Vacation dream home?

My husband and I are very fortunate to own a beautiful piece of land in northern New Hampshire. We more or less camp on it now but our intention is to one day build a vacation home. We hadn’t even signed the purchase and sales agreement before  I started imagining our vacation dream home might look something like this

My dream home

with an interior that might look like this

My dear husband on the other hand, who is very eco minded (we own a car that runs on used vegetable oil….need I say more?) informed me that his dream was to build a home  “off the grid” with used shipping containers….huh?

husband’s dream home

not the most attractive thing…and this is a new one!

Okay, so we obviously had some major discussions ahead of us.

In fairness to his vision I did some research and actually his idea is not that crazy. Container homes have been popular in Europe for years, especially for commercial use, and now more and more of them are popping up in the US.

There is a huge world wide glut of  shipping containers so they are relatively inexpensive and readily available. They are also extremely strong so they can be stacked in almost any configuration; kind of like Legos.

Here is a Puma store in Stockholm made from 24 stacked shipping containers.

During my research I found plenty of  really ugly container homes but as in all things design it all depends on your vision. Here are a few that I would not be opposed to call home.

I like this red one with all the glass windows because it would take advantage of our beautiful views.

This blue one is cute if we go with something very small.

Since we have no immediate neighbors within view of our future house, we could have fun with it and do something really creative with the exterior like this gray and pink polka dot house.

but then again, I keep going back to my original dream.

So friends….. please help me out here. What do you think, traditional mountain home or container home? My husband and I are anxiously awaiting your opinion.


17 Responses to Vacation dream home?
  1. Meredith Reply

    Maybe you could combine the vision and make something traditional with a really awesome container “wing” I think there is a creative solution there!!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Like that idea Meredith…his “man cave” could be the shipping container…or the garage 🙂

  2. TAM STONE Reply

    Linda, this is an opportunity for incredible creativity if you ask me. Go for the container home, but make it work for you too! I know you can do this and I can’t wait to see it!!! xo

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks Tam! I know it could be fun to create something really unusual. Maybe the first AD container home?

  3. Alyssa Kevlahan Reply

    *Linda’s* dream home… but maybe, for the eco-compromise, using reclaimed wood?

    I did see a show on the travel channel where a couple used 12 shipping containers to build their home. It’s pretty cool, but it leaves you with limited blue prints since each room will automatically be rectangular.

    Just my thoughts. Your house will be totally incredible no matter what, since your design skills are amazing!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Like your thinking Alyssa!

  4. Jil Sonia Interiors Reply

    Well, even though those containers do look amazing, I’m concerned about the flat roof, with water pooling etc.
    My vote is for the traditional vacation home.
    I do know it will be fabulous – whatever you two decide!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Good point about the water pooling Jil. I will have to have my husband look into that.

  5. Kristie Barnett, TheDecorologist Reply

    Wow. Although the idea of doing something amazing with shipping containers may appeal to the idealistic, it would be very difficult to pull off in a way that you would really want to spend time in. Ask your husband if he dreamed of being a railway hobo as a child, because essentially he is asking you to go live with him in a boxcar. Good luck, Linda!!!!! 😉

    • Linda Holt Reply

      I laughed at your comment Kristie…I think my husband was into trains as a kid…that might explain it!

  6. Connie Nikiforoff Designs Reply

    I can see advantage to both. If you’re planning to make this your ‘forever, permanent home” then maybe building would be the best option. If you’re thinking of it as just a “vacation home”, I can see the fun in doing a container home. You could make it as small as you wanted or as big as you’d like. Possibly less upkeep and maintenance with a container home, and then you could really enjoy your vacation spot. What’s the fun in going to a vacation spot and having to work all of your time off 😉

    IMHO, it makes no sense to have a wildy expansive vacation home that you can only go to a few times a year.

    For those concerned about flat roofs…I’m sure one could add a pitched roof onto containers as well 🙂

    Are you really making this decision soon? If you are, I for one would truly love to know the results. How exciting!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks for the comment Connie. House will not be built for several years (at least) and the plan is for a small house used just for vacation.

  7. Kristen Reply

    Linda, I Love, love, L~O~V~E both of these!! And why not create a magnificent blending of both worlds. I have been toying with the idea of container homes for a few years now… as a studio or second home. I think they have such amazing potential!

    Good luck!

  8. Kelly Reply

    You know me Linda- go for the gold! I LOVE your dream vacation home! I had never seen these container homes- very, very cool. I am sure we will see more of these homes in the USA!

  9. Diane Darling Reply

    I LOVE your dream idea …. and I really like the shipping containers. Here’s my question … I know there’s insulation and all that, but won’t the containers be difficult (aka LOTS of energy) to heat in the winter?

    LUCKY YOU!! Enjoy the process! Me … I’d want the crew from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” to tap me on the shoulder and say, come back in a week and move in!

    Best ~ Diane

  10. Sharon McCormick Reply

    Original! Think outside the “box”!

  11. Tina Gleisner Reply

    Too funny, and I’ll have to dig out or write a new post on a passive house I visited in Maine. With the right home construction, you can both get what you want … as here are some photos from the house,

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