5 Surprising Uses for a Shipping Container

In days past the standard use for a shipping container, was exactly that – to transport items across the world’s oceans on large container ships. With current vintage and hipster vibes lingering, everything old is new again and shipping containers are no different. Just as the humble milk crate is accepted as a seat in a café, shipping containers are now being widely (and cleverly) used in many surprising ways.

  1. Café – With sturdy walls and just enough room to hold a coffee machine, fridge and a barista, don’t be surprised if you see a cute container coffee shop pop up at your local mall. Fully transportable on the back of a truck; if business stops booming – just move!
  2. Tiny home – With the growing population, there’s a whole lot more bodies, but increasingly less space to house them. High rise apartment blocks are so old-school; people are now designing and decorating cute tiny homes out of shipping containers for extra family members or tenants, located right in their backyards.
  3. Art studio – What a great solution to the mess that can come with an art studio! An old shipping container is strong and sturdy enough to keep your precious artworks safe and dry. Plus, if you make a mess, no problem – shipping containers aren’t exactly the Musée de Lourve.
  4. Swimming pool – Dig a hole and plonk it in the ground or sit it on the grass and build a deck housing around it. Some masterminds are making showpiece swimming pools in their yards out of, yep – shipping containers!
  5. Kids’ play house – Tired of the kids messing up your clean house? Give them their own shipping container to use as a cubby in the backyard. Better still, give them some paint and let them decorate their new pad themselves. Hours of fun to be had, without the mess inside!

Basically, the uses of shipping these days have gone far beyond what they were originally introduced for in 1956. If you’ve got a container and a hint of creatively in your bones, the results are only limited by your imagination.

Image thanks to Grand Designs. Architecture by Patrick Bradley.