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Something for Everyone: 10 Incredible Homes from Around the World

As self-professed experts on all things home, we scoured the globe and discovered a treasure trove of inspiration in these unique, clever, and downright amazing abodes. Which one is right for you?

For the escapist

Photo credit: Contemporist

View House

This spectacular Australian home lets you leave the world behind, maximizing views of the Southern Ocean through smart, simple design. Floor-to-ceiling windows on the south side afford residents and visitors an open invitation to the 180-degree panorama, while windowless north walls ensure absolute privacy. The interior design is austere, not even bothering to compete with the splendor outside those windows. Take in the view.

For the kids (or kids at heart)

Photo credit: Arch Daily

Slide House

Somewhat unremarkable — if oddly shaped — from the outside, this Japanese home contains a whimsical secret guaranteed to get the kids downstairs for breakfast on time. Custom designed for a family with three children, this home comes complete with a slide that spans three stories. Party poopers can opt for the stairs, but it’s much more enjoyable to hop on the curved slide at either the second or third floor. Join the fun. Join the fun.

For the hermit

Photo credit: Arquitectura Orgánica

Shell House

Arguably the most stylish (perhaps the only?) shell-shaped home in Mexico, the Nautilus is truly a work of art and way outside of the traditional architecture box. What it lacks in space and storage, it makes up for with whimsy to spare. Built using ferrocement construction, and inspired by the beauty of the natural world, every thoughtful detail of this house comes together to create an experience right out of a fantasy novel. Take a trip.

For the minimalist

Photo credit: Arch Daily

Skinny House

The Keret House in Poland puts the tiny house movement as we know it to shame. Built in the four-foot “cushion of air” between two buildings in downtown Warsaw, this is the world’s skinniest home. Taking advantage of its 30-foot height, the house boasts a bedroom, living room, and bathroom, although the lack of space means finding creative solutions to electrical and sewage needs. The home doesn’t meet building code, and is therefore classified as an “art installation,” but traveling writers have been resting their weary heads in this slender space since its opening in 2012. Hope you’re not claustrophobic.

For the hermit

Photo credit: Inhabitat

Cement House

It takes a keen eye — and a wildly creative imagination — to happen upon an abandoned cement factory and envision a home. That’s exactly what a Spanish architect did in 1973, creating a hauntingly gorgeous labor of love in Catalonia. Since work began over 40 years ago, the dilapidated factory has become a comfortable home and workspace, and is constantly evolving. Rather than removing the evidence of its former life, the architect has celebrated factory elements like the silos, using them as sculptural works of art. Get in the mix.

For the prepper

Photo credit: KWK PROMES

Zombie House

Whether you’re convinced the impending zombie apocalypse is near, or just really dislike your nosy neighbors, this Polish home — nicknamed the Safe House — will ensure you’re comfortable inside no matter who’s outside. While the Safe House comes complete with one-and-a-half foot-thick walls, a retractable drawbridge, and anodized aluminum shutters, these elements can be mobilized to open up the house and create a uniquely beautiful space, flooded with natural light. The shutters even double as a giant projection screen for outdoor movies… form and function! Gain Entry

For the exhibitionist

Photo credit: Arch Daily

Zombie House

There’ll be stone throwing in this glass house. Situated in the heart of Tokyo and inspired by the idea of separate, yet accessible branches of a tree, House NA is a sight to behold. Rather than a series of traditional rooms, this house is completely open (including to the outside world) and consists of 21 floor plates acting as mini wall-less rooms. Unsightly plumbing and storage are hidden in walls at the rear of the home, and curtains are available to provide privacy, in case the idea of being watched by passersby gets old. See for yourself.

For the techie

Photo credit: HGTV

Smart House

The charming yet unassuming exterior of this home conceals a plethora of high-tech finishes, offering the latest in modern comfort. From automatic skylights equipped with rain sensors and discreet, security-connected panic buttons, to futuristic, hands-free toilets and a virtual reality speakeasy hidden behind a bookshelf, this home is the stuff of early adopters’ dreams. There’s even a TV in the spa-like shower, so if you need us, you know where we’ll be. Discover more.

For the thalassophile

Photo credit: HGTV

Beach House

If the sea is your thing, this home in the British Virgin Islands has you covered. There’s no better place to take in the stunning Caribbean views than from your infinity pool… except from your hot tub. Lush landscapes surround the home and complement the crystal blue water, providing plenty of reasons to use the outdoor dining and living areas. The cheery yellow exterior and Balinese-inspired touches ground the house in its island environment, but don’t be fooled, no expense has been spared in the design and building of this tropical dream home. Take a dip.

For the DIYer

Photo credit: The Backcountry Hut Company

DIY House

When you’ve already redone your bathroom and you’re ready to level up, take on the ultimate DIY project — building your own house. These homes are sold as kits (think IKEA for home building), making them relatively easy to assemble anywhere, even in remote, off-grid locations. You’ll get bonus points for sustainability, as all the components are environmentally sensitive, recycled, or zero waste. The result is a clean, modern look that’s surprisingly elegant. See what’s in the box.

While each of these homes offers something unique and specific, they all share a sense of creativity and inspired design. With a little imagination (and a little money), we can all create living spaces that are full wonder, whimsy, or just have a really good drawbridge. What will you dream up for your home?

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