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  • Judy Goldberg

$2M Home Built From 11 Shipping Containers Is an Asian-Inspired Sanctuary



A man with a one-of-a-kind idea created a beautiful residence near the border between the states of Washington and Oregon.


Now on the market for $2 million, the home on S.E. 164th Avenue in Vancouver, WA, is constructed from 11 delivery containers of various colours.


“The owner actually built it himself, and he did not miss a beat when he built this,” explains the itemizing agent, Louise James.


She notes that the owner, who works in the import and export business, decided to build a container house.


“His friends all laughed at him,” she adds, “and said, ‘Oh, you can’t do that.’ So he drew it out on a piece of paper and said, ‘This is how I want it to be’—and it turns out to be this amazing masterpiece.”


Construction began on the 4,074-square-foot house in 2015, and finished two years later. HGTV featured the residence during its construction, on the first season of “Container Homes.”


James tells us she’s never seen anything like this four-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom home, with influences from all over the world.


“On the interior, there are surprises around every corner, when you walk through the house,” she adds.

Exterior of home in Vancouver, WA (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Exterior (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Exterior (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Interior (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Interior (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Interior (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Interior (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Interior (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Closet and bathroom (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Bathroom (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Bathroom (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Bathroom (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Bathroom (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Master bedroom (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Bedroom (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Koi pond (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Japanese tearoom (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Japanese garden (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Garden (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Exterior (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Koi pond (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Bridging the gap between East and West, the house features an array of Asian influences.


“It has a Japanese garden outside, and it has Tibetan prayer wheels on the entry,” James says, noting that the Japanese tearoom doubles as a meditation room. “It’s made with the original padding for the floor, and the way it should be set up, with the wood entry going in and the steps going into it.”


In a courtyard, a koi pond is outfitted with aquarium glass, which makes it possible to see the fish from inside the house, in the sunken conversation pit.


The agent marvels at this feat of engineering.


“Everyone told him that could not be done, that you could not see the koi pond from inside,” she says, explaining how he managed nevertheless to obtain the proper aquarium glass.


“Now, you can sit in the room and watch all the fish,” she adds.


Some parts of the house clearly look like shipping containers, but in other areas, high-end finishes dominate. The ceilings are all at least 9 feet high, with large windows and some drywall and wood.


“You actually forget you’re in a container house when you’re in the house, until you look back at the entryway, where you came in, and see the red container,” James says.


Kitchen (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Kitchen (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Outdoor kitchen (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Dining area (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


The kitchen is divided into three separate areas, one for prepping, one for cooking, and another for eating and entertaining. A cool touch: The pantry area can be closed off, for hidden storage.


“There’s a big container door that actually closes it off from the rest of the room,” James says.


A large glass-enclosed area on the second floor that overlooks the main living space could be used as an office, a school space, or a crafting area.


Bedrooms and bathrooms all make liberal use of natural elements like wood and stone. The owner chiseled the bathroom sinks himself.


A master retreat that ties in with the home’s natural theme is located in the container, with koi fish painted on its exterior. A creek runs next to the house, surrounded by trees.


“When you are in the bedroom, you think you’re in a treehouse,” James says.


Outside, an outdoor kitchen has plenty of seating, as well as an orchard with nine different fruits. It’s also possible to see the Columbia River. As James says, the house is close to the freeway and the airport, yet feels worlds apart.


“When you’re in the house, you can’t tell you’re near any kind of traffic,” she says. “It’s quiet and peaceful. Very serene.”


Entry (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


Hallway (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


View through to the garden (Vancouver Real Estate Photography)


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