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Seven Helpful Ideas for Designing A Container Home Bedroom

There’s an array of reasons you might consider living in a container home with a nice container bedroom. You might have been inspired by the shipping container homes featured on HGTV and DIY. Sometimes, maybe you’re trying to save money. 

If you’re doing your research online, you’ll likely find information on the downsides of container homes. These can be rust, corrosion, and spartan interior spaces. But that’s not what we’re sharing with you in this article.

Making your bedroom comfortable can be tricky, but it isn’t impossible, especially if you’re willing to look for ideas. 

We want to highlight the awesome things about living in a container home. We will also prove that there are ways around the issues that people face.

Think Of What You Want To Achieve With Your Container Bedroom

The first thing you should do when planning a shipping container bedroom is to visualize what it will be like. Think about how the room will work, and use this inspiration for your design.

As you list the different ways you use your bedroom space, brainstorm how those uses could be improved.

Some common uses for closets include: storing clothes and personal items, napping, yoga, reading, and dressing. You can also use it for studying, listening to music, and making crafts.

Go through the list, and decide what chores you can or should do in other home rooms.

It may be challenging to decide the living situation that is best for you. However, there are several factors that should help dictate your choice.

Trying to define your personality can help you figure out what kind of home is best for you. Questions about how outgoing or introverted, independent or sociable, and private versus social each person prefers may help make this decision.

The Danish Concept Of Hygge In A Container Bedroom

Applying the Danish concept of hygge as you think through this framework may be interesting.

In short, hygge is a feeling, a state of mind. It’s characterized by feelings like coziness and comfort but wellness, contentment, happiness, and more.

If you pay attention to these factors as you refine your bedroom’s design requirements, it will be well on its way to being a functional and comfortable space.

The result of this analysis should be a clear statement describing what you need your bedroom to provide.

Any activities not included in this list will be accomplished elsewhere. Use this list to guide your choices as you design and outfit your bedroom to best suit your needs.

You can use this initial list to get started thinking about what types of furniture and finishes you might want in your bedroom. We’ll revise the ideas throughout the rest of this article.

Your Priorities Of Placement

If you plan to use your bedroom for activities other than sleeping, perhaps the bed isn’t the most important item.

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Some bedrooms in container homes have the bed pushed up against one wall and can be entered only from that side.

Others create a permanent bed loft above their desks, closets, or sitting areas. Another option is creating a bed that folds into the wall or retracts into the ceiling when it isn’t used.

In addition to the bed, you should consider other furniture pieces and your bedroom’s overall design.

For example, do you want your bedroom to have windows? Of course, if you’re going to use a bedroom only for sleeping, you may not need windows.

Many people use black-out curtains to create darkness in their bedrooms, similar to the absence of light you get from not having windows.

It may be possible to achieve the same result with less effort if you use a room without windows for the bedroom.

If you decide that windows are essential, the placement of those windows and their size will be something to consider when planning your bedroom.

A floor-to-ceiling window that is partially covered by a dresser, for instance, won’t look good. But a mid-height window, one placed above the top of the desk, could be fantastic in this case.

Put Main Focus In The Future

You may have assumed that you had thought about your future needs for a container home bedroom, but what if the people in the house with you would someday include another person?

Have you considered how your bedroom use might change over time, how other rooms in the container house could be used, and what those changes would mean for bedrooms? Considering hypothetical scenarios can help.

  • When you age, will a lofted bed, pulled down, etc., still be comfortable?
  • Will you have more or fewer houseguests in the future?
  • Your children will be growing up and moving into their bedrooms in a few years. Will you want to keep the crib in your room?
  • Do you foresee needing a quiet place to work from home occasionally as your career grows and evolves?
  • When you sell your home, what features will other buyers look for?
  • What would visitors most like to see in a short-term rental?

You should plan for the needs of everyone who may visit your home: yourself and any future owners, as well as any guests. Don’t set yourself up for failure by aiming too high.

Create Wonderful Walls In Your Container Bedroom

A room’s interior design can directly impact the happiness and well-being of its occupants.

People tend to be happy more often in pleasant environments. And one of the easiest ways to make a space look great is by covering its walls with something attractive, paint, or wallpaper.

Using white in a small shipping container bedroom is often said to be the opposite of black, which is slimming when it comes to clothes. However, this color tends to expand space rather than contract it for rooms.

If you’re concerned that white will make your room feel cold or clinical, adding different textures and patterns to the base color can help.

If you’ve ever tried to remove old wallpaper from a wall in your home, you know how difficult it is.

