Once solely associated with cargo transportation, shipping containers have found a new lease on life as versatile building blocks for home extensions. These repurposed containers offer a sustainable and cost-effective way to expand living spaces.
This guide explores creative and innovative decorating ideas for shipping container extensions. Whether you’re adding a bedroom, office, or even an entire living area, these tips will help you make the most of your container space and create a stylish and functional extension.
Embrace Industrial Aesthetics
One of the unique aspects of shipping container extensions is their industrial appearance. Embrace this aesthetic by exposing some of the container’s original features, such as corrugated steel walls or container doors. You might also incorporate industrial-style pendant lights or track lighting with exposed bulbs to enhance the container’s rugged appeal.
Plus, use metal-framed furniture like tables and chairs to complement the industrial look. The contrast of the metal against the container’s steel creates a striking visual. You can also decorate the walls with industrial-themed artwork, such as metal sculptures or abstract paintings that play off the container’s aesthetic.
Open Concept Design
Shipping containers often have limited interior space, so open-concept design can maximize the perception of space. If your container allows for it, consider removing interior walls to create an open floor plan. This can make the space feel larger and more flexible. Use multi-functional furniture, such as sofa beds or folding tables, to optimize the available space and accommodate different activities, too.
Try to maintain a consistent color scheme and flooring material throughout the container to create a seamless flow from one area to another.
Innovative Storage Solutions
Storage is essential in small spaces. Consider multiple inventive storage solutions for your container extension. For example, choose beds with built-in storage drawers or lift-up mechanisms to make the most of limited space. Install wall-mounted shelves and storage units to keep clutter off the floor and create a sense of spaciousness. Furthermore, incorporate hidden storage compartments within furniture, such as ottomans with concealed storage or secret drawers in tables.
Natural Light and Views
Maximizing natural light and views can make your container extension feel more open and connected to the outdoors. It pays to install large windows and glass sliding doors to bring in abundant natural light and offer views of the surrounding landscape. Also, add skylights or roof windows to flood the interior with daylight, creating an open and airy atmosphere.
Efficient Heating and Cooling
Maintaining a comfortable temperature inside your shipping container extension is essential. First, focus on proper insulation to efficiently heat and cool your space, as this element is crucial for temperature control. Consider adding insulation to the container’s walls and roof to minimize heat transfer if needed.
It also pays to install ceiling fans to help circulate air and distribute temperature evenly throughout the space. Ceiling fans can also reduce the need for air conditioning in warmer months. If you’re worried about height issues, keep in mind that you can buy a hugger ceiling fan (or multiple ones) for the space that is more compact and doesn’t hang low from the roof of your extension.
You might also like to opt for ductless heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, which are compact and energy-efficient. They can provide both heating and cooling, making them ideal for small spaces. Plus, you can use thermal curtains to insulate windows during extreme weather conditions. They can help retain heat in the winter and block out heat in the summer.
Compact Kitchens and Bathrooms
Small container extensions typically require compact kitchens and bathrooms. To make them functional and stylish, choose space-saving appliances. Pick out slim refrigerators, compact ovens, and single-basin sinks with integrated draining boards in your kitchen. For laundry purposes, you might pick a washer-dryer combo unit. Install wall-mounted vanities and toilets in the bathroom to maximize floor space and create a sleek, modern look.
Outdoor Living Areas
If space permits, consider creating outdoor living areas that extend the functionality of your container extension. For example, you could use additional shipping containers to create elevated terraces or decks that provide extra outdoor space for dining and relaxation.
Plus, set up an outdoor kitchen with a grill, sink, and seating, expanding your entertaining options beyond the container’s interior. You can then arrange outdoor lounge seating with comfortable cushions and throw pillows to create a cozy outdoor living room.
Shipping container extensions offer an exciting canvas for innovative design and creative decorating ideas. With a blend of creativity and practicality, your container extension can become a unique expression of your style and a sustainable addition to your home.