True Blue Remodeling

2023 ADU Design Trends: Embracing Versatility, Sustainability, and Technology


Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) have evolved significantly in recent years, mirroring changes in lifestyle, technology, and environmental consciousness. The year 2023 has brought forward new trends in ADU design that cater to the evolving needs of homeowners. This blog post explores these latest trends, providing insights into how modern ADUs are being designed and utilized.

Multi-Functional Space

The modern ADU is no longer just an extra room; it’s a versatile space that can serve multiple functions. Designers are focusing on creating areas that can transition from a home office to a guest room, or from a workout space to a recreational area. This flexibility is key in maximizing the utility of ADUs, especially in urban settings where space is at a premium.

Design Tips:

  • Incorporate adaptable furniture
  • Use movable partitions for flexible space division
  • Design with multi-purpose in mind

Outdoor Living Spaces

Integrating outdoor living spaces with ADUs is a growing trend, providing additional areas for relaxation and entertainment. These spaces can range from simple patios to elaborate gardens, extending the living area beyond the four walls of the ADU. This not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also offers health and wellbeing benefits by promoting outdoor activities.

Creating Outdoor Spaces:

  • Design seamless transitions to outdoor areas
  • Use landscaping to enhance privacy and aesthetics
  • Consider weather-proofing for year-round use

Sustainability and Green Features

Sustainability has taken center stage in ADU design. There’s a notable shift towards eco-friendly designs focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, and sustainable materials. These features not only reduce the carbon footprint of the ADU but also lead to long-term cost savings for homeowners.

Sustainable Design Elements:

  • Install solar panels and energy-efficient appliances
  • Use recycled or sustainably sourced materials
  • Incorporate rainwater harvesting and greywater systems

Modular and Prefabricated ADUs

The popularity of modular and prefabricated ADUs is on the rise, offering a cost-effective and efficient alternative to traditional construction. These units are typically built off-site and assembled on the property, reducing construction time and waste. They also offer the flexibility of customization to suit various needs and preferences.

Benefits of Modular ADUs:

  • Reduced construction time and cost
  • Less disruption to the property
  • Customization options to fit specific needs

Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology is becoming a standard feature in ADUs, enhancing convenience and efficiency. From automated lighting and climate control to security systems and voice-activated appliances, these technologies offer a high-tech living environment that caters to the modern homeowner.

Integrating Smart Technology:

  • Install smart thermostats and lighting systems
  • Incorporate voice-activated devices and appliances
  • Ensure robust internet connectivity for seamless operation

Versatility and Customization

ADUs in 2023 are all about versatility and customization. Designers are focusing on creating spaces that can be easily adapted to the changing needs of homeowners. This could mean designing an ADU that can evolve from a home office to a living space for aging parents, or from a rental unit to a personal retreat.

Customization Ideas:

  • Offer various layout options
  • Allow for personalization in finishes and fixtures
  • Design with future adaptability in mind

Multi-Generational Living

ADUs are increasingly being designed to accommodate multi-generational living. This trend caters to families looking to live together while maintaining privacy and independence. These units can provide comfortable living spaces for elderly parents, adult children, or extended family, fostering family bonds while ensuring individual space.

Designing for Multi-Generational Use:

  • Include accessible features for elderly family members
  • Ensure privacy with separate entrances and soundproofing
  • Design flexible spaces to cater to different age groups


The ADU trends of 2023 reflect a move towards more versatile, sustainable, and technologically advanced designs. These trends highlight the evolving nature of ADUs, from simple auxiliary spaces to complex, multifunctional units that meet a wide range of homeowner needs. As lifestyles continue to change, it’s likely that ADU designs will further evolve, continuously adapting to the dynamic requirements of modern living.