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Carriage-House Comeback

An 800-sq.-ft. backyard cottage exemplifies the benefits of downsizing and reveals a new housing opportunity

A change in Seattle's zoning regulations allowed Ken and Marilyn Widner to build a secondary home on the same lot as their existing home. This home could be no more than 800 sq. ft., but that was all that the Widners, who were looking to downsize and to travel in their retirement, needed. Author Matt Hutchins of CAST architecture won FHB's 2012 award for best small home for the cottage he designed for them. The downstairs includes a powder room as well as an open floor plan with kitchen, dining, and living areas. The dining area opens onto a patio and small garden. The stairs to the second floor have a built-in tansu unit that houses the TV, the stereo, LPs, and other items. Upstairs is a master bedroom, a bathroom, a guest bedroom, and a walk-in closet. Skylights in every room and in the closet mean that lights can stay off during the daytime. With less square footage to fill, the Widners were able to afford better materials and fixtures, such as custom cherry cabinets, copper gutters, premium windows, and radiant floors.

Online Extra:  2012 HOUSES Best Small Home 

Carriage-House Comeback

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