Homes with casitas—guest suites that have private entrances or are detached altogether—tie together two big trends: outdoor living and multigenerational households. These semi-private suites (complete with separate entrances and proximity to outdoor fireplaces and patios) give extra space and independence to, say, a twenty-something living with his parents, or an elderly mother-in-law. Alternatively, the casita can function as a quiet home office—perfect for telecommuting. 

Incredible Indoor/Outdoor Connection

Everything about this magnificent Mediterranean-inspired home speaks to modern living. For example, take the casita: detached from the main house, this guest suite is a terrific option for families with a live-in relative who would like a little extra space and privacy. Right next to it, an outdoor fireplace heats up cool evenings. The main house features an open layout with a spacious great room and big, double-island kitchen. Homeowners will love the convenience of the master suite on the main floor (especially good for aging in place). Two more bedroom suites occupy the second level. See more images, information, and the floor plan.

Private Porch

Photos: Carter Hobbs 512-585-7645 carter

This gorgeous stone-covered home adapts for a family's changing needs. The casita has a private entrance and a full bath, giving welcome privacy to an in-law or grown child. An outdoor fireplace is a fun amenity. The heart of the home — the kitchen — offers casual seating at the island and an office corner great for checking email. The master suite's sitting area looks out to the rear yard. See more images, information, and the floor plan.

Up to Five Bedrooms

This elegant home from the Energy Saver Plus Home Plans Collection offers stone, vertical siding, and balconies that draw the eye up. The narrow-lot plan wraps around a fantastic courtyard for outdoor living year round. A detached guest cabana makes an ideal in-law unit, while three more bedrooms upstairs include the master suite, which offers a huge bathroom and private access to one of two balconies.  An alternate layout replaces the upstairs study with a fifth bedroom. See more images, information, and the floor plan.

Flexible Layout from Southern Living 

Homeowners will enjoy the supreme privacy of this home's master suite, which is connected by a vestibule to the main house. Visitors are pampered as well with guest quarters in a separate structure on the other side of a screened porch. The family room, dining room, and kitchen form a large open area for gathering everyone together. Two upstairs bedrooms share a luxurious bathroom. Cottage of the Year is an exclusive design for Southern Living® by Moser Design Group for Coastal Living Magazine. Photo used with permission of Time Inc. Lifestyle Group. See more images, information, and the floor plan.