Granny pod design: 5 age-in-place remodeling tips for tiny homes


Granny pods, seniors’ cottages, echo dwellings, tiny houses or accessory dwelling units. Call them what you will, but tiny seniors’ homes aging in place in the backyards of adult family members or loved ones require some serious downsizing and organization. Despite the effort, the process can also be extremely profitable financially, says Henry Moseley, president of Home Care Suites in Tampa.

The payback on the starting price of its 450-square-foot Florida model, for example, is realized in two and a half years based on the typical cost of long-term care: $3,000 per month. Such cottages offer a unique way to maintain long-term privacy and closeness, he says. Many prefab granny cabins are designed on a single floor, with wide doors and low-threshold showers to accommodate wheelchairs. Others, like Elder Cottages, offer residents with reduced mobility raised toilets and reinforced bathroom walls for optional grab bars.

Whether you’re a senior looking for tiny homes, downsizing to a smaller home, or even moving into a loft, here are some tips and tricks on the best values ​​from the top home organizers that work frequently. with retirees.

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1. Prepare storage solutions

Credit: Joseph Joseph / Camco / Revised

The nesting concept is a major space saver if you have a small area to work on.

Kitchen remodeling is one of the easiest ways to downsize, says Caroline Gunter, organization and productivity coach, CEO of The Swedish Organizer. The idea is for older people to spend more time with their family in the main living space, so they don’t spend as much time cooking themselves. This means less need for bulky cake pans and bulky appliances.

“Nesting everything is amazing, especially the things you might need in a house, like bowls, mugs, and cooking utensils,” she says. Gunter is a fan of stackables like this RV-friendly pot and pan set ($144).

Julie Coraccio, Professional Organizer and Certified Life Coach in West Virginia, loves collapsible colanders and all things stackable and colorful from Joseph Joseph. Not only are the bright tones suitable for aging eyes, but this set ($50) features a mixing bowl, measuring spoons, and colander that nest inside each other for storage in small spaces. Coraccio suggests storing small kitchen items in this foldable desk with shelves that doubles as dining and working.

With his Swedish roots, it’s no surprise that Gunter is a fan of IKEA’s minimalist design. She recommends the Norden drop-leaf table for easy storage, shelving, and dining.

$50 at Williams Sonoma

$144 on Amazon

2. Invest in foldable or multi-purpose furniture

On the left is a gray flip-back side chair with a hanging blanket.  On the right, round pouf in green velvet.

Credit: Mission Hills Furniture / Etta Avenue / Revised

The Mission Hills Furniture Folding Side Chair features a soft suede material combined with a padded seat cushion.

There’s no way to have a ‘little life’ without creative ways to store things,” says Coraccio. Luckily, there are more ways than ever to store books and blankets with storage furniture.

She’s a fan of the beanbags ($122) that double as seating for guests. And a compact, padded storage and seating bench by the door is ideal for seniors who may need space to sit when taking off their shoes or carrying groceries to the office. interior. Another favorite is this side chair ($200) with a pull-out storage compartment and a backrest that folds down so it can be easily stowed away on its own.

Requiring no home remodeling, this convertible upholstered folding sleeper folds down into a large ottoman. But for seniors who may have mobility issues, a Murphy bed with storage and more back support is Coraccio’s choice. The Breda Bed Urban Murphy model made to order with hutches is his favorite model for compact spaces.

$122 at Wayfair

$200 at Amazon

On the left, a pink bottle of Philosophy shower gel and shampoo.  On the right, silver shower bar.

Credit: Philosophy / Moen / Revised

Make your shower a luxurious experience with quality shower gel and shampoo.

It’s all about “multipurpose” in the bathroom, says Coraccio. She suggests streamlining several cleaning products into an all-in-one, like a shower gel that doubles as a shampoo ($22); and those of Simple Green. A collapsible bucket is easy to store, and also easy to expand when it’s time to mop or mop, she says.

Any aging bathroom needs safety features like grab bars, but ones with shelves are essential for smaller homes. Moen offers two bars that include storage options — a traditional model and a convenient corner model ($54).

$22 in Philosophy

$54 at

4. Get creative storage and shelving

On the left, transparent storage container.  On the right, a 3-tier rolling cart in clear acrylic.

Credit: The Container Store / Revised

Keep your valuables where they are visible and easily accessible in these storage containers.

Gunter loves modular shelving and storage, including this rolling cart ($100) that can be moved easily. Coraccio’s pick is a bed rack organizer with three sizes of open-front bins that can be reversed for entryway storage, for example. Since older people often take multiple medications, streamlining the storage of multiple bottles is often one of his first approaches, Coraccio says. This 28-day model with lights and alarms is one of his favorites.

For granny pods, Gunter suggests asking the owner of the largest house on site to clear out an attic or garage to store seasonal items or “souvenirs.” Many Coraccio customers choose to scan decades of photos onto a frame for those who have limited wall space to allow images to rotate. Lightweight, see-through bins ($20) allow those with limited grip strength and sight considerations to see what they’ve stored, says Gunter.

$100 at the container store

$20 at container store

5. Think about accessories and applications

Inexpensive ($9) folding hooks are among Gunter’s favorite low-cost hacks for tiny living without major home modifications or remodeling projects, while Coraccio often uses — or suggests his customers download — two apps. For those wondering what furniture will suit their tiny home, Magicplan (free trial) creates 3D floor plans. When photos of the house are uploaded, the app calculates the dimensions of the spaces so that any new furniture purchases fit in easily.

And for those trying to decide what to keep and what to part with, Sortly (free trial) creates a visual inventory of a home. The app helps seniors track items with searchable QR labels and tags.

$9 at IKEA

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.

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