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Finches' Guest Cottage

Type: Garage conversion
Footprint: 690
Location: Northern California
Created: 1993

Garage conversions are another way in-law apartments can be more private, and they are yet another way to maximize pre-existing space. Here, the Finch property's once-boxy garage has been modified into a cottage, notably adding a rooftop "monitor" (lengthwise cupola along the roof ridge) which serves numerous functions: light, ventilation, to make the cottage's profile less boxy, and to tie it in with the Arts and Crafts look of the circa-1910 main house.

The newly created guest quarters also includes a window daybed alcove with storage drawers beneath, a bumped-out sun porch, and green slate flooring with radiant heat (which increases the versatility of the space, as furniture arrangement doesn't have to avoid other types of heating elements).

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