The ADU, seen here from the main house, has become a destination where the homeowners can relax, gather with friends and garden when they’re not renting it out. “Even on a small property, it’s great to have this place to go that’s not connected to your house. Even 20 or 30 steps away, you feel like you’re going somewhere other,” René-Weissman says.
The second set of glass doors opens onto the new covered patio, which sits on the garage’s original driveway. (The doors are where the garage door used to be.) Designed to be a carport during an iteration of the project when a covered parking spot was required, the space can now be enjoyed by the homeowners and guests as a garden seating area. “We realized that a covered outdoor space is a tremendous site asset. It’s really hot in Highland Park,” René-Weissman says. The space has a post-and-beam structure similar to the main home’s architecture. Beach Style Exterior by Andrew Heiser Andrew Heiser The ADU, seen here from the main house, has become a destination where the homeowners can relax, gather with friends and garden when they’re not renting it out. “Even on a small property, it’s great to have this place to go that’s not connected to your house. Even 20 or 30 steps away, you feel like you’re going somewhere other,” René-Weissman says. More on Houzz Read other stories about outbuildings Find a pro for your home project Shop for products and materials Comment12 Shop Related Categories Watering & Irrigation Watering & Irrigation Gardening Tools Gardening Tools Outdoor Decor O...
The project was a creative exercise in balance, with city codes, limited space and attractive design always vying for attention. “There were a lot of gymnastics to it,” René-Weissman says. This is clearly seen in the built-in storage unit. By incorporating the closet, the architect added valuable storage and pulled the usable living space farther away from the property line, as required by the city. As mentioned, the bed can be folded into the wall during the day, clearing the floor for other uses.
The ADU features two sets of new glass doors, one opening toward the house, shown here, and one on an adjacent wall where the old garage doors used to be. This creates a breezy indoor-outdoor feel. “We made sure that the doors and windows were oriented away from the house,” René-Weissman says. Zones within the garden also help to create a feeling of privacy and separation between the home and the ADU, even though the structures are only 10 feet apart. The flooring is concrete. The team added a moisture barrier to the existing concrete slab to keep the space dry, and then finished it with a thin coat of concrete and a semimatte topcoat. Built-in storage made of prefinished plywood panels lines the far wall. “The wood wall lends a lot of warmth to the interior,” René-Weissman says of the mostly white space. The wall unit has closets, storage nooks and a foldaway bed, all of which can be hidden from view when not in use.
The renovated unit is one open space, except for the newly plumbed bathroom, which is an enclosed room past the kitchen and living area. The bathroom includes a shower, toilet and sink. A kitchenette hugs the unit’s front corner, and a closet system on the right conceals a foldaway bed. An open living area, including a couch and TV, sits at the other end of the ADU (behind the viewpoint of this photo). The team kept the garage’s original exposed roof structure and decked ceiling, preserving the space’s rustic quality. The horizontal structural elements across the ceiling are new, added after an engineering assessment, but the structure otherwise remains intact. New insulation in the walls and ceiling and a mini split for heating and cooling keep the space comfortable and in compliance with California energy codes. New skylights bring in more natural light. On especially sunny days, a screen can be pulled down to reduce brightness. The green triangle above the doorway, seen here, is a storage loft René-Weissman added above the new bathroom. She painted it a warm, earthy green (Parsley Snips by Benjamin Moore), giving the space more color and tying it in with the garden beyond.
245-Square-Foot Garage Now a Breezy Garden Retreat An accessory dwelling unit in L.A. gives homeowners and guests a space for indoor-outdoor living Annie Thornton September 17, 2019 Houzz Editorial Staff Comment12 For the owners of a 1920s home in Highland Park, a historic neighborhood in northeast Los Angeles, gaining extra living space via this protected outdoor structure transformed their life at home. The couple, who converted their garage into a breezy accessory dwelling unit, also saw an opportunity to supplement their income by sometimes renting out the ADU as a secondary unit on their property. “It made a big difference to the homeowners — how they lived there, how they enjoyed,” architect Elaine René-Weissman says. “Financially, it made a big difference.”