Homes Made From Wacky Materials

Humble materials get recycled to create outlandish homes, such as this dumpster house.
Photo: Forbes

 

Bedtime stories say the evil witch from Hansel and Gretel lived in a gingerbread cottage with window panes of sugar and a candy studded roof. And an old lady with so many children she didn’t know what to do lived in a shoe.

In real life, the possibilities are just as wacky, from paper houses to converted grain bins to homes made from a muddy mixture called “cob.” These architectural oddities — homes built out of recycled junk, gussied up dumpsters, or grounded airplanes — provide fodder for future fairy tales, or at least late-night shows on HGTV.

In the Hamptons, a resort area usually associated with oceanfront mega mansions, abandoned steel shipping containers are being useto construct a 2,000-square-foot beach house with a deck and a small pool. Andrew Anderson, the builder and owner of beachboxit.com, says turning the containers into a home will ultimately help the planet.“It’s the opportunity to take these products and give them a second life,” Anderson says. “You weld them together and tack them onto the foundation.” With loads of glass and an exposed corrugated ceiling in the upper container and an exposed corrugated wall in a lower crate, the shipping container beach house will be listed this spring for close to $1.4 million.

Here are five houses made from the most unconventional materials:

 

Fancy Fuselage
Where: All Over
Made From: Old Airplanes

 

The vintage Boeing 727’s interior is adorned with teak paneling from cockpit to tail.
Photo: Costa Verde

 

Once they’ve made their last landings, Boeing 727s and Douglas DC-8s, don’t always get put out to pasture on the retirement tarmac. If not broken up for parts and scrap, the occasional airplane, wings clipped, gets transformed into a sealed, sturdily built fuselage-style private home. Corporate jets already outfitted with designer bedrooms, comfy leather sofas, media rooms and bars, may just need the seat belts removed.

 

Dumpster Home
Where: Berkeley, California
Made From: Dumpster

 

Extreme compromises include a toilet lid that doubles as a bed cushion.
Photo: Forbes

 

“A nice little home out of a garbage can.” That’s how artist Gregory Kloehn of Berkeley, CA describes, in a YouTube.com interview by Kim Aronson, the dumpster he made into a “luxury” compact home for urban living. The “elite waste” quarters boast stainless steel appliances, gas stove, hardwood floors, a toilet, storage and sleeping areas and a barbecue outside. At night its two front windows roll down into the elite dumpster for privacy.

 

Junk Castle
Where: Pullman, Washington
Made From: Car Parts, Sheet Metal, Car Windows

 

Building on a budget: this scrap-metal home cost less than $500 to build.
Photo: Forbes

 

Many folks have junk drawers. Victor Moore, an art teacher, had a junk house. Set on a hilltop with lookouts made from car windows and the glass from washing machine doors, the 1960s Junk Castle is filled with all sorts of, well, junk, from his workshop. The exterior walls are a mélange of old auto body parts, recycled sheet metal and household appliance parts.

 

Cob House
Where: Rutledge, Missouri
Made From: Sand, Clay, Straw

 

The 370-square-foot cottage took nine months to build.
Photo: Forbes

 

To build his snail-shaped “cob house,” Brian “Ziggy” Liliola used 219 batches of cob, a wet mixture of straw, clay and sand. He chose the rustic building material used on 500-year-old thatched cottages in England, because of “how creative you could be” and “the flexibility and low cost and sustainable benefit” of building with local materials.

 

Converted Silos And Grain Bins
Where: The Midwest
Made From: Converted Silos, Grain Bins

 

Two grain silos were combined to create a unique 1,800 square-foot home.
Photo: Forbes

 

Silos and grain bins aren’t just for missiles or soybeans anymore. Structurally sound, ready made with a roof, round walls and a concrete floor loaded with interior space, the often abandoned, recyclable steel structures are easily converted into homes that are fire and termite resistant, weather proof and energy efficient. For larger lodgings, they can be placed side-by-side or stacked on top of each other. Even Rapunzel might let down her hair in these multi-story circular dwellings. After all, it’s like living in a metal turret.

Whats hot and not in home styles for 2012

This year’s designated New American Home is being featured as part of the International Builder’s Show.
Photo: flickr | International Builders’ Show

Modern gets the thumbs up.

Spa-like and eco-sensitive, the  “New American Home 2012” being unveiled in Orlando this week by the National Association of Home Builders in conjunction with the International Builders’ Show, is a warmer take on the classic “White Box” of mid-20th century modern design.

