This is the story of an 800-square-foot cottage in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood. It was built thanks to a new ordinance which allowed small backyard cottages. It was built by a family who wanted grandpa to get to be closer to his grandchildren. Pretty cool, right? It’s the Magnolia Backyard Cottage by Microhouse.
Ben and January live in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood and were excited when a new Seattle ordinance allowed them to build a backyard cottage behind their home. “We wanted to build a place for my father to live when he retired, so he could be closer to his grandchildren Leo and Francis.” Said January. In the near term they planned to rent the cottage and ultimately decided to use it as a vacation rental through VRBO. This has proven to be quite successful helping fund the construction of the cottage.
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800-square-foot Magnolia Backyard Cottage😊
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They can design my tiny house any day! Attractive and well laid out.
That it is! — Tiny House Talk Team
Is the bedroom upstairs or lower level?
It looks lower level to me because you can see rocks out the window? Not 100% positive. — Tiny House Talk Team
Being that it’s two story the bedroom is upstairs.
While it “is” upstairs in this house I know of plenty of 2 storey houses that have the bedroom downstairs.
Sorry i reported your comment by mistake. The ceiling is the give away to where the bedroom is, upstairs.
I would say upstairs- by the pitch of the ceiling. And you can see the rocks out the window because the cottage is built into a hillside
Actually, rocks on a hillside mean nothing, except… rocks on a hillside.
Yes 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team
Although there are some strange things going on in Seattle’s residential neighborhoods–this house is wonderful. I always wanted a six-foot-sqare skylight above my bed to watch the stars. Good job!
Ah! That sounds amazing, JM — Tiny House Talk Team
But, that is a whole house. A perfectly normal sized real house. Nothing tiny or even small about it.
don’t know where you live Jane, here in British Columbia, that is a small house. A small house is about 1800 sq. ft. these days and very large homes run about 16K to 20K sq. ft. In some areas houses run 5K to 9K sq. ft.
At one time back in the 1950/early 60s new houses were about a thousand to 1200 sq. ft.
In some cities you will see 800 sq. ft. homes, but they are usually about 80 to a 100 yrs old.
This house is amazing! Really like it and I’d move in, in a heart beat.
In Vancouver the new condos, one bedrooms are under 600 sq. ft.
What is nice about this home is its not “expensive”. The land was already there. Great thing for the family to do.
Yeah with that size they could rent it to a couple, or maybe even with a child!
I believe everyone should click on the links to read the FULL STORY! This couple wanted an affordable home in Seattle. Seattle doesn’t allow tiny homes, so they built an 800 sq ft home in a very expensive city. Everything they did was for their budget. The skylight for their bedroom was because the north side of their house has a big tree next to it – it’s the only way they could get sunlight. All floors, woodwork was for affordability and durability – not show. This family did a great job, showing you can live affordably in an expensive city with much thought and planning.
Thank you Janet 🙂 So glad you shared this here. — Tiny House Talk Team
Skylight was for bathroom light. Bedroom has nice big windows. Agreed–everyone should read the full story.
nicely done. the only flaw i see is that with all that space – why not separate the toilet from the tub/shower. my bathroom is only that, a spacious and deep bath and an adjacent shower all in its own enclosed room w/ a floor drain and a tub drain. a large sink and bath cabinets just outside the door. our toilet and small sink are in a separate cubby hole across the room … this is so common in space starved japan and considerate when not living alone!
I think because it was designed just for the grandfather 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team
What a beautiful house! Just love the layout! Awesome kitchen,
love all the white cabinets! It’s nice they have a sky light in their bathroom. The living room looks very comfortable, and it looks like a nice size! Love the shape and paint color of the bedroom! If you can’t tell I just love the house! They did a wonderful job designing it! Thanks for sharing!?
I really loved it too 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team
Very nice, but wouldn’t building another structure on a permanent foundation bring the taxes up on a parcel of land making the house more valuable but also rising the taxes on that lot so you are really not saving anything or cutting the costs of living….?
It depends. I think more than anything it was about having the grandfather closer by. — Tiny House Talk Team
I really enjoy these posts, thank you. They are very helpful in my quest to find MY small home. I am hoping to downsize to a 600 to 900 Sq ft home. The only additions to these articles I would recommend is to give some speck info like square footage, and builder name/website.
This is my idea of a small house! My condo I live in currently is 980 square feet but it’s split between an upper and lower level and it feels tiny. This little house seems much more spacious. It is becoming more and more difficult in a number of cities in Canada and the US to afford a house, so if you can build smaller and afford it, that’s awesome. Such a nice home! Sometimes, tiny is just not practical or even legal. Had a neighbour whose son built a tiny house and was living in it in his parents backyard. Not long after, they were asked to remove it. So sad.
@ Judy Roesbery: They have these wonderful things called, I think, chair stair lifts. And yes they can go around corners. So that would take care of the mobility issues that you raised.
I actually quite like this house. Almost (I stress almost) as good as Nils Pearson’s small house. Oh Lotto, please, pleeeeease, come my way. LOL
Yes, yes, I know, tax for the mathematically challenged.
You’re right, Eric, those do exist. However, having seen one in operation, I would consider it only as a last resort. They take f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Maybe even f—o—r—e—v—e—r. You don’t want to have my brain (what did I go upstairs for?) and have one of those!! But I see that they needed to build up rather than out. Grandpa is a lucky man, and I hope his legs stay strong until he draws his last breath!!
Hey Judy… I’ve seen these in action, in New Zealand. They aren’t slow by any stretch of the imagination.
And for the record my brain takes f—-o—-r—-e—-v—-e—-r to do anything as well.
Haha Eric. Maybe the one I saw was stuck in Granny gear! Are you in New Zealand?
The one thing that concerns me is that steep hillside and no retaining wall. There’s the issue of a slide as well as runoff during heavy downpour. The runoff issue happened in my old neighborhood with water coming in through the back door. The house itself is very attractive and welcoming.
THIS is perfect for me! I am a 77 yr old woman with 3 grown children, 5 grands and 3 greats. However my grown kids all have homes large enough to entertain visiting kids at one time. All I need is a ‘cottage’ such as this one that does have enough room for additional sleepovers or a visiting friend. I live the design…it has all the items I need…a spacious kitchen, lots of natural light and outdoor space and NO lofts! *wink* My only stumbling block would be a lot to place it as there ordinances here that disallow such a backyard structure. [e.g. ‘planned community-type homes..large yes, but ‘STRUCTURED…WITH RULES’. I have seen similar to this home actually already in place..much older homes in states like those in LowCountry islands. KUDOS though to the designers here!!
How much did it cost to build this grandpa house?
beautiful. lots of windows. well laid out.
The only thing I would change is to make the windows in the dining area larger.
I love it and I would love to live in it as well. Grandpa you have an awesome home waiting for you!! Mary Ellen Stepney has a good point and I would like to know how it can be remedied.
Grandpa is a lucky man! It’s beautiful.
It’s a shame most town don’t allow it.
Not sure how many grandpas can negotiate stairs in their old age. Not really made for us oldsters.