These Charming Guest House Plans Will Make Any Visitor Feel At Home

With guest houses as charming as these, your visitors might never want to leave.

Palmetto Cottage, Plan #2009
Photo: Southern Living House Plans; Photo: John McManus

Whether you are planning to host the holidays or need more room for adult children or aging parents, discovering house plans with guest houses can be an efficient way to add square footage to your home.

Our Southern hospitality tells us that family and friends are always welcome, but sometimes you need 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. Guest houses allow for extra space and privacy for your guests without the hassle of changing your current floor plan.

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, including a kitchenette, a full bath, and a bedroom or shared sleeping and living area. All of these plans are customizable to meet your specific needs.

Garden Cottage, Plan #1830

garden cottage
Southern Living

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 house plan 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 an excellent option for a mother-in-law suite, as it allows for independent living.

Fontanel Bunkie, Plan #1857

Fontanel Bunkie
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 bunkhouse on the grounds of the 2013 Southern Living Idea House in Nashville, this guest house has the exact architectural details as the modern farmhouse it accompanied. The extended, skinny, shotgun-style floorplan allows this dwelling to be discretely tucked away on your property for a private retreat-like setting.

Tideland Haven Garage, Plan #1872

Tideland Haven Garage
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 a kitchenette, but it has enough room for a queen-sized bed and a full bath.

Cedar Creek Guest House, Plan #1450

Cedar Creek Guest House
Southern Living

Guests will request visits to your Cedar Creek Guest House (SL-1450). This house plan is another example of a guest house 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 stand out from the rest. We feel you will use this cozy retreat, even if guests are away.

Palmetto Cottage, Plan #2009

Palmetto Cottage, Plan #2009
Southern Living House Plans; Photo: John McManus

The bright coastal charm of the Palmetto Cottage (SL-2009) will immediately make your guest feel at home in its spacious 656-square-foot floor plan. This Lowcountry-inspired guest cottage has a vaulted entertaining area, 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.

Bluebird Cottage, Plan #2026

Bluebird Cottage
Southern Living

Totaling 619 square feet, the Bluebird Cottage is a quaint, two-story guest house. It includes a bedroom, a fireplace, a full bath, a closet, a sitting area, and a loft space. It's the perfect addition to any home, so your guests will have the luxuries of privacy.

Boathouse & Bunkhouse, Plan #049

049 Boathouse & Bunkhouse House Plan Image

Southern Living

While small in square footage, this 376 charming boathouse would look excellent perched overlooking the water. It offers cozy comforts and plenty of natural light to help the area feel bigger. Shuttered windows and a metal roof create a welcoming guest house exterior.

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 for wine nights and Rom-Coms, a guest house is an addition the whole family will enjoy. Just be careful. Your visitors may always want to stay!

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