Canadian Couple Live on Amazing Man-Made Floating Complex Miles Away from Civilization

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Canadian couple Wayne Adams and Catherine King are the proud owners of ‘Freedom Cove’, a colorful floating home off the coast of Tofino in British Columbia. The unique structure consists of 12 platforms, supporting wooden buildings, greenhouses, a lighthouse, and living spaces that are all interconnected through wooden pathways. Freedom Cove is special because it is a ‘getaway’ in the true sense – completely off the grid and self-sustaining in every possible way.

Adams and King, along with their two children, have lived at Freedom Cove ever since it was built in 1992. And they’ve managed to live a full life without the help of mainstream civilisation. They grow fruits and vegetables all year round in several greenhouses, and generate electricity through solar panels and photovoltaic energy generators.

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Dutch Retirement Home Offers Free Rent for Students in Exchange for Interaction with the Elderly

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A Dutch nursing home has come up with an innovative plan to get young college kids to interact with the elderly. They’re offering small, rent-free apartments to the students, in exchange for at least 30 hours a month of spending quality time with their older neighbors.

According to the officials at Humanitas retirement home in Deventer, the students participate in a variety of activities with older residents – watching sports, celebrating birthdays, and offering company when they’re ill. It’s a unique win-win situation – the students are able to enjoy free accommodation, and it also solves the problems of isolation and loneliness among the elderly.

“It’s important not to isolate the elderly from the outside world,” explained Humanitas head Gea Sijpkes. “When you’re 96 years old with a knee problem, well, the knee isn’t going to get any better, the doctors can’t do much. But what we can do is create an environment where you forget about the painful knee. The students bring the outside world in, there is lots of warmth in the contact.”

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Russian Man Builds House with 12,000 Bottles of Champagne

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Located in the city of Chelyabinsk, in Russia, is a unique house built almost entirely of champagne bottles. The architectural oddity is the handiwork of a local resident, 52-year-old Hamidullah Ilchibaev. Fondly referred to as ‘Palace Oz’, the place is now a popular landmark in the region.

The idea for the house was not a random one – Hamidullah has always been interested in constructing things out of beer and vodka bottles. His children had always admired his work, and encouraged him to build a house someday. But he always thought it was impossible to do.

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There’s a Truly Unique Island Home For Sale in Hungary

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If you’re looking for a truly unique island home, you might want to check out this newly listed property in Hungary. It’s no a tropical paradise and the water is actually a small pond in the middle of an agricultural area, but at least it’s quiet.

The small house is located straight in the middle of a 120-square-meter man-made pond and apparently includes all modern amenities, including running water, electricity and sewage system. Whoever built it must have been a real fishing enthusiast as the pond is stocked full of different kinds of fish, from carp to bream and even sturgeon. Overall, there is a total of over 10,000 kilograms of fish living in the pond and they come with the house.

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Coca Cola Obsessed Woman Turns Her Home into a Shrine to the Popular Drink

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People are generally paid to endorse a brand or display its logo, but one Irishwoman has done the opposite – she’s actually spent several thousands of dollars converting her home into a Coca Cola shrine. Every single room in Lillian’s Glanmire home is done up in the brand’s iconic red and white colors. The Coke logo is splashed across walls and pillow cases, and vintage Coke bottles and cans add to the decor.

Lillian explained that her obsession with Coca Cola began over 30 years ago, when she was traveling from Germany to Austria. When she crossed the border between the two countries, she realized that she had been drinking from the same can in two different countries. So she decided to start collecting Coke cans from all over the world.

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French Botanist’s Paris Home Is a Regular Urban Jungle

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French Botanist Patrick Blanc, is known as a master of vertical gardens. During his long career, he has designed hundreds of lush “green walls” that cover both the inside and outside of buildings all around the globe, but none are as impressive as the small urban jungle he calls home, on the outskirts of Paris

61-year-old Blanc makes vertical gardens by attaching metal frames to walls, covering them with PVC and rot-proof felts, and then setting up an irrigation system that dampens the felt and keeps the plants well hydrated. Since 1988, he has created hundreds of these botanical tapestries in public and private spaces around the world – including the Marithé & François Girbaud boutique in Manhattan, the Siam Paragon shopping center in Bangkok and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan.

Expanding on his unique method, Blanc worked on his dream home in the outskirts of Paris, in collaboration with architect Gilles Ebersolt. But while most of his professional projects present nature through a formally elegant design, the plants in his home are a tangle of leaves with a mold-smudged ceiling. From the outside, the house doesn’t look too impressive. But once you step inside, it’s like entering a whole new world.

