Oakland Casita


A tiny backyard guest house in California.








Travis and Kelly approached New Avenue back in February 2013 to discuss adding an accessory dwelling to the backyard of their Oakland, CA home. This 250 square foot casita is intended as a guesthouse and office.

Construction took about 5 to 6 months and began at the end of 2013. Some challenges to this project included poor access to the backyard, a very sloped lot, and older utilities which lead to a replaced water line. Just as the the work came to completion in June 2014, Travis and Kelly adopted a baby. Now they take turns working from home two days a week in their backyard office so they can spend quality time with the newest member of their family.

When family and friends are in town to see the new baby or if Travis and Kelly are entertaining and hosting a get-together, they offer their casita as a small home away from home for overnight guests. It has a fully functioning bathroom and working washer dryer. In the instances the family is away, it serves as a residence for their dog-sitter.

A 250 square feet guest home in Oakland, California designed and built by New Avenue Homes.


  • David says:

    This is a great place. But, these guys are not living small, they are living to excess. They have a full size house and built another. That isn’t living tiny, that is more than the average.

  • Sue says:

    It looks beautiful, well done!

  • Kathi says:

    Simple but perfect! Would you rent to a travel RN on assignment in Oakland??

  • David – if I’m not mistaken, this site is called Tiny House Swoon, not Tiny Lifestyle Swoon. I think they designed a beautiful tiny backyard unit that seems to provide the extra space they need for the benefit of their guests, and for the home office space needed to pursue their careers from home part of the time. As a former technology sales executive myself, who for years worked from a home office, I can attest to the fact that no matter how simple one hopes and strives to live their personal lives, certain types of careers require a larger amount of dedicated office space to accommodate multiple technology products (required by the employer to have on hand), hard copy files, quiet space for conference calls and skype/video calls with clients, remote presentations, etc.

    I recently had a backyard unit built that functions as an airBNB vacation rental and provides me with an income stream that allows me to continue working for myself, rather than working for a company at 60+ hours a week (plus loads of travel) like I did for the first twenty years of my career. I believe this has simplified my lifestyle and made me a much more relaxed and happier person, whether or not I still own my “regular” house in the front of the property. Instead of judging the lifestyle, why not just focus on the adorable tiny house they’ve designed and decorated in the small and challenging backyard of their Bay Area property, which is allowing them to work from home part-time and be closer to their new baby?

  • kelly b. says:

    I love the way they built the tiny house. it’s very nice and functional. But honestly, I COME HERE TO LOOK AND ADMIRE THE TINY HOMES!! I could care less about their “personal lifestyle” it does not affect the look, feel, or the over all effect of the house. Look David, I don’t care if a person and their partner are purple with yellow polk a dots!!! I come here to look at the tiny homes. So they are gay, so they adopted a baby. Who really cares on this site??? It’s NOT what we came here to discuss. Go back to highlighting the wonderful tiny houses we all love so much on this site, or continue down this totally irrelevant path, and the rest of us will simply start up our own web site. Perhaps we shall call it, “TINY HOMES, AND ONLY TINY HOMES.”

  • Michael says:

    There are some touchy comments here. Denise, David did not even mention the lifestyle of the owners and you jump to their defence. Is criticism not permitted if the owners are gay? Personally, I agree with David – it is not a tiny house, it is a bedroom/office with en suite and a large one at that.

  • Travis says:

    Chill with the negative comments folks. We built the casita because we needed more space for visitors and to work from home which allows us to spend more time with our baby. We didn’t ask for your opinion on our lifestyle or if you think we live in excess. We simply built a 220sq.ft casita to give us the ability to stay in our current home in a housing market where its almost impossible to buy up or bigger. If you don’t have anything nice to say; don’t say it!

  • Hazel says:

    I found this to be pretty inspirational! I’ve been looking for shelter options so that I could provide a place for elderly relatives to live where they still have their own space… This is a great idea for having space available when you need it but not using tons of utilities when it’s not in use. I like the idea of being able to channel tiny house design into backyard living. Thanks for sharing!

  • Geoff says:

    This is super cute! I live in Oakland also and have been putting a lot of thought into building a tiny home in my backyard so that I can rent out my home for income. I would be very curious to know the cost for tour build – specifically for the permits and for running plumbing. I love what you guys did with the interior – what a sweet home you’ve built! <3

  • SJ says:

    Lovely cottage. My wife and I are interested in something similar for our backyard for the same reasons as you. Please let me know if we can connect, to get some ideas, guidance, etc.


  • FictionChic66 says:

    I love it. Is it possible to share the plans? I think it would not be so hard to add a kitchenette??

    Thanks for sharing!

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