Karen’s Cottage is a 430-square-foot structure built by a planning professor from the College of Environmental Design at the University of California Berkeley who worked with a team of students from Dr. Ashok Gadgil’s Design for Sustainable Communities course. Owing to those inputs the tiny house is net-zero energy space.
Designed by McClean Design the entrance of the house weaves through a lovely landscape shaped by a water feature and a stylish staircase. The unique entry leads to the lower level of the house that contains the guest rooms office and storage while the top level houses the living spaces and the master bedroom.
The first floor also gets a smart extension in brick which houses a serene bedroom with a view of the private backyard. Interesting wall art and carefully chosen accent additions add color to a largely neutral backdrop while a combination of recessed and pendant lighting takes over from the flood of natural light as dusk sets in.
Large glass windows and doors ensure that the revamped home never feels dark or congested even as a stylish new floating staircase connecting the various levels adds visual lightness and sculptural beauty to the setting. With a luxurious master bedroom with ensuite occupying the attic the lower levels offer ample space for social living zones.
The exterior of the private residence is clad in low-maintenance cedar giving it a warm inviting appeal while its deft design combines adequate privacy with wonderful views. Dark cement boards separate the house from the shared laneway while a simple breakfast room welcomes you inside and also doubles as an indoor porch.