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Useless 50s garage becomes filmmaker’s ADU with genius built-ins

Writer/director Wash Westmoreland wanted to turn his rundown garage behind his LA home into a home/studio that could fulfill many roles: rental apartment, writing cottage and full-size screening room. Architect John Colter left the facade of the garage intact to disguise it from the street, but once you step inside, the space expands Tardis-like into a light-filled multifunctional home.

Initially Westmoreland wanted a space to write, as well as for overnight guests and to rent it when he was out of town filming. “The thought was it was sort of a creative space that could also be a guest house that could also be where a friend could come and live, so that in the end is what happened,” explains Westmoreland.

For Wash’s friend Christhian Barron, also a writer/director, the backyard home is an ideal creative home. “Every night I can watch a movie like being in a movie theater. And for someone who loves film in the capital of filmmaking it’s sort of a dream come true really.”

For Colter, it was an opportunity to play. “We wanted to create a plywood house,” he explains of the decision to use floor-to-ceiling plywood. This proves an easy surface for cut-outs like circular rolling windows that line up for the summer solstice. Colter even designed plywood furniture so there was no need for Christhian to buy anything, nor to decorate. “The wood is the art,” says Christhian.

To block the view of a new apartment complex next-door, they didn’t put in any windows on that side, except for hidden clerestory and a skylight. Though the garden side of the ADU is covered with floor-to-ceiling windows to keep the space integrated with the lush greenery.