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Santa Barbara Shipping Container Home

This Santa Barbara shipping container home is built by IPME from two 40-foot shipping containers joined together. When you see what this small container-dwelling holds, I think you may be amazed.

A fully functioning kitchen allows a full-sized refrigerator, range, microwave and butcher block for added countertop space.

The living/dining room area contains a dining table that seats six, a sectional sofa, coffee table and desk.

Santa Barbara Shipping Container Home


Images © Central Studios/IPME

ipme-shipping-container-home-002 ipme-shipping-container-home-003 ipme-shipping-container-home-004 ipme-shipping-container-home-005 ipme-shipping-container-home-006 ipme-shipping-container-home-007 ipme-shipping-container-home-008 ipme-shipping-container-home-009 ipme-shipping-container-home-0010 ipme-shipping-container-home-0011 ipme-shipping-container-home-0012 ipme-shipping-container-home-0013

Images © Central Studios/IPME

Video: IPME’s Amazing Shipping Container Home

The bedroom looks large enough to hold at least a queen sized bed and side tables and has a walk-in closet. And the full bathroom has a very roomy shower.

The nicely landscaped yard adds more living space, with a hot tub for relaxation and entertainment, and a shed that houses the washer and dryer.

Would you consider saying “yes” to living in a container like this? Let us know why or why not in the comments. Thanks!


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{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Cahow
    May 7, 2015, 10:26 am

    Nice design. And I’m grateful to see someone else who has more than 2 t-shirts, 2 shoes and 2 pairs of pants. 😀 (I do so love my clothes!) LOL

  • Comet
    May 7, 2015, 10:29 am

    Very nice climate allowing—-don’t know how it would fare in the Great White North tho! How would you insulate one of these? Envious of the closet!

    • Sue
      May 7, 2015, 6:09 pm

      strawbale or earth-covered would insulate very well.

  • Adrienne
    May 7, 2015, 11:15 am

    Very neat to see this in uber-posh city Santa Barbara. Great closet and yard space.

  • Patricia Meloy-Junkroski
    May 7, 2015, 11:18 am

    Yes, I would consider this.

  • Linda Talbert
    May 7, 2015, 11:19 am

    My husband and I are building our coastal home out of shipping containers because they are hurricane resistant. It has been quite an adventure because we are doing almost all of the work by ourselves. We used 3 containers for the living quarters and 2 for the garage and shop. Our home is small(about 950 square feet) but we have three bedrooms, two full baths, a full kitchen and a laundry area.

    • Eva
      May 7, 2015, 4:29 pm

      Linda – if it’s not too much trouble please share pictures of your project. Sounds exciting AND a lot of work!

      • Linda Talbert
        May 7, 2015, 11:22 pm

        I can’t figure out a way to add photos.

    • Cecelle Ebsworth
      May 9, 2015, 6:56 pm

      Hope you will post a few pictures of your home in progress and once its completed. Sound great.

    • Martin Metz
      May 10, 2015, 7:07 pm

      At the top of the page is a tab that says “Contact”. Click on that and then the one that comes up called “Submit Content”. Send you pictures to the email link provided.

    • Alex
      May 10, 2015, 10:15 pm

      [email protected] if you wanna share 😀

      We’d love to share your container home Linda 🙂

  • TXTbone
    May 7, 2015, 11:34 am

    Totally rad brah

  • Lake Lili
    May 7, 2015, 11:35 am

    Kevin McCloud’s Grand Designs Season 14 Episode 04 Northern Ireland shows what you can really do when you stack a couple of shipping containers – well worth the time to watch on YouTube. The tiny house he builds is also great fun on the Man Made House episode.

  • May 7, 2015, 11:43 am

    Terrific, looks wonderful. Teeny homes are great for some, but this one has ROOM so one can move around and not feel cramped. My question is…what is the cost of just a used, or new, shipping container (size? 40 feet i assume), and the cost of traditional building versus using shipping containers. thanks, rachel

    • Enid
      November 5, 2015, 9:31 pm

      I just got an answer to that this week. I have been going online looking for all these used shipping containers for several months. The form you fill out looks the same for every one of them so I am wondering if it is one big business or if there really are mom and pop sales. They ask if you want to rent or buy. I always say buy and only answer received prior to last week was for rental. Anyway, last week I got a quote I can get two delivered two months out, (they ask for time frame and number 1, 2-5. 6+), the nearest location is 100 miles from me. For the 20′ they wanted $2450 each, for the 40′ cost is $3600 each. I think it could very wildly depending on where you live. I am right on an interstate. Now to start looking at insulation, electric and plumbing…

  • Lise
    May 7, 2015, 11:53 am

    HOw do they get around code restrictions? I very surprised they allow this, especially in SB. . . .maybe things are a changin’?

  • Rhonda
    May 7, 2015, 12:03 pm

    I would definitely consider a container home. They are well built with sleek lines. A company is building a three story condo complex in Detroit utilizing containers.
    The design featured in the article would suit many individuals seeking an alternative to “stick” built housing.

  • Bernard
    May 7, 2015, 12:23 pm

    Would be nice to know what they did for a vapor barrier.

