The re-design of an existing 1,400 s.f. guest house on an existing rural property held by the same family for three generations. The existing guest house was built by the current owner's great grande father and added onto by her grande father and his son the owner's father.
The current building has many existing issues including age, settling, poor construction, and no foundation to name a few.
Our clients were a retired couple seeking to live on the property in the newly constructed main house through their retirement. This played heavily into our solution.
We were asked to re-design the existing floor plan on the existing building foot print, as well as adding a lower level. The existing "cottage" had many changes in level which consumed usable floor space and would make using it for an aging couple and their friends more challenging by the year due to the changes in level. The owner requests included adding a full bathroom to the master bedroom, opening the main living space towards her favorite view (a wooded creek behind the cottage), increasing the size of a very small kitchen, a powder room for the living area, a lower level craft room with a laundry room and powder room.
Our solution was to address the owner's criteria and to exceed it by adding a second main floor bedroom and creating the opportunity for the lower level to function as a third bedroom with it's own bathroom. Our goal was to reposition the building from a one bedroom one bath cottage into a three bedroom three bathroom "Guest House." In doing so to increase the property value and the options for the owner's.
Our solution was to offer the owner's the ability to rent the house out as a vacation rental or a year round rental by connecting the main floor with the new walk out basement via an internal stair by a lockable door. This would allow the owner's in the short term to rent the upper level as they wish and use the lower level as a craft room. There by giving the owner's the ability to recapture their investment and their children the ability to more easily retain the property in the family and use it themselves when the time comes.
Location: Glen Ellen, CA, US
My Role: Architect