When it comes to building materials, one of the most versatile, reusable and resilient was also not necessarily designed for use in construction.
Yet, despite this, shipping container conversions are found everywhere, and because of this, conversion projects have become increasingly sophisticated, aesthetically pleasing and practical on the inside.
Whilst there are some truly creative uses for shipping containers, some of the most interesting projects are micro-homes designed to allow people to live in areas that are otherwise far too expensive to do so.
Whilst not entirely a magic solution for people priced out of the market given that a significant (albeit highly debated) part of a house’s price is the land it is built on top of, a conversion does significantly reduce the cost of building a house, with a large part of the structure already in place.
However, one aspect of a container home to bear in mind is that if you plan to only use a single container for your project, your floor plan will need to maximise your space as much as possible.
This means choosing furniture, fixtures and furnishings that are compact, modular, have room for adjustment and fit the layout you are going for.
Despite this, there are plenty of creative solutions you can go for, and here are some of our favourite floor plan tricks.
Choose Furniture Carefully
Ideally, you want to choose furniture that either has a tiny footprint, has additional storage capabilities, or both.
This can mean multipurpose seating, worktops and storage such as ottoman bins, it can mean using furniture that folds out or has sliding pieces. It can even just mean using seats, tables and beds that lift off of the ground so you can use the underneath for storage.
Take Advantage Of Unused Wall Space
A lot of the clutter people collect on their desks and in their drawers can accrue, particularly if you live in a small space, but there are a variety of save-saving solutions that can take advantage of the space you often do not use in a shipping container.
Where space is not at a premium, wall space is usually thought of as purely decorative, but it could easily be used to fit tool racks, pegboards, noticeboards and hangers that can be used to keep stuff away from bulky storage boxes, drawers and wardrobes.
This is something that will require some planning, as you will need to lay out beforehand everything that you will need and could feasibly be stored on a pegboard without itself becoming too bulky, but the rewards are significant.
Use Underfloor Space
There is a simple and a very complex way of taking advantage of floor space for storage.
The former, as alluded to earlier, involves buying furniture that doubles up as storage, either by allowing for interior storage or including space for items to be placed underneath.
However, a more ambitious solution is to create a mezzanine floor space and have a literal area under the floor that can be used for storage or even to fit a bed, with space for another work or living area above.
One aspect to be mindful of, however, is that a standard shipping container is 8.5 feet tall, which often in practice is closer to eight feet, so make sure that your mezzanine provides enough space for you not to hit your head.