Elevate your backyard with a versatile place that’s prime for laid-back entertaining.

Turn your backyard into a year-round retreat with a laid-back outhouse. The beauty of this plan is its flexibility. Turn this cottage into a pool house, guest quarters, home office, and more. "We took the Lowcountry style of our main home and developed a structure that looked like its little sister," says Southern Living Custom Builder Randy Schiltz of t-Olive Properties, who collaborated with residential designer Al Causey of The Village Studio to design this retreat. "It's a place where you can live, play, and entertain," says Causey.

Backyard Retreat Pool House Plan SL-2061
Credit: David Cannon

There's a come-one, come-all attitude at this charming escape. Tall sliding glass doors facilitate indoor-outdoor living, helping to draw people onto the front porch for poolside hangouts. This multipurpose space can function as guest quarters, a hangout spot for kids, or an alfresco dining room. Ten-foot-tall ceilings keep the great room feeling light and airy on hot summer days. The large open space could accommodate a ping pong table, with enough room for a sectional to host a movie might. Causey added a fireplace to make the living room an inviting spot to relax year-round. "Our main house is on a crawl space, so the pool house serves as our 'basement' when my kids have friends over. My daughter even keeps cookie and cake mix out there so she and her friends can cook while watching movies," says Schiltz, who built the plan in his own backyard. With a full kitchen and private bath, this practical 891-square-foot plan can also serve as an independent dwelling for aging parents or adult children returning home. Keep both bedrooms ready for company, or turn one into a secluded study. The possibilities for this backyard escape are endless.

Backyard Retreat Pool House Plan SL-2061
Credit: The Village Studio

The Details

Plan Designer: The Village Studio
Name: Backyard Retreat
Plan Number: SL-2061