ADU Appliances & Furniture – The Ultimate Guide

Jul 5, 2021 | ADU, Garage Conversions

Bet you never thought the saying “good things come in small packages” would apply to home appliances. Well, it does when it comes to ADUs.

When you design and plan your ADU, you should always include with it your future appliances. Why? Because space in most ADU’s is of the essence and using small appliances will go a long way.

These small appliances are packed with all the power and many of the premium features that their full-sized equivalents contain. Check out the new models we have listed out for you that keep a small footprint without compromising on style or convenience.

Table of Contents


ADU HVAC Systems

When it comes to heating and cooling, you should consider a mini-split. Mini-splits are also known as ductless mini-split air conditioners and heaters. They are an efficient, scalable way to add cooling and heating to your ADU.

Mini-splits consist of one or more walls, floors, or ceiling-mounted indoor units connected to an outdoor compressor. They are easier to install than a full ducted system and much more efficient than window units or central HVAC.

What Mini-Split Should You Use?

The exact mini-split equipment you need depends on your ADU’s unique heating and cooling requirements. However, you are also limited by what the qualified installers in your area have to offer.

The Pioneer 12000 BTU-110/120V is a great option for smaller ADU’s. It is compact, ultra-silent, and easy to install. For larger ADU’s, you should consider a unit like the Pioneer 24000 BTU-208/230V.

If you add a thermostat alongside smart-home integration like the Google Nest Learning Thermostat, mini-splits start to sound great.


ADU Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand-type or instantaneous water heaters, provide hot water only when it is needed. They don’t produce the standby energy losses associated with tank water heaters, which saves you money.

The initial cost of a tankless water heater is a bit higher than that of a conventional storage water heater. However, tankless water heaters, with a life expectancy of more than 20 years, will typically last longer in your ADU than storage water heaters that have a life expectancy of 10-15 years. They also have lower operating and energy costs, which saves you money over time. Not to mention the fact that they have easily replaceable parts that can extend their life expectancy.

These tankless water heaters come in models that can be installed either indoor or outdoor, making them perfect for any ADU.

What Tankless Water Heaters Should You Use?

Smaller ADU’s can use more compact units like the highly durable 18KW Ecosmart Tankless Water Heater. This heater is easy to use and can save you up to 60% on your water heating costs.

Larger ADU’s should use a unit like the 24KW Ecosmart Tankless Water Heater. This unit is similar to the smaller version in its ability to be 99.8% energy efficient but bigger to support the larger ADU.


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ADU Kitchen Appliances

Minimalism is the thing right now with people (and especially millennials) cutting back their possessions, moving into tiny homes, and living with a whole lot less. Kitchen appliances have followed this trend with more small stoves, dishwashers, microwaves, and fridges being available than ever before. These kitchen appliances are smaller but do not sacrifice style, which makes it easy for you to find the right size of appliances for your ADU in the style you desire.

Compact Dishwashers

A super-slim 18” dishwasher that can fit into most tiny kitchens is probably the best choice for all sizes of ADU’s. Despite its small size, you can still fit about 10 place settings in each load, making it practical for most people. These types of dishwashers will look super sleek in your space, like the Frigidaire 18″ ADA Compact Front Control Dishwasher.

Small Fridges

If your ADU cannot fit a full-size 36” fridge, there are plenty of great 30″ wide fridge options to consider. For example, the FRIGIDAIRE Freestanding Top Freezer Refrigerator. If that is too big, consider the 28″ FRIGIDAIRE Freestanding Refrigerator or the 24″ wide under-the-counter SUMMIT Refrigerator. The under the counter option comes with a door locked for added security if you are worried your children or pets may decide to snoop in your fridge.

Conveniently Sized Ovens

The space in your ADU kitchen may be limited, but your cooking options are not. Standard ovens and cooktops range from 30” – 36” wide, causing them to take up much-needed space on your countertop.

A conveniently sized 24” Wide Pro-Style Gas or Electric Range includes 4 burners and all the features of a larger range but takes up much less space. This stainless-steel unit easily fits in most ADU’s. However, if space is really limited, a slim-sized 20” Wide Gas or Electric Range will work into even the tightest of spaces.

Over the Range Microwaves

Over the range microwave is probably the best solution to have in an ADU because it is a 2-in-1 microwave and vent for your cooktop. They come in different sizes and configurations to fit your cooktop and space needs.

If your ADU kitchen is big enough to fit a 30” cooktop you should use a 30” micro hood. If you are looking for something a tad bit smaller, consider the 24” model. Both are 1,000 watts and have 2-speed ventilation capabilities.

When space allows and your ADU kitchen is big enough to have full-size appliances shop for a full package. Something like this 4-piece kitchen set from Frigidaire that comes with a fridge, dishwasher, microwave, and oven could be a great fit for your ADU.

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ADU Kitchen Gadgets

With a minimalistic ADU kitchen comes the need for creativity to make the most of the space you have. One way to maximize your space is with different kitchen gadgets that allow you to store your kitchen items easier.

Gadgets Around the Sink

A great gadget to make the most out of your ADU sink is the workstation sink. This gadget allows you to place a cutting board perfectly into your sink whenever you need a little extra countertop space.

Another great ADU countertop space saver to consider using is a 2 tier large dish drying rack. The rack allows you to dry all your dishes in a condensed area, as well as store your cutting board in an easy-to-reach yet out-of-the-way spot.

For under your sink, consider an expandable organizer and storage unit to keep everything neat and tidy so that you can get the most out of your ADU space.

