I love small spaces, but I also love swimming, and since I was very little, I've always wanted a pool of my very own. So my dream home is a little house, with a little pool, surrounded by a small and tasteful lawn. As it turns out, my dream home is a reality—it's the guest house of a vacation home in Groton, Massachusetts, which I would be happy to make my full-time residence.
The house, which contains a bedroom, bathroom, open living area with kitchenette, and a rather sizable laundry room, measures 1,000 square feet, but it feels much larger than that, thanks to two walls of sliding glass doors which open the living area up to the outdoors, and also to the pool. Besides the indoor space, there's also a 500-square-foot covered deck which adjoins the pool.
This would make a delightful standalone living space for someone (me), but this house is actually conceived as an addition to an already existing structure. When the homeowners purchased the property, they felt uncomfortable adding on to the existing home, a 1928 Sears kit house. At 1,400 square feet, the house was a tight fit for the couple and their three children, but the structure felt complete in itself, and the owners couldn't imagine an addition to the house that wouldn't "look like an afterthought". So they came up with the idea of adding a pool house on the property which would serve as an extension of the main house.
The old house and the new one are connected by the deck, and the family spends vacations wandering between the two of them. In the summer, the walls of the pool house open up to unify it with the outdoors, and in winter, the family can gather around the fireplace. It's a sweet little family compound, and a unique solution to the problem of adding a modern addition to an existing home.
It's also an inspiration to anyone who's ever dreamed of building a small, standalone, modern home. It may not look it, but the pool house, a design of LABhaus architects, was almost completely prefabricated, which helped to keep costs down. You can read more about the house, and see more photos, at Dwell.