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French Door Garage Conversion

1 bed | 1 bath | 535 sq. ft.
On the first visit of the property, the Cottage design studio saw the potential and character of the existing 1920s detached garage. The plan was to retain the character of the old carriage house while adding a well-designed extension to the front, all while ensuring that this backyard cottage would fit with the beautiful existing home and landscaping.
Garage conversions can come in different shapes and sizes—we have talked to homeowners about how they can use their garage space for more than simply cluttered storage. There are many other use cases for your garage space, whether that's for for garage storage or converting the space, and an Accessory Dwelling Unit with a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen space can be the right decision for many homeowners looking for home equity, potential rental income, and flexible use cases.
Both privacy and a desire for an open, airy feel were the main design must-haves for this Palo Alto family, who wanted to use the space as both a guest house and an entertainment space. As seen in the image above, double french doors allowed for a fluid indoor-outdoor feel for the backyard-facing side of the ADU to open to a step down patio and pergola space, perfect for hosting a Sunday afternoon BBQ with friends and family. At the same time, the side of the converted garage facing the street was designed to match the existing home and maintain privacy with a single swing entry doors and wood-cased windows, giving the ADU its historic cottage feel.
A wide-open, spacious dining, living, and kitchen area are the centerpiece of the unit, with multiple skylights to allow plenty of sunshine in to bathe the space in midday light, while a full sized kitchen and fireplace add visual focal points to the indoor space. Two extra large sized closets are perfect for maintaining storage (this was converted garage, after all), while a washer-dryer stack near the french doors are a perfect placement for the kids to throw in their bathing suits and laundry after a summertime swim in the backyard pool.
Given this Palo Alto homeowners' desire for a warm and inviting space, the design utilized wood flooring and accents, with a vaulted ceiling to make the 535 square foot unit feel as spacious as possible.
Our Cottage design studio focuses on all of the details, down to the classic subway tile look in the bathroom space and modern fixtures. Cottage's custom design and stick built approach to the ADU design and build process means that we are able to work with homeowner budgets and needs, while unlocking value engineering opportunities with our ADU-specific knowledge and expertise.
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