With spaces becoming limited and more emphasis on design, people are getting extremely clever with their home designs. There is also a force to be as eco-friendly and environmentally friendly as possible, while still having everything a normal house provide. These 25 houses accomplish exactly that and are a sight to be seen, let alone to live in.
1. House Balancing on a Rock in the Middle of the Lake
This house has been sitting on a rock in Serbia for over 45 years. Though it may not be an ideal location to live in, it’s a perfect resting spot for swimmers of the lake who need a place to rest comfortably. It was first conceptualized in 1968 by a group of young swimmers and finally erected the following year as a one-room home. It’s remarkable to think that it has managed to balance itself in place all these years, surviving gusting winds and the potential dangers of water damage.
2. Hobbit House
Photographer Simon Dale spent £3,000 (about $5,200) to turn a plot of land in the woods into a home that looks a lot like something out of a Lord of the Rings shire for him and his family. The woodland eco-home was constructed in a matter of 4 months with the help of his father-in-law. It boasts a number of eco-friendly attributes, which include: scrap wood for flooring, lime plaster (instead of cement) for the walls, bales of straw on dry-stone walling, a compost toilet, solar panels for power, and a supply of water acquired through a nearby spring.
3. Dome Dream Home
After 6 weeks of tireless work on a $9,000 budget, Steve Areen built himself this dream home on Thailand. The basic structure of the home cost two-thirds of the total and the remaining $3,000 was spent on extra details and furnishings. The house includes a lounging space, a hammock, a personal pond, and just about everything inside the dome is made of all-natural materials.
4. Floating House
Designed by architect Dymitr Malxew, Floating House is exactly what you’d expect—a floating house. The soothing mobile home is situated atop a buoyant platform that allows it to remain afloat in the water while minimally impacting the environment and offering scenic views of its surroundings.
5. Tiny House
Tiny House is a cozy home built by architect Macy Miller. At 196 square feet, the compact residence is the result of two years of hard work and clever DIY efforts. She initially embarked on this ambitious architectural project because she was fed up with hefty mortgage payments. Like other micro-homebuilders, Miller was concerned with her budget and looked for loopholes around the system. The solution wound up being this tiny house, which she continues to improve upon.
6. House of Salvaged Windows
Costing roughly $500 in total to construct, this unique cabin was built by photographer Nick Olson and designer Lilah Horwitz. The two spent several months salvaging discarded windows and assembling them together to create a home away from home in the mountains of West Virginia.
7. Shipping Container Home
Four 40-foot shipping containers are repurposed into a home known as El Tiemblo House in the province of Ávila in Spain. Designed by studio James & Mau Arquitectura and built by Infiniski, the 2,045-square-foot house took approximately six months to construct for a budget of 140,000 euros.
8. Boeing 727 House
The frame of a 1965 Boeing 727 has been incorporated into a home’s design in Costa Rica. Though its initial purpose was to transport people from South Africa to Columbia, it was salvaged and repurposed into a 2-bedroom suite. Its fuselage serves as a long interior lined with small windows to view the surrounding gardens and ocean. The old airplane was bought for $2,000 from a San Jose airport resting place, moved for $4,000 and renovated for $24,000.
9. School Bus Home
Architecture student Hank Butitta decided to apply his learned skills to an old school bus he bought off of Craigslist. For his final project, he redesigned the vehicle into a modular mobile home. He used salvaged gym floors and stretched plywood to line the interior of the bus, creating a sense of clean, organic cohesion. In a matter of 15 painstaking weeks, Butitta completed his ambitious project that resulted in his own home.
10. Water Tower Home
After purchasing an old water tower in central London, Leigh Osborne and Graham Voce spent 8 months renovating the untouched edifice into a modern home. The multilevel apartment they’ve managed to construct at the center of the tower offers large windows, though it’s the actual water tank at the top that the duo have preserved (and upgraded) that boasts a 360° view of the city.
11. Grain Silo Homes
Many people have converted empty silos from their farms into homes. Though they typically house grains, the space that they provide is desirable, not to mention cost-effective. They are energy-efficient alternative homes that can, on average, provide 1,500 to 2,000 square feet of living space. Some people like Don & Carolyn Riedlinger of Gilbert, Arizona have even combined three grain bins to create a sort of silo mansion.
