A Home Contained


IT WASN’T WHAT WAS IN THE MASSIVE shipping container that Kara and Joel Craven were waiting on when the semi ferried the massive gray steel box up to their rural property.

It was the container itself: Raw material to craft into the unique aspects of their modern custom home with an industrial vibe.

Yet, for all the clean lines and hard surfaces— concrete counters, wood or stone floors, commercial-grade bar joist rafters, industrial lighting and stainless steel cable rails on the open-riser stairs—the finished home feels surprisingly comfortable.

“Part of the way we accomplished that was just with the collaboration with the owners, really understanding what they wanted,” says JG Development owner Jeff Grundahl. “And, more importantly, making sure that all the color palette and material palette came together…so you don’t feel like you’re walking into somebody’s widget factory.”

Not to mention the great room’s walls of windows showing off the bucolic landscape that can’t help but make a visitor relax.

It took some time before the Cravens found a contractor willing to take on the project. Shipping container design isn’t on the top of most professionals’ resumes.

Grundahl’s fave part of the project? “Seeing the owners’ faces light up when I said ‘Absolutely! We’d love to do this for you.'”

The 20-foot-longbox, used for one shipboard haul, was first cleaned up and a thick tar removed from its base. Grundahl and Joel Craven separated it using a plasma cutter and welding tools, Then , Joel painted it.

Now, one 10-foot section makes a powder room, and another is a butler’s pantry. A roof slice makes a sliding pantry door, and a crimson container section adorns the fireplace surround.

The Cravens infused other industrial style elements in the home’s design: A red Snap-On tool chest makes for a perfect utensil drawer in the open kitchen, and Kara added a few details of her own, piecing together black rock slices she collected for a mosaic shower wall.

“It flows and functions effortlessly from entry to exit and it makes you feel like you are in a very inviting, yet very industrial environment,” Grundahl ssys.

—Marni McEntee

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