This Ordinary-Looking House Is Actually a Renaissance Palace in Disguise

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From the outside, this house in Newport, Oregon, looks pretty ordinary, with yellowed brick walls, white cladding, and a two-car garage. But you’ll be surprised to learn that inside it’s actually an opulent Renaissance-era palace complete with hand-carved doors, stained-glass windows, and centuries-old antique decor.

The unique house belongs to a member of the British nobility – the Right and Honorable Dowager Countess of Shannon, Almine Barton – apparently has excellent reason for maintaining the striking contrast between the spectacular interior and rather drab exterior – taxes.

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Family Builds Glass Greenhouse around Their Home to Warm It Naturally

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Even though the average temperature in Stockholm, Sweden, is at a frigid 27 degrees Fahrenheit, Marie Granmar, Charles Sacilotto and their young son enjoy a cozy atmosphre all year round. The young couple have managed to harness the power of the sun by encasing their home in a giant glass greenhouse.

Aptly named ‘Naturhus’ (Nature House), the unique abode is located on the Stockholm archipelago and consists of an old summer house encased in glass. Marie and Charles were originally looking for an empty lot to build a house from scratch, but they eventually settled on repurposing this old summer house for year-round living, by building a greenhouse around it.

“This is a summer house,” Marie explained. “It was not really made for year-round living, but that was part of the idea, that you could actually put the greenhouse around the summer house and actually live in it with nice comfort all year round.” Charles, an engineer by profession, designed and made the necessary modifications himself, drawing inspiration from the work of Swedish eco-architect Bengt Warne, who just happens to be his mentor.

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Millionaire Lends His Luxurious Mansions for $1 a Month to People Left Homeless by Tornadoes

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A benevolent businessman from Texas has opened up two of his mansions to help house and rehabilitate the victims of the recent tornadoes that devastated the state. Ron Sturgeon, who is reportedly worth $75million, told affected families that they could live in his mansions for three months, at a meagre rent of $1 a month.

The two houses, reportedly worth $3.5million, are currently unoccupied and up for sale. Sturgeon himself was in Jamaica on vacation when the tornadoes struck north Texas last week. When he returned, he decided to put the mansions to good use.

“Does anyone have friends or relatives that lost their home in Garland or other city that needs housing?” he wrote on his Facebook page. “I have a 10,000sf home in Colleyville (empty for sale) that I will loan to someone to stay in for up to three months. And an extra car they can use. No charge. The home is big enough for two families. The home is pet friendly with a 10 car garage to store belongings in.”

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Architect Turns Old Grain Silo into Amazing-Looking Home

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It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but this cylindrical structure is an architectural marvel. It actually used to be an old grain silo from the 1950s, but it’s been transformed a cozy, well-equipped one-bedroom by architect Christoph Kaiser. He now lives in the silo-house – located in Phoenix, Arizona – with his wife.

The quirky 340-square-foot home has a very small carbon footprint, but not at the cost of modern comforts. Kaiser, who purchased the silo from a Kansas farmer and transported it to Arizona on a pickup truck, made all sorts of modifications to make it habitable. He added a ten-inch spray foam insulation between the silo walls and the interior walls, and painted the corrugated shell sheet white to reflect the heat of the desert sun.

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Google Engineer Saves 90% of His Salary by Living Out of a Truck in the Company’s Parking Lot

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In a bid to save money, Google employee Brandon S. has made the company’s vast parking lot his home. The 23-year-old software engineer lives out of a box truck parked near the search engine giant’s campus in Mountain View, California.

Brandon started work at Google as a summer intern in 2014 – he rented a two-bedroom apartment with three roommates at the time. It cost him about $65 a night, or roughly $2,000 a month, to live there. “I realised I was paying an exorbitant amount of money for the apartment I was staying in – and I was almost never home,” he told Business Insider.

So when he signed on as a full-time employee, he decided to opt out of spending on sky-high rents in the Bay Area. Inspired by the story of software programmer Ben Discoe, who lived for 13 months out of a conversion van in the Google parking lot, he bought a $10,000 used Ford E350 and started living in it. It’s now less of a home and more like a place to sleep and store his stuff – he showers, bathes, charges his gadgets, and eats all his meals in the Google buildings. All he spends is $121 a month on insurance for the truck.

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Rents in San Francisco Are So Outrageous That Young Professionals Prefer Living in Shipping Containers

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Unable to afford ridiculously expensive rental housing in San Francisco, young professionals are trying to find interesting alternative living arrangements. One of them literally involves living in a box – there’s a whole village in Oakland where shipping containers are doubling up as tiny apartments!

At ‘Containercopia’, you can rent a 160-square-foot metal container complete with glass windows, electricity, and private bathroom for just $600 a month . The whole package is considered a steal when compared to skyrocketing rents in the city, which went up by 20 percent in the last year.

The idea for Containercopia belongs to 32-year-old Luke Iseman and his ex-partner Heather Stewart. They were fed up of spending huge amounts on rent, so they bought a shipping container for $2,300 from the Port of Oakland, rented half an acre of land, and moved in. Then they spent about $12,000 converting the box into a home – with a small toilet, custom-built shower, queen-size bed, glass windows, and solar panels.

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This Transforming Castle Truck Is the Most Amazing Mobile Home Ever

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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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Man Spends Six Years Carving Cave Home in the Side of a Hill

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After his divorce, Chinese farmer Xu Wenyi longed for a means to escape reality. So he set out on an epic challenge – to dig his own cave dwelling in the side of a hill. It was back-breaking work, but he kept at it for six long years, until his cave home was finally ready.

Xu, now 57, has been living in his cave for over a decade. Located in a mountain in Xiangtan County, in China’s Hunan Province, it measures 100 ft deep and 13 ft wide. In fact, it’s more like a tiny apartment, complete with concrete-reinforced walls and a front door. The interiors are pretty neat too, with an 85-square foot living room and a stone kitchen. Xu has even dug out alcoves in the walls, to use as shelves for his belongings. He has a chicken coop inside, and he’s made himself a garden of pine and cypress trees outside.

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Couple Rent Out Their Home on Airbnb for a Weekend, Find It Completely Trashed after Monster Party

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When this young Canadian couple got the chance to make a few extra dollars by renting out their three-bedroom home on Airbnb, they took it immediately. Little did they know that two days later, they would find their beautiful home wrecked beyond imagination.

Mark and Star King bought their house in 2010, in Calgary’s fashionable Sage Hill, for a little over US $300,000 and lived in it with their two sons – five-year-old Vincent and one-year-old Oliver. When a local man offered them about $650 to have the house for a weekend, the Kings, being mortgage-payers, couldn’t refuse. The man told the Kings that he needed the house to accommodate four of his relatives who were in town for a wedding. He was well-dressed, well-mannered, and told them, “You have a beautiful home. God bless you.”

“We use Airbnb when we travel, we love it, it’s a great website, vacation rental by owner type website and my parents are out of town so we were going to go and stay at their house and we get an offer to rent out our house for three days for a family coming for a wedding, it’s going to be four older adults, go through the house rules, they shook my hand,” Mark said.

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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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