The Most Unusual Homes of 2012

Best of 2012

All homes have their quirky moments, unusual corners, and odd angles. Some even have some bizarre rooms and downright peculiar architectural features. But where most homes share at least some basic conventions of location and spatial configuration, this year we've featured some unusual spaces that defy even these most basic assumptions.

"Unusual" is all relative, of course, but all of these homes, from the small to the large, from the seaworthy to the airborne, have presented unique design challenges for their owners, all of whom, I must say, have overcome them admirably.

In the water and in the clouds:
Tracy & Marty's "Retro Metro" House Boat
Callen & Eli's Artful Treehouse
A Whimsical Treehouse in Whistler
Lynne's Recycled Treehouse

Lofts and industrial spaces: To an extent, lofts and renovated warehouses have become commonplace, but there are still some transformed industrial spaces where the change is so inspiring, the use of space so clever, the softening of the hard edges so evident, the original use so unusual, or the demands of the labor so intense that they must be recognized.
In the Warehouse: San Francisco Warehouse Turned Contemporary Loft
Shirry & Boaz's Converted Auto Body Shop
Kimmy & Nathan's Art Driven Loft
Lauren & Nick's Home is Where the Heart Is: They've artifully managed to create a warm, inviting home out of a space with concrete floors and cinder block walls.
Alina's Dar Gitane (Home of the Wanderer) House Tour: Alina inherited her loft from a woodworker who abandoned his tools and 20 years' worth of unwieldy work materials.

Other repurposed homes:
Colman's One-of-a-Kind Converted Stable in Georgetown
A San Francisco Shipping Container Home Office
Dan'l's Caretaker's Apartment: Dan'l and his husband live in what used to be a caretaker's quarters above an old church that now boasts tricycles built into the front walls and a trapeze in the great room.

Inspired by literature, the media, and art:
Beyond Fanclubs: Homes Inspired by Pop Culture
Classic Children's Literature-Inspired Bedrooms
Apryl's Technicolor Life House Call

Tiny and Skinny:
Christopher & Merete's Truly Tiny Home on the Range
A 12.5 Foot Wide Skinny Chicago House

Roundups of Unusual Homes:
Gorgeous Homes in Unconventional Spaces
Would You Move Here?: Unusual Homes Across the US

Welcome to Apartment Therapy's Best of 2012 roundup! From December 19 through January 1 we are rounding up our favorite (and your favorite) posts from the past year.

(Images, top to bottom: Shirry & Boaz's Converted Auto Body Shop; Lynne's Recycled Treehouse; Apryl's Technicolor Life House Call)

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Carolyn is a freelance writer and photographer, as well as a lover of all things colorful and quirky. She grew up in Texas and settled in Chicago by way of L.A., England and Paris. Currently, she is a professor at Illinois Institute of Technology.

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