Living Off the Beaten Track – Unique Homes To Inspire

November 12, 2019
Hobbit house

From the weird to the wonderful, there’s a variety of unique homes across the globe showing the amazing ways people live. These homes can inspire a touch of creativity in us all. Take a look to see what ideas inspire you to get creative within your own property.

Underground living – Hobbit House of Wales

The Hobbit House of Wales (pictured above) is a unique home designed with sustainability in mind.

At a cost of 3,000 pounds (roughly AUD $5,600), the hobbit house is considered to be ‘one of the most eco-friendly structures in the world’.

The sturdy structure is made from stone, mud and oak which the family personally collected. To insulate the building, they used straw bales.

Incorporating eco-friendly features like insulation into your home can save you energy costs, while also providing an attractive feature you can market when selling your property. Perhaps the cute design of the hobbit house could inspire a cubby house in your backyard.

Downsizing – a tiny home in California

Tiny home, Sebastopol California

Don’t let lack of space hold you back from owning your own home.

This tiny mobile home built at a modest cost of US$30,000 (AUD $43,800) in Sebastopol, California resides on a flatbed trailer and measures only 170 square-feet.

Anything can be achieved with space saving solutions like fold-away furniture, dual purpose appliances, big windows and a bit of creative inspiration.

Treehouse living – the Minister’s Treehouse in Crossville, Tennessee

The Ministers Tree House, Tennessee

Homes don’t get much more unique than The Minister’s Treehouse in Tennessee, built entirely out of wood. For the modest sum of US$12,000 (roughly AUD$17,500), the treehouse is now ten storeys tall and has over 80 rooms.

It’s unofficially considered to be the world’s largest treehouse and is a popular tourist attraction, despite sadly being closed in 2012 due to violations to local fire codes.

This treehouse teaches us that the greatest plans can come unstuck if you don’t comply with legislation, so ensure you get all the necessary approvals before constructing your dream home.

Living sustainably – Earthship in New Mexico

Earthship Taos, New Mexico

We bet you would’ve never considered living in a house made of reclaimed garbage.

You may change your mind, with Earthship Biotecture building sustainable houses which focus on self-sufficient living. Located in Taos, New Mexico, there are over 100 ‘earthship’ homes providing the ultimate in sustainable living options.

The homes contain all the comforts of a standard home with wi-fi access, televisions and modern plumbing. The difference is they’re entirely off the beaten track and designed with the planet in mind, addressing food, energy, clean water, shelter, garbage management and sewage treatment.

You can get a taste for these homes by staying in an earthship house through Airbnb. Michael Reynolds, the architect and founder of the company says it best – “this is all about showing people that this can be done.”

If you’re investing in a new home build, consider rethinking the design to incorporate sustainable solutions like solar energy options and rainwater tanks.

Minimalism at its finest – The world’s skinniest house in Poland

Skinniest house, Poland

Designed by the architect Jakub Szczęsny, Keret House is the narrowest house in the world.

Located in Warsaw, measuring between 92 centimetres at its thinnest point and 152 centimetres at its widest point, it’s considered to be both a building structure as well as an art installation.

Built between two existing buildings, the structure has become somewhat of a tourist attraction and Keret House teaches us there’s no barrier that a little creativity cannot solve. Space saving solutions can be found in the most unique places.

Bring the outdoors in – transparent glass house in Tokyo

Glass House, NSA

In Tokyo, a house called House NSA, designed by Sou Fujimoto Architects showcases 914 square-feet of transparent glass. The concept of living in the great outdoors facilitated the young couples’ wish to live as nomads within their home.

Utilise this concept by letting light in with sheer window coverings and bringing in plants where possible. If you’re renovating, consider including full length glass windows in rooms with a view.

Location is no obstacle – sail away in a unique houseboat in London

Houseboat, Northwest London

If the idea of sailing into the sunset floats your boat, this unique houseboat in Northwest London shows how you can utilise curves and windows to improvise on traditional design.

Dining room bench seating provides both a storage solution and ambience to a room, bringing people closer together. Adding colourful decor also helps to break up a neutral colour palette. 

Think outside the box – shipping container home in Blue Hill, Maine

Shipping container home, Maine

Envisage the possibility of living in a shipping container home. You don’t necessarily need to compromise on comfort or design to take advantage of this affordable home solution.

With many unique options available and the ability to easily extend your home over time, shipping containers are increasing in popularity due to their versatility.

This home in Maine was designed using 12 shipping containers and is flanked with two garage-style doors to bring the outdoors in. Priced between AUD $1,500 for a used container and upwards of AUD $10,000 for a new one, do your research to see if permits or restrictions apply in your area.

Step outside your comfort zone to see if a little creative inspiration can make its way into your home. When it comes time to sell, any unique features may help your property to stand out from the rest. 

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