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ADU Furnishing and Decorating Tips

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Adu Furnishing And Decorating Tips

Simply building an ADU is not enough if you want it to be a fully-functional guest house or living space for your in-laws, use it for passive income, or to increase your property value. These separate structures also need the proper interior design to be comfortable enough for living. The right design can make a huge difference.

In our article, you can find some useful, easy, and practical ADU design ideas about how to turn your accessory dwelling unit into a cozy tiny home!

Maximizing Space with Multi-Functional Furniture

A piece of furniture is multifunctional if it can serve two or more purposes. It's possible to adapt such furniture to your necessities – for instance, turn a chair or a sofa into a bed when a guest stays at your house for a night. Such furniture is often used in a minimalist style to get more space.

Multifunctional furniture has lots of benefits, such as:

Decluttering the Space

Furniture with several purposes can help you maximize space and get rid of clutter. One multifunctional piece of furniture substitutes for several ordinary ones, leaving much more free floor space.

Saving Money

Multifunctional furniture can also help you save money – you buy one item instead of two or more, spending much less. Also, it's often very easy to assemble, so you won't have to hire a technician.

Low Maintenance

Most multifunctional furniture has simple cleaning instructions and is often made from easy-to-clean materials — for example, vinyl and plastic.

Multifunctional furniture is great for small spaces such as accessory dwelling units. It can help you make the most out of your ADU's limited space.

Choosing the Right Color Scheme for Your ADU

Selecting the color palette for your house is an extremely subjective thing. But if you find it hard to pick the best colors, then there are some useful ADU design ideas for you.

Look for an Inspiration

If you want to make a color scheme for your accessory dwelling unit, look at something you like — a beautiful photograph, painting, fabric, or any other thing. Choose several colors from it to make them the main ones in the palette. Try to make the proportions of the colors balanced.

Consider the Value of Colors

The color value indicates how dark or light the color is. If you use several different values, you can prevent your color palette from appearing too chaotic. The best principle is to pick three colors for every room — a light one, a bright one, and a dark one. The light color should be the main one — it can visually enlarge a small space.

Think About the Light

Consider how different types of light will affect the colors. Daylight and lamp light produce different hues. With natural light, it's even more complicated because it changes and moves during the day. The locations of rooms also matter — a room with windows to the south will get way more light than to the north.

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Incorporating Natural Elements for a Cozy Feel

Natural elements are extremely diverse — not only plants and flowers but also wood, stones, seagrass, and many other things. There are plenty of ADU design ideas that can help make the interior of your tiny home much cozier.

A great background for your elements of nature can be an accent wall made of bricks. It will bring an "outdoorsy" and rustic feel to the room design.

The awesome idea is to use recycled things, such as reclaimed wood and even old railroad ties — they can support the ceiling.

Also, there are lots of budget solutions to make it cheaper. For example, instead of making rock walls in the whole room, you can make a single accent of the same rock on one wall, and it will look fabulous too.

Creating a Focal Point in the Living Area

A focal point is the main thing that you see when walking into a room, the brightest and the most noticeable thing in the interior.

How to create such a point? We've got some design tips for you.

  1. Put a bold, stylish wallpaper on one wall — and it will transform even the most boring bedroom or living room. A big mirror can make it even more eye-catching. Alternatively, the focal wall can be made of red bricks or painted a dark color and decorated with several paintings or shelves;
  2. Instead of an accent wall, you can use a corner. Cover it with pictures from the ceiling to the floor, or put a large bright chair there. Alternatively, place a single but big potted tree with beautiful, unusual leaves, flowers, or even fruits;
  3. A window can be such a point too. To emphasize it, group some furniture around it, hang colorful curtains, and surround it with nice pictures or other wall decorations;
  4. A fireplace is a timeless classic that can make a room much cozier and bring a warm vibe to it. A cement fireplace with patterned tiles looks especially beautiful;
  5. Some interior designers suggest a daring idea of making such a point from built-in storage. It will look even better when the wall with the storage is of a dark color, such as black or indigo blue.

Adding Storage Solutions to Keep Clutter at Bay

Clutter can be a very big problem, especially for a small home. When a house is cluttered, it's much less comfortable to live in. It's harder to do lots of everyday things and to find necessary items. Luckily, there are many creative storage solutions to get rid of clutter and clear more floor space, even in a small room.

