About Us

Array Design Studio is located in Cleveland, Ohio and has designed projects throughout the Midwest

Universal Design for the In Law Suite

  • Posted by Array Design Studio
  • On June 25, 2018

Let’s talk Universal Design, the In-Law Suite. It is more and more common for us to revert back to when families all lived under one roof. In today’s time we are experiencing our adult children and our parents making their way back home. Why? Because home is comfortable and who doesn’t want to be comfortable? It’s actually the preferred place to live by the Baby Boomer society, which makes a lot of sense.

What is an In-Law Suite?

The In-Law Suite has had many names: In-Law Apartment, Accessory Apartment or The Granny Flat (Thanks cute British terms!) The Granny Flat is traditionally where granny and pop would stay. This space has a kitchen area, living space and bathroom. It’s like having a mini home, within your home. Mom and dad get to be where they’re most comfortable and also close to the grandkids. This space is normally removed from the main living areas, so it might be found in a basement, above a garage, or an outbuilding on the property. Grandparents get their own personal place to stay, without feeling in the way. Turns out, parents also make great live in babysitters too!

Things to Keep in Mind

This space isn’t only thought of for aging parents, it can also be used by older kids too. Regardless of who is using the space, think of the big picture. Think about how you can share space and at the same time be respectful of ones privacy. The in-law suite truly should be an enhancing extension of the usage of your home.

Is it Right for Your Home?

How do you know if an In-Law Suite is right for your home? The rule of the In-Law Suite is if the full market value of your home is no less than 3 bedrooms, a full bath, full kitchen with living and family room areas, then the idea of incorporating an in-law suite in to your home is right for you.

How do you Start?

Where to start? If your home does tick those boxes, the best place to begin is to add an independent entry door and go from there. You then want to look for a space for a miniature kitchen, much like a wet bar area. You always want to be keeping in mind good use of space with storage. You can do things like implement more smart storage and usability by adding a Murphy bed. What’s that? Think 1950’s detectives that lived in their office and their beds came out of the wall, they still make them! And they’re very cool. They’re easy to convert from a bed to a storage cabinet and can be part of the living space and bedroom all in one.


Then, add a few comfy chairs, great lighting and all the same flooring surface.  From here you can greatly expand. The most important part is to keep in mind is a separate private entrance that accommodates easy access. You want to avoid a threshold entrance, stairs, ramps or elevators. Keep your semi-permanent guests happy, keep you happy 🙂


Leave Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *