In many places in the world, older folks are becoming empty-nesters and even grandparents as their adult children move out and have children of their own. Rather than continuing to live in large homes, many are downshifting into smaller houses. Some are even finding intergenerational living arrangements -- such as moving into a shed located behind the house of their grown children.
That's what one granny has done, in order to help look after the grandchildren, but Seattle-based Best Practice Architecture has helped to convert that old backyard shed into something much more appealing and modern to boot.
The new 571-square-foot structure, nicknamed the Granny Pad, now features two staggered volumes that sit more comfortably on the uneven terrain -- a front part that includes the kitchen and living room, and a rear part of the house that has the bed, bathroom and loft.
Walking in past the bright, rose-coloured door, one enters this lofty new kitchen and lounge, which is lit naturally with a large skylight and porthole windows.
Tucked behind a vintage wooden dresser is the bed, which sits in a tall, well-lit space with a secondary exit. At the very rear is the bathroom and also a loft right above, which is accessible by a stair-like ladder.
Of course, it's important to note that local regulations in Seattle allow for such accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to be built in backyards -- something that's not always possible in other municipalities. However, regulations are slowly changing to allow these smaller dwellings to be constructed, thus maximizing already-occupied urban land.
In any case, it may be a small dwelling, but it's an impressive transformation that feels much more spacious than its square footage might imply, and keeps the whole family -- all three generations -- in close and loving proximity with each other. To see more, visit Best Practice Architecture.