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This Company Builds Motorized Hidden Doors for Wannabe Superheroes

Creative Home Engineering is the world’s most famous company dedicated to making hidden rooms and secret doors. From wannabe superheroes, to wealthy businessmen looking for a safe space for their prized art collections, they all turn to this particular company when they want one of those fancy hidden doors that you see in the movies.

The idea for Creative Home Engineering was born in 2003, when founder Steve Humble was working as a mechanical engineer designing surgical lasers for a medical device company. He had always been fascinated by hidden doors and passageways, and that year he decided he wanted one for himself, but realized there was no one to build it for him. “I was renting a large house with a bunch of my friends at the time, and we had some extra rooms that we weren’t using. I thought it would be fun to have a secret door like I had seen in the movies, but when I did a little research I was surprised to learn that there was no company anywhere that specialized in hidden passageways,” he recalls. Soon after, Steve quit his job and started building motorized secret passageways for people out of his parents’ garage in Arizona.

Humble got a special contractor’s license created for designing secret lairs, and went on to create over 150 custom installations for clients all over the United States, before expanding globally. Today Creative Home Engineering is the world’s premier designer and manufacturer of motorized and high-security secret passageways, with a portfolio of over 500 satisfied customers from all walks of life.

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This Transforming Castle Truck Is the Most Amazing Mobile Home Ever

Justin and Jola Siezen are an unconventional family.  They have adopted a traveling lifestyle and are constantly on the move with their baby son Piko, in a mobile home. But that’s no ordinary mobile home – it’s a magical truck that transforms into a fantasy castle, complete with a kitchen, bedroom, turret bathrooms, and a rooftop bathtub!

The couple used to spend a lot of their time on the road, because of Jola’s job as an acrobat. “We were traveling around overseas and thought about coming back to New Zealand and where we were going to live,” Justin said. “I remembered living in a bus and I was thinking ‘that’s actually not a bad idea, that would be a good start when we get back until we decide on something else.”

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World’s Most Amazing Home Railroad System Can Be Yours for Only $3.5 Million

The suburb of Sherwood, just outside of Portland, Oregon, is home to one of the most spectacular properties in the world. Not only does it have all the regular stuff – a 5,000 Square Feet house, professional landscaping, a garden, a barn and a shop – it also has a fabulous world-class personal railway system with real steam-engine trains.

So if you lived at 18055 SW Seiffert Road, you’d be able to go on train rides every single day. You don’t need a ticket, you don’t have to deal with crowds and the best part – you can never miss a train! All that costs a measly $3.5 million.

Todd Miller, the owner of 18055, spent a large part of his life building the trains and tracks that spread across the 20-acre property. Miller has built handmade steam locomotives, 11,000ft of track, a 30ft railroad trestle and a 400ft-long tunnel. “My passion for railroads started when I was about five years old,” he says. “I got an American Flyer train set for Christmas and it kind of got out of hand from there.”

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Star Trek Fan Turns the Basement of Her Home into an Awesome Replica of the Enterprise Deck

51-year-old Canadian social worker, Line Rainville, is a Star Trek superfan. She loves the 1960s Original Series so much that she spent $30,000 to bring the Enterprise spaceship into her basement. Rainville re-created parts of the bridge, transporter room, observation deck, recreation room and Spock’s quarters in her home in Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, Quebec.

You’ve got to be a Star Trek fan yourself to truly appreciate what Rainville has done here. It wasn’t easy for her to find pieces of furniture and décor that matched the theme of the series. She used custom-built furniture for the stations on the bridge that would face a central viewing screen (the TV). She had to get her widescreen TV to fit the space reserved for bridge viewing screen, which was a tricky process.

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Israeli Women Convert Old Public Transportation Bus into Beautiful Living Space

Two women from Even Yehuda, Israel, seem to have found a practical solution to the country’s growing housing problem. They have taken a beat-down public transportation bus and turned it into a luxury home anyone would be lucky to live in.

Tali Shaul, a psychotherapist, and Hagit Morevski, an ecological pond water treatment specialist, became friends after their two sons started playing together. Sharing similar views, the two looked for a creative project and joint business idea for a long time, before finding their inspiration in the pages of a women’s style magazine. “I read an article about alternative housing solutions, such as containers and tents,” Shaul told Xnet, “and suggested Hagit and I turn an old bus into a living space.” That same week, they went to a scrapyard and bought an old public transportation bus. After stripping away all the seats and clearing up the space for the big transformation, Tali and Hagit found themselves wondering whether to keep the original outlay of the bus or turn it into a container-like space. Unable to make a decision on heir own, they reached out to their designer friend, Vered Sofer Drori, who ultimately found a way to keep the bus’ general layout and design the living space around it.

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The Do Hit Chair – A Smashable Piece of Furniture Worth $8,500

Furniture doesn’t come much more customizable than the Do Hit Chair from Droog Design. For the modest price of €6,553 ($8,500) you get a stainless steel cube and a sledgehammer to shape it into the chair of your dreams.