12.Sustainable Micro Home
NOMAD is an affordable alternative for those wanting to call themselves a homeowner. The micro home, developed by designer Ian Lorne Kent, is set to cost only $30,000. The compact house is only 10′ x 10′ though it is designed to give the illusion of more space with large windows. The designer also says, “At least one handyman with a helper could assemble it in less than a week, it’s kind of an IKEA type model.”
13. Dumpster Home
Californian designer Gegory Kloehn turned a dumpster in Brooklyn into his home. Like a studio apartment, the 42-year-old’s renovated home includes everything in a compact space. There’s a tiny kitchen in one corner with a microwave and mini-stove and a small sleeping area with storage space underneath. There is also a tiny toilet and outdoor shower whose water is supplied by a 6-gallon rainwater tank on the roof of the dumpster/home. It has all the amenities of a normal apartment, albeit smaller, and Kloehn says, “If you don’t like your neighbors, you can push it a block over.”
14. Train Caboose House
The caboose of a train (Great Northern Railway X215) has been transformed into an accommodating living space in Essex, Montana. The historic rail car was renovated to include everything from a personal kitchen and bathroom to a master bedroom and even a gas fireplace.
15. Mobile Log Cabin
This mobile log cabin by Hans Liberg is located in Hilversum, Netherlands. It is easily hidden amongst the surrounding forest when the windows are closed, seeming like a large pile of logs. Once inside, though, the space presents a minimalist, manmade design that counters the coarse, rustic aesthetic of nature.
16. Residence in Between Trees
17. Japanese Forest House
Using locally sourced materials, kayaking instructor and boatbuilder Brian Schulz has created his own oasis in the woods of Cape Falcon, Oregon that he refers to as the Japanese Forest House. The home, which was constructed within a year for a mere $11,000, brings the aesthetic of a Japanese house to an American forest.
18. Modern Hobbit Hole House
Dutch architecture firm SeARCH and Christian Müller Architects collaborated to construct a home embedded into a hillside in Vals, Switzerland. The living space is technically underground, but includes a full patio outside. The elliptical shape of the opening, in which the patio sits, exaggerates the views and frames the gorgeous mountainside.
19. Tiny House Project
Instead of going into debt and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a house, web designer Alek Lisefski decided to build himself a modest home for a $30,000 budget. He wound up constructing an 8’x12′ mobile home for him, his girlfriend (Anjali), and their dog (Anya). It was built atop a trailer in Iowa and moved across the country, settling in California. The cozy space is ideal for Alek who says, “Inhabiting such a small space will force me to live in a simpler, more organized and efficient way.”
20. Solar-Powered Group Living
21. Waterfall House
In 1935, architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed this incredible house (Fallingwater) that re-ignited his architectural career. It’s a home that presents architecture conforming to nature. In an effort to appease his clients’ requests for a house that accommodates large groups for parties, as well as three bedrooms and a guest house, on a plot of land that was far too small for an ordinary design, Wright designed a cantilevered home that was built partially over a waterfall on Bear Run in Pennsylvania.
22. Gypsy Wagon
This 160-square-foot micro home on wheels is designed to look like something from the past or perhaps a work of fiction. Its unique style is the result of hard labor and expert salvaging. The entire compact home is created through recycled and reclaimed materials. Even the furniture and appliances inside the mobile home are all found and reused objects.
23. Home Embedded in a Cave
This home in Festus, Missouri is embedded into a sandstone cave. Originally, Curt Sleeper found an eBay auction for the cave, which sat just 30 miles from where he and his wife Deborah resided. The Sleepers soon decided to acquire the property and transform it into a living space. Taking nearly 5 months to finalize their purchase and an additional 4+ years of construction, they finally had their dream home. The indoor temperatures are mild and the cave home offers a natural feel for the family without ever having to step outside.
24. Underground Desert Home
This semi-subterranean stone home by Deca is camouflaged into its surroundings in rural Greece. It seamlessly blends into the desert environment. The home is half-hidden beneath the earth, allowing the environment’s natural beauty to thrive. Down in the courtyard spaces, the living areas are given a physical connection to the land without disrupting the aesthetic of the landscape.
25. 96-Square-Foot Home
This micro-home called Nido is a two-story structure that is less than 96 square feet. The reason for its tiny size, other being cost-effective, is that the Robin Falck (Finnish designer behind the architectural project) decided to build himself a getaway that would allow him to forego the need for building permits. It is secure enough to privately house him and even includes a tiny deck for taking in the natural scenery. The entire home was built with locally sourced materials in about two weeks.