Tiny Yellow House

When Seattle, WA based designer/contractor Hartman Kable wanted a home away from home, he opted to built for himself a beach house from a repurposed shipping container. The SurfShack, as it is called, is located on the Washington Coast. With clever design elements, the finished beach house has room enough for two to stay in it comfortably, while it was also made using mostly repurposed materials. The SurfShack was also featured by Derek “Deek” Diedricksen on RelaxShacks.com. You can watch the full video tour at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trsZ-PD-TMA, from which the photos that accompany this post are taken.

The SurfShack is made from an 8×20 foot double ended shipping container and measures 160 square feet. Hartman made no modifications to the exterior shell during the building process, so the structure still has all its original weatherproofing in place. Given that this is a shipping container, designed for years of high sea travel, Hartman deemed such weatherproofing adequate for the purposes of the beach home.

The interior, however, is packed with all the features and functions of a modern, comfortable beach home. Hartman installed large glass doors on both sides of the container, in the places where the original cargo doors were located. This lets in lots of natural daylight into the beach house, and eliminated the need to cut additional holes into the sides for extra windows. One of the glass door opens onto a 150 square foot deck, extending the indoor space very effectively. Hartman left the original container doors in place for the purposes of locking the beach house up when it isn’t occupied.

Shipping Container Home, - The SurfShack, Hartman Kable, - Grayland, Washington,  (3)

The interior space formed by a shipping container is rather narrow and small, but Hartman solved this drawback by fitting it with moving panels that fold out from the walls and form the needed furniture and fixtures. The panels fold out to form a full sized bed, a couch, a dining table and bench, as well as ample storage shelves. When all of this is fully closed, the indoor space looks much like an empty shipping container, which is how Hartman envisioned it, since he wanted to preserve the original, industrial look of the container as much as possible. The shipping container beach home is also equipped with a fully functional galley kitchen and wet room bathroom with a shower, which gives it all the comforts of home.



Hartman wanted to build the house as sustainably as possible. To achieve that, the shipping container was purchased used. The house is also fitted with windows that were repurposed after being discarded by a shopping mall during renovations. And the wood used to build the outdoor deck was reclaimed from a trash pile.