modern Houses by Petillo Arquitetura

Things you must consider when designing a container house

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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With housing prices soaring the world over, we wanted to take a look at how talented architects in other countries, such as Korea, have been offering better value, comfortable spaces and chic design for their clients and we think we've found the answer; CONTAINER HOMES! Now, we know that at first glance, container homes might not be quite the luxury modern family properties that everybody dreams of, but by following some simple guidelines, you can absolutely turn disused shipping crates into something exceptionally special, but don't just take out word for it! Come with us now as we use a favorite project to explain exactly what you need to do to turn a metal cube into a palatial dream home!

1. Consider how to connect your containers.

Are you going to simply butt more than one container together or do you have bigger aspirations? How about a central atrium, as seen here, to allow for better light flow and a central living space? With a talented architect onboard, the possibilities are endless.

2. Don't be unrealistic about structures.

Never forget that design renderings will always show the best case scenario, including slimline structures and supports. In reality, you might need chunkier braces, so try to be realistic to avoid disappointment.

3. Get a feel for surroundings integration.

When designing a container home, you really want to get an idea of how it will look on your plot of land, so include a panned-out image in the initial drawing phases! After all, if you were planning for a very specific style of landscaping, such as a dramatic zen garden, which won't look right, you need to start thinking a bit more carefully, before building starts in earnest.

4. Try to include outdoor areas.

The real joy of container homes is that they can offer you a wealth of bonus spaces that you might not be able to enjoy with more conventional buildings. In particular, roof terraces are a piece of cake to include, as you have large expanses of flat surface space to take advantage of.

5. Consider your interior colors properly.

Moving indoors now and you need to work with the dimensions of your containers. In terms of colors, you are usually best to stick with neutrals, as this will help to improve light flow and prevent narrow areas from feeling too claustrophobic.

6. Use the proportions practically.

Speaking of dimensions, never forget that containers are narrow but long. With this in mind, you'll want to choose furniture that can comfortably hug the walls and offer comfort over long, rather than deep, spaces. 

7. Go with the open-plan flow.

One idea that works really well with container homes is to resist the urge to install dividing walls. By retaining a more open-plan feel, you can take advantage of the enviable room lengths and enjoy a really spacious and sociable aesthetic. 

8. Scale back where you can.

When working with containers, it's important to scale back in terms of your expectations, unless of course you plan to create a home whereby each room is a separate container! Kitchens, in particular, need to be functional as apposed to enormous and we think that this design, which sees the food prep area installed in the far end of a container, works perfectly! A double-sided breakfast bar adds a lot of hidden storage too.

9. Focus on the social spaces.

By scaling back the practical areas, you can afford to go a little more all out with the sociable zones, such as dining and living rooms. Remember to give priority to the rooms where you will be spending the most time, as that's definitely not where you want to feel crammed in!

10. Don't be afraid to get cozy.

If you're scaling back the kitchen, you can definitely afford to keep your bedroom a tad more cozy as well. You really only go in there to sleep, so why clutter up the room or make it enormous? As long as you can fit a comfortable bed, some storage and maybe a desk in there, you're all set!

11. Add as many windows as you can.

Critical for every room in a container home is a large proportion of windows. Easy to install and so wonderful for disguising the original form of your home's structure, windows will really help to open up extra pockets of space and prevent a sense of industrial design from being too overbearing.

12. Don't negate on functionality!

Finally, your bathroom in a container home needs to account for all of your needs. If you can't live without a bath, by all means include one, but add a shower above it and try to stick to wall-mounted suite items, to keep the floor as free as possible. 

And there you have it; the perfect way to turn containers into an enviable home design! If you'd like to see some more container creativity, take a look at this Ideabook next: 5 amazing shipping container homes!

Are you coming around to the idea of a container home?
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