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Chinese Company Showcases Fully 3D-Printed Villa and Apartment Building

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Only a few years ago, if someone had told you that it was possible to build a home without the noisy, dusty eyesore that is the construction site, you’d probably have thought they were crazy. Yet, Chinese company WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co has made this possible – they’re actually printing homes now, using one of those revolutionary 3D printers.

WinSun made headlines in March last year, when the printed 10 different one-story, 200 square-meter houses, using nothing but industrial construction waste and a 3D printer. Each building cost $4,800 to make. Now, they’re in the news again with two new additions – a five-story apartment building and a 1,100 square meter villa.

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Couple Accidentally Build $680,000 Dream Home on Lot Owned by Someone Else

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You can’t help but feel sorry for this Florida couple – their newly constructed dream home is now turning out to be a mega-nightmare. Although Mark Voss and his wife own eighteen residential lots in the gated Ocean Hammock community, their house was accidentally built on one that doesn’t belong to them!

“We’re in total disbelief,” said Mark, who is the owner of a property management and real estate company in Missouri. “We may have moved someday. But, with this headache and grief, we’re not so sure. The Midwest is looking pretty good now.”

The couple said that they purchased the lot – with the address of 23 Ocean Ridge Blvd. – in 2012. Then they hired a company called Keystone Homes to build the three-story, five-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot vacation rental that cost them a whopping $680,000. Six months after the custom house was built, however, a survey crew working nearby realized the error – that the house actually stands on the lot next door to the Vosses’ – 21 Ocean Ridge Blvd. North. This one belongs to a North Carolina couple who bought it way back in 2003.

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Man Wants to Swap His Detroit Home for an iPhone 6

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A homeowner in Detroit, Michigan, recently put his property up on the market – and when he failed to make a sale, he decided settle for a trade. He is now after Apple’s latest product offering – the iPhone 6. And if he can’t have that, he’s willing to settle for a 32-gigabyte iPad or an Android in exchange for the house.

Understandably, the three-bedroom, one-and-a-half bathroom brick house isn’t exactly in the best condition. It does have a finished basement and a plush garden, but neighbors strongly believe that it needs to be torn down. The bungalow was initially listed for $5,000, but there weren’t any takers. So the current price is down to $3,000 or an iPhone 6.

“It’s a real listing,” insisted realtor Larry Else. “My client is overseas and he told me he would be willing to trade the property for an iPhone 6. It sounds to me like he wants the Plus version, but I think he’s willing to negotiate.”

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Man Spends Two Years Covering Every Inch of His House with Seashells

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Xiao Yongsheng is the owner of a small beach and a traditional Chinese house on Lingshan Island, off the coast of Qingdao city in eastern China’s Shandong province. When he decided to renovate his large home, he wondered if it was worth spending money on expensive designers and architects. Ultimately, he decided to save up and do it for free – he spent two whole years covering every inch of his 1,500-square meter house with seashells that he collected from his own beach.

“I’d always liked shells but it never struck me to use them until I was walking on a beach one morning and came across a very unusually colored clam shell and then it hit me,” said the 58-year-old. “I realised I was sitting next to a huge, free supply of beautiful building material – so why not use it?” So he began collecting every kind of shell he could find – right from tiny 3-millimeter ones to giant conches that weighed over four kilograms.

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‘Human Props’ Live in Luxury Houses but Must Be Ready to Move at All Times

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The Mueller family have a unique living arrangement – they are, in fact, part of an ‘elite’ group of middle-class nomads who have agreed to a very peculiar lease agreement. They get to live in for-sale luxury homes at dirt cheap prices, but of course, there’s a catch – the house must always be in squeaky clean, in case it gets bought, and they have to be ready to move out immediately.

So while the Muellers get to enjoy the very best of houses, they need to keep things meticulously clean and maintain a precisely pleasant temperature. The mirrors have to be crystal clear at all times, and the bed needs to look like it’s never been slept in. They need special approval if they want to have more than 10 people over. When a prospective buyer wants to view the house, the family needs to disappear. And when the property is sold, they’ve got to pack and move to the next luxury destination.

It seems like a bizarre way to live, but there’s a very specific reason for it – according to real estate companies, houses sell better when they’re being lived in. Families like the Muellers lend an unmistakable energy to an otherwise empty home. The effect of their presence is so great that home-staging firms say they’re able to sell homes faster and for more money. The Muellers pay the firm about $1,200 for rent and household bills, and the firm reimburses costs every time they need to move.

