They’re green, often cheap housing solutions that are quick to build, making them a very attractive option for those not looking to deal with the complicated real estate market.
But it’s not as simple as moving right in. Transforming a shipping container from an industrial hunk of metal to an inviting space takes the right architect – and for the homeowner, creativity in decorating.
How can you make this happen all while staying within a tight budget? Read on for a few ideas to keep in mind!
Keep it light
As these are small spaces, it’s crucial to make the interior look as large as you possibly can.
If you’re painting, use as light of colours as possible, and always maximise the light entering every inch of your container home.
Go with broad windows to let the light in, and try adding in some mirrors in different spaces to stretch that light even further and give the illusion of a larger space.
Finally, minimise the amount of stuff you have in each area of your container home. While you’ll already have to downsize to begin with, using only the absolutely essential furniture will keep your space from feeling cramped and claustrophobic.
Divide and conquer
It can be odd living in one long shipping container, so it’s a good idea to look into some partitions to cordon off different spaces.
While you don’t want to overdo it and slice up the space too much, using restraint and strategically splitting off rooms can really help a container home feel more like a liveable space.
The key here is balance: Too many partitions makes the home feel like a maze, and too few make it feel like – well, a metal box.
Partitions work great for splitting off rooms – they’re portable, and they also give you additional space for storage and decoration.
These kinds of screens work particularly well for adding in a home office and for delineating more private spaces like bedrooms.
Acoustic screens can also help keep your private business even more so – crucial in a limited space where privacy can be hard to come by.
Cover the walls
While some might like the look of corrugated metal, for others it’s an eyesore that makes it hard for a space like this to feel like home.
Luckily there are plenty of relatively low-cost options for sprucing up your surroundings.
Wood panelling and bamboo is a popular choice for giving the inside space a more natural – rather than industrial – look, and wood shingles work great for doing the same on the outside of your container home.
Also for the interior, you can always go a more standard route and paint. While it doesn’t get rid of that corrugated pattern, more patterned painting styles can help, and overall painting can help make the space much warmer, brighter, and more inviting.
Use your outdoor space
Nothing can make a container home feel more like a shack than if you haven’t done anything to make it look as inviting on the outside as it is cosy inside.
It doesn’t have to empty your wallet to fill that exterior space, either; for instance, many people have found new life for discarded wooden pallets by turning them into simple outdoor patios – both green and cheap.
Add some plants and furniture – maybe even a cosy hammock if you can fit it in – and you’re well on your way to a fully-fledged and affordable home.
Privacy and climate control
One of the biggest worries with a container home is making sure it’s adequately shielded – both from the elements and from prying eyes, like any home.
Adding some fencing can certainly help with the latter, and like with many items on this list it can take your place from looking like a shipping container to looking like a home made from one.
Trees and other vegetation also work great. Not only do they provide privacy, but if they’re planted strategically, they can keep off some of the sun (if you’re in a hot climate) or the wind.
Either way, you’ll want to have a strategy for insulating and shielding your home beyond its existing metal walls and roof. If you live in an area with any kind of winter, it’ll both make the space more comfortable and save you money by keeping heat in.
Lastly, position windows such that they’re admitting as much heat as possible (in addition to light) – but keep thick drapes or curtains handy to keep off the sun during the height of summer.
Container homes might seem barebones, but that also means they’re ripe for creativity and innovation.
Hopefully some of these ideas can get you started on planning out how to transform your shipping container home from industrial to cosy!
Image 1 source: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/181197
Image 2 source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ShippingContainerCottage.jpg