“A lot of people want a spa feeling and a spa look that’s very analogous to modern,” said Luis Juaregui, aTexas-based American Institute of Architects accredited architect. The 4,200 square foot, $3.5 million gray stone and glass home has free flowing entertaining spaces,  floor to ceiling sliding glass doors, a stone staircase with open risers, clear glass balustrades and clean geometric lines, tempered by dark wood cabinets, area rugs and soft furnishings.Spa-like and eco-sensitive, the  “New American Home 2012” being unveiled in Orlando this week by the National Association of Home Builders in conjunction with the International Builders’ Show, is a warmer take on the classic “White Box” of mid-20th century modern design.

Still, to fit into more traditional looking neighborhoods, architects are increasingly going hybrid, mixing distinctly modern, techno-savvy interiors with colonial details, Tudor-style roofs or Craftsman-inspired touches on the exterior.

A home to call one’s own has long been part of the American Dream. But as tastes, technologies and regional preferences change, propelled by demographics and the socio-economic climate, the style, scale and comforts of that coveted real estate evolve.

During the bigger- is-better 1980s and 1990s, homes ballooned in size.  Compact single story ranch and cape cod styles gave way to ever grander two-story neo-colonials. When the economic bubble burst, they retrenched. These days, downsizing is cool; supersized McMansions towering over smaller homes are not.

Stephen Melman, director of economic services at the National Association of Home Builders said that houses shrank about 10 percent from their 2,500 square foot peak in 2007, and are expected “to get smaller and more efficient” with open floor plans, master bedrooms on the first floor and dining rooms distinguished only by a chandelier or architectural detail.

One-story ranch homes, post World War II suburbia’s signature easy style, are slowly regaining favor, thanks to first time buyers with tiny tots and aging baby boomers seeking accessibility.

Craftsman style homes, popular before World War II, are also enjoying a revival, said Gary D. Cannella, an architect in Bohemia, N.Y.  “It’s the style not the size.” Adaptable to sizable abodes or small bungalows, these one or one and a half story homes boast  low-pitched rooflines, tapered columns, oversized eaves, gables and the front porches “that everyone wants and no one sits on.”

The split level, a hallmark of suburbia in the Brady Bunch era, is nearly obsolete. Despite the aerobic benefits of tri-level living, “all you do is walk up and down stairs all day long,” Cannella says. “You can’t go anywhere without steps.”

Here are the hot and not-so-hot home styles for 2012:

What’s Hot in 2012

Style: Modern
Price: $399,000 to $29 million

The New American Home in Winter Park, FL looks ready for entertaining.
Photo: flickr | International Builders’ Show

Description: Aligned with the mid 20th-century counter classic design movement, modern is characterized by no fuss floor plans with combined dining, relaxing and entertaining spaces,  clean, geometric lines, low slung roofs, and technologically advanced materials like concrete, steel and glass.

Why They Are Appealing:  Easy, functional and bright, with walls of glass and open spaces, today’s modern is eco-sensitive and forward thinking, with state of the art kitchens and “smart house” technologies, though developers often prefer modern interiors with more traditional skins.

Where You’ll Find Them: Nationwide, with striking examples in the HamptonsSanta Monica and other tony beach environs.

Style: Neo-Mediterranean
Price: $300,000 to $6 million-plus

Neo-Mediterranean home styles are becoming the Sun Belt standard.
Photo: Jauregui Architect

Description: Red tile roofs, stucco walls, archways, towers and heavy wooden doors with a Spanish or Tuscan flavor.

Why It’s Appealing: The Southern European style and materials work well in warmer climates and match the landscape.

Where You’ll Find It: California, Florida, Texas, Southwest

The Flip Side: While northern European style homes are vanishing from the Sun Belt, in chillier climates such as the Northeast, two story center hall colonials still reign.

Style: Craftsman
Price: $249,000 to $2.8 million

Craftsman-style homes have become an American classic.
Photo: flickr | roarofthefour

Description: Often referred to as Arts and Crafts bungalows, Craftsman-style homes have low-pitched roof lines, overhanging eaves supported by decorative brackets, gables, front porches with tapered square columns,  exposed roof rafters, handcrafted wood and stone flourishes.

Why They are Appealing: This one to one and a half story style shouts cozy. With an emphasis on natural materials and decorative details, it works well for larger homes and small bungalows.

Where You’ll Find Them: coast to coast

What’s Not So Hot in 2012


Style: McMansions
Price: $350,000 to $10 million +

McMansion’s were a sign of success before the bubble burst.
Photo: flickr | FunnyBiz

Description:  Sometimes called colonials on steroids or oversized neo-eclectic houses, these super-sized jumbles of   styles and decorative details from colonial to Victorian, have  brick, stone,  vinyl or composite veneers.  A product of the  latter part of the 20th century and the knock-down era of the bubble before the burst, they often replaced smaller homes on lots  not suited to their hulking size.

