ADU at a Glance
Who lives here: A blended family of six
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Size: 513 square feet (48 square meters); 27 by 19 feet
Designers: Harrison Design (architecture) and Erica Peale Design (interior design)
Contractor: Dasha Cunningham of FineCraft Contractors
The homeowners, with their newly blended family, were looking for a way to add extra space to their home. After they decided refinishing the attic presented too many engineering challenges, they were inspired by some neighbors who recently had added an ADU to their backyard. The neighbors referred their architect, Mark Hughes, to them and Hughes recommended FineCraft Contractors to build it.
Interior designer Erica Peale was already helping the couple blend their styles inside the main house, so the scope of her work expanded to the ADU, where she helped them choose finishes, lighting and furniture. “We have small lots here in Arlington, but the trees around this spot make the ADU feel like a sanctuary in the garden,” Peale says.
Originally the homeowners wanted the ADU to serve many purposes — entertainment space, guest house, kids’ hangout space and a little home-away-from-home. The bar makes a great serving spot during backyard gatherings, and there’s a TV mounted on the wall behind it. During construction, the couple decided they wanted to add a loft space, and after the pandemic hit, they realized a workspace would also be a great addition out here.
Wall paint: November Rain, Benjamin Moore
Peale realized they’d need a hardworking rug in the high-traffic area. “I chose polyester because people will be moving from indoors to out a lot and because kids tend to have muddy feet sometimes,” she says. “Polyester is really durable and relatively inexpensive. I could not believe how luxe it looked, and it pulled all the colors out here together.”
The license plate artwork was the husband’s, and his wife was not at all excited about hanging it in the main house. “The style of this building was more his vision, so I had it framed and hung it out here,” Peale says. She also added a cowhide to the wall to reference Colorado’s ranches.
FineCraft Contractors installed a mini-split system for cooling and heating. The unit is located above the license plate artwork.
The bar includes a small sink and a beverage fridge. The countertop is Charcoal Soapstone quartz by Silestone.
Ceiling paint: Iron Mountain, Benjamin Moore
She found a wooden desk and leather desk chair that worked well with the design scheme. She also selected a pendant light that adds a contemporary touch. The clean look of the desk is versatile. “I chose a console-style desk so that when they have people over they can move the desk chair and use it to serve food,” Peale says.
“The loft was something the couple came up with about halfway through the project,” project coordinator Dasha Cunningham says. A steel ladder offers access. It has flat rungs and comes out at an angle to make it easier to climb. The contemporary railing matches the ladder’s metal and has steel cable wires. And the cedar matches the wood of the ceiling beams.
The loft has a cozy treehouse feel that makes it a great reading spot and a fun fort for the kids. It also serves as extra sleeping space. A nook for books includes an outlet for charging devices.
The ADU has a full bathroom that’s a mix of rugged and elegant. It measures 5 feet, 6 inches by 9 feet, 2 inches.
A clear glass shower enclosure makes the compact bathroom feel more spacious. It also opens up the view of the pretty veining on the shower tiles.
Timing was everything for this newly blended family of six. FineCraft Contractors completed construction on an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, in its Arlington, Virginia, backyard just as the pandemic hit. With four children in the household, some extra getaway space improved life as the family members adjusted to working and schooling from home. The new building they call their casita includes a bar and entertainment lounge, a full bathroom, office space and a loft. The sofa in the lounge converts into a king-size bed, allowing the casita to serve as a guest house as well.
This content was originally published here.