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Basement with a View

Type: Basement conversion
Footprint: 340 square feet
Location: Bowen Island, British Columbia, Canada
Created: 2005

This most unusual of in-laws offers 20-mile views from a basement apartment. It was originally a crawlspace, but one the owners designed with the possibility of an eventual in-law suite in mind. It's a small area, so the living room doubles as the bedroom using a Murphy bed, but the long views and light-reflecting local maple floors help it feel larger. In a bit of visual trickery, the three-quarter-scale refrigerator sits on a 12-inch platform to give the illusion of full size. The apartment also has many green touches, incorporating recycled fir cabinets and paneling, passive solar design, and concrete floors for thermal mass.

Photo: Art Grice | "In-Laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats" published by The Taunton Press in 2011