It’s not every day that a home becomes a neighborhood draw.
If you live in the historic, tree-lined Carrollton area of New Orleans, however, you might attract a bit of a crowd when you build your home from two massive repurposed shipping containers.
Becoming a neighborhood sensation wasn’t what landscape architect Seth Rodewald-Bates intended when he set out to design a home for him and his wife, Elisabeth.
They’d fallen in love with the area, known for brass bands and bayou music, and found that their double-box design was so outside the box that it became a destination for the neighbors during the build.
“Everyone was very curious,” Rodewald-Bates said. “Some people thought it was a self-storage unit. One younger kid asked if it was going to [be an] Apple store, which was high praise in my mind.”
While there’s no Genius Bar in this home, you will find an open kitchen and living area. 14-foot ceilings and ample windows give the 775-square-foot space an airy feel.
There are wide-plank wood floors throughout and dark granite countertops in the kitchen. Open shelving above the sink and stainless steel appliances add a modern touch.
Floating night tables maximize space in the bedroom, and bedside lamps in fire-engine red provide a pop of color.
The true coup de grace is a pool perfect for those steamy NOLA afternoons. It’s Rodewald-Bates’ favorite feature of the home.
An urban setting for a container home might seem a little unusual, but the house is scaled to fit the neighborhood, Rodewald-Bates added. Getting to the finish line, however, wasn’t always a given.
“The city was actually very reasonable to deal with, but financing was the biggest hoop to jump through,” Rodewald-Bates said. “We went to either 8 or 10 banks with the plans, and none of them would even send them to their appraiser.”
“Make sure you have financing secured,” he said, when asked about his biggest advice to others, “and remember that containers are designed for cargo, not people!”
Photos by Jacqueline Marque.
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