Why they are not appealing: Pretentious, over-sized energy guzzlers, overshadow surrounding homes and out of sync with the economic climate’s downsizing trend.

The Flip Side: Well-designed mansions on properly sized lots and in appropriate settings such as golf course or lakefront communities are still hot.

Style: Split Levels
Price: $91,900 to $2,850,000

Split-level homes, with many steps, have lost market appeal.
Photo: flickr | Sportsuburban

Description: A Ranch style house divided into at least three parts by short flights of stairs leading up on one side, down on another, dividing entertaining spaces  from private areas such as bedrooms and separating formal rooms from more casual playrooms and dens.

Why they are not appealing: This darling of the 1950s, 60s and 70s is outdated and complicated to maneuver with steps at nearly every turn.

Where You’ll Find Them: 1950s/60s/70s suburban subdivisions nationwide.

Style: Victorian
Price: $299,000 to $2,850,000

Victorian homes are charming, but almost no one builds them like this anymore.
Photo: TBoard

Description:  Turrets and towers, wraparound  or granny porches and gingerbread trim with Queen Anne, Gothic or  Italianate flourishes  are the hallmark of these turn- of-the-20th-century two and three story homes with plenty of nooks and crannies.

Why They Are Not Appealing: While it’s hard not to love their colorful eccentricities, Victorians are challenging to rehabilitate or maintain. Their warrens of small rooms aren’t conducive to 21st century lifestyles.

Where You’ll Find Them: Urban neighborhoods, historic districts, small towns, older suburbs

The Flip Side: Newer neo-eclectic homes borrow whimsical features from true Victorians, touting turrets, towers and porches in maintenance free materials.

15 Contemporary Black Homes From Around The Globe

Not too long ago, we had a post on Freshome, showcasing beautiful white homes, in order to “feed your need for immaculate design”. For today we decided to reverse this idea and gather 15 black modern residences, in order to appeal to those of you who enjoy soberness and elegance. All these residences were featured on Freshome, so by clicking on each picture, you can see more photos and details about each project. Enjoy!

black modern houses 15 Modern Black Homes Bringing Inspiration for Elegant and Sober DecoratingLet us begin with the lovely Lima House, a cozy retreat from Swedish architect Johan Sundberg. The infusion of traditional elements into the contemporary architecture is represented by the unification between two apparently different designs: the traditional shape of the saddle roof and the distinguished elegance of the sleek modern design. In the seaside summer resort where this residence is located – Limavagen, Hollviken, Sweden – the conditions were perfect for its inhabitants: a young couple looking to start a family.

Lima House 15 Modern Black Homes Bringing Inspiration for Elegant and Sober Decorating

Our second choice is  Lumbrein Residence, a spectacular single family home especially designed by Hurst Song Architekten as a holiday retreat. The building is located at the periphery of a picturesque village and has unobstructed views of the mountain peaks in Graubunden, Switzerland.

lr04 15 Modern Black Homes Bringing Inspiration for Elegant and Sober Decorating

The Wilderness is a modern architecture project developed by Paul+O Architects and located in Suffolk Woodland, England. The exterior of the house creates and interesting contrast with its environment. The outdoor-indoor transition is very smooth, due to the wide floor-to-ceiling windows that seem to frame the landscape form the inside.

the wilderness residence Freshome04 15 Modern Black Homes Bringing Inspiration for Elegant and Sober Decorating

VDVT House was designed by Boetzkes | Helder and is located in  Arnhem, The Netherlands. The residence has a surprising exterior, displaying a rectangular, compact shape. The outer walls have a dark gray and black finish, making the building stand out. The “black box” features generous vertical windows which are exquisitely integrated in the overall design.

Minimalist home 1 15 Modern Black Homes Bringing Inspiration for Elegant and Sober Decorating

Brian Messana designed The Tank House, a renovation of an existing loft in New York. The tank house was conceived as the quintessential retreat, a place for reading, relaxing and listening to music. The project involved the renovation of an existing loft apartment and the development of an existing sprinkler tank house into an urban retreat.

tank house Freshome 06 15 Modern Black Homes Bringing Inspiration for Elegant and Sober Decorating

Waikopua House was designed by Daniel Marshall Architects and is located on the Waiheke Island, New Zealand. According to the architects, the house is designed to integrate into the landscape – the stone walls were sourced locally, the windows are tinted to limit reflection and the timber upper level stained dark to blend into the bush behind. Just click the photo for more details.