Here are some of these storage options.

Using Mirrors to Make the Space Feel Larger

We all know that a large mirror can make small spaces look way bigger, so it's strongly recommended for those who've got little square footage. The best variant is an oversized mirror — the bigger it is, the larger the room will seem. The frame, on the other hand, needs to be thin and plain or simply absent. Otherwise, the feeling of enlarged space won't be so strong.

The optimal height of the mirror should reach a human's eyesight level. But also, it would be good to leave out a small space too (for example, 2 inches to the floor and to the ceiling). A narrow hallway can be visually widened with a mirror that covers an entire wall.

In addition to that, you can use furniture made from reflective materials or install pocket doors — all this also can make a small space feel larger.

Selecting the Right Lighting Fixtures for Each Room

Light is a vital element of any interior design. Choosing the right lighting can be as hard as choosing the right furniture.

Let's look at the main lighting types and their features.

Ambient Lighting

It's the primary light source in an interior, except natural light. The majority of the room's light comes from it. In a bathroom and a kitchen, it should be brighter than in other rooms of an ADU.

Task Lighting

A task lighting source is more direct and lights a smaller space. Usually, it's used for specific tasks — for example, reading or doing makeup, hence the name. It also can be used for design purposes — such as emphasizing some interior elements. Task light sources include floor lamps, table lamps, and others.

Accent Lighting

Basically, it's a decorative type of lighting. It helps to emphasize focal points or other design elements.

Remember that one light source can't give enough light for an entire room space, so you'll need to combine several lighting types. The good idea is to use layered lighting. Also, a light source needs to match the overall design and color palette of the room.

Incorporating Artwork and Decor to Add Personality

Choosing artwork for decorating small spaces is a very interesting and exciting task. The right artwork adds joy and harmony to the interior.

First of all, it's OK to add a vintage piece of art to a modern-style interior design or vice versa. It will look very unusual and fresh.

Get a large painting with beautiful colors and choose the room's color palette depending on it.

Use different types of art — not only paintings but also ceramics, tapestry, metalwork, glasswork, and many others.

Creating a Cohesive Design Throughout the ADU

Cohesiveness is important in home interior design. It's much better when all the rooms' spaces blend together, and the entire house has one style.

There are several methods to make your ADU design more cohesive.

  1. Install the same flooring in all rooms — except, maybe, the bathroom and the toilet;
  2. Make the style and color palette similar throughout the house. The colors don't need to be exactly the same in the bedroom and the living room — but they definitely should be related to each other;
  3. Think about the little details — they can help create cohesiveness, too. Even the smallest and the most seemingly insignificant things count;
  4. Make repetitive elements in all rooms, but also add some contrasting ones;
  5. Use similar lighting types in different rooms;
  6. Combine old-style pieces of furniture with more contemporary-looking ones.

Incorporating Outdoor Elements into the Interior Design

Adu Furnishing And Decorating Tips

Room design is not the only part of interior designers' work; they often design the outer part of the house too. Usually, those parts are strictly separated. But some people like them to be more combined and intertwined. This style is called "biophilic design." It helps to create continuity and feel closer to nature. Also, it's simply very calming and relaxing.

Take into account the area where you live. Look for inspiration in the outside world, its shapes, colors, and textures. Make large windows to let the natural light in.

No matter why you need an ADU — for your parents, other relatives, friends, or simply to earn rental income — this small home needs to be cozy and fit for comfortable living.

Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ

How to decorate an ADU?

There are plenty of design ideas both for attached and detached ADUs. Many of them we talked over in this article. The main principle here is enlarging the space – physically or visually since any ADU has a smaller space than the main house.

What is the drawback of ADU?

First of all, an ADU can be rather expensive — especially if it's a detached ADU built from scratch. Even an attached ADU can cost much. Secondly, when building an ADU, you'll need to follow lots of rules and regulations. For example, it must not be bigger than the main residence.

How do you maximize space in ADU?

There are lots of ways of maximizing space in an ADU. For instance, you can buy furniture with multiple functions or apply various decluttering techniques – vertical storage, using containers, storing things under your bed, or others. Also, you can make a small space seem larger visually with mirrors or reflective furniture.

Where do I start when decorating my house?

It's better to start from more fundamental things such as wall painting and go on to smaller, more decorative things — for example, choosing art pieces or potted plants.

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