  • CeCe
    May 7, 2015, 1:08 pm

    Very sleek-looking. I like it, but if it lived where I do, it would have to have insulation and vapor barrier. Otherwise neither human nor animal would survive. This is a lovely house for mild, dry climates. I think it’s a good size and they’ve used good materials in its construction.

  • Pam
    May 7, 2015, 1:38 pm

    I like the larger footprint. We will be doing this in two years and I can see us in this size home. I would figure out a way to have the laundry room inside. Otherwise, perfect!

  • May 7, 2015, 1:50 pm

    This is great, HOWEVER there appears to be NO INSULATION in the unit anywhere. Even in a mild climate of California you would get condensation on the ceiling and walls when heated.
    Spray foam insulation would need to be used on the ceiling and walls to really make this work. To me it just looks like a prototype with no one really living in it.

    • Jon Hoag
      May 12, 2015, 4:49 pm

      Check out websites and Youtube for information on Ceramic Insulating Paint. Wow!
      Here is one of the manufacturers/suppliers of ceramic insulating paint and how it works. It’s been featured on Bob Vila as well as news programs.
      I want to build a small container home here in NC in the next few years.

      • Timothy McClanahan
        November 5, 2015, 7:54 pm

        This is an old comment I’m replying to, but just in case you don’t know, or others haven’t, the ceramic insulating paint (as shown to Bob Vila) has been proven to be a total hoax. There are other methods of insulation that would work just fine, though.

  • C.
    May 7, 2015, 2:27 pm

    I would totally do this – my thing would be how much less of a price tag (IF it’s less of a price tag) would it be than a traditional home. I am up for saving space, etc., but I am not going to do it for the cost of a home four times as large.

    I am also curious about insulation for this unit.

  • gale
    May 7, 2015, 3:20 pm

    Very nice and great layout. Got to mention the landscaping as well…beautiful.

  • Jan
    May 7, 2015, 3:38 pm

    I was suprised to see this in Santa Barbara,,, I am sorry to say, it still looks like shipping containers dude. By the time you paid for those, and a crane, I would guess you could have a small regular home, and not look like two shipping containers. I have been reading about “shipping containers” , people are paying way too much for them and moving them in place.
    Glad you like it though as your the ones living inside them.

  • Kelly Libert
    May 7, 2015, 10:09 pm

    Perfect! Living through hurricanes is what has drawn me to container built homes. too. Residing in a port city, they are plentiful…both the containers and hurricanes.

  • Elle
    May 8, 2015, 2:08 am

    Nice job! Would love to have seen the kitchen-dining area. This does indeed look plenty roomy and very comfortable. Very nice. 😀

  • geri bentley
    May 8, 2015, 10:08 am

    Hi, I am wondering if a container is possible any where? They must be if they will let them have one in Santa Barbara. Maybe a special permit? Thanks, Geri

  • Barbara
    May 9, 2015, 6:21 pm

    i would love to build on the vacant lots in Baltimore. Tear down all the boarded up homes and efficient inexpensive housing, these are perfect! I want one!

  • Nancy
    August 20, 2015, 7:23 pm

    This has got to be the nicest container home I’ve seen, love the interior features and color scheme.
    Interesting they left the container exposed on the inside, guess you could only do this in a temperate, low humidity climate.

  • March 27, 2016, 7:04 pm

    Hi everyone, what a stunning container inside and out, the layout is excellent using the 2 40′ containers and a small deck, quite roomy and beautifully decorated.
    Like everyone else has said it has no insulation would be a major problem when living in it. The insulation can be put inside or on the outside, if you put it inside it takes up space not so good in a small house. What we did in ‘Our shipping container house’ was put the insulation on the outside between the container wall and the outside cladding . We attached timber framing placed the insulation between the boards then cladded it with corrugated iron. http://www.ourcontainerhouse.com/corrugated-iron.html

  • Barbara
    May 15, 2016, 2:48 pm

    A great bachelor pad, but no way could I reach that microwave or the upper cabinets. I’d want more kitchen space- lots more, but it’s great for a single and very, very tall man or woman.

  • Susan
    May 16, 2016, 11:24 am

    Love the layout and use of space but needs some color!

  • Ela
    May 16, 2016, 6:03 pm

    Great idea..but in reality…where do you park it? Renting land can be expensive if there is no “roof”.

    • Eric
      January 12, 2018, 9:15 pm

      The top of the container “is” the roof. Just happens to be a flat one.

  • Kurt
    May 18, 2016, 6:08 pm

    Bad placement for the toilet paper. It will get wet from splashes from the sink.

    • Eric
      January 12, 2018, 9:18 pm

      Awww, geddoff! Perfect place for the toilet paper. Should know, have exactly the same placement in our house. Never, every, have we wet the toilet paper from the sink.

      Maybe wetting the paper is a Kurt thing?

  • Michael
    January 12, 2018, 7:22 pm

    Nice conversion. However, I don’t see any insulation and metal boxes can get extremely hot as we know from a car when AC isn’t working.

  • Sheila Plourde
    November 23, 2018, 10:25 pm

    Lived in Santa Barbara, I know where this place is. 🙂 Beautiful. Love everything about this home.

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