Ideas from extreme homes you can actually try.


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Ideas from extreme homes you can actually try.

By emily.bailey

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Unusual homes | Schlage

Here are some of our favorite unusual homes with ideas for incorporating their best features in your own.



We all love those extreme home renovation shows. Who doesn’t love to see a house where budget and remodeling time are irrelevant? But if we’re going to use those houses to inspire our own décor, we need to find some realistic alternatives. Here are some of our favorite unusual homes with ideas for incorporating their best features in your own.
Camper van home.

Not what it seems

No matter what kind of curb appeal you have, sometimes the exterior of a house doesn’t reveal its true character. These remind us to not always choose a book, or a home, by its cover.


This converted church is a great example of how you can give new life to an historic structure. We also love how it proves you can mix modern with traditional for a room with a unique look that still makes sense.


And who said old churches had to be dark and solemn? This living space shows how you can keep original architecture and bring it up to date with a style that’s bright and airy.


Today’s Platform1346 “house” was once a World War II train. You can rent this Airbnb property and sleep comfortably in a queen-sized bed instead of a cramped berth found in vintage locomotives.


Quite honestly, we wouldn’t look too hard at the before pictures. But considering this apartment started life as public toilets at England’s Crystal Palace, we’d call this a major style upgrade. Anything is possible.

Open house

Some tiny homes are just too tiny and glass houses can occasionally be too exposing, but the best ones teach genius lessons in optical illusions and encourage us to use what nature gave us.


This cottage-style tiny house featured in Apartment Therapy is just 260 square feet, but we doubt you’d feel claustrophobic with all those windows helping the space feel more expansive.


Here’s another lesson in windows, at all levels, from a gorgeous tiny home.
Some glass houses use tinting windows and strategically placed walls to offer privacy where it’s needed most, like in bedrooms. But this wooded New York house shows how you can also let nature provide some coverage.

Eclectic indoor-outdoor living

Seamless transitions between indoors and out are increasingly popular for their beauty and potential health benefits. These eclectic homes remind us that you don’t have to head to the woods to enjoy the great outdoors.


This house doesn’t look like much from the front. Once you get past the entrance, however, you’ll see it curves around a central courtyard deck with windows, letting in all the natural light and outdoor vibes.

Hawaii knows how to do a lanai, so we should all take note. In this breathtaking example from Houzz, the living room opens up almost completely thanks to sliding pocket doors, eliminating barriers to what we can only imagine is a refreshing breeze and pure relaxation.


Large picture windows and natural colors and materials can capture the essence of being outdoors even if you can’t open your house to the elements. This Australian farmhouse with Spanish flair is the perfect example with its stone fireplace, wood beams and cozy brown couches.

Eye-catching sustainable architecture

More and more homes are being built with sustainable or recycled materials. These eco-friendly houses remind us there are many ways to reduce our impact on the environment from the comfort of our own homes.


The OS House in Wisconsin is one of the first Platinum LEED-certified residences in the Midwest. Among its eco-friendly features is a deep-well geothermal heating/cooling system that lets the homeowners operate off the grid for parts of the year.


The House of the Big Arch in South Africa was designed so it wouldn’t harm a single tree during construction, which meant, in part, that the homeowners built vertically and at odd angles. You might not have the resources to pull off such a grand project, but you can still choose locations for smaller projects – a garden shed, pool or home addition – that will disrupt existing plants and animals as little as possible.


Scale this to an individual house and it could take the form of a living wall or a potted jungle on a balcony. You don’t need full-sized trees or the help of a designer like A5 Aquitectura to pump a little more clean air into the atmosphere.

Extreme curb appeal

Your home’s exterior and front porch should make a welcoming statement to whoever comes to your door. That statement should be as unique as you are. These unusual homes remind us that curb appeal can mean so much more than a beautiful door and well-kept lawn.


Sissinghurst Castle Gardens is considered to be one of the best in England, but you don’t need a royal budget to be inspired by this look. Well-defined paths with gravel or pavers, flower beds full of plants in a range of colors, textures and heights, and maybe a water feature can give you that stately feel. For a more formal European garden look, try topiaries.


Curb appeal is more than landscaping. The exterior of the home itself can also make or break the look. We’re not saying you have to go as extreme as the Mirage House – we’re not even sure we understand this home in the Swiss Alps – but it certainly makes it clear how powerful that first impression can be.


We don’t really know where the curb is on this Australian cliff house, but it certainly makes a strong statement.


Find more home décor inspiration on the Schlage blog or by following us on Pinterest and Instagram.