When Anna and Donovan Watt purchased a beautiful home just outside of Seattle, they tasked Seattle-based Targa Homes to create a backyard cottage to add a rental unit to the property. The result is a 700-square-foot, two-bedroom rental that is energy-efficient and constructed using 90% reclaimed wood.
Located in Shoreline, Washington, the sustainable cottage was created by Sean Conta, lead designer for Targa Homes. Working in collaboration with Anna and Donovan, the concept revolved around creating an energy-efficient unit that the couple could rent out for extra income. But the resulting backyard cottage turned out to be so incredible that the couple decided to live in it themselves while renting out the bigger home.
To cut down costs and environmental impact, Conta counted on using as many reclaimed materials as possible. The designer was able to clad the backyard cottage in 90% reclaimed, 100-year-old fir wood. Additionally, the home was elevated off the ground by a few feet in order to reduce its impact on the landscape. Forgoing the usual concrete slab foundation meant that construction was completed in less time and with very little damage to the land. “There was no excavation or digging, so no disruption of the hydrology of the soil,” Conta explained.
The interior design complements the cozy aesthetic of the honey-toned exterior. White walls give the space a modern, fresh feel, while a reclaimed wood accent wall and sustainable cork flooring add a certain warmth to the living space. The entryway leads into the main living room that, although compact, has enough space for a fairly large sofa and chair. An open kitchen is installed with all of the modern amenities and even has a bar-top island for additional dining space. Multiple windows, installed at or above eye level, bring in plenty of natural light while maintaining a level of privacy.
To maintain a comfortable interior temperature and reduce electricity costs, the home boasts an airtight envelope thanks to a state-of-the-art energy recovery ventilator and high-quality insulation. Just in case the sun breaks through the typically cloudy weather of the region, there is a 200-square-foot deck that lets the couple entertain guests.
Photography by Cora Brown Rock via Targa Homes