Like everything else DIY, shipping containers aren’t just for shipping things on the slow boat across the ocean anymore. Plenty of clever architects, artists, designers and builders have managed to turn the corrugated steel containers most associated with docks and slow freight into structures that people, like you, will actually aspire to live in. Here are 10 shipping containers that will make you want to live in the box. You might need to adapt some of the ideas for your own individual needs, but they’re all good places to start.


PV14 House

The PV14 House is a modern residence in Dallas, Texas, with almost four thousand square feet of space and amenities that you’d never expect to find in a shipping container home. Three bedrooms, den and three and a half baths. Entertainment area. Two car garage and storage bay. Roof deck with small penthouse access. Outdoor swimming pool. There are enough shipping containers in this house to keep a small logistics company afloat, but they’ve been transformed into an estate that’s gorgeous to say the least. Link


Studio Arte Nomad Living Villa

The Studio Arte Nomad Living Vale de Vila shipping container house might be better known as the Nomad Living Guesthouse, but we’d have no problem staying there as a long-term solution on a working or beach vacation. Using a single 40-foot shipping container with some clever exterior decking and curtains, the architects have created over 300 square feet of modern living space with sliding doors, an L-shaped couch, and multiple seating areas filled with hammocks and fabric chairs. Link


Sam Flynn’s Container Home from ‘Tron: Legacy’

Sam Flynn’s container home from Tron: Legacy might have only been a real shipping container house for the duration of filming, but that doesn’t make the construction and the idea any less cool. Industrial space built from shipping containers with large, exposed garage doors, plenty of space to work on bikes and a water-front view. Since it’s just a few containers stacked on top of each other, re-creating the design yourself shouldn’t be all that difficult. Link


Honomobo HO4+ Shipping Container Home

Honomobo’s HO4+ Shipping Container Home combines four forty-foot shipping containers into one of two configurations (three bedroom or two bedroom with ensuite) to create a spacious living area with up to a little over 1,200 square feet divided across the rooms. It’s not exactly cheap, but this housing option includes all the wood, fancy trims and high-end home pieces you’ll need to have no problem bringing even the most critical family member over. Link


Urban Rigger Floating House

No piece about architectural innovation would be complete without something from Bjarke Ingels, which is where the Urban Rigger Floating House comes in. Introduced to Ingels through a mutual friend, Urban Rigger founder Kim Loudrup built a revolutionary and innovative floating dwelling system dubbed “Urban Rigger” that has an impact on housing to this day. Urban Rigger currently serves as an alternative to the housing situation in Copenhagen, but we could easily see it being adapted to water-based housing across the globe. Link


Tomecek Studios Sugarloaf Container Cabin

Outside of Boulder, Colorado, you’ll find Tomecek Studios Sugarloaf Container Cabin, a 1600-square-foot residence with a detached garage that sits high above Sugarloaf Mountain Road. Built out of three shipping containers, this retreat has two bedrooms, a kitchen, almost two full baths and a central living space with a large deck that juts off the living and dining room. Link


Poteet Architects Container Guest House

Award-winning San Antonio firm Poteet Architects has been developing sustainable projects for almost two decades. While we love everything they’ve created, if we had to pick one favorite it would be the Container Guest House. Built on a client’s wish to experiment with shipping containers, the Container Guest House is a perfect home away from home outfitted with all the creature comforts a guest would be looking for in an Airbnb, but this version is way cooler than anything you’d find on that site. Link


James and Mau Manifesto House

Any list of shipping container residences you find is sure to include the Manifesto House built by the architects James and Mau in Chile. Using 85% recycled or eco-friendly building materials, James & Mau created an entire house that combines efficient shipping container construction with a more appealing wooden pallet exterior and shade system to create a space that is truly livable. Inside, the open expanses are decked out with modern furniture, a central exposed staircase and an upstairs balcony. Link (via)


IQ Container Homes

If you’re in the market for a home that perfectly blends the worlds of shipping containers and tiny houses, look no further than IQ Container Homes. Designed and built by a New Zealand-based team that creates everything from small, twenty foot shipping container residences to multiple container structures, IQ blends the utilitarian aspects of shipping container construction with modern amenities like large kitchens, functional offices and wooden decor. Link


The Box Office

Built on an abandoned strip of Providence, Rhode Island history—the former Harris Lumber site—The Box Office is a structure built out of 37 different recycled shipping containers that currently serves as at least twelve different office and studio spaces for multiple designers and firms. The reason it’s on this list is because it combines multiple containers with a unique layout and construction to create a space with multiple living areas, functional spaces and disparate floor plans that still somehow all fit together. If you’re looking for inspiration for your own container home, start with one of the largest container structures in the United States. Link (via)

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Unzip your coat and have some mulled wine on the house—you’ve arrived at your final gifting destination: The Holiday Gift Guide. It’s like your friendly neighborhood one-stop holiday shop, except instead of balsa wood ornaments, ours is packed with thoughtful gifts for everyone on your list. Future heirlooms, small-but-significant stocking stuffers, and gear for getting out there (or staying in)—are all right here. There’s no music playing in the background though, so you’ll just have to hum Bing Crosby while you click around instead.

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