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Using bold and stylized wallpaper on one wall of your room can create a focal point. But avoid using it on every wall; it will make the space look cluttered and claustrophobic.

You can also consider peel-and-stick wallpaper. It’s easier to hang, and you can remove it when you want a change in décor.

Using a large patterned wallpaper and bold contrasting colors on one wall will make your room stylish and fun. Pick complementary paint for the opposing walls (or at least two of them) to tie it all together.

If you’re not one for wallpaper or other fabric wall coverings, you can create the same feeling of safety with paint as you would with a solid color, stripes, or a mural.

Keep in mind that colored LED strip lights are affordable and can be used to change the mood of a room almost instantly.

Accent with Accessories

When you are in a room filled with businesspeople, one of the first things you might notice is all of their various fashion accessories. 

A nice watch, classy purse, or bold pair of shoes can really make someone stand out from the crowd in a good way!

You can also use your container bedroom as a canvas for incorporating accent pieces, thus adding splashes of color and hints of personality.

Funky lamps, throw pillows, and area rugs are just a few things you can use to make your bedroom more appealing.

Put potted plants and favorite photographs of your family and travel destinations on the walls to help create a cozy atmosphere. 

Also, don’t forget about window curtains as an accent; they’re great for adding color or softening light.

If you decide to update your bedroom at some point in the future, it’s often easier to change and swap out accessories than it is to change wall coverings or large pieces of furniture.

This is an affordable way to decorate a bedroom and make it look like the setting of your dreams. 

Adding or removing a few small items can take you from industrial chic to modern elegance or even turn-of-the-century charm!

Linen, cotton, sheer fabrics, and unpainted metals make room dividers great choices. They’re light and airy but visually interesting too!

A mixture of patterns and textures, played against solids and flats, can produce a harmonious look while still making certain pieces stand out.

The sheets’ smoothness contrasts with their container’s roughness, and together these elements help create a classic elegance in this small space.

Manage your Possessions

It’s easy to get caught up in possessions, but it can be a burden if you’re not careful. Having too much stuff is like having another job. 

You have to keep track of everything and figure out ways to store or display it all.

People often say that home is where the heart is. This saying tells us more about our feelings than it does about possessions.

A home should be a place where you feel comfortable and at ease, not stressed or burdened.

If you are moving into a small shipping container home or already live in one, you will need to consider what items can be condensed.

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When it comes to cleaning out your bedroom, think about what you need right now, what you could store elsewhere when not in use, and what belongings are no longer useful (or haven’t been used for years) that can be given away or discarded.

While you may be able to have fewer personal belongings, you can still design your bedroom with ample storage space.

Be Vigilant with Volume

A shipping container home with a bedroom
Courtesy: Shipping container homes and buildings

A standard 40 ft high cube shipping container has an internal volume of 2,700 cubic feet. 

That’s what you get before adding any framing or finishing materials.

When constructing a single-container house, use that number as your base. 

For multi-container houses, simply multiply it by 2 or 3 or any other number of containers you have.

After your container is unloaded, everything you do to make it livable works to reduce its size. It’s not a cause for alarm; simply be mindful as you design the interior of your home.

It’s hard to envision the size of a home’s space when you first move in, but with stacked containers, it becomes immediately apparent how much room there really is.

When you design a bedroom, think about how to make the space your own. When we are given standard furniture and items (like a bed in the middle), most of us just plunk them down without much thought, but there’s no reason that has to be so!

In a small bedroom, you have to be more inventive about how you use the volume since your space is not only limited by definition but also probably significantly narrower than what you’re accustomed to.

Here are some questions to guide you:

  • Will you need a bedside table or nightstand on both sides of the bed, or will one do?
  • Would you be okay with a high bed that had space underneath for storage?
  • Is it better to have a table lamp next to your bed for reading, or could you get enough light from another source, such as a ceiling fixture?

A thoughtfully designed bedroom layout will give you a roomy and comfortable place to relax, maximizing the available volume.


Perhaps the trickiest part of adding a bedroom to a container home is finding a way to separate it from the rest of the house. 

There’s only so much you can do before you run into fire code issues, and in some places, there are limits on how many bedrooms you can have, even if they’re on their floor. 

The good news is that there are some clever solutions out there. Bedroom solutions are just another example of the versatility of shipping containers.

The ideas outlined above are just the beginning of what you can do to create a stylish, warm, and welcoming bedroom in your container home. 

Feel free to alter or add many other elements that appeal to you! You should enjoy the process of designing your home and feel good about its finished state.

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