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The Carlson Container Home in Seattle

The Carlson Container Home in Seattle

Greetings from Seattle! 🙂


Today we are honored to showcase the first-ever permanent residence made entirely of shipping containers in Seattle, Washington! The homeowners, Julianna Carlson, and her husband shared with Container Home Hub a special inside look at this tremendous shipping container home build!

Front view of a container home in Seattle

From Julianna Carlson:

When Julianna Carlson left her parents’ Delridge home for college in Santa Barbara, she never expected to tire of the eternal California sunshine. But the longtime Pacific Northwesterner couldn’t stay away—she graduated in 2015 and returned. She’s now settled on a plot of land she purchased just down the street from the house she grew up in.

The Build

Carlson purchased six 20-foot shipping containers from DryBox, a Chehalis company that provides shipping containers with custom modifications. The containers were trucked in and stacked in two days during the spring of 2017. Window holes were pre-cut based on Carlson’s specs, but the interior build-out—drywall for exterior-facing walls, plumbing, installing electrical—took almost a year, largely because obtaining proper permits wasn’t an easy process, she says. The city didn’t really know how to handle a container home. On their exteriors, Carlson intentionally left the shipping containers—four on bottom, two stacked on top—largely untouched. But inside, she went with a cozy nautical theme: The handrail to the master bedroom upstairs is reminiscent of those on a ferry; tiny painted cargo boats are stenciled onto an accent wall downstairs; and a porthole in the master bedroom’s walk-in closet gives the feeling of being in a ship’s hull.


The house is about 1,000 square feet and boast two large decks, 2 bedrooms, and 1.5 baths.


“My family and one of our really good friends built this house and we hired sub-contractors to do plumbing and electrical and foundation work.”


Shipping container house in Seattle with blue exterior.

The house is made out of six 20-foot shipping containers, and two of those are hi-cubes. It has a lovely roof top deck.



Julianna recalls “We had so much fun building this shipping container house out of six twenty-foot containers but permitting was challenging.”  


The kitchen inside this shipping container home exemplifies modern, minimalist design. Stainless steel appliances, such as the sleek refrigerator and stove, contrast beautifully with the crisp white cabinetry. A central wooden countertop island with an integrated sink provides a warm focal point and functional workspace. Ample natural light flows through a large window, enhancing the airy feel, while chic pendant lights add a stylish touch. The decor is simple yet effective, featuring a potted plant on the windowsill and a vibrant vase of sunflowers on the island, adding a fresh and inviting atmosphere.


Sliding glass door of a modern shipping container home, featuring a wooden deck and siding, with the blue and white exterior of the container home visible.

The exterior of this shipping container home features a sleek, modern sliding glass door that opens onto a wooden deck, creating a seamless indoor-outdoor living experience. The contrast between the natural wood siding and the industrial blue and white container adds a unique charm, blending rustic and contemporary elements beautifully.


French door of a modern shipping container home, with open container doors revealing a cozy interior and a rooftop deck with railing and string lights.

The French door of this shipping container home, framed by open container doors, provides a charming entrance that blends industrial and residential aesthetics. The rooftop deck above, adorned with a sleek railing and string lights, adds an inviting outdoor space perfect for relaxation and entertaining.


Side view of a modern shipping container home with blue exterior, open container doors, and a wooden deck leading to the entrance

This side view of the shipping container home showcases the open container doors and a warm wooden deck, seamlessly connecting indoor and outdoor spaces.


Two-story modern shipping container home with blue exterior, featuring large windows, a wooden deck, and a rooftop terrace with railing

@Kriswilsonphoto took these stunning photos!

It’s a wrap!

Now 25, Carlson likely won’t live here forever. But she says she’s designed her home in a way that will allow for another container to be added to provide more space later. After all, she figures she only spent 70 percent of what it would have cost her to buy a comparable existing home. “I’ve really fallen in love with shipping containers, more than I ever thought possible,” she says.

You may also enjoy reading about Juilianna’s container home in Seattle Magazine.

From Seattle Magazine:

So what do you think? Would you live here?

Photo sources: Julianna Carlson; the homeowner, Seattle Magazine

Information sources: Julianna Carlson; the homeowner, Seattle Magazine

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Container Home Hub is not a shipping container home construction company. While we do our best to make sure our information is accurate, please contact a professional shipping container home builder for information. Container Home Hub is also a blog and does not independently sell shipping container houses and/or shipping container house plans. Container Home Hub currently uses advertisements from a third-party advertising site in addition to occasional affiliate links.