Garden Guest Cottage

South Bay Area, CA

An original 1960s cottage over garage was a poor match for the main house, a 1890s era Victorian residence.

Poorly detailed and looking shabby next to the painted lady main house, our brief was to update the cottage while making it a better companion to the main residence. In addition, we were to make the garage work both as a place to park cars and as a play space for the children and as a workshop for the husband. We were also to provide storage space for the gardening-keen wife.

What we did:

  • We re-clad the cottage, using painted horizontal redwood siding all the way to the upper floor window sill line.
  • We used painted cedar shingles above this line giving better proportions than the old shingled gable end did.
  • We changed the stair to provide a usable cottage porch while allow for ample garden storage under the cottage porch.
  • We added detailing to the building including carved rafter tails, an awning over the garage door, and a shingle flair over the garden storage door.
  • We lifted the ceiling in the cottage living area to give greater light and air and open the volume into a loft.
  • We added wainscoting and ceiling paneling inside the cottage and with the owner taking the interior design lead, re-worked all of the interior finishes.

The new cottage is updated and comfortable while stepping back in time to work with the Victorian main house.


Howard Construction
17460 High Street
Los Gatos, CA

Landscape design:
Middlebrook Gardens
76 Race Street
San Jose CA

Interior design:
By owner

View more