Making an ADU Seem Larger | LBK Blog

Making an ADU Seem Larger

They’ve been called backyard homes, granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages, secondary units, tiny houses, and more. Whatever you prefer to call them, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) have been creating a lot of buzz lately. If you’ve considered adding one to your home, you should consider design elements that can make it seem larger and homier.

1. Increase Natural Light

In smaller spaces, natural light is your best friend. Open up the main areas like the living room and bedroom with large windows that bring the outdoors to you. Let the sun shine in throughout the day – it will make your ADU appear more spacious. This tip is especially important if you plan on renting your ADU. Most tenants look for as much space as possible for their dollar, and natural light can make a place feel bigger than it is.

2. Avoid Clutter with Built-in Storage

Maximizing space means avoiding clutter at all costs. A well-designed ADU should follow the golden rule of “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Built-in storage spaces and shelving can help – they give everything a place to be neatly tucked away, and you won’t need to buy more floor-cluttering furniture to store your things. Keeping spare bedding and blankets tucked away when they aren’t needed can make your space feel less cramped and more open.

3. Select Landscaping Proportional to Your ADU

With a detached ADU, you’ll have more exterior elements to consider – landscaping, the entryway, the path to the entryway. You can make the unit feel more inviting with tapered landscaping that suits the size of your backyard cottage. A walkway with perfectly sized shrubbery is a great way to work with the space.

4. Install A Sliding Glass Door

The theme of mixing the outdoors with the indoors is key for maximizing space. That’s an especially great ADU design feature for warmer weather. The beautiful weather can help you combat that cramped and cluttered feeling with easy access to the great outdoors. And you don’t always have to actually go outside. A sliding glass door lets in plenty of natural light during the day. And if you do need a burst of fresh air, just slide the door open.

5. Install a Front Deck

Incorporating a well-cultivated outdoor area can help you further maximize your space. For example, a front deck as you step out of your sliding glass shows space beyond your four walls. That space, though not inside your ADU, is clearly part of your unit. That can help you subconsciously perceive your ADU as larger in size.

6. Include a Solar Light Path to Your ADU

A solar light path can make it easier for you, your family, your friends, or your tenants to get to the ADU at night. It’s environmentally friendly since it’s powered by sunlight during the day, which leaves enough energy to light up the way at night.
Nick Kornea, President / Designer at Luxury Bath and Kitchens

Dream it. Build it. Love it.

Contact us to schedule a consultation with Nick to discuss your ideas and how our simple remodeling process can work for you.

Scroll to Top