Santa Monica Back-House
Janet H.
Santa Monica
2-Car Garage

Santa Monica Back-House

This small detached garage in Santa Monica was used as a laundry room and office for years until the homeowner came to Otto, hoping to turn the humble space into a rental unit. Otto came up with an ingenious design that incorporates all the amenities renters want while maintaining a shared laundry space for the main house. The new unit was designed to maximize privacy on the small lot and utilize the existing landscaping, turning an underused patio into a beautiful outdoor living room.

The Existing Conditions

  • The existing small garage functioned as a makeshift office and laundry room
  • A large but under-utilized patio sat right beside the existing garage
  • As is typical with small Santa Monica lots, the existing garage was already quite close to the main house

The Design Decisions

  • Otto got creative with the plan and managed to fit an entire rental unit and a shared laundry in the small space
  • Working with the homeowner, we selected a custom material palate that complemented the main house and included traditional Saltillo tiles
  • French doors open to the patio, creating a huge outdoor living room while maintaining privacy from main house
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