When I was a child, my great-grandparents lived with my grandparents. I have small town roots, so relatives also lived across the street and around the corner. As a result, I am no stranger to being surrounded by kinfolk. For most of my adult life, however, it never occurred to me that I'd live that way again.
For years, I had told my daughter that when I got old and eccentric, I was going to move into her back yard...but I never really meant it, because I was perfectly happy living alone. Then last fall my daughter and SIL decided that they wanted to move back to Fort Worth and started looking at houses here. I was out house-hunting with them one day, and someone revived the standing joke about finding a place with a back yard large enough for me to live in. Suddenly, and for a multitude of reasons, it actually seemed like a brilliant idea for my daughter, SIL and grandsons to take over my mortgage-free main house and for me to use some available cash to build a secondary suite for myself. (These structures are also commonly called accessory suites, mother-in-law's apartments, granny flats and guest houses...or, as my grandsons call mine, "Grammo's Little House.") Within a few weeks, construction had begun...and so far the arrangement has worked out beautifully for all of us.
Recently I ran across an item on the Forbes site about Michael Litchfield’s book In-laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats published by Taunton Press. The article included photos from the book of some beautiful secondary suites, including a few modernist designs I thought you might like.
All images from In-laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats by Michael Litchfield
|Northern California apartment with the back hatch of a Porsche 928 as the awning over the door|
|Treehouse apartment in Seattle, Washington|
|400-square foot barn converted to secondary suite in Oakland, California|
|Secluded accessory suite in Berkeley, California|
Compared with these beautiful spaces, my small apartment project was done very inexpensively, but these photos show that the in-laws can live in grand modern style if money is no object.