As much as Grandma and Grandpa love coming for Thanksgiving, they’re just as excited to sleep in your teen’s double bed as your teen is for making her sleep on the couch.

Southern Living

With the summer months coming to an end and the holidays approaching, it’s time to talk about houseguests. Our Southern hospitality tells us that family and friends are always welcome, but sometimes you just need some extra space to keep everyone comfortable during the holidays. A home addition can be costly and complicated, especially if you plan on living in your home through construction. No matter how much plastic you hang, you can guarantee your home will be filled with dust and debris. Guest houses allow for extra space and privacy for your guests without the hassle of changing your current floorplan.

These charming cottages–all under 700 square feet–are the solution to your crowded home during family visits. The floor plans have the essentials to make your guests feel at home: a kitchenette, a full bath, and a bedroom or shared sleeping/living area. Bonus: all of these plans are customizable to meet to your specific needs.

The Garden Cottage (SL-1830), at 540 square feet, is a charming getaway. With a living room, a bedroom, a full-sized bath, and a small kitchen, this tiny home has plenty of room to accommodate long-term visitors. A fireplace and covered porch set this plan apart from your average guest house, and architectural details like a metal roof and shingled wooden siding complete the cozy home. The Garden Cottage is also a great option for a mother-in-law suite, as it allows for completely independent living.

Southern Living

The Fontanel Bunkie (SL-1857) is an ideal plan for someone who needs just a little extra space, 317 square feet to be exact. While this plan doesn’t allow for complete independence, the studio-style suite will provide your visitors with everything they need for a comfortable stay, including a kitchenette and full-sized bath. Originally built as a bunk-house on the grounds of the 2013 Southern Living Idea House in Nashville, this guest house has the same architectural details as the modern farmhouse it accompanied. The long, skinny, shotgun-style floorplan allows for this dwelling to be discretely tucked away on your property for a private retreat-like setting.

Southern Living

If you’re looking to build an additional dwelling with more than one function, consider the Tideland Haven Garage (SL-1872). This 916-square-foot home has a two-car garage, cart storage, and a 264-square-foot guest suite. The living space is well-suited for short-stay guests. It does not have kitchenette, but it has enough space for a queen-sized bed and a full bath.

Southern Living

Guests will request visits to your Cedar Creek Guest House (SL-1450). This is another example of a plan that allows for independent living with its designated bedroom, kitchen and living room, full bath, and walk-in closet. Features like a wrap-around porch and outdoor fireplace help this plan standout. We have a feeling you will use this cozy retreat, even if guests are away.

Southern Living

WATCH: How To Prepare Your Home For Guests

The bright coastal charm of the Palmetto Cottage (SL-2009) will immediately make your guest feel at home in its spacious 656-square-foot floorplan.This Lowcountry-inspired guest cottage has a vaulted entertaining area that includes an eat-in kitchen, a private bedroom suite, and a gracious front porch. The simple layout and low-key exteriors make this property universally flattering and a valuable addition to any existing home.

Southern Living

Aside from making your guests comfortable, these small dwellings often hold other purposes for many families. Whether you use it for studio space, a place to watch the SEC championship, or maybe just for wine nights and Rom-Coms, a guest house is an addition the whole family will enjoy. Just be careful, your visitors may never want to leave!

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