RUME by Tauska tiny homes and ADU conversions
Local designer Tauska Trusaun-Kennedy specializes in ADUs; the construction of small houses and the conversion of garages into living quarters.
By Blake Carter
Many homeowners looking for additional sources of income or looking for additional living space for their family members have additional housing built in their backyards. These structures can be a garage conversion, or can be built from scratch.
Los Angeles-based interior designer Tauska Trusaun-Kennedy specializes in Accessory Housing Unit (ADU) projects, also known as Grandma’s Apartments and Tiny Houses. She started RUME by Tauska in 2018, and many of the homes she has worked at are in South Los Angeles and Inglewood.
Trusaun-Kennedy recently completed a project in Inglewood where she had a 495 square foot ADU unit built from the ground up next to a garage, which was in the home owner’s yard. The ADU unit has a bedroom, living room, and full kitchen including a stove and dishwasher. The unit has the same equipment as those of the new apartments.
“I wanted some of the luxury things people would find in a luxury apartment, like marble tiles and beautiful wood floors,” said Trusaun-Kennedy. “Just to make it look more like a house.” A place where someone could actually live. “
Space can serve several different purposes.
“You can use it for a family member, if you need office space, if you need space to exercise, and it’s a great space when people come by.” visit you, ”said Trusaun-Kennedy. “There are many ways to use this space.”
People also use space as a source of income.
“It’s a fabulous way to do it,” said Trusaun-Kennedy. “This location (in Inglewood) is very close to the new stadium. So I mentioned to the client that this would make a great AirBnB. It is an option. Or she can have a full time tenant. There will be a lot of privacy here. It is a place where a tenant could live very comfortably.
Structures or conversions that are not intended to be habitable spaces do not necessarily have to adhere to all ADU codes, so some people use the space as a game room, additional living room, gym, an office or a man cave.
An ADU can increase the property value of a house. Trusaun-Kennedy’s latest project transformed a three bedroom, one bathroom property into a four bedroom, two bathroom property.
“That right extends value,” she said. “A structure like this greatly affects the value of the property,”
Many homeowners can finance this project with the equity in their home or through loan programs.
“There are loans you can get where you don’t have to pay back the money until you’ve built the ADU and it’s inhabited,” Trusaun-Kennedy said.
Many of Trusaun-Kennedy’s projects are in the regions where she grew up. She is from Baldwin Hills, attended Audubon Middle School, Dorsey High School, and is a graduate of Fairfax High School. She knew from an early age that she wanted a career in interior design.
“I’ve loved design since I was a kid,” she says. “I still drew and I still created; move things. “
Trusaun-Kennedy studied graphic arts and design at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM). She obtained a double degree in interior design and architecture from the Pratt Institute and has worked in some of the largest advertising agencies as a graphic designer, art director and project manager.
Trusaun-Kennedy advises homeowners looking to build ADU units on their property to hire a design-build company.
“Don’t look for an entrepreneur,” she says. “Never look for a contractor to get a price or quote on what you want to do. The first thing you want to do is find someone who works in a design-build company, because you’re going to want a feasibility study. They will know when your house was built, the value of your property, what you are allowed to have on your property, and the cost. At this point, they can pretty much tell you what the cost will be.
“Then you’ll want to find a designer. The entrepreneur is sort of the last thing. You want to collaborate with a designer and let them know what you’re looking for, what’s on your wishlist, and what you’d like to have in the cost structure.
“Once you figure out how much your budget is, a designer can figure out what you may have in that budget. After a designer has come up with some of the designs, you start talking about the contractor. I have a list of subcontractors that I use and I review the subcontractor. “
For more information on RUME by Tauska, visit www.rumebytauska.co and follow them on social media.