This new home was permitted under Seattle's citywide backyard cottage ordinance (which is rapidly approaching it's second year anniversary). The existing home, with a large corner lot and alley access, was an ideal candidate for a backyard cottage. The site allowed both the existing home and new cottage to enter from separate streets, have separate outdoor living areas and maintain a great deal of privacy from one another.

The owner desired a modestly scaled 800 square foot structure with exterior massing that followed the traditional lines of the existing home and a modern, light filled interior that opened to a private courtyard and was suitable for entertaining guests. The floor plan centers on a double height dining room with clerestory windows, sleeping loft and a large 4 panel door that frames views of the private courtyard and terraced garden. The cottage features radiant floor heating, an efficient on boiler with integrated solar hot water collection and a 1500 gallon cistern for rainwater catchment.

The homeowner served as the general contractor and invested considerable sweat equity which allowed the total project cost to come in at just under $100,000 ( ! ).

View from the dining room into the kitchen.

1,500 gallon cistern for rainwater catchment.

View from the kitchen into the dining room and living room.