Swedish-inspired backyard cottage works as secluded oasis home

Su Pang loves travel and traditional Swedish cottages. In 2013, she had a little- 5000-square-foot backyard subject to relaxed building codes, so she began designing a Scandinavian-inspired cottage that would give her the freedom to live mortgage-free.

Working around decades-old redwood and walnut trees, Su and her architect built an L-shaped 500-square-foot home (700-sq-ft, including the loft) that feels like a leafy, quiet oasis in the middle of Oakland.

Despite having to swap the customary wood for red corrugated metal siding, the home pays homage to the Swedish originals and everything has been touched by Su’s design aesthetic. Plywood and floors kept the costs down. The was lined with leftover which with its skylight covered with walnut branches gives it an indoor/outdoor feel. Su recycled an old bathtub to create an outdoor bathing experience on the back deck.

Su Pang graphic design: https://www.somethingsaboutsu.com/


  1. She’s a minimalist but got a gazillion clutter. I like the design but she needs to get rid of many things. Just my thoughts.

  2. Hello fellow millennials! Wanna live worse than your parents while also spending more money? DO I HAVE A SHED IN A BACKYARD FOR YOU

  3. Sorry I don’t understand why the architect did not make the house a little taller so there would be a second floor where someone could stand up? It would make logical sense for living comfortably and if she were to resale the property. I could understand an existing place but she built this from ground up. Even if the cost was a bit more it is worth it. A new buyer on resale would want to see a working second floor rather than a loft and a ladder like you see in a tiny house on wheels. It would also increase the value of her property.

  4. I’m guessing the branches and foliage tacted up on the walls are her, “art pieces”, she was referring to as her art… Then of course, they are just that…

  5. Amazing, charming, functional home that Su has built! Other than the loft bed, it’s definitely a home I would enjoy living in. I love the Swedish styling.

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