This Repurposed Shipping Container Is a Modern Cabin You Can Rent

This Repurposed Shipping Container Is a Modern Cabin You Can Rent

Located in Quebec, Canada, this cabin is full of clever space-saving ideas.

Published November 16, 2022 02:12PM EST

Over the years, we’ve often asked the question of whether shipping container architecture makes sense, and have come to the conclusion that it really depends on the situation. For instance, one can indeed make a good case for repurposing shipping containers when it comes to perhaps providing shelter for unhoused people or unique bus shelters. Of course, that hasn’t stopped people from transforming shipping containers into gorgeous modern homes or selling them to those who can afford them.

Another viable case for reusing shipping containers is converting them into seasonal cabins in the woods. Quebec, Canada-based cabin builder and eco-resort operator Repère Boréal (seen here previously for their ingenious A-frame-inspired rentable treehouse) made their own contemporary version of a wilderness cabin, using a recycled shipping container. Dubbed the Shiship (meaning « duck » in the indigenous Innu language), the cabin is packed with smart space-saving furniture that has been custom-made, as well as a number of other features that help to increase natural lighting and comfort. We get a closer look at this cozy space via Exploring Alternatives:

The exterior of the 31-foot-long and 8-foot-wide cabin has been clad with durable cedar wood planks.

Shiship shipping container cabin Repere Boreal exterior

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The cedar has been thoughtfully arranged over parts of the existing gray corrugated walls of the shipping container, in order to reveal the former characteristics of the container. The cedar also serves to create a thick frame around the large window on one end of the cabin, to give it that natural yet modern look.

The entrance to the cabin is through a door on the side. One enters into the central zone of the unit, with a kitchen and bed on one side, a living room in the middle, and a bathroom on the other end. It’s an open-concept layout so there are no space-shrinking walls, except for the wall closing off the bathroom.

Shiship shipping container cabin Repere Boreal interior

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The kitchen area is nicely done, with modern-looking CNC-machined cabinetry with black-laminated plywood, and a durable stainless steel countertop. The modern black-and-steel theme is carried through with the under-mounted black granite sink, and the black-colored backsplash that runs the full length of the counter.

Shiship shipping container cabin Repere Boreal kitchen

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Appliances like a toaster oven are hidden out of sight, thanks to the deep and wide drawers. Cooking is done with the integrated induction stove top, while smelly fumes can be suctioned away with the overhead range hood. There’s a bit of an overlap between the kitchen and bed with the built-in wine rack, which also serves as a night table.

Shiship shipping container cabin Repere Boreal kitchen

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Opposite the kitchen, we have a cleverly designed and custom-made table that can expand its size.

Shiship shipping container cabin Repere Boreal table

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All one has to do is to pull it out, and unfold the other half of the tabletop in order to make a two-person table seat four with the addition of two more folding chairs that are stored under the sofa. We really love this space-saving idea, as the table has a slim profile, and doesn’t have legs that take up a lot of space, yet it’s sturdy enough that it can still extend its shape to seat more guests.

Shiship shipping container cabin Repere Boreal table expanded

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The queen-sized bed takes the prime spot in front of the huge window that is inset into the unit. One can imagine curling up here on a lazy morning, enjoying the calming view of the forest beyond. There is integrated LED strip lighting at the head of the bed for nighttime reading, and charging ports for guests’ devices.

Shiship shipping container cabin Repere Boreal bed

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Over in the living room, we have the built-in sofa in one corner, outfitted with thick foam pieces that can be repositioned, depending on the situation. There is a slide-out drawer underneath, which provides extra storage for things like folding chairs or blankets. Up above, a CNC-cut grill hides the energy-efficient heat pump that heats and cools the unit.

Shiship shipping container cabin Repere Boreal living room

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By sliding out the slats underneath, this multipurpose sofa can be converted into a lounging space, or an extra bed to sleep on.

Shiship shipping container cabin Repere Boreal convertible sofa

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Another great feature is this retractable wire that serves as a minimalist clothesline.

Shiship shipping container cabin Repere Boreal clothesline

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Behind the living room is the bathroom, which includes a sink, a flush toilet connected to a septic system, and a lovely glass-walled shower that has a tall window.

Shiship shipping container cabin Repere Boreal shower

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The exposed copper piping gives an excellent visual counterpoint to all the modern black and gray elements. Thanks to the careful placement of the shower, the slim size of the sink, and the use of sliding pocket doors, it makes for a very well-executed bathroom, despite the compact footprint here.

Shiship shipping container cabin Repere Boreal bathroom

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The Shiship is a great example of a shipping container done right, offering a well-appointed base to enjoy the woods for a weekend or more. It’s located in Quebec’s picturesque Charlevoix region, and up to two adult guests can rent it nightly starting at $142. To see more, or to check out other unique cabins for rent, head on over to Repère Boréal.

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