A 365-Square-Foot Accessory Dwelling Unit Is Organized, Colorful, and Just the Right Size for One

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Margy S
It's a small home but I love it.

Name: Margy S.
Location: Milwaukie, Oregon
Type of home: Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)
Size: 365 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 years, renting

Credit: Margy S
This is my entryway. The sign on the wall says "Velkommen" which means "welcome" in Norwegian. I ironically found the sign in Washington during an antiquing trip. The rug is a vintage Turkish rug from my friend's online rug shop, Jewels Rug Shop. The Edgewater poster is from when I lived in Chicago... pretty much everything I have displayed in my home represents me and where I've been.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I have been renting this amazing unit for about two and a half years. It’s an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), which are pretty common out here in the Portland, Oregon area. My landlords turned the original family room of their house into this unit. They designed the layout very well as they added large, oversized kitchen cabinets for extra storage and created as much storage in the bathroom/closet area as possible. I can fit so much stuff in the cabinets — it’s a renter’s dream! This little 365-square-foot unit is very comfortable for one person.

Credit: Margy S
I love this quilt. My mom quilted it for me a couple years ago. The pattern is called "Exploding Squares." It goes well with my teal and red color scheme. It's also very comfortable and warm.

I am a 34-year-old meeting planner and have been working from home during the pandemic. I have a little laptop table I purchased from World Market and that is my make-shift office space. It’s a great table as it has a hidden storage cubby where I put my laptop and papers when work is done. I am originally from Oslo, Norway so the aesthetic of my home has a Scandinavian feel. I have a lot of Rosmåling (Norwegian folk art) around my home and things that remind me of home. My main hobby is cross stitch and I have a few of my pieces displayed in my home. But mostly I cross stitch gifts for people. I’m also a French horn player. I have two French horns cleverly hidden in my home as they take up a bit of space.

Credit: Margy S

My identity is definitely reflected in my home. Pretty much everything I have on display has a story behind it. I have moved a lot throughout the years, but I have always brought with me those things I cherish most. I surround myself with those things as they remind me of memories and generally bring me joy. The color palette of the home is pretty much teal and red. I have always loved this color combination so I decided to bring it to life in my home.

Credit: Margy S
My house is basically 50 percent kitchen. But I LOVE having so much storage and space. I only have a two-top gas range due to permit regulations since I live in an ADU, but it works just fine for me. My oven is a countertop oven, but it does a great job. I have everything I need.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Colorful Scandinavian

Credit: Margy S

What is your favorite room and why? I really love all 365 square feet of my home! I’ve spent a lot of time making it feel like home and I just love living here. But if I had to choose an area I would choose my little corner nook next to my bed. I spend a lot of time there cross stitching, reading, watching movies, and just relaxing. I am also very proud of the two floating shelves above the nook — I am really happy with how I curated my books and keepsakes. It brings me joy.

Credit: Margy S
This is my favorite spot to be in. I call it the nook. It's where I read, cross-stitch, and watch movies. The two wall paintings were painted by me a long time ago.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last two things I purchased for my home are my sofa and the laptop table. And I am SO GLAD that I did considering the pandemic hit a month after purchase. It’s provided me extra seating and space to work from home during this time. Both pieces are from World Market.

Credit: Margy S
This is my workspace. The laptop table and sofa are from World Market. Atop one of my pillows lives a funny little stuffed snail named Stu.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Make it your own! If you like color, use color. If you like bold pieces, get bold pieces. Don’t just buy things just to buy them — make sure you love them and that they’ll have a good happy place in your home. This is key especially for smaller places — in order to stay organized, everything must have a place of its own. To me, organization = happiness.

Credit: Margy S
I love these shelves — they hold some of my most prized possessions. This is where I display most of my Rosmåling (Norwegian folk art) that I inherited from my mom. I also keep an old box (from the 1920s) full of letters that were written by my grandfather to my grandmother during his time in the army during WWII. It's very special.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.

Credit: Margy S
The "Go Bananas" art is made by a dear artist friend of mine, a local Portland artist, Amy Stoner. The larger colorful piece was painted by me several years ago.