A granny flat can be put to a lot of uses. It can be guest accommodation, a study, an office, a studio, a teenage retreat or even a flat for your granny! It’s a living space that can be adapted for any purpose and as far as interior design goes, it’s a blank slate waiting to be transformed.
In this article, we look at five different design ideas that can turn a plain old granny flat into something its occupants will love. Each style evokes a different mood, from warm and cosy to cool and contemplative, and all can be created with minimum effort and expense.
Scandi (Scandinavian) is a highly popular interior style that’s all about clean lines, functionality and minimalism. Its focus is on simplicity and function, open uncluttered spaces, light muted colours, lots of natural light, practical furniture that serves a purpose and a strong focus on nature, particularly timber and greenery.
To create a Scandi look in the living areas of your granny flat, opt for slimline or Roman blinds rather than curtains, bare wooden floors instead of carpet, light colours rather than dark ones and functional low profile furniture that doubles as storage. Add indoor plants, a scattering of rugs made from natural materials and to finish, a pop of colour in the form of some artwork or a piece of furniture to provide a focus in the room.
Beach house is a timeless decorating theme that evokes pleasant seaside memories and emotions even if your granny flat is nowhere near the ocean. The easy, breezy beach house style is all about the soft blue colours of the ocean, sand and stone coloured fabrics, driftwood accents, a smattering of shells and some layback wicker furniture.
But don’t overdo the furniture and accessories, Stick with an open and airy layout and hint at the seaside with a nautical picture here and a coral lamp there, rather than turning the room into a maritime museum. A shiplap feature wall or driftwood sculpture centrepiece can often be all you need to paint the picture and evoke that seaside feel.
The term Retro describes interior themes influenced by trends and styles from the past, in particular from the 1950's, 60's and 70's. Retro style has a fun, lively feel, with bright colours, bold designs and an overall sense of flair.
To create a Retro feel in your granny flat, choose Retro style furniture such as a big sofa with multi-coloured throw pillows, shiny chrome barstools, an ottoman or two and even a diner-style kitchen. Use feature colours such as mustard yellow, burnt orange, avocado green or chequerboard patterns. Go for textures like smooth plastics and crushed velvets and throw in some feature pieces such as a lava lamp and a couple of Warhol or Dali prints to complete your Retro look.
Cottage style is a perfect theme for a small space such as a granny flat (particularly if it has a granny in residence). The cottage or ‘shabby chic’ style is comfortable, casual and cosy. Features include soft colours, fresh flowers and florals, antiques, collectibles, handmade items, wrought iron and natural wood.
In the bedrooms, go for embroidered quilts and big headboards and in the lounge, choose floral or striped drapes, tasselled lamps and comfortable, overstuffed furniture. It’s all about rumpled elegance and carefully controlled clutter and the moment you step into a cottage style room, you feel cosy and safe and thinking nostalgic thoughts about freshly brewed tea and fresh-baked bread from the oven.
One word sums up this style and that word is ‘zen’. Japanese style interiors are about peaceful simplicity, clean and uncluttered living and a reverence for natural beauty. But while an authentic Japanese home has very little furniture, it is still possible to achieve this design aesthetic with your modern comforts intact. The secret is to keep the design simple and uncluttered.
Choose elements from Japanese décor such as screens and sliding doors. Keep window coverings simple or if privacy allows, dispense with them altogether. Bring nature indoors with bonsai plants and bamboo and if your granny flat has an outside deck, consider a small water feature for the soothing sounds of bubbling water. Choose modern, clean-lined wooden furniture ideally low to the ground and use simple, calming colours from nature such as greens, browns, and greys.
So why not give it a try?
Transforming your granny flat into an inviting retreat its occupants will want to spend time in doesn’t require an interior design team or a bottomless bank account. If you have a particular theme in mind and you adhere to it without going over the top, it’s possible to achieve the exact mood you’re after in even the smallest of spaces.
Rather than slavishly copying, it’s about hinting at a style through carefully chosen elements and using your personal taste to create something that’s universally recognisable and yet uniquely your own.
Ask the experts
At Titan, we have plenty of experience helping customers find the perfect guest house or granny flat for their needs, as well as a huge range of options, price points, and features to choose from.
If you’d like to contact us, you can get in touch by calling 13 27 36 during business hours, or through our online contact page.