See This Custom-Designed, 264-Square-Foot Backyard Guest House

published May 7, 2018

See This Custom-Designed, 264-Square-Foot Backyard Guest House

published May 7, 2018
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Home Type
Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Jaclyn and Jeff King
Location: Dallas, Texas
Size: 264 square feet

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Jaclyn’s earliest memories of design and appreciation for all things eclectic began with her grandmother and memories of tagging along with her to antique shops and trade shows where she and her aunt worked as vendors under the name “Two Dumb Dames.” Even at 80, her grandmother’s sense of style reflected her personality—bold, beautiful, and an uncompromising flair for independence. Her propensity toward design, originality and creating a warm home for her family certainly seemed to rub off on Jaclyn because she can’t pass a flea market or eccentric estate sale without stopping in to discover what she didn’t know she needed. Now, a few dozen years later, though Jaclyn doesn’t have a “proper” design shop per se, she now finds herself helping friends, family, or clients renovate, restore and revive their spaces. Jaclyn considers herself obsessed with all things design and has spent way too many hours to admit, swooning over Instagram eye candy and Domino magazines. She is always drawn to a good “makeover” love story.

Jeff and Jaclyn now live in a three-bedroom home with two kids (Vivian, three and Benjamin, one) and three dogs (two Frenchies, one mutt). Like her stylish and inspiring grandmother, they love having family and friends stay with them for holidays or weekend visits. When they found out she was pregnant with Benjamin they knew their guest room was going to have to be transformed into a nursery. They had only been in their home for about two years and just weren’t ready to move because finding a home in the Dallas area that would meet the needs of their growing family would be a challenge. And let’s face it, buying a house isn’t nearly as exciting as attending open houses as a hobby.

Jaclyn has been a huge fan of tiny homes / spaces ever since she first came across their images online. The idea of a blank canvas and such a unique space really appealed to her. So they started the process. She sat down on her computer and started sketching the space and its possible layouts. Months (and dozens of revisions) later, they had a design finalized! The challenge for Jaclyn was coming up with a usable space that also included room for a bed, which in most tiny homes, is in an upper loft area—something she didn’t want for this backyard guest cottage. The space is only 264 square feet and so every inch had to be accounted for. But then came the fun part… accessorizing. From Etsy to Anthropologie, Jaclyn got what she needed to make the space cozy and inviting. And while this isn’t a permanent residence (like this tiny home), it offers up plenty of inspiration for others living in tiny spaces!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Bright, simple, and boho.

Inspiration: Found objects, worldly fabrics and upcycling.

Favorite Element: The high ceilings and transom windows that flood the space with light and make the space feel larger.

Biggest Challenge: Space planning such a small space to accommodate guest’s needs.

What Friends Say: They are usually shocked by how much we fit in such a small space.

Biggest Embarrassment: The four (already assembled) beds I returned before landing on “the one.”

Proudest DIY: Planning, designing and managing (during a Texas summer) a 264-square-foot guest space yielding just as many issues and surprises and frustrations as a full home remodel would (all while seven months pregnant).

Biggest Indulgence: The bathroom tile imported from Italy.

Best Advice: House screenshots together on an dartboard so you can see how everything mingles together. It’s a nice way to assure yourself that you’re making good purchases without putting the wear and tear on your printer for return labels.

Dream Sources: Flea markets in rural towns to Moroccan souk bazaars and street markets.


Sherwin-Williams Shoji White – a go-to for all my projects that need the perfect white

Chairs — Vintage from Chairish
Rug — Vintage, from Etsy vendor
Mirror — West Elm
Acrylic Luggage rack — thrift store

Table base — World Market
Wall basket — Vintage from Etsy
Pendant Light — Rejuvenation

All accessories on the shelves — Vintage from Etsy

Closet “built-ins” — Ikea
Print above robes — Urban Outfitters
Bed — Anthropologie
Faux fur throw — Anthropologie
Vintage Fabric Block print shams — Etsy Vendor
Sconce — Rejuvenation
Vintage-looking Bluetooth radio — Urban Outfitters
Macrame shade — Etsy

Sconce — SchoolHouse Electric
Mirror — Wayfair
Shelf — Anthropologie
Floor Tiles — Exquisite Surfaces
World’s tiniest sink — Ikea

Outdoor lounge chairs — Wayfair
Basket Swing — Birchwood Dallas

Thanks, Jaclyn and family!

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