Backyard Cottage Plans by Nir Pearlson

Compact Comfort for Granny and Guests

Architect Nir Pearlson has just launched two imaginative new small house designs. Plan 890-4 “Elinor St.” is a 640 sq. ft. studio with a U-shaped


kitchen, and a bathroom that contains a sauna. A deck expands the living area at

890-4 plan

the front. Plan 890-5, which he calls “Olive St.” is a warmly contemporary


two-story design with a covered entry porch below a bedroom balcony.

890-5 main floor

The living-dining area and kitchen are at the back opening to a small porch.

890-5 upper floor

One bedroom is on the ground floor; the master and one other bedroom — which can function as a sitting room — are on the second floor.  I asked Nir to explain the rationale behind his designs. He says: “Both projects were conceived as infill projects. While they are compact, they were both designed to be expansive in nature, and to have very strong relations with the outdoors – allowing views out and daylight in from all directions. The small ‘Elinor St.’ cabin was designed as a backyard studio. Our original plans included a sewing area (where the kitchen is). However, it was also designed with the potential of becoming a mother-in-law studio for rent, or visitors, accommodating 1-2 people.

The 2 story ‘Olive St.’ was designed for a property that already had one residence on it, within an area that is zoned for higher density residential. It works great as a rental for a few roommates or a small family: the challenge was to insert the building into a confined lot, and leave as much open yard as possible on multiple sides. With a total width of 20 feet, we did some ‘volumetric sliding’ to allow for 12 feet-wide bays at the living areas, and 8 feet-wide bays at the support areas.”

For more on backyard cottages and in-law units click here

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