Waikopua 14 750x507 15 Modern Black Homes Bringing Inspiration for Elegant and Sober Decorating

Nakahouse comes from XTEN Architecture and brings a highly modern touch to its famous neighborhood. The residence is a remodel of a home initially built in the 1960′s. Due to budget and site limitations, the architects kept the foundation and footprints, but added outdoor terraces in order to take advantage of the surrounding views towards the Beechwood Canyon as well as the Griffith Park Observatory. As you probably guessed, it is located below the Hollywood sign.

nh01 15 Modern Black Homes Bringing Inspiration for Elegant and Sober Decorating

A-cero homes have been a continuous reason of amazement. Their style can be seen from every angle and enjoyed by those who want a completely modern and contemporary architectural piece and a gorgeous interior design. The Black Beauty is a newly introduced modular architectural product based on the principles of industrialized construction: production takes place in a factory and the assembly on the spot.

Modular A cero plusMOOD 06 15 Modern Black Homes Bringing Inspiration for Elegant and Sober Decorating

The incredible Y-House by IDEAoffice is situated in Saitama, a city just 30 kilometres north of Tokyo. The owners of the residence wanted a place that would guarantee a high level of privacy, while in the same time making sure that every room got a large amount of natural light. The result was a three-floor sustainable home with a practical outdoor terrace which adds more living space.

2810101288303980showcase yhouse coverx 15 Modern Black Homes Bringing Inspiration for Elegant and Sober Decorating

Laurelhurst is a beautiful modern 2500-square foot residence designed by Jill Lewis and Lane Williams from Coop 15 Architecture and located in Seattle. According to the architects, this 1960’s modern home has been expanded and updated with a new second story containing three bedrooms and two baths.

Coop 15 Freshome07 15 Modern Black Homes Bringing Inspiration for Elegant and Sober Decorating

Designed by Alejandro Dumay Claro and Francisco Vergara Arthur, this amazing looking residence is located in Ocoa, Chile, in a spectacular mountain valley. La Campana House was meant to bring the fabulous landscape indoors and also to create common spaces where the family members would interact and spend time together.

la campana house 02 r 15 Modern Black Homes Bringing Inspiration for Elegant and Sober Decorating

The contemporary architecture of Villa Skäret beautifully contrasts with the surroundings. Located in Höganäs, Sweden, the modern building is actually a collection of four black box-like structures overlooking the North Sea. Designed by Helsingborg-based Chahrour Huhtilainen A+D architects, the villa features independent structures that compose the main living spaces of the house.

villa sk%C3%A4ret 15 Modern Black Homes Bringing Inspiration for Elegant and Sober Decorating

Airhole House was designed by Masahiro Kinoshita from KINO architects, a Tokyo based architecture company. The unusual looking two-storey home is located in a residential area in Shiga, Japan and features large volumetric gaps in its structure which allow a good natural ventilation.

airhole02 15 Modern Black Homes Bringing Inspiration for Elegant and Sober Decorating

Designed by X Architekten, the Little Black Dress adornes the rural hillside landscape with a modern, black architecture. The 1,000 square meters property located in Gunskirchen, Austria, allows the minimalist residence to stand out among its neighbors. Reinforced concrete floors protect the building from flooding due to poor soil conditions.

Little Black Dress 15 Modern Black Homes Bringing Inspiration for Elegant and Sober Decorating

House of Kashiba is a delightful Japanese home designed by the architects from Horibe Naoko Architect Office in a minimalist manner. The building is located in Kashiba-Shi, Japan and the total living surface is  85.58 square meters.

Japanese home 03 15 Modern Black Homes Bringing Inspiration for Elegant and Sober Decorating

15 Contemporary White Homes From Around the Globe!

15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate Design

White home exteriors seem to be a trend these days, and we know most of you out there are crazy about them. This triggered the idea of putting together a post that will quench your thirst for “immaculate architecture”. We decided to gather up 15 incredible white residences presented on Freshome throughout the years and remind you of their unique features. By clicking on each picture, you can see more photos and details about each project. Enjoy the ride and at the end, be sure to give us a hint about which home you like best.

white modern homes 15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate DesignOur first choice is a residence designed by architects Manuel Aires Mateus and located in Portugal, in a high point, overlooking the city of Leiria. Minimalist and contemporary, the home is divided into two distinct areas, one for socializing and one for sleeping. The bedrooms are positioned below ground, with access to private patios that lead to the backyard.

minimalist home 17 15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate Design

Villa P is an original project developed by Austrian studio Love Architecture. The exterior of this home is truly mesmerizing, from the overall original shape, to the finishes and colors chosen by the architects. Strong visual contrasts are created: the turquoise swimming pool complements the large wooden staircase that connects the garden with the pool and further leads all the way to the upper floor.

