Featured Projects

Brand New Guest Cottage in Midtown Palo Alto for Local Residents

This 227 square foot attached accessory dwelling unit converted an underutilized carport into a fully outfitted ADU for maximum efficiency and flexible use.

Caleb Lee•June 30, 2021

Homeowners that see this recently constructed Palo Alto attached ADU are often surprised at how well the new ADU ties into the architecture and construction of the original home. In fact, many neighbors find it hard to remember this house before the outdoor covered driveway space was converted into Palo Alto's newest ADU space.

One of the many advantages of designing this ADU as an attached ADU is the added curb appeal of the main home, private entrance for the ADU tenant, and preservation of the backyard space for the homeowners to enjoy their patio and green area.


ADU Floor Plan Attached Palo Alto Garage

By extending the former garage for the attached ADU, the homeowners were able to fit in this additional unit into a surprisingly efficient footprint. In addition, the unit was quickly rented to a local university professional for above the market rent for a studio of comparable size.

A separate walkway and entrance to the unit coming from the sidewalk down the left side of the front yard ensured full privacy from the existing home. And thanks to Palo Alto's ADU regulations, no additional parking was required to be added to the unit since the ADU replaced part of the garage space.

As longtime Palo Alto residents, the homeowners wanted to ensure that their new ADU matched the look and feel of the existing home and blended in with the surrounding neighborhood. Needless to say, tying in the new ADU directly with the existing garage roof line, matching the stucco and roofing tiles perfectly, and constructing a second matching dormer made the attached accessory dwelling unit blend in perfectly with the main home. In fact, the homeowners and longtime neighbors both remarked that the new attached ADU made the entire house look more unified and visually appealing than the original single family home.


From the entrance to the ADU to the rest of the exterior facade, every detail was carefully looked over throughout the design and construction process.

With 227 square feet to work with, Cottage's architects designed the attached tiny home to feel significantly roomier than expected. 15 foot vaulted ceilings and huge windows let ample light into the space, while the efficiency kitchen with a modern two-burner induction cooktop is placed strategically on one wall to ensure that no space is wasted. In addition, no detail was left overlooked—even the microwave oven doubles as a convection oven to provide the most efficient use of space without sacrificing appliance options.

ADU Attached Kitchen Dining Room

ADU Attached Kitchen Dining Living Room

ADU Attached Living Room

Interior finishes and details were carefully selected for quality and durability. White oak engineered hardwood floors, a custom tile-in shower, porcelain sink, and custom quartz bathroom vanity counter highlight the space, while the in-unit LG under-counter smart washer/dryer provides all the comforts of a full apartment complex in a single unit.

ADU Kitchen Close-Up

ADU Window Trimmings Close Up

ADU Bathroom Close-Up

Throughout the custom, stick-built ADU unit, superior craftsmanship and clear attention to detail are plainly evident, from details as obvious as the recessed lighting in the vaulted ceilings to the the window casings and baseboard work. Cable TV and internet hook-ups were pre-installed and ready for immediate use for the future tenant. Especially in the bathroom and kitchen cabinetry, anyone living in this space will enjoy an unexpectedly large amount of versatile storage options, thanks to an ADU design that ensured no inch was wasted.

ADU Bathroom Close-Up Sink

ADU Cabinets Close-Up

Upon moving into the unit, the new tenant used their eye for space planning to furnish the Cottage with efficient furniture pieces. A pull-out trundle bed/daybed, spacious mirrored wardrobe, combination desk/dining table, mirrored entryway cabinet, and under-window bench proved to be a smart use of every inch of the tiny home space.

The Cottage team was proud to complete this highly efficient attached ADU space in early 2021, fulfilling the owner's vision for collecting consistent rental income from an otherwise unused space. The owners were able to rent out ADU unit just a few weeks after listing it on the market, proving the immediate demand for units like these in the neighborhood. In addition, the significant equity value increase for the property ensured that the ADU would pay for itself and more down the road and help secure the homeowners' retirement plans.

Interested in building a similar attached or detached ADU, or converting an existing garage space? Contact us today using the link below for a Free, No-obligation Consultation & Estimate for your ADU vision with one of our ADU experts!

Get your free consultation and estimate today!