5 Amazing Types of Homes that Push the Boundaries of Innovation

5 Amazing Types of Homes that Push the Boundaries of Innovation

5 Amazing Types of Homes that Push the Boundaries of Innovation


I love innovation of all types. In my way of thinking, paradigm shifts are good, good things. They open our eyes to ideas that just might lead to the “next big thing”.

What if no one had pushed the concept of connecting millions of computers via a thing called the internet? You wouldn’t be reading this, that’s for certain.

What’s more, none of us would know what dozens of our friends and family had for supper last night and for lunch on Tuesday.

Okay, so perhaps innovation does come with a downside as well.

Take this engagement ring piercing, for example.

Innovative? Sure, I suppose, but can you even imagine if it got snagged on something?! No thank you.




Or “Clippy” the annoying, hyper-helpful Microsoft paperclip pal from the ’90s who was their version of Captain Obvious and Big Brother rolled into one. “So, I see you’re writing a memo.  Need some help?” While I rudely ignored him most of the time, the few times I took him up on his offer, he revealed himself as a useless numbskull.

Do you remember him?

Yes, you do?

So sorry!

Clippy didn’t last very long.



Or the baby cage that emerged in London in the 1920’s. The idea was to give the baby some fresh air while freeing up room in the apartment. Do you see that treetop in the background? Yep, this tot is probably perched 6o or 70 feet off the ground. Child safety, apparently, wasn’t a pressing concern back in the day.




But there are many more upsides than downsides to innovation, particularly as it pertains to living arrangements.

Here are a few: five, to be precise.


1. “Skinny Homes”

Cities around the world are running out of space for new buildings, especially for living quarters. But, when it boils down to it, how much space do we really need to live comfortably? Also, instead of thinking of the traditional boxy home dimensions, why not look outside of “the box”, or between the boxes even, and use the urban space that is readily available.

The home below is only 7 feet wide, using space between existing buildings as one of the latest “skinny homes” that are popping up here and abroad. This home is in London, and has been built where an alley once was.



Photo courtesy of: The Daily Mail.com

Instead of relying on standard windows, the architect staggered the floor lengths in the house, and used skylights to bring natural light deep into the various rooms. To top it off, it even has a secret garden.



Photo courtesy of: The Daily Mail.com

And here’s the inside. It looks pretty livable, if you ask me.


Photo courtesy of: The Daily Mail.com

Click HERE for the full article.


This is a narrow home in Tokyo, called Lucky Drops, where skinny is “in”. It’s only 10 feet wide, and is made of translucent material that lets light in and out.



Photo courtesy of: Mother Nature Network


2. Tiny Homes

As a matter of fact, many innovative new home designs that require very little space can be found in Japan. You know the old saying, “necessity is the mother of invention.”

Here’s another winning, innovative home design coming in at only 280 square feet. Just because a house is small, there is no reason that it has to lack character or comfort. This one is both adorable and efficient. I might go squirrelly if I had to live there full-time, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate the intent and the aesthetics.

It might not look like much from the outside but inside . . .



Photo courtesy of: sunnyskyz.com

It’s much nicer than you would think.



Photo courtesy of: sunnyskyz.com

The thing I love the most about this design is that every square inch is used efficiently.

Okay, I’m lying. The thing I like the most is that it actually has a dishwasher.


Anyway, look at all of that built-in storage. How about those drawers and fireplace under the stairs? Can you imagine the reaction when they were first proposed? The naysayers probably had a ball with it.



Photo courtesy of: sunnyskyz.com

This tiny home is like a cruise ship cabin where every nook and cranny serves a purpose.

I’m pretty sure there’s nothing but dead space under our stairs.

Time to build some drawers! Or maybe a library! Oh, the innovativeness of it all!



Photo courtesy of: treehugger.com

Click HERE for the full article.


3. Homes That Are “One with Nature”

Are you a “House Hunters International” fanatic like me? If so, you’re no doubt aware that cave homes seem to be the latest and greatest in home design, particularly in super hot climates like Spain and Australia where the cave homes provide affordable, natural coolness.




Beyond the whole cave craze, though, how about these other homes that blend with their natural surroundings?

Like what about this one that has literally been dug out of a mountainside in Switzerland. Apparently, it’s only visible from certain angles, which was a building requirement so as not to disturb it’s surroundings.

How do they shop?

Did they airlift in the fridge?



Photo courtesy of: Earth Porm.com

Or this one. On summertime Sunday afternoons, do they say things like, “Honey, how many times do I have to ask you to please mow the roof?”



Photo courtesy of: Earth Porm.com

And how about this adult treehouse? The child in me loves it!



Photo courtesy of: scienceifl.com


Click for the full article HERE.


4. Shipping Container Homes

Here are some homes that are not only innovative, but inexpensive and environmentally friendly to boot! Upcycled shipping containers are used as their base. That might sound a little dirty and a tad claustrophobic, but just look at them!

They’re beautifully contemporary and show that we’re truly only limited by the extent of our own creativity.

Here’s the outside.



Photo courtesy of: shipping-containers.com

And WOW! Here’s what it looks like on the inside. Very cool!



Photo courtesy of: shipping-containers.com

This one consists of several crates fashioned together with glass garage doors to bring the outdoors in.



Photo courtesy of: shipping-containers.com

For the full article, click HERE.


5. Shipping Pallet Homes for Refugees

And finally, what about these houses for people who have lost their homes that are made from recycled shipping crates? According to fastcodesign.com, “84% of the world’s refugees could be housed with a year’s worth of recycled American pallets—those wooden platforms used for shipping crates.”

Think about all of the displaced people in Nepal after the recent series of earthquakes brought complete cities to the ground.

Or how about the people in Haiti who, four years after the earthquake there, are still without adequate housing. Displaced people live in tents, on average, for seven years until moving to more permanent housing. These simple, innovative pallet homes could change their lives.

Here’s the outside.



Photo courtesy of: fastcodesign.com

Now take a look at one of the indoor spaces. Beats eating on a dirt floor in a tent any day!



Photo courtesy of: fastcodesign.com

Plastic tarp is used initially to block out the elements. Eventually, local, sustainable materials like clay, wood and thatch will be used to fill in the gaps and make this a permanent structure.

You can read the full article HERE.


So, there you have it.

Five innovative types of homes. I’ll bet that each time one of these ideas was introduced, someone somewhere pooh-poohed the idea. Maybe several someones cut it down. Maybe they were even cut down dozens of times by roomfuls of someones.

However, the innovators persevered, and new ideas became reality.

Paradigms began shifting.

And as I see it, that’s a good, good thing.





Written by Becky


  • Patty from MMC says:

    I love the shipping crate and pallet based housing ideas for victims of emergencies. Chances are, though, that the modifications are not cheap.

    • Becky says:

      Yeah, you could be right. With the pallets, I like that they’re using something that typically is just sent to a garbage dump to give shelter to those in need.

  • Rachel says:

    I always wanted a treehouse when I was a girl. Great escape as an adult too! Wonder what happens when it gets windy?

    • Becky says:

      Honestly, I wondered about the wind, too, Rachel, and remembered the fateful words to “Rock-a-bye Baby.” Then again, it would seem that the architects would have had to account for that in their plans.

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About Me:

Hi! My name is Becky. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, and a compulsive thinker. Don't invite me to a spa or to shop the day away, but rather, make me laugh, engage me in interesting conversation, play a game with me, or give me a cappuccino and homemade vanilla bean flan and I’m yours ‘til the cows come home.

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