Cabinet And Drawer Gadgets

Give yourself easier access to all of the things in your ADU kitchen cabinets with a pull-out shelf like the Rev-A-Shelf Single Wire Basket Organizer. All of your ADU appliances and foods can easily store within the basket deep inside your cabinets and then come out into the light for easy grabbing whenever you want them.

To free up more space within your ADU cabinet, you should invest in a spice gripper. This handy gadget sticks to the doors of your cabinets and holds your spices up. By doing so, they save space on your cabinet shelves for other essential items.

If you are looking to free up more space in your drawers, consider a drawer organizer like the Bamboo Kitchen Drawer Organizer that allows you to declutter your ADU kitchen drawers and therefore fit more into them.

Countertop Gadgets

Make the most out of the vertical space on your ADU countertops by using a pot rack to store your pots in a more organized way. The GeekDigg pot rack organizer allows you to store your pots in between your counter and cabinets with adjustable rack heights to accommodate any pots and pans.

Another great option if you do not have a lot of vertical space on your ADU countertops is the Pan and Pot Lid Organizer Rack Holder. This rack lays horizontally on your countertop with 7 adjustable compartments.


Efficiency Kitchen For ADU

JADU’s (Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit) are required to use efficiency kitchens that are no larger than 6 feet. If you own one of these units, consider installing a compact or modular kitchen that is a simple and convenient solution.

Available in many sizes and configurations, these efficient ADU kitchens come complete with a refrigerator, cooktop, sink/faucet, and storage. You can get efficiency kitchens in different sizes and options like this 39” wide all in one kitchenette or this 60” wide unit with added countertop space.

These efficiency kitchens can be supplemented with portable, multi-use workstation islands such as this Hodedah Kitchen Island that features:

  • A Drawer
  • A Spice rack
  • A Towel rack
  • Cabinet space

At only about 46” wide, this compact workstation will work perfectly in your limited ADU kitchen.


ADU Laundry Appliances

No matter how tight your ADU is, you should always make room for laundry. People who don’t add a laundry area to their ADUs come to regret it later on. Luckily, there are multiple areas for you to consider placing your laundry appliances.

One perfect spot for a laundry room is the closet because it is out of the way and has plenty of space to stack a 27” wide Washer and Dryer Pair like this one from Frigidaire that has ten different wash and dry cycles.

If necessary, select an electric dryer with a ventless condenser system that dries clothes without having to vent to the outside of your ADU. The units are sold separately and may require a stacking kit to secure them in place, but vertical installation frees up floor space.

You can also get a  24” Wide Washer and Dryer Combo that washes and dries all in one machine. Offering the same features as a conventional washer and dryer, these compact units wash approximately 15 lbs. They then dry the clothes without you having to move them. This all-in-one machine saves you time and valuable storage space both vertically and horizontally in your ADU.


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ADU Bedroom Furniture

The development of most ADUs is based on garage conversions that use the existing footprint without expanding. This development process is used because there are immense cost savings associated with doing so. However, furnishing these garage conversions can be quite challenging. If you use the right furniture pieces though, you can make your small ADU space feel much bigger than it is.

Want a big bed but also want ADU floor space during the day? Invest in a bed that folds up when you are not using it. The Bestar Queen Murphy Bed that folds up into a stylish cabinet when not in use is a great option for people looking for a simple, minimal ADU bed.

If you are looking for a bed that offers some storage, you should consider the Bestar 90” Queen Wall Bed Kit. This bed kit features a 25” storage unit on one side of the cabinet. The Bestar Pur Collection features storage units on either side of the cabinet for those who have ADU space and want more storage.

Maybe you still want a seating area after the bed folds up? No problem. You can consider getting something like the Bestar Versatile Collection that features two storage areas on either side of the cabinet and a sofa that is available for seating when the bed is folded up.


ADU Living Space Furniture

Your living area can get crowded quickly in an ADU. However, you can save space by using a storage ottoman that functions as both a seating area and a place to keep your belongings off of your floor. You can also invest in a sofa bed to have your ADU living space double as a guest bedroom at night!

If you have a little more ADU space, consider getting a Sectional Sleeper Sofa that offers extra storage under one section and the ability to fold out into a bed. It will be perfect to sit on while you watch your TV that is mounted on the wall with a full-motion TV mount. By having your TV up on the wall, you save valuable floor space. The full-motion aspect of it means you also can tilt it in whatever direction you like so that every corner of the room is the best corner to watch TV from.

For the people who don’t trust wall mounts, consider an entertainment center like the VASAGLE TV Cabinet. This TV cabinet has adjustable storage shelves and sliding barn doors to add a little style to the room while offering much-needed storage space below your TV.


ADU Furniture for Dining Areas

A dining table takes up a lot of walking space in your ADU. Luckily, there are a multitude of compact options to solve this problem, such as a wall-mounted fold-down table that easily seats two. Need room for more company? Consider a drop leaf folding table that can be extended out to seat more but folded down to save space when not in use.

If you have space and want a more permanent ADU table, consider a counter-height dining table with multi-purpose shelves acting as the support for one side of the table. You can also consider a rolling, foldable kitchen set that can be easily folded up and moved around the room when not in use.


Planning Your Appliances

Here at Levi Design Build, we can help you decide which ADU appliances and furniture will work best for you. Our team of professionals offers a personalized approach to designing, planning, managing, and building your ADU. That includes planning for the furniture that will best fit into your given space.


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