Created by Dutch designer Marijn van der Poll caused quite a lot of controversy when it was first revealed back in 2000. You’d expect a designer chair priced at several thousand dollars to be really special, and this one is, just not in the way that you would expect. Instead of shaping his masterpiece into something unique, van der Poll simply welded a stainless steel cube and left the design part to the buyer by throwing in a sledgehammer. So you basically pay €6,500 (€7,930 if you’re in the EU) for a steel cube and get to smash it for minutes or hours until you get the desired shape. If this sounds interesting, the Do Hit Chair is still available on the Droog website, but you could just run down to your local hardware store, get some steel sheets and a sledgehammer and just build your own for much less. And if you’re feeling uninspired, there’s even a YouTube video of Marijn van der Poll himself smashing away at a steel cube trying to make a chair. Or, if you’re too lazy to pound it with the sledgehammer yourself, you can have the designer pre-smash it for you, but the price for the chair goes up to $12,738. The default version sounds cheap now, doesn’t it?

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Batman Fanatic Has His Own Batcave

38-year-old Chris Weir is so fascinated with Batman that he spent around $100,000 transforming his large basement into a veritable Batcave, complete with a custom home-theater, a secret entrance and even a life-size Batman suit used by the Dark Knight in the latest trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan.

Chris’ fascination with the caped crusader started at age three, when he and his uncle played Batman and Robin in the yard. Like many other young boys, he spent his childhood years playing with action figures from the Batman universe, and at 14 he bough his first comic book “The Legends of The Dark Knight”, and continued paying for a monthly subscription with his pocket money. Nothing unusual for a young boy, but Weir never really grew out of it. Even as an adult, he kept buying comics, action figures and posters of his favorite superhero, only at one point it just wasn’t enough anymore. He wanted to take his passion for everything Batman to a new level, and when he and his wife decided to look for a new house, Chris got the opportunity he had been waiting for. Weir wanted his very one Batcave so bad that when shopping for houses the deciding factor was always whether their future home would have enough basement space for his dream. In the end, he gave his wife Joanna two options to choose from, one of which happens to be their current home.

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Man Turns 727 Passenger Plane into His Woodland Dream Home

Bruce Campbell, a 62-year-old self-confessed nerd from Oregon, USA, has spent the last 10 years converting a 727-200 passenger jet into his dream home.

We’ve seen airplanes converted into living space before, like the 747 jumbo jet hostel in Stockholm, or the Boeing 707 plane hotel of Costa Rica, but Bruce Campbell’s work is the most impressive we’ve ever seen, because he did it all by himself.  The Building Services & Environmental Engineer bought the old 727-200 plane for $100,000 and spent at least another $100,000 on logistics costs like having it moved from the airport to his home, and temporarily removing the wings and tail. On AirplaneHome.com, the website dedicated to his ambitious project, Campell says planes like his aren’t that expensive nowadays, and costs can be significantly lowered if you work on the project during the summer, instead of a La Nina hurricane winter, like he did.

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Poor Carpenter Builds Awesome Tree House with Materials Found on Craiglist

Joel Allen completed his amazing tree house on Whistler Mountain, in Western Canada, two years ago, but chose to keep it a secret for fear it would be torn down. Now, his secret’s out and the Hemloft has become one of the most talked-about architectural wonders on the Internet.

Hemloft, named after the hemlock tree supporting it, is definitely one of the most charming tree houses I have ever seen, but it’s actually the story behind it that’s most fascinating. Its creator, Joel Allen, was 26 when he decided to quit his job as a software developer and pursue a get-rich quick scheme. That didn’t exactly work out the way he planned, and he soon found himself strapped for cash. Joel found his calling as a carpenter, and one day got the brilliant idea of using his new-found talent to build a wooden tree house on Whistler Mountain, right in the middle of one of the world’s most expensive housing markets. He didn’t have the money for it, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t be done.

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Woman Converts Old Caboose into Comfy Home

When she bought a 1909 Soo Line caboose in 1975, Marcia Webber never thought she’d end up living in it full time, but she’s now happy to call this collector’s piece home.

Marcia and her husband bought the old caboose from the Turnerville Station, in Whippany, New Jersey, after responding to an ad in the Wall Street Journal that said “wooden cabooses for sale”. At first, the couple used it as a vacation home, but after a going through a divorce and losing her job, Marcia had to move into the caboose permanently. Electricity had been installed a few years back, but with no indoor plumbing and heating, going through the first winter was a pretty rough experience.

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Paris Museum Displays Skateboarders’ Dream House

The PAS House, a skateboarding living environment concept thought up by French pro skater Pierre Andre Senizergues and designer Gil Le Bon Delapointe, has finally been brought to life at the La Gaite Museum, in Paris.

Pierre Andre Senizergues has been in love with his skateboard ever since he first discovered it, as a teenager, and has pretty much built his life around the board. He’s ridden it to five world skateboarding championships and built a successful skateboarding shoe line called etnies, so you can see why he felt a little reluctant to part with it every time he went inside his house. But then one day, he had this crazy idea: “I began imagining a city of the future where skateboards are used as the primary form of transportation and recreation — in and out of your home.” the skater told the Toronto Star. “A utopia city for skateboarders would mean that a skateable path, like a ribbon connecting everything together, links each building in an unending ability to keep in motion on your board.”

