaces including dedicated office, lots of windows/great light, feeling of privacy despite proximity to main house, true stairs, upstairs full bath
Cons: Hmm…it’s pretty hard to find any. If I had to get picky, it would be at least one set of upper cabinets in the kitchen rather than all open shelving. I like my storage.
Next week, I will give my final roundup of all three ADUs, share a few photos of other ADUs that were cool but not what we’re looking for, and talk a little bit more about our takeaways in terms of possibly creating our own backyard cottage.