4 Creative Ways to Design an Accessory Dwelling Unit

Having an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on your Bay Area property gives you more living space. You might consider an ADU if an older parent or relative is moving in with you. ADUs are also a great place to work on hobbies or other projects of your own. Designing an ADU involves making several decisions. You’ll need to figure out how much lighting you need, the layout of each room, and more. Professional architects can help you make the best design decisions for your ADU. You can also start thinking about ADU design with the following tips.

Let In More Light

No matter what size your ADU is, having plenty of light can make it feel roomier. Natural light coming in through larger windows or skylights creates an airy look and feel. You can also get more natural light with sliding glass doors. This can make smaller ADUs feel more spacious. Some rooms, such as bathrooms, require more privacy. However, you can still add light to these rooms with windows placed higher up or skylights. You can also use layered lights in these areas, such as downlights, sconces, or recessed lighting.

Raise the Ceiling

ADUs have limits when it comes to height. However, you can usually build an ADU that’s 16 feet high or less. Taller ceilings, such as vaulted ceilings, can make your ADU appear larger and more airy. Vaulted ceilings offer several benefits, including extra wall space for shelves, storage, and decor. These ceilings can bring more natural light into your home as well, especially with larger windows or skylights. Our Medium Roast and Macchiato ADUs both feature vaulted ceilings for a spacious look and more comfortable living environment.

Consider Convenience in the Kitchen

Whether you want a kitchenette or a full kitchen in your ADU, keep convenience in mind for the layout. Your ADU’s kitchen or kitchenette should have a layout that makes it easy to go back and forth between the stove, fridge, and sink. This kind of layout helps make meal prep and cleanup go more smoothly. You’ll also want to make sure you have enough storage space. Backsplash shelves or a pull-out pantry are a couple of ideas to consider to add storage. These options give you more room to store items without giving up usable kitchen space.

Add Built-In Bedroom Features

The bedroom in your ADU might only function as a place to sleep, especially if it’s smaller. A larger ADU bedroom might double as a workspace, though. Built-in features are suitable for both smaller and larger ADU bedrooms. You can add built-in drawers for storage in a smaller room. This helps prevent full dressers from taking up space. If the bedroom is larger, a built-in desk and shelves can provide a workspace. Consider The Latte ADU, which offers 1,000 square feet of space and two bedrooms. This ADU also has spacious closets for storage. 

If you’re thinking of adding an ADU to your property, contact Drafting Cafe Architects. We can provide you with a free estimate for your project. Our team can also help you come up with the best design for your ADU.


Get in touch with us. We would love to help you get your project off the ground