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Accessory Dwelling: Studio, Oasis, and Revenue Stream

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of how we function as a society. From the way we work and the way our kids learn to how we shop and even socialize. The Accessory Dwelling is no different!

The pandemic has greatly impacted how our industry thinks about design and construction. So many new trends, ideas, and considerations have emerged that no one ever thought would be so necessary. From complex sound-proofing efforts to the unimaginable abandonment of the open-concept floor plan, there are many unique solutions people need. One trend that is taking our work by storm is the desire, and flat-out necessity, for accessory buildings or dwellings.  

What is an Accessory Dwelling?

An accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, is a smaller, independent residential dwelling unit. It is often located on the same lot as a stand-alone (i.e., detached) single-family home. Homeowners are demanding such spaces for many reasons. Some need additional work or study spaces. Others want little safe havens used for escaping the at-home chaos so many of us experienced. These bonus structures are nothing new. We first saw them being built in 18th century Europe. They could be specifically found throughout England in the gardens of the elite, where they were known as ‘follies’. These tiny garden temples were strictly for decoration, pleasure, and relaxation. 

Less Can Offer More Design Opportunities

The beauty in taking on an ADU is in the size. Design concepts and ideas that may seem too costly for a main house are far easier to accomplish, and dramatically more affordable on a smaller scale. Homeowners can bring the wow factor because they’re able to spend more on a per-square-foot basis. Money aside, designing an ADU can also be more fun, too. We encourage you to be bold in your design and choose colors that make a statement. Try painting the walls and ceiling the same color for a beautiful and dramatic effect. This lack of contrast can make a tiny space feel significantly larger. We’re seeing people let their personalities shine in these projects since they tend to be for more personal use. 

A Home for Someone Away from Home

During the pandemic, we saw an enormous uptick in Airbnb activity. This is another reason this trend continued to surge. Those lucky enough to work from home took it upon themselves to seek new and fun destinations to take refuge, allowing those with enough property (and cash) to take advantage of this lucrative opportunity. It’s critical that if you’re looking into building an ADU as an investment property that you not only prioritize livability but also workability. 

Whatever the reason, these tiny structures have created a host of options for homeowners to play with, both, design and functionality. Not only do they have countless use cases, they just look great! If you are looking to add on an ADU to your property or want to transform an existing space into a new function, give WPL Interior Design a call. Our goal is to not only help you create a stunning space but a usable one, too. We help homeowners maximize their homes so that every part of it can be enjoyed.

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