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Woman Sick of Mowing the Lawn Turns Her Yard into a Giant Sandbox

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66-year-old Georgianna Reid, a resident of Kansas City, got so fed up of mowing her lawn that she converted it into a giant sandbox. She actually replaced her green lawn with 80 tons of sand, after contractors tore up her yard. The conversion cost her $4,000, including a low fence all around the perimeter of the sand-covered lawn.

“Now, being over 60, I’ve decided that I’ve owned the house for 33 years and that I wasn’t going to mow anymore or water,” she said. Georgianna’s corner house at East Meyer Boulevard and Walnut Street is so conspicuous now, passersby just cannot miss it. Unfortunately, not all the reactions are positive. A lot of her neighbors don’t think the house ‘fits in’ to the Brookside area.

Some of them have actually filed complaints with the city officials. A few went as far as stealing her volleyball net, lawn ornaments and a life-sized chest. “I think the house looks revolting with all that is out there,” said neighbor Edwin Bisby. “I’m sure it’s going to hurt the property values in this neighborhood.”

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Costa Rican ‘Mole Man’ Spends 10 Years Digging Large Underground Home by Hand

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Manuel Barrantes, fondly known as ‘El Hombre Topo’ or ‘The Mole Man’, has spent the last 10 years building himself a unique underground home. The 62-year-old Costa Rican did it all by hand, using only picks and shovels for tools. He now uses the large tunnel as a residence and a museum, welcoming tourists and teaching children about archeology and geography.

The underground dwelling is located in Perez Zeledon, a canton of San José Province in Costa Rica. Popularly known as ‘Topolandia’, the unique dwelling features over 400 square meters of tunnels. The walls and corridors of the caves are adorned with a variety of hand-carved sculptures of turtles, dinosaurs and even TV characters like the Flintstones. The largest tunnel inside the house is at least 16 meters deep, with a comfortable lounge to welcome visitors.

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Kindhearted Artist Turns Trash into Tiny Mobile Homes for the Homeless

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Gregory Kloehn is an artist who uses his skills for a really worthy cause – building homes for the homeless. Making use of recycled and reclaimed materials found on the street, he creates small mobile homes, each about the size of a sofa. These homes come with pitched roofs to keep out the rain and wheels at the bottom, for mobility. So far, he’s built about 10 shelters through the ‘Homeless Homes Project’, and hopes to create more in the future.

Although they’re not made of much, the tiny homes are more than enough for someone with no other place to sleep. They are painted in bright colors and have a few quirky elements – like washing machine doors for windows and minivan tops for roofs. Gregory, 43, is a sculptor by profession, but he went on a construction spree after building his five-unit live-work condominium from scratch. Originally from Denver, he now lives in Oakland, California, where he carries out his philanthropic construction project.

“Before, I was all about sculpture, but I realized it just sits there,” he said. “And you’re just peddling it to rich people. I kind of think if you’re putting so much effort into something it would be nice if it did something.” So with his new-found fascination for architecture, Gregory began to study homeless shanties in his neighborhood. He wrote a book called ‘Homeless Architecture’ at the time, admiring how they were able to recycle all day and make homes out of almost nothing.

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Colombia’s Flintstone House Is Made Entirely from Baked Clay

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64-year-old architect Octavio Mendoza literally baked the house that he lives in. He calls the 5,400 square foot house ‘the biggest piece of pottery in the world’. Casa Terracotta, or Casa Barro in Spanish, was built exclusively by hand using clay and baked in the sun. Located in Villa de Leyva, a colonial mountain village in Colombia, it is also known to locals as the ‘Casa de Flintstone’ or Flintstone House.

From the outside, Casa Terracotta looks like a huge mound of clay, loosely fashioned to resemble a cottage. It is surrounded by lush green farmland, set against a breathtaking backdrop of the mountains. Inside, the rooms curve and flow into each other, as though the entire house was cast in a single mold. Rustic as it seems, the clay cottage does offer a few modern conveniences – solar panels for hot water, toilets and sinks covered in colorful mosaic tiles, two floors with lounge and sleeping areas, and a fully functional kitchen. Of course, the kitchen table and all the utensils are all fashioned out of the same material – clay. The beer mugs that adorn the kitchen are made of recycled glass and the lighting fixtures from scrap metal.

Mendoza, who spent most of his career designing homes, commercial buildings and churches, calls the clay house his ‘project for life’. He started to work on it over 14 years ago – his goal was to demonstrate how soil can be transformed into habitable architecture by simply using the natural resources at hand. So Casa Terracotta doesn’t contain an ounce of cement or steel. Mendoza, who is also an environmental activist, said: “Think of it this way. In desert places (which exist all across the planet), soil is perfect for this type of architecture. This means that for all those regions, a system like this could bring housing to millions of families.”

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