Preliminary sketch of a Charleston cottage design by Artifex.

WIP Wednesday: A Charleston Cottage from Artifex

Tradition isn't just a source of warm feelings; it's a fountain of good ideas.

Take the Charleston single house, for example. Narrow lot? No problem. Turn the house so the gable end faces the street. Warm climate? Add a piazza to guide breezes through the windows and provide a shady place to rest. Need privacy for your piazza? Place a wall on the end and add a door to create a new entrance.

Photo of 101 Alexander Street, Charleston. A historic two-story home with piazza.

Photo credit: ProfReader, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can find historic examples of the single house in Charleston today. Most are two- or three- story homes, but one-story versions are part of the repertoire, too. The one-story type is known as a Charleston cottage, and it's about as versatile as a cottage can get. It can serve as:

  • Guest house
  • Home office
  • Artist's studio
  • "Granny flat" / ADU
  • Retail cottage / ACU

"ADU" and "ACU?" That's just modern-day jargon for the old-fashioned idea of a bonus space that enhances a primary home's usefulness. The abbreviations stand for "accessory dwelling unit" and "accessory commercial unit," and small cottages are the perfect example.

Photo of 17 Humphrey, Charleston, a single-story home with piazza along its side.

Photo credit: ProfReader, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Our friends at Artifex are finishing up a design that's inspired by the Charleston cottage, and we can't wait to bring it to you. It's a tiny house with a ton of possibilities.

Sketch of a single-story house in Charleston cottage style, including elevation and floor plan.

Photo credit: Artifex.

And those possibilities grow when you group the cottages together. Picture a central courtyard surrounded by cottages. A cottage court could incubate new businesses, create a charming setting for shopping, or provide naturally affordable homes and a sense of community for seniors and young people just starting out.

You can read more about the history of the Charleston cottage in the Charleston Magazine article, "Charleston Cottages," by Suzannah Smith Miles. To be the first to hear when we publish the new design by Artifex, follow Liberty House Plans on social media or join our mailing list. We look forward to hearing from you.

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