Homes Away From Home

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The shipping container house's large French doors help create an open indoor-outdoor feel. (Photos by Max Whittaker)

Shipping Container House

The notion of relaxing in a corrugated metal shipping container might sound oxymoronic at first blush, but trust us that this 40-by-8-foot steel box in Oak Park is far cozier than cramped.

The bright, mod bedroom with pops of yellow and turquoiseThe tiny home is painted a cheery, bright royal blue and features French doors along the kitchen and bedroom that create a surprisingly airy vibe inside the 320-square-foot space. Owners Matt and Jamie Leonardo, who put the unit on Airbnb in February, offer visitors both necessities and niceties—including a double bed, spare futon, full bath and kitchen, Keurig coffee maker with pods, and a fridge full of La Croix—in a modern, minimalistic space dressed in a cool palette of blues, whites and grays accented with yellow throw pillows and gold ceramic statuettes. 

Situated in the backyard of the couple’s home, the structure is a bit hidden, but don’t fret: Upon reservation, the Leonardos expertly relay the details of navigation, parking and self check-in.

The property is also a short six-minute walk to the burgeoning Broadway Triangle district, where guests can sip coffee at Old Soul, wander into boutiques like Rire and Display: California, peruse gardening goods at The Plant Foundry, or grab a bite at places like Vibe Health Bar, La Venadita and Oakhaus. With this Airbnb’s attractive location, modern tiny home aesthetic and hospitable hosts, you may have trouble, um, “containing” your enthusiasm for this new staycation spot. $119 per night for two people, plus fees. bit.ly/shippingcontainerhouse —Jessica Rine