So, in the early 2000’s, Senizergues partnered with etnies designer and fellow skateboarding fanatic Gil Le Bon Delapointe to create a perfectly skateable house on Senizergues’ Malibu property. They came up with a few great ideas, and even managed to build a miniature model of this skateboarder’s dream house, but after 10 years and some run-ins with the Coastal Commission, it was still in the project phase. But, La Gaite Museum, in Paris, somehow learned about their original housing idea and presented them with the opportunity of building a prototype for their skate-culture exhibition, running this summer.

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House from Disney’s Animated Movie Up Recreated in Real Life

A full-scale replica of the iconic house from the movie “Up”, complete with small details from Disney/Pixar’s animation, is being built in the city of Herriman, Utah.

Utah fans looking to feast their eyes on some real-life Disney magic won’t have to take the trip to California anymore, as a real masterpiece starts to take shape a lot closer to home, in Herriman. Blair Bangerter, one of the three brothers in charge of Bangerter Homes – a custom home building company – said: “I was just watching the movie, and thought, ‘We build houses kind of like that, ’” So after getting the go-ahead from Disney, they started recreating Carl and Ellie’s house from “Up”, while making some modifications of their own.

While the laws of physics may not apply to cartoons, they do apply in real life, so in order to make this house safe, the Bangerters had to make some changes: the house is now a narrow rectangle rather than a square, and the chimney and fireplace have been modified so they actually match up in real life. But, according to Adam Bangerter “ff you see it in the movie, you are going to see it in real life here”. The outside is painted in sherbet shades and there is even a replica of Carl and Ellie’s hand-printed mailbox and custom-made garden hose reel. And the movie details continue inside: the upstairs nursery has the same mural Ellie paints in the film, her and Carl’s armchairs have been custom ordered to match those in the animation, and there is a painting of fictional Paradise Falls over the mantle and a custom-made fireplace.

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Man Turns His House into Renaissance-Style Masterpiece

Robert Burns, a 63-year-old retired decorator from England, has turned the interior of his house into a modern-day Renaissance masterpiece.

After years of painting other people’s houses in boring, pastel colors, Burns got bored. He remembers thinking he had spent 15 years of his life applying the exact shade of magnolia with a paint roller, and was in desperate need of a creative outlet. One day, he bought two books about the Vatican at a car boot sale, and suddenly discovered the Italian Renaissance. Even though he had never been to Florence or Rome, he said to himself “How difficult can this be, I’m a decorator”, and that’s how it all started.

When he started working on his Renaissance interior, the self-taught artist redid his first painting three or four times because he thought it didn’t look good enough, but he soon got the hang of it and began to understand how great classics like Caravaggio or Michaelangelo did their works. While acrylics didn’t seem like the right kind of paint at the beginning, he soon learned they worked quite well if he got the technique right, and now his entire house is painted with acrylics.

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Designer Makes Furniture from Discarded Electronics

Benjamin Rollins Caldwell of BRC Design recycles old computer components by using them to create original pieces of furniture.

Discarded electronics are a major problem for the environment, and there’s no better example than China’s Guiyu electronics waste site, but some people come up with original ideas that make recycling them look easy and cool. Take Benjamin Rollins Caldwell, who’s Binary Collection features pieces of furniture any computer geek would love to have in their home.

For the Binary Low Table, the designer used bent computer tower cases as a basic frame, and proceeded to add various computer parts like motherboards, computer chips, LED displays and hard-drives, until the structure was completely covered. Even the glass panels were salvaged from an old warehouse. For the Binary Chair 01 and Binary Chair 02, Caldwell used a frame made of an old industrial printer, covered with a collage of electronics. Apart from being completely functional and visually appealing, the Binary Chairs also have an interactive quality, as the various buttons and keys can be pressed, the hard-disks can be spun and the antennae raised.

So why dump a bunch of toxic electronics in a landfill when you can create something as beautiful as BRC’s Binary Collection?

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German Couple Convert Train Cars into Comfy Home

Vanessa Stallbaum and Marco Stepniak love trains so much they decided to integrate two old mail cars in the design of their new house.

The German couple met on a train, and their first vacation was a four-day train ride from Berlin to Kazakhstan, so when Marco told his girlfriend he wanted to build their house around two train cars, she immediately agreed. 34-year-old Stepniak got the crazy idea 15 years ago, when he attended a youth club, close to his home town of Herten. It was set up in two old train cars and he remembers thinking someone could actually live in them.

Two new train cars like the two wanted to use for their new house, cost around €500,000 ($725,000), but they were lucky enough to find an online ad for two second-hand mail cars from Switzerland. Built between 1974 and 1975, the two railway antiques were in remarkably good condition, and they cost only €20,000 ($29,000). Unfortunately, transporting them from Switzerland to Germany actually cost more than the cars themselves €26,000 ($37,600), but  Vanessa and Marco spared no expense in order to realize their dream.

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