Unusual Homes


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According to the folks over at Springwise, one day, many new full-sized homes may resemble the Power House. The $149.95 miniature model from science-kit distributor Thames & Kosmos comes with a working green house, solar panels, a wind mill and a desalinization system. The kit’s aim: teach children what it’s like to live off the grid, and get them (and their parents) to “consider a life without fossil fuel.” To make the experience more realistic, the user manual incorporates a storyline about high-tech pioneers inhabiting a small island who must make use of limited resources to survive. The 70 experiments and 20 building projects that form part of the kit mimic the tasks the kit’s fictional pioneers must perform.

As environmental awareness becomes a dominant theme, it’s no surprise that green-tech learning toys such as the Power House are emerging. One popular example: in 2006, Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, a Singapore-based maker of hydrogen fuel cells for consumer products, debuted the $115 H-racer, a fuel-cell powered toy car that comes with a solar-powered hydrogen generating station and needs only water to run. The H-racer won kudos from Time and BusinessWeek, and spawned a number of competitors. Full Story

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Jennifer Chait of OffBeatHomes points us to another distinctive dwelling worth a look….Mr. Bruno’s Steel House.

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Look how amazing the interior is.

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Another exterior look.

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See a great slide show of this home plus process photos at Robert Bruno’s website.

Full Story

Jennifer Chait over at OffBeatHomes put up a great posting awhile back that seems appropriate  to refer back to today considering it’s Christmas eve and this is a tradition that often takes place on this very day….. she calls it “some of the world’s best offbeat gingerbread homes” and here are a few teasers to inspire you! 😉

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From the build an edible Gizmodo-House contest a few years back….

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…The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe by Marye over at Baking Delights….

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…and the 2006 grand prize winner at The National Gingerbread House Competition at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa. Full Story

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Built on a foundation of shared respect for technology, sustainability and prefab chic, WIRED magazine and LivingHomes partnered to create an amped home of the future in Los Angeles. Wired for the green and high-tech life, the 4,057-sq.-ft. space utilizes many reclaimed or recycled resources. According to Iconoculture, other features include all-black solar panels with double the power of conventional ones and a computer dashboard program with real-time feedback on home energy use. The abode gets even more green gadgetry with Toto’s sensor faucet, Bosch’s efficient kitchen appliances and a smart thermostat system. So what does this mean for business?

  1. Despite tech’s partial image as an energy vampire, smart design can mean efficiency and eco-friendliness.
  2. But, just as Live Earth’s musicians jetted around in their private planes for a good cause, did the Wired home really need 4,000+ sq. ft. to make a green point? A question to consider when bringing the fantasy prototype down to earth.
  3. A benefit for builders: Since prefabs spend most of their development time in the factory, onsite construction is quick, leaving little time for thieves to run off with site materials. Full Story

Note: Original story content expressed here was  from an article published by Iconoculture, Inc.

Actually, Jennifer Chait of OffBeatHomes points us to barrels of houses. They are fun though.

The pickle barrel house — think they ever got the smell out?

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The beautiful whiskey barrel house — recycled living in Findhorn Foundation Community.

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The worst use of an old barrel ever.

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Next the most amazing barrel home of all on the most gorgeous land ever.

Seclusion and beauty in the Mansfield Redwood Preserve barrel house.

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This home is actually part of an 80 acre plot for sale near Pacific Valley, Big Sur. Complete with four homes, a redwood canyon, waterfalls, and views beyond what you can imagine; this my friends, is the stuff dreams are made of.

For instance… View from the main house hot tub. Holy!

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View from the main house.

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View of the land from the northwest corner.

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Ricky BoscarinoDeep in the woods of northwestern New Jersey lies a very whimsical and unique place. Luna Parc, named after an amusement park in Rome, is the home and studio to artist Ricky Boscarino and is a perpetually ongoing work that is unabashedly original.

Luna Parc has been featured on HGTV’s Extreme Homes and Offbeat America programs as well as having been written up in the New York Times. The property features an endless array of oddities from the roadside mailbox and front gates to the sculpture gardens and numerous outbuildings.

Ricky BoscarinoThe house itself, both inside and out, continues with the eccentricity and whimsy. Portions of the colorful exterior and interiors are finished in mosaic work – literally millions of pieces of tile, pottery, broken china, natural stone and glass, painstakingly arranged. Many of the windows are stained glass created by Ricky himself as well.

Ricky’s web site features a very full virtual tour of the house, studio and property that is well worth a few moments of time. It also showcases much the Ricky’s actual artwork that he exhibits and sells. Truly a unique fellow!

Luna Parc Website