5 Easy Shipping Container Home Modifications to Maximize Space & Improve the Interior Design

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Do you want to build a shipping container home? It’s not as easy as it sounds to turn a cargo container into your new home. But with the right tools and know-how, you can make any shipping container conversion project happen—and look good doing it!

Shipping containers are used to transport goods around the world because they are durable, versatile, and cost effective. This makes them perfect for building homes. In fact, there are now thousands of shipping container homes across the globe.

With that in mind, we asked some of our favorite designers for their best tips on how to get started building a beautiful space from scratch or by converting an existing structure like a boat shed, storage unit, garage or even shipping container. 

So, how can you turn the interior of a big hunk of steel into a beautiful livable space? In this post we’ll take a look at some shipping container interior design ideas and ways to modify your container that don’t cost a fortune.

How do you turn a shipping container into a livable space?

 When turning your container into a livable space, it’s important that you have a good idea of what you’re looking for beforehand.

You don’t want to buy a shipping container if you’re not sure what kind of space you want inside. For example, if you just want to live somewhere cool and cheap, you might be better off with a tiny house.

On the other hand, if you’re after something more luxurious, you might want to consider buying a bigger container, such as a 40ft or 53ft container.

However, smaller container homes have become popular due to budget restrictions, site restrictions, or other factors. But, even in a small shipping container, nobody wants to feel small and confined.

Additionally, some activities (like cooking and sleeping) have to be accommodated, as well as the ability to carry personal belongings (such as clothes and food). The difficult part is fitting all of this into the available container space.

Shipping container homes can be made to feel bigger by either of two means. Firstly, the size of the container can be increased physically by connecting containers together.

Additionally, interior design techniques can be used to make existing rooms appear larger. We’ll discuss various methods for constructing reduced-size housing in the following paragraphs. In order to create container homes, we have combined storage ideas from tiny homes and RV living.

Those who already have a container home can still use many of the techniques described. You might find different solutions easier to implement if your project is still under design or construction though. However simple or complex the ideas may seem, they are likely to be quite impactful nonetheless.

Shipping Container Home Modifications2

Shipping Container Home Modifications2

5 Interior Design Modifications for Your Shipping Container Home

1. Paint

In order to get the most out of your container space, you need to pick the perfect color scheme for the room. To improve its overall appearance, it will take no more than a few coats of marine paint. Choosing colors carefully can help create a beautiful interior to your container home.

Having a rustic look in an otherwise modern home, for example, can add a sense of warmth and comfort to the space. Additionally, it is a good idea to use a light color, such as beige, when painting. Another option is to choose a paint with a matte finish. You should avoid using dark colors for containers because they can lose their heat if they are painted dark.  

2. Materials

Using different types of materials is another great way to upgrade the interior of a shipping container. For example, wood is a great material to use for shelving and for the molding of a shipping container. Lots of people prefer having a rustic look in an otherwise modern home because it adds a sense of warmth and comfort to the space. In terms of color, it is a good idea to use a light color, such as beige, when painting. Another option is to choose a paint with a matte finish. Unless necessary, you don’t want to use dark colors for containers because they can lose their heat if they are painted dark.  

In order to add a visual dimension and improve usability of the container home, you can either choose glass doors or wooden doors, depending on the size of the shipping container. It is also possible to find containers with TV wall spinners which can be positioned to facilitate optimal viewing angles (more on this later). 

3. Barn Doors

Barn doors are a great option for creating a more open feeling inside a shipping container. They are ideal for spaces where you want to maximize natural light. You can also use them to separate areas within a shipping container.

Another benefit of barn doors is that they allow you to control airflow throughout the space. This is especially important in warmer climates where air conditioning is used often. Barn doors also provide privacy, allowing you to keep others out while keeping yourself in.

In the last few years, barn doors have become increasingly popular in home renovation and design shows. They are often made to mimic the look of a real barn and are typically made of rustic wood to add to the aesthetic feel of a room.

Unfortunately, wall-mounted tracks are required in order to hold barn doors. This causes the door to cover part of the wall behind it when it is in its open position. Unless you like the look of a barn door, giving up wall space is not the best choice. Take advantage of that wall space by using these great alternative ways below.

4. Pocket Doors

Unlike barn doors, pocket doors retract into their respective walls when they are opened. There is no difference between opening or closing a door, since the full wall area is available regardless of whether the door is open or closed.

Because of the door’s ability to retract inside the wall, the two walls on either side can still serve as shelves, furniture, etc. Thus, our preferred sliding door type for shipping container homes is a pocket door, which maximizes the interior space.

5. Built-In Furniture

Buying off-the-shelf furniture usually leaves you with extra space. Often, you will end up with a few inches (or feet) of wasted space when you find furniture that doesn’t fit perfectly into the place you want it.

In case you have the skills and knowledge, you can build your own built-in furniture. You will then be able to utilize every space available to you and have a container home that’s truly yours. In addition, since built-in furniture is part of the container home itself, it doesn’t need to be cleaned daily around or under it.

A custom built-in shelf, dresser, or wardrobe can be constructed to complement the space you have and expand its storage capacity. As well as providing more seating options, custom L-shaped or U-shaped couches can also serve as guest beds and have amazing storage under the cushions.

Shipping Container Home Modifications1

Shipping Container Home Modifications1

6. Making the Most of Walls

When you live in a small space, optimizing your available space is of the utmost importance. Using the vertical space you have is still a great way to add some useful extra features to your home, even if you don’t have a great deal of extra floor space for cabinets and shelves.

You can make use of wall space in a variety of ways, which are listed here. If you know what to do with walls, you can make them an asset.

TV Mounts

In order to save space on your TV stand or table, you should mount the TV to the wall so there is no need for a separate stand or table. It will help if you have outlets nearby for power, cable, etc., so that cables are not unsightly.

An articulating mount not only allows you to position the TV at multiple angles, but it also lets you view it from multiple angles at the same time – such as while you cook in the kitchen. One TV could even serve multiple locations, which would save space as well as money with the right technology.

Wall-Mounted Fans

Ceiling fans are common in traditional houses to circulate air. Despite the limited space they provide, you won’t get the same benefit if you’re not directly beneath them. In addition to its ability to adjust according to your needs, a free-standing pedestal fan requires less floor space, but requires you to run electrical cords across the floor.

As a third option, you can mount a fan on the wall. For some rooms, it is worth considering a fan that comes with most of the benefits of free-standing fans combined with ceiling fans.

You may want to remember that split-unit HVACs have a built-in fan and can also be adjusted in their direction if you plan to use them. Split HVAC systems, therefore, do not always require separate fans in the rooms where they operate.

Conclusion

When it comes to shipping container homes, you need to be creative in order to truly bring them to life and have a livable space you enjoy. That’s why container modifications are almost always a must, Whether you’re looking to make small adjustments such as adding a wall-mount, or taking on bigger projects like connecting two containers, modifications are a great way to expand your space. So, what modifications are you going to make? Let us know in the comments!

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By providing your number, you are expressly consenting, in writing, to receive telemarketing and other messages, including calls or texts at the number you provided above. This consent is not required to purchase any good or service. Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel.