There's abundant information out there on ADU building costs, financing, construction, and design – but there are few that help with the furnishing process. That is, until the Oasys ADU debuts at the 2019 Los Angeles Design Festival, outfitted with the latest multi-functional pieces from the Resource collection to maximize the value of space.
Granny flats, in-law units, basement apartments – you may have heard these phrases without knowing the real estate industry’s umbrella term: Accessory Dwelling Units. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs for short) are becoming more and more popular in localities where zoning regulations allow for them. Where rental unit inventory is scarce and prices are high – think Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. – ADUs can be created at far lower costs than building new units because they generally use an existing structure: a loft space over the garage or the garage itself; an out-building in the backyard.
Homeowners are starting to take greater advantage of the relaxed rules. In 2016, after the California state legislature eased restrictions on ADU construction, applications for permits skyrocketed, setting off what came to be known as the Backyard Housing Boom. Many homeowners look at ADUs as a source of additional income, while others may be seeking a separate space for a family member or caretaker.
There are plenty of resources available online for those interested in either converting an existing structure or building a new one, with abundant information about costs, financing, construction, and design – but there are few that get into the nuts and bolts of how to furnish an ADU to optimize space, maximize comfort and ensure functionality.
That changes this week when Oasys house opens at ROW DTLA as part of the LA Design Festival. During the festival (and throughout the summer) Oasys will act as an ADU Resource Center for homeowners thinking about furnishing an ADU. The pre-fabricated house is 775 square feet and fitted out with transforming furniture that not only maximizes small spaces, but also allows a single space to function in several different capacities.
Always at the forefront of innovative furniture solutions, Resource Furniture is a key partner in the Oasys installation. Since we began developing our multi-functional furniture niche, we’ve been proactively looking into how we can positively impact the housing market. We’ve worked with early adopters of small space living like Graham Hill, furnished award-winning micro-apartment developments, and, most recently, partnered with the National Building Museum on their Making Room Exhibit.
The central feature of the Making Room exhibit was The Open House, a 1,000 square foot home that demonstrated how thoughtful design paired with flexible, transforming furnishings, can accommodate a number of different living scenarios: adult roommates, multi-generational family, and empty-nesters who might want to rent a spare room in their house for supplemental income. The home was designed by architect Pierluigi Colombo, owner of CLEI wall bed systems.
While Resource Furniture is known as a premiere distributor of high-end, Italian furniture — not what everyone might think of as “affordable” — we also have multi-functional furniture for every income bracket, especially when ordered in bulk for multi-family dwellings. Resource has been approved for various HUD and affordable/supported housing programs because the extensibility and durability of the products make them a sound and lasting investment.
In addition to our products, Resource Furniture also has in-house design experts who work closely with clients — whether they are furnishing 3-4 bedroom vacation homes, micro-apartments, or anything in between — to ensure their selection of products not only amplifies their small space, but revolutionizes the space altogether.
Here are tips from the Resource Furniture design team to keep in mind when furnishing an ADU:
Choose furniture pieces that serve more than a single purpose. As the trend towards flexible spaces continues on the upswing, the idea of furniture that serves only one purpose has become almost passé — both for ADU-developers, and single-family homeowners alike. But when square footage is limited, multi-functionality is utterly essential. Outfitting your ADU with multi-purpose furniture will provide occupants certain comforts and additional features normally reserved for much larger homes — like guest sleeping space, or a large dining room table for the holidays.
Among our most popular multi-functional products are our transforming tables – consoles or coffee tables that are height-adjustable and extend in length and/or width, so you can guarantee guests a seat at the table for special occasions. Many models, such as the Doppio, Cristallo, Genie and Petite, are specifically designed to stash neatly under our Penelope and Circe wall beds, so there is never a need to move your table at bed time.
Wall beds can also perform multiple functions when you choose a model that incorporates a sofa, desk or dining table. Depending on the needs of your ADU’s occupant, you can get double-duty out of a bed that would otherwise take up a considerable amount of floor space during daylight hours, when it’s not being used. The Nuovoliola, Swing 0, or Oslo Sofa can work well in an ADU – these sofa wall beds feature a display shelf that stays parallel as it lowers to the floor, so there’s no need to remove items from the shelf. The shelf works to support the bed in its open position – and the Como Basso coffee table with storage drawers fits perfectly beneath.
Mirrors can help small spaces look much larger – and our mirrors do more than reflect. Mirrors are an age-old trick of the interior design trade; they create the illusion of more space while serving a useful purpose. Ambrogio, Betty, and Box are three sleek, unique, mirrors that are also wall-mounted organizers for added vertical storage in tight spaces. While Box is designed to store leaves for our Goliath or Voile expanding tables, Ambrogio opens to reveal a hidden storage unit perfect for stacking books, hanging coats or storing toiletries. Clean lines and defined angles give the compact Ambrogio a minimalist look, for the ADU-dweller with modern design sensibilities; its open side adds a sense of weightlessness. And Betty is not just a mirror, not a coat hanger, absolutely not a standard drawer unit — Betty is all three. This stunning multi-functional wall mirror features four removable coat hangers and five sliding drawers.
Adopt creative storage solutions. Where floor space is at a premium, many ADU owners look for opportunities to configure built-in storage — for example, under-stair storage drawers or storage lofts above a free standing closet. Another space-saving option is to consider modular, wall-mounted storage units like our Tetris Wall Shelving and Tetris Wall Cabinets. Cabinets can be oriented in any direction with hinges oriented on either side, for a vertical orientation, or top or bottom, for a horizontal orientation. Shelving comes in different sizes for a variety of compositions and configurations perfect for maximizing available space.
Hungry for more tips and inspiration on furnishing ADUs? Visit Oasys at this year’s Los Angeles Design Festival and experience a wide array of transforming, multi-purpose and space-optimizing pieces from the Resource Furniture collection. Or visit the ADU Resource Center, hosted at the Oasys installation at Row DTLA now through the end of the summer.
Oasys one of six ADUs featured at this year’s LADF, and is included as part of the ADU Home Tour on June 22. Each of the homes represent a variety of building styles and showcase some innovative design ideas for building and outfitting your backyard cottage, granny flat, or other accessory residence.