7 Creative Guest Houses You Can Actually Afford

Having guests home to visit is often a reason to celebrate. But after a day or two, we might wish for a little more—well—personal space. It turns out that the answer just might be in your own backyard. An additional "tiny home" situated on your property (but separate from your house), creates a warm welcome for those just passing through, or perhaps a special getaway you can keep to yourself. If you thought you'd never be able to afford your own guest house, think again. These seven unique ideas bring guest accommodations within reach for many of us.

  1. Up in the Air

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    Airstream Trailers

    Bring back the golden age of camping, with an iconic "silver bullet" trailer outfitted to provide first-class accommodations anywhere. Your guests will love retiring to a sleek, retro hotel suite that’s just steps away from your doorstep.

    airbnb.com

  2. Railway Respite

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    Railroad Car Homes

    This railway carriage turned guesthouse is a charming respite for a weary traveler. You can keep the vintage exterior intact, working your magic on the inside to create comfortable sleeping quarters. If you don't happen to have an old train car at your disposal, you might be able to source one from a railroad company or reseller.


    Related:  All Aboard! 9 Railroad Cars Converted Into Homes

    airbnb.com

  3. Bohemian Bunk

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    Gypsy Wagon

    You may have settled down, but you can still channel your inner nomad by converting a wagon—or vardo, as they were once called—into a small guesthouse. There's no practical need for the wheels since it will no longer be rolling along in a caravan, but you can keep them for aesthetics while stabilizing the wagon itself on a fixed platform.


    Related:  Home, Home on the Road - 10 Houses on Wheels

    airbnb.com

  4. Far Out, But Close By

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    Vintage Camper

    An old '60s camper makes a fresh statement on freedom, even today. Your dreams of exploring the open road may have been trumped by the realities of 9 to 5, but with this groovy guesthouse in your backyard, you can always make believe you're headed somewhere new.

    airbnb.com

  5. Attached Annex

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    Converted Garage

    If the contents of your garage are creating clutter and gathering dust, it may be time to retool. Turning your garage into a guesthouse is a smart way to expand your living space and it’s proximity to the main house often makes adding conveniences like plumbing, heating and WiFi a no-brainer.


    Related:  Move Out - 10 Ways to Expand into Your Garage

    airbnb.com

  6. Direct Shipping

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    Shipping Container Home

    This particular mini house was designed by Texas architect Jim Poteet, after a client asked him to transform a shipping container for his property. But why make your own? The idea is reproducible, using a standard 40-foot shipping container for the framework. To keep the structure from overheating, the roof can be filled with plants—making it as much a work of biotecture as it is architecture.


    Related:  10 Cool Shipping Container Homes

    poteetarchitects.com

  7. Custom Quarters

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    Tiny Home Plans

    Some of the best things really do come in small packages. If a little custom design is in your wheelhouse (or in someone else’s), a freestanding studio can be a welcome addition to your functional space. Part guesthouse, part zen tearoom, part rustic retreat, you'll be just steps away from it all.


    Related:  Assembly Required - 15 DIY Kit Homes

    airbnb.com

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  9. See the House of the Week

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    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!