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20 Stunning Homes Made From Other Things

Because bricks and wood are so old school.

For some homeowners, regular wood and red brick just don't cut it anymore. From beer bottles and paper to water towers and shipping containers, old materials and buildings are finding second homes in, well, homes. So, whether you're in the market for a unique new home or just love artsy, attention-seeking architecture, read on to learn about some stunning houses made from other things.

A house made from an old boat; Put-in-Bay, Ohio

home made out of a boat, houses made from other things

A former freighter, the Benson Ford was originally built in 1924 by the Ford Motor Company and used on seas until 1981. However, after being sold to father-and-son Jerry and Bryan Kasper, the boat was renovated in its resting spot into a five-bed, five-bath personal home with a gorgeous view of Lake Erie.

A house made out of glass bottles; Prince Edward Island, Canada

glass bottle home, houses made from other things

The Bottle Houses on Prince Edward Island are a collection of three homes built entirely out of glass bottles. After being sent a postcard of a Vancouver Island glass castle in 1979, Édouard Arsenault, the creator, was inspired to use more than 25,000 recycled bottles to build the fantasy-like homes.

A house made from adobe and upcycled glass bottles; Taos, New Mexico

adobe and upcycled glass home

What if you could live solely relying on natural energy? Well believe it or not, you can at this adobe and upcycled glass bottle home in Taos, New Mexico. It's part of the Earthship community, a sustainable architecture community pioneered by architect Michael Reynolds in the 1970s that's full of solar, off-the-grid homes made completely of natural and upcycled materials local to the area.

A house made from an old coastguard station; Pembrokeshire, Wales

old coastguard home, house made from other things

Built in 1905, this old lifeboat house is situated in Pembrokeshire, Wales, in the harbor town of Tenby, overlooking the Carmarthen Bay. This old seaside building was once used by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, a coastguard service in the United Kingdom, before being transitioned into private residential use.

A house made from clay; Villa de Leyva, Colombia

house made from clay, houses made from other things

Easily considered the largest piece of pottery in the world, Casa Terracotta is a clay home located in Villa de Leyva, Colombia. Completed in 2012, the home was designed as part of a larger project by architect Octavio Mendoza Morelas, who molded and baked the building just like one would any other pottery.

A house made from an old shipping container; Serdang, Malaysia

shipping container home, houses made from other things

Though shipping containers being used for new creations is no unknown phenomenon, this vacation rental home in Sedang, Malaysia, is easily one of the most beautiful upcyclings featuring the material. With vibrant reds and yellow hues, this shipping container home is part of the NAFAS Cube community, a collaboration between the National Farmers Organization and the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute.

Living quarters made from old stables; London, England

a house made from an old stable, houses made from other things

This building once housed horse-drawn carriages and stables. Today, though, it's part of a large, 89-home collection of transformed, residential homes in London called Prince's Gate Mews, so what once housed horses now houses humans.

A house made from old paper; Rockport, Massachusetts


The Paper House is the creative brainchild of mechanical engineer Elis Stenman, who started working on the home as a hobby in 1922. Built in Rockport, Massachusetts, the house is constructed from mounds and mounds of newspaper. And, if that's not impressive enough, there's even furniture inside made from newspaper, as well as an actual paper piano.

A house made from mud and reused materials; Negev Desert, Israel

mud house in israel, unique

This home—built from mud and reused materials—is just one building in the up-and-coming Israeli eco-house movement. The Back to Earth movement, as it's known, was pioneered by Nitzan Iserovitch, who was inspired to connect people through of natural, sustainable living.

A house made from old tires; Birmingham, England

a tire home, unique houses

This eco-friendly, two-story building is made from recycled tire parts. Designed by Aidan Quinn, the small, but sustainable Eco Pod is a low-carbon economy form of alternative living—powered by wind and solar energy.

A house made from recycled windows; London, England

the glass house lantern, unique houses

Created as a school project by a second-year student at the Bartlett School of Architecture, the Glass House Lantern is made entirely from recycled windows. The project began in 2015, and, following a fundraising campaign, the structure was created in its entirely. Currently, you can visit the unique unit in London's Kings Cross area.

A house made from recycled wood; Warwickshire, England

wooden recycled house, unique houses

While wooden homes are hardly rare, this one in Warwickshire, England, is anything but ordinary. The whimsical design features recycled wood from things like doors, cabinets, window panes—pretty much everything. The building makes no attempts to hide the wood's former usage, which only makes it all that more unique-looking.

A house made from recycled cork; Essex, England

the cork house, unique houses

This small beach house made partly from recycled cork in Essex, England, was commissioned as a collaboration between architect Lisa Shell and artist Marcus Taylor. But why cork? The idea originated as a joke because of cork's buoyancy, Shell revealed to the Architects' Journal.

A house made from an old railway carriage; West Sussex, England

railway carriage house, unique houses

Off-the-rail homes have been popping up all around England as coastal homes, according to The Institute of Historic Building Conservation. Located in West Sussex, this old railway carriage is a prime example of that trend, as it was restored into a beautiful, antique-style home after it outlived its days on the tracks.

A house made from glass bottles; Rhyolite, Nevada

House Made of Bottles in Nevada

This glass bottle home is located in the ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada. Built by Tom Kelly in 1906, it's the only one still standing from a collection of old bottle houses built in the old West during that time. The house is currently in possession of the Bureau of Land Management, and while visitors can venture four miles off Route 95 to catch a look, no one is actually allowed to enter (or live in) it.

A house made out of an old water tower; Hamburg, Germany

Converted Water Tower in Germany

Located in the Wilhelmsburg district of Hamburg, Wasserturm Gross Sand was built in 1910 by architect Wilhelm Brünicke. The old water tower housed emergency apartments all the way back in World War II, but now it's entirely residential.

A house made from an old windmill; Surrey, England

windmill home, homes mades from other things

Built in 1924, the Wray Common Mill was originally used as a windmill tower in in Surrey, England. After its decommission, it was converted into a well-crafted, four-story residential home, complete with a set of unique circular windows and a tower deck.

A house made from an old fishing boat; Seine-Maritime, France

old fishing boat house, unique houses

This beautiful cabin is located in Seine-Maritime, France, just off the northern coast near the English Channel. Its main structure is an old fishing boat, taken off the water after it was found to be no longer fit for its original purpose.

A house made from old beer bottles; New South Wales, Australia

bottle house, unique houses

Currently housing the Bottle House Mining Museum tourist attraction, this home was created by Tex Moeckel in the late 1960s with a staggering 5,800 glass bottles of beer. Moeckel created his home in New South Wales, Australia, despite the typically high temperatures and the house's lack of insulation.

A house made out of an old water tower; Cornwall, England

old water tower home, unique houses

Want to sleep in Rapunzel's tower? Well, your fairy tale dreams can turn into reality—at least somewhat—in Cornwall, England. There you'll find a 19th-century-water-tower-turned-home, and it's available to book for overnight stays. And for more ways to transform old things,  check out these 50 Amazing New Uses for Everyday Items.

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Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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