Villa P 01 0 750x7211 15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate Design

Ysy House was designed by Nagoya-based studio Auau and is located in Seto, Japan, in a beautiful but populated forest, on top of a small hill. The charming asymmetrical shape of the residence is well adjusted to the building site and is interesting to observe from every angle. With a matte white finish, the home is very well differentiated within its neighborhood and is quite an attention-grabber. Compact and creative, it is a great example of a clever small home.

home Japan 15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate Design

Here is another project showcasing a faultless modern design. Dinesh Mills Bungalowcomes from atelier dnD and is located just outside the city of Vadodara, India. The exterior is absolutely fascinating, as the house seems to float on a spectacular pool, enriched by a lovely decorating fountain. Its turquoise color contrasts the white walls of the residence, giving the home an intriguing aesthetic effect.

bungalow in india dinesh mills by atelier dnd 6 15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate Design

Next up, we have a spectacular beach home that will surely appeal to your exotic side. Initially designed by Ron Sang in the 1980’s, the current owners have recently renovated it, working together with Julian Guthrie of Godward Guthrie Architects. Everything about this building is captivating, inspiring peacefulness and complete relaxation. Just click the photo for more visual details.

North Shore 01 15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate Design

Designed by architect Steve Kent and located in Santa Monica, this next residence seems sprung out of a postal card. With a simple rectangular shape, white walls and plenty of colors,24th Street House looks like a giant gift box.

kent 24th back 15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate Design

Villa Valentina is a modern residence situated in Miami Beach, Florida, United States. This glamorous home features no less than 6 bathrooms and 6 bedrooms. Its multi-level terraces and wide windows allow unobstructed views of the beautiful bay, while the strategically placed patio furniture ensures unforgeable moments outdoors- as if the beach were not close enough

Villa Valentina 01 15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate Design

Have a look at this intriguing architecture project which seems sprung out from a Sci-Fi movie! The “Ninety7 @ Siglap” house was designed by Aamer Architects and is located in Singapore. The design is said to be inspired by the magnificent views that can be observed from atop Siglap Hill.

contemporary residence Freshome03 15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate Design

Honiton Residence is a stunning looking home designed by MCK Architects which combines traditional elements with contemporary decors. The results? A fascinating crib with plenty of spaces for relaxation, a large outdoor pool that couldn’t be more alluring and interiors that inspire freshness and good taste. We were charmed by the mix of bricks, timber and concrete which gives this home a rustic, friendly feel while in the same time paying tribute to contemporary architecture.

mck poolhouse 01 15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate Design

Here is a home from A-cero completed in “La Finca” estate in the town Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid). This project is smaller (1000m2) than the rest of the company’s project. Its dimensions turn it into a comfortable and practical house that offers a maximum life quality. Its modern design based on impossible angles and spectacular volumes make this building one of the maximum exponents of A-cero’s architecture. And a lovely white home on our list today.

beautifu home architecture building acero archiects cool 15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate Design

This unusual looking residence called Dom Zlomu comes from Paulíny Hovorka Architekti and is situated in the small village of Kynceľová, close to the town  of Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. The house has a beautiful natural surrounding landscape and overlooks the Tatra mountains.

white home exterior day1 15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate Design

Here is another residence with an uncommon, yet fascinating architecture. But its design is not the only unusual aspect of this imposing home. The Deronda Residence comes from Space International and is located in Los Angeles, California,  in the Hollywood Hills “just under the shadow of the Hollywood sign”.

residence 15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate Design

We really enjoy it when we find a residential project that has to do with art. Sure, you could say that most buildings relate to art one way or another, but Villa VH en T was especially developed to house the extensive art collection belonging to the owner. This beautiful and creative home comes from Beel & Achtergael Architects, has a total surface of 862 m2 and is located in Flanders, Belgium.

000villa vh in t beel achtergael architecten filip dujardin 15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate Design

Carrara House was designed by Andres Remy Arquitectos and is located in Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina. With a living space of 660 square meters, the home is located on an irregular lot and oriented so that it captures the best views its environment has to offer. The rustic stone works as a divider of the entry zones while beautifully contrasting with the white walls of the house.

modern residence Freshome 181 15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate Design

Three floors of fun gathered under one roof and one name: the Nakameguro House created by LEVEL Architects. Constructed in Meguro-ku, one of Tokyo’s municipalities, the residence features an enormous, three-story high slide. The 1,762 square feet property gives its inhabitants and guest the possibility to take the stars going up and use the slide going down when moving through the house.

Nakameguro House by LEVEL Architects 2 15 Modern White Homes Feeding Your Need For Immaculate Design