So you’ve finally done it. A home of your own, or maybe that cutting-edge hipster-fied business you’ve always wanted to open. One that consists of multiples of 8ft by 8.5ft by 20ft, possibly even up to 10, 20 or 40-foot if you’ve bought a bigger model. A shipping container that’s yours to do with as you wish. Now you’re ready to add your own personality to your container.
Your first move will be to put in the essentials: painting it your desired colour, insulating it with an air-tight foam, putting in a door and some windows the next step is understanding how you turn your burgeoning repository into a dormitory.
In this post we talk you through some of the hottest trends in shipping container interior design…Sound crazy? Trust us – they could leave you the talk of Camden/Amsterdam/a dockyard…
First things first: the practicalities of buying a shipping container. It is essential if you want to create your dream home or business that you buy the right type of container. It is important that you either get a new ISO container or one that has only been used once. While shipping containers are sturdy and weather-resistant they are often coated in paints that can be dangerous if you breathe in the dust. Sealing the frame with an air-tight insulation layer will mean that you can have a snug box as well as a safe environment. Again there are a number of options such as insulation panels or a spray on foam. You should weigh up the pros and cons of each option, as they will all vary in efficiency and cost.
It would also be sensible to try and inspect the container in person, from all sides, including the bottom. Sea-water is incredibly corrosive, and given that this will be your home you need to be sure that you are getting the best material possible.
From a structural point of view, shipping containers are exceptionally strong. They are, however, airtight, so you might want to cut a few holes. This comes with its own challenges as you can compromise the strength of the structure if you don’t know what you are doing. That’s why you should consult with an expert who will be able to advise you, giving you the confidence to get creative with your new home! Now that you’ve made it habitable you can let loose your creative energy. This article will help you decide what kind of shipping-container-interior-designer you are, and how best to realise your dream of living in the best box around.
The Green Queen
By utilising the industrial look of a shipping container you can have lots of fun. And if your primary motivation for getting a shipping container was to be sustainable, there are plenty of options. You’ve managed to snag a container that is clean and sustainably sourced, so why not add a mural of your favourite green icon?
Solar panels are a must for the Green Queen, and Unit Hire specialise in creating bespoke packages. Many of the products you need to be sustainable are already on the market for businesses, such as solar panels or water storage units. This means there are lots of options when it comes to making your conversion an eco-sanctuary. Contrasting the beauty of the ISO container with lots of greenery will be both eye-catching and naturally insulating. You can also make the most of space that would otherwise go to waste. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you might use your flat roof to create a garden terrace, glass-house, or even living roof.
Minimalism is your go to, simplicity was the main reason for your purchase. And with a clean sheet from which to start with, it should be easy to keep things tidy. Building in sliding doors can help partition the space and keep it clean whilst providing space and room when you need it. It’s also a cost-effective way to make sure that you’re using your space as effectively as possible.
The ascetic may want to choose a box with a more neutral tone. Maybe even conserve, rather than hide the striated walls. This could keep hold of the distinctive nature of your container and offer a place of calming simplicity for your customers.
Installing a large window in your container can bring a fresh, modern feel. And making the most of natural light means that you won’t need to install as many lights or lamps – which can clutter a relatively restricted space.
If you’ve gone for a minimalist container home you aren’t too keen on the idea of people constantly being able to see inside, you can get tinted windows. Ensure that they are well-insulated though, or you could lose significant amounts of money on the heating.
The ability to modulate containers is a benefit that few other architectural bases can provide. Or at least it’s not often a financially viable option when it comes to bricks and mortar property. You saw a lot of places before you settled on a container, but none of them perfectly suited your needs.
While your designs for a third storey sauna and the subterranean mushroom farm would have Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud sucking his teeth – with enough drive and some careful planning, it can all be achieved thanks to the modular power of the container.
You could even create the perfect room to display your Dr Who memorabilia. You might not actually be able to make somewhere that is truly bigger on the inside, but it will certainly feel like it when you don’t have to keep that life-sized Dalek prop in the corner of the living room.
Whether it’s a particularly tricky inner ear condition, a surprisingly tenacious crocodile, or a cursed ship – you love the maritime feel, but there’s something preventing you from opening that artisanal fish and chip shop on the water. Fortunately, you can create a houseboat aesthetic without the chance of enraging any sea monsters.
Unlike the ascetic, as the landlubber, you want to use your shipping container as a chance to make a cosy living space with a houseboat vibe. Containers can come in all sorts of cheery colours and you might want to think about which ones you like best. Once that’s settled, it’s time to deck it out! Put in some portholes, maybe throw in a ship’s wheel on the wall and you’ll have everyone singing bawdy shanties in no time.
For this decorator, the container is a functional object. Maybe you want to bury it, cover it in mesh to protect you from an electromagnetic pulse (or just make sure that no one gets at your supply of Twinkies). These containers are pretty sturdy, so it should be easy to make sure that it can withstand almost anything that the world will throw at it.
Dominic Greene’s hideaway from Quantum of Solace can provide the perfect inspiration for a sleek space that will stay the distance should disaster strike. Of course, don’t make it so nice that you feel the need to go on MTV Cribs, or it might slightly ruin the forest bolthole vibe that you are looking to achieve. And maybe avoid using any highly flammable hydrogen cells to power your home.
The train enthusiast
You love trains. Your morning commute is the highlight of your day (perhaps with the exception of your commute home). If only you could live on a train. If only you could run a business that really reflected your adoration for the Flying Scotsman…
Unfortunately, train carriages are expensive and hard to get hold of. But, luckily for you, with a few well-placed poles, a keen eye for upholstery, and some appropriate sliding doors you can live out your fantasy of spending more time on the South Eastern train from Paddock Wood. What could be a better location for the headquarters of the trainspotting club you were planning on starting?
The stranded sea captain
Gilligan was your childhood hero, you dream about hanging out with Robinson Crusoe and you named your first dog Wilson. What other aesthetic could you possibly choose for your tropical cocktail bar?
Make your guests feel as though the air and watertight space you’ve created is just what you need to hunker down in before they eventually get rescued – but you know they’ll want to stay. To be honest, the world is your oyster and you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to both variety and quantity. Think outside the box – pun somewhat intended – and find out just how far you can go with a box that can hold 28,000 rubber ducks.
Whatever your dream business locale looks like, a shipping container could be the perfect medium to show off a seriously distinct personality. Contact us today to discover what the Unit Hire team can offer you.