Contain Yourself: Spaces Created From Shipping Containers

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Image: Poteet Architects

If you’ve been reading my entries here on The Interior Collective, you’ll have figured out by now that I truly enjoy spaces created with unconventional materials. I’ve written about using concrete blocks and plywood, among many other ideas. But one of my very favorite unusual construction techniques involves shipping containers. When a great space is created using containers, it appeals to my love for sustainability and my masculine design aesthetic.

For example, take this terrific guest house. It has everything that’s needed for when you have visitors who stay for an extended time, without any waste – that’s part of the joy of working in a predefined space: the restrictions can become freeing.

Inside the Guest House

Image: Poteet Architects

This is a creative use of space. Covering the floor and walls in bamboo provides low-impact visual texture and a subtle sense of sophistication. The large window wall, cut into the side of the box, is made utilitarian by transforming into sliding doors – truly amazing. There’s even a small bathroom at the far end of the space.

All the Comforts of Home

Image: World Architecture News
This architect has modified and combined multiple shipping containers to create a full-sized residence. Sturdy and stylish, it’s almost hard to tell the home’s origins. A place like this would be quick to assemble, but last a lifetime.

Plenty of Space

Image: World Architecture News

And the inside of this full-sized abode, made from containers, has everything you’d expect in a home made from traditional materials.

Bring it Inside

Image: Dwell

At the other end of the creative use of shipping containers is this example, where two containers have been placed inside a large loft. Creating these colorful and playful rooms inside takes a lot of skill (and a lot of space!), but when done this well, who wouldn’t want to give it a try?

How have you seen shipping containers used to create living spaces?

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite ( and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (, Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.