The Remodeling Corner

Janet Cook

This day and age, it is more common for family and friends to be scattered across the map. People move to pursue higher education, jobs, even for a location preference like our Arizona winter weather! Whether one has elderly parents you’d like to keep a closer eye on, or adult kids and grandkids who travel to see you, it is a gift to be able to offer that they can stay with you. Here are three options to consider:

1. A Casita. If you have availability on the lot, this can be the ideal situation. Both you and your guest can have your own separate space. You won’t need to worry about getting up early, or their staying up late. They can have a kitchenette, a seating area, their own bathroom, and whatever other amenities you want to provide. We have had casitas built to function when not in use by guests as a home office or hobby space, a pool house, and to facilitate outdoor parties. Others have used them to provide their parents a place to live who needs some assistance, or for a caretaker to stay, or even as a rental income source.

2. A Guest Suite. Besides a comfortable bedroom and bath, you may want to provide a separate exterior entrance. Consider including kitchenette and place to dine (which can function as a desk) and an area to relax and read or watch TV. You may prefer a simpler plan of having a second master bedroom. You can do this by having an addition built, capturing some of a patio, or combining two bedrooms. Having this option can value to the home when it is time to sell. We have had couples design the new master bedroom to be just how they want it to be and move into it, and they make the original master bedroom the guest space.

3. A Dual-Function Guest Bedroom. If you do not have the space or budget, or if guests are infrequent, you may want to design a room to have dual purpose, e.g., used primarily as a home office or exercise room but still functions as a guest bedroom. Getting a murphy bed to tuck a bed out of the way when not in use or a comfortable sofa sleeper will not take up as much floor space. Cabinetry can be configured to efficiently facilitate your needs for a desk.

Remember those luxury touches for your guests, such as black-out curtains, a comfortable reading chair, fresh flowers, a personal stash of fruit and snacks, and a favorite photo of them on display. Imagine how good it will feel to offer such hospitality, especially for the holidays!

Happy home remodeling! Have a Happy Hanukkah! A Merry Christmas!

Janet Cook, Certified Aging in Place Specialist, President of Cook Remodeling (celebrating their 40th year), invites you to visit their blog for more articles with photos on trends in home design.