This 20-foot container home has been produced by a company based in Jacksonville, Florida, called SW Living Spaces. They’re a small company of three people, none of which have a background in design, but they do have plenty of gusto for construction.
The container has a floor plan of just 155 square feet. It features a simple layout and has a somewhat “bare bones” finish; there are no fancy finishes or over-the-top luxuries, instead they’ve left the wiring and plumbing exposed with the emphasis being placed on function as opposed to aesthetic.
There’s a kitchen and dining area at one end of the home, and a bathroom (with a toilet, shower and sink) on the other. In between you’ll find a living room and a bedroom. The living room features a sofa that can be folded down to create an extra sleeping space, and, of course, being in Florida it also has an AC unit.
The next bay down from the living room is the bedroom. The bed’s been raised to allow them to make use of the space below to create an extra living space (such as a study), or it can be used for storage of clothing.
From the designer/builders: “We’re approaching the container home idea from a more philosophical standpoint rather than a design opportunity… There are certain ideals that we want to express as far as how we would like to go about our lives, and small, containerized, transportable spaces seem like a good fit to express at least part of these ideals.”
This is post is a user submission – many thanks to Sterling and co for sharing their project with us.
Have you got a project or tiny house plan you’d like to share? Tell us about your project with a photo or two attached and we’ll share it through our website.
For more user submitted projects check out this Dome Home that was built for $200 using reclaimed materials. Or, Polly, a self-built camper project made from salvaged materials. See all shared projects.
Sorry guys, the electrical is a fail. No way should the panel box, and all those cords be so close to your propane tank and stove top. It isn’t just ugly, it is dangerous. Some of your ideas are pretty decent as far as storage and use of space. I would suggest more windows, and a skylight. Small spaces need natural light to avoid that “trapped in a coffin” feel. I understand not wanting to give too much space to the kitchen, however, you have given it too little unless you are just camping out overnight. Put the propane outside. move the HW and the panel box, and install lower cabinets at a minimum. There has to be better function and cleaner esthetic, bare function is not enough.
Nice, but those wires in the kitchen look pretty scary.
I agree with what Ruth and Dee said.
This could have been done better.
Everyone is correct with the wiring in the kitchen. I have been looking into this myself to see what can be done. I like the rest but it is the little touches that would go a long way. Maybe they should be talking with Lowes or Home Depot personnel for help with the kitchen and the floor of the bathroom possibly should be tiled or have some type of finish if I am looking at it correctly to rebuff the water from the wood. It looks like that they are still in the middle of it and should be doing some things with the flooring and painting on the walls or white-wash and kitchen seems like a after thought. It seems like something you would use if you are building your house and are just camping out in it until your house is fixed up.
I do like some things but what is turning me off so much if the wiring in the kitchen with all of the wiring exposed and no regular frig or stove or shelving sections for your kitchenware like pots and pans and dishes and the open wood feel to the walls. It just looks it is not finished yet and needs to be painted. I would white or a light blue to open it up more with touches of a darker blue or other colors the buyer or tenants might like. More storage areas needed also in all rooms.
Sorry guys But the kitchen is a disaster waiting to happen. There are so many things wrong with the kitchen it’s almost like a picture that you would see on a contractors test asking you to circle all the items that are not to code. To be honest the emphasis seems to be on starting a fire as opposed to aesthetic. I like a lot of the other rooms and ideas you have but you have to really rethink the kitchen.
We really do appreciate the input, and definitely take any suggestions or criticisms seriously.
The plywood as a building material was originally a “Green” decision (I have a lot to say about that), and for my personal aesthetics, I prefer it, but unquestionably I can see why a cleaner look would be better suited to a larger customer base. The next one will be drywall.
As far as the kitchen functionality goes, it is definitely minimal. Honestly, I know fewer and fewer people that cook these days, but I do think you can do well with very little. It does need a little reconfiguration, and cabinets are a definite for the next one.
The electrical seems like a big concern. I understand. The “mess” of wiring is really just lamps we had plugged in to light up the inside for the photo shoot. All the conduit is approved and we went with a thicker gauge wire than is required by residential code for the amperage. The aperage for the breakers is also higher than the requirement. The two outlets near the sinks are GFCI protected. I do agree about the placement of the breaker panel. We’ll relocate that. If you live in a house more than a few decades old, you might be surprised at what you’d find behind the walls. I’ve been a marine electrician for years now, and I work with some fairly dangerous equipment. I understand how electricity is something to be very careful about, especially when it’s in an occupied space, and I assure you, we put a great bit of though into the wiring configuration.
Lastly, you are 100% right about the propane being outside. This was a temporary set-up for testing.
The water heater is installed to the manufacturer’s specs.
It has a skylight.
Thank you for sharing this concept. Containers offer many opportunities for housing.
I would respectfully suggest that a competent designer be consulted, for this structure and for all future projects.. Great function can also be beautiful and lasting and utilize excellent craftsmanship..
A modest kitchenette is useful even if people are currently not cooking! So if no one is cooking, are they eating out? Not eating at all? Eating only raw food? If conservation of resources is a motivator for small or tiny house construction/ownership, eating healthy at home is the best option for additional savings.
I like certain types of plywood & have seen it used to create gorgeous interiors… I would not use it for flooring in any dwelling and certainly not in a small or tiny house. In smaller homes the traffic pattern is never going to vary due to size constraints. A bath must have smooth, non-absorbing surfaces. This is not optional. it is a requirement for ongoing living conditions for many years. I would hope to avoid disposable housing or the renovation every 5 years.
Your group is to be commended for this effort and you all will certainly learn more as you continue.
You make some very good points, thank you for your input. I agree, the option to be able to do almost all of your own cooking in your home is a great way to stay healthy and keep costs low. That’s why the kitchen is outfitted with just enough equipment to make almost anything a “normal” sized kitchen could….of course, that depends on the cook. All three of us really enjoy cooking regularly.
The plywood for the walls has been a real debate. We have recently found a site to have this prototype to be rented at a couple’s house near the beach. One of the couple was enthusiastic, but was dubious about the idea of hosting the container after viewing the images online. When I invited her to see it in real life, her whole attitude changed and she was very happy happy with it. It made me realize how important and possibly misleading the online images are in portraying this space or any tiny home space. We’ve been learning about every aspect of this business every step we take, and are continuing to do so every day.
The flooring of our prototype is actually the original container floor, sealed 4X with polyurethane. Though you might not be able to see in the pictures, it has a full 32 X 32″ shower stall in the bathroom. Since the walls are also sealed, we believe it will hold up for a number of years.
Having feedback is essential to us, and it’s a reminder of how important it is that we stay flexible in our designs. Thank you for your time, ideas, and kind words.