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A compact but cool container Japanese home

Naia Carlos Naia Carlos
Eclectic style houses by ai建築アトリエ Eclectic
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In the beginning, people likely opted for container homes because of its affordability. After all, obtaining and renovating a shipping container is far cheaper than constructing a house from ground up. It’s also much easier to construct.

Now, container homes are not just built for practicality but also for style. The cool industrial look is in vogue right now and shipping containers are adaptable, able to be tailored to different types of design that the homeowners prefer. From straightforward box-type houses to more extravagant dwellings, the range of designs for container houses is impressive.

If you’re eyeing shipping containers to serve as your home for the future, this ideabook can help you envision the best one possible.

Box-style house

Simple and functional, this structure is a wonderful example of the potential of container homes. It’s built box-type, with everything constructed in straight lines and squares. Along with the original container, the main material used in the residence is black lacquered wood.

While the space may be limited, all the essentials are there. Even the outdoor parts of the property are complete, including a sizable deck for al fresco dining and a surrounding area where the homeowner can start a small garden or lawn. The space can also be used as a garage.

Hidden rear door

If you’re wary about choosing a container home because of safety concerns, don’t worry. There are plenty of precautions to take to establish the dwelling is as safe as possible.

Partly to ensure easy access, even a house as contained as this one can be designed with two available entrances: the front and the back. The rear door, as seen above, is meant to be quite hidden, blending in the background nearly seamlessly. Aside from being constructed to be “invisible”, the door is heavy-duty and secure bolts and other safety enhancements to keep unwanted guests from barging in.

Central hall

From the outside, this container home looks pretty impenetrable. Inside, it’s a different picture. Bright and airy, the residence is fitted with full-length clear glass sliding doors and windows. It’s still unfurnished, but the light colored wood flooring, white walls and dark cabinets all go well with any motif that the homeowners prefer for their living areas. Fill the space with the colors that make you comfortable and happy.

Container homes are also environmentally friendly. The well-lit rooms mean there’s no need for turning on lights during daytime. Recycling old shipping containers is also good for the eco-system.

Interior overview

To maximize the limited space of the container house, it has an open layout. This way, the residents can move easily inside and the house looks a bit more spacious. The architect’s design of the main living area is flexible so the homeowner can decide how the entire room is arranged including the family area, dining set and kitchen.

Plenty of light fixtures are installed inside the house to keep it bright throughout the day. Making the interiors very well-lit is important, which is easy to neglect in a container home. After all, who wants to live in a gloomy atmosphere?

Maximize space

The architect’s intelligent use of the space is obvious throughout the container home. The bedroom was designed to fit two people with a built-in wood slab fitting a single bed underneath and a single-person mattress on top of it. A wooden ladder is provided to reach the top “bunk”, while the solid door provides privacy to the residents. This room shows that the container home can be the ideal living space even for growing families.

Decorative doors and windows

Just because container homes are functional, it doesn’t mean it has to be totally plain. Decorative finishes throughout the residence can make it look more appealing as a home to both residents and guests. One option is to use decorative glass with various patterns in the doors and windows in the house. Not only does this make the home look more homey, but it also lets in the light in the living areas.

Creative wall design

Another option is to install wall fittings like the one featured. Instead of buying shelves that will take up precious space in the house, built-in shelves like this one offer extra storage – for décor like potted plants or other personal items like books – without clogging up the different rooms in the house. Floating shelves can give you a similar effect, plus it can be bought and installed DIY-style in any existing home.


Meanwhile, sliding doors open to a second patio on the side of the house. The slim wooden deck offers just enough space for a few chairs where the resident can relax during languid mornings. With trees and an open space, this is the ideal spot for a private corner. Kids can play in the lawn area it overlooks or it can even be a fun place to host barbecues and small parties.

For similar inspirations, read The world's best container homes you have to see.

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