I have a weakness for the unpretentious. I love early historical buildings that relied upon locally sourced materials and whatever building skills the person had who was in need of shelter. The same goes for cottages and cabins where the big attraction is the place and the domicile takes a back seat. Today I share some well-executed great original ideas that offer pleasure on a small scale.

Shipping containers have inspired many innovative uses. Yet another use for them appears in the above two photos. In the backyard of a home credited to Ezra Lee Design Build, Lehi, is a wonderful resilient play space that can be opened up or closed up for bad weather days. How great is must be to tell your kids, yes, you can kick the ball inside.

This family’s kids call the extension the “granny pad.” If offers independent living for a family member. Companionship and assistance are nearby, but the doors can close for separateness and privacy. A studio is on the floor above. (Designed by Elliott Work Group, Park City)

The granny pad shares the same deck and outside living space as the main residence. To the left is the bedroom/sitting room and bathroom, and to the right is the connection to the main residence.

You can’t help but feel you are a long way from anything at the heart of the Navajo Nation and the location of this Design Build Bluff home.

The interior of this same home shows the attention the Design Build Bluff architects paid to maintaining comfortable temperatures through both passive systems and a high-efficiency stove where the built-in concrete bench serves as a mass to hold the heat.

This silo house is an example of rethinking a common metal farm accessory building. The living space on the main floor looks over the tributary creek on the Woodland property. (Designed by Hank Louis, Gigaplex Architecture, Park City)

I don’t know a kid who wouldn’t love the Pullman-style bunk chambers on the upper floor of the silo with curtains for privacy and their own window to watch the world.

I find it amazing how creative designers can make the coolest spaces. Sweet!

See more of Scot’s work on the blog here!