Footprint: 355 square feet
Location: Berkeley, California
Stand-alone cottage-style in-law residences are typically the most desirable, especially as rental spaces. They offer the most privacy and room, and there are far more design options. Of course, if the homeowner is creating a standalone from scratch, it's also more expensive to construct an entire new building.
Lisa Lum and husband Michael Hohmeyer had three young sons, which kept them from traveling as much as they used to. In order to house the international friends (and grandparents) who visited them, they built this cottage. Lisa, a veteran of several renovations, oversaw the project. It features exposed wooden beams (painted white, to not feel imposing), a spa-like bathroom, a modest kitchenette (so guests can take their meals with the family), and the quiet of being a separate building from three young boys.