Just because you're a granny doesn't mean you have to live like one. Granny flats can be more than a glorified caravan with lace curtains and a stale smell lingering in the air. And, inversely, just because you're not a granny doesn't mean you can't live in a self-contained unit in a backyard...

The Pod: Modern Granny Flat by Takt Architecture Studio (via Lunchbox Architect)

The Pod: Modern Granny Flat by Takt Architecture Studio (via Lunchbox Architect)

Grandma and Grandpa don't have to slum it in a traditional, uninspired granny flat thanks to The Pod, by Takt Studio Architecture. Instead, they have a modern, light home to call their own. It's detached from the family home for privacy and flexibility, but it's close enough that the whole family can enjoy quality time together. A large skylight runs the length of The Pod, letting in beautiful natural light. It's a long way from the cramped and dark space you imagine when you picture a granny flat, and that's why we love it.

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Samford Valley Small House

Samford Valley Small House

This retired couple thought, stuff it, just because we're getting older doesn't mean we're not cool. So they built themselves this hip tropical retreat tucked into a corner of the family property. This modern home designed by Baahouse + Baastudio is not your average granny flat - the two-bedroom home is spacious and light-filled and opens generously onto spacious decks. It's the perfect spot to enjoy retirement close to family.

Check it out here...

Keperra House

Keperra House

Here's a granny flat even the young want to live in. The owner of a three-bedroom home decided to down-size to a custom-made 'granny flat' at the rear of his property. As a result, he was able to rent his existing house and live a comfortable, simplified life overlooking a natural creek reserve and parkland. Does it get any better than that? So just because you're not technically a granny doesn't mean you can't live in a stylish, yet space-efficient home in the backyard. Move over, Beryl, granny flats aren't just for nanas anymore.

Could you live in a granny flat?

Taringa Treehouse

Taringa Treehouse

Taringa Treehouse: An Unorthodox Addition at the Bottom of the Garden

At the bottom of this garden is a curious wedge-shaped building which acts as a break-out space and guest bedroom for the original home. Ok, so the rock climbing wall might not be great for granny's knees, but as we know granny flats aren't just for grannies anymore. This space at the bottom of the garden is a flexible space for the family, and, far from your ordinary addition, this treehouse-like structure is packed full of fun and encourages the family and visitors alike to better utilise the backyard.

Step inside

A Home That Explores Communal Living for Adults COLORBOND® Steel

A Home That Explores Communal Living for Adults

If you have a lane at the rear of your property, it's an ideal place to incorporate a granny flat. Even if you still require a garage, you can plan for the future by designing a flexible, multi-purpose space which could be a teen retreat, separate living, guest accommodation, a granny flat or even a separate tenancy for some extra money in your pocket. This Garage House explores the possibilities.

See it for yourself

The Newest House on the Street Looks Like It Could Be the Oldest

The Newest House on the Street Looks Like It Could Be the Oldest

The Newest House on the Street Looks Like It Could Be the Oldest

Brickface explores a similar idea of a multi-purpose space connected to the rear lane. And one look at the interiors tells you that this is not the spoilt-cream colour scheme you imagine when you think granny flat.

Take a look

Is a granny flat right for you?

Even if you're too young to be a granny (or grandpa), a granny-flat-style space at the back of your home could be the answer to your problems. It doesn't need to be boring and it doesn't need to be the cheap, flimsy granny flat of old. And if you are a granny, f**k the patriarchy, you don't need to turn into a wallflower just because you're a few decades into your innings. You can still live an independent life in a modern, stylish home and be close to family.

Tell us which is your favourite granny flat...