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These cool homes converted from unexpected spaces will inspire you

By Matthew McCormack

As we’ve seen many times before, homes can be made from the most peculiar things, from forms of old transport, to pieces of Mother Nature herself. This time, we’ve rounded up examples of dwellings that once existed for entirely different purposes. From an historic church with soaring ceilings, to an old-timey railway cottage with beautifully exposed bricks, these seven structures prove that everything old can be new again.

1. Grain bin

Now: An off-grid art studio

When retired art teacher Kate Morris inherited 100 hectares of Montana prairie land from her father, she finally had the chance to build her “dream home,” from one of the familiar farm structures. With the help of architect Nick Pancheau, a giant metal grain bin was transformed into a one-bedroom sanctuary with incredible views of the surrounding plains.

Photos: Collaborative Design Architects

2. W-class tram

Now: A three-bedroom retreat

You can take a tram out of Melbourne, but you can’t take the Melbourne out of a tram. Nestled on eight hectares of state forest, this striking W-class tram has been refashioned into a three-bedroom home, proving that the charm of Melbourne’s favourite transport works beyond the CBD. The quirky dwelling is up for grabs on Domain, for willing buyers keen to hop aboard.

Photos: via Domain

3. Rundown bank 

Now: A trendy loft

We can now add a rundown bank to the long list of unexpected buildings that have transformed into amazing homes. Despite its graffitied exterior, this now modern loft structure, located in Detroit, US, holds many beautiful features inside including sky-high ceilings and grand arched windows. Safe to say, this is one transaction that looks to have been well worth it.

Photos: Michelle and Chris Gerard

4. Cathedral church

Now: A large family home

With the promise of soaring ceilings and stained glass windows, it’s no wonder that church conversions have become increasingly popular. This converted church in Curlewis, Victoria, sits on a large block with views towards the You Yangs. With four bedrooms, three bathrooms and numerous living areas, living in a former church actually sounds pretty heavenly.

Photos: via Domain

5. Grain silo

Now: A space savvy tiny home

Designed by architect Christoph Kaiser, this two-storey home has been converted from a 1955 corrugated steel-wall grain silo. Located in Arizona, it was built for Kaiser and his wife and spans almost 32 square metres. The Silo House has a minimalist but cosy design that runs over two levels, connected by a space-saving spiral staircase.

Photos: Mark Lipczynski

​6. Fire station

Now: A large loft

This loft-like converted fire station dating back to 1909 is located in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Inside, there is a grand living area with high ceilings, motorised skylights and exposed beams. Among the four bedrooms available, a key highlight is the main with its own dressing room and an en suite bathroom connected to a deck with views of Cape Cod Bay.

Photos: Estately

​7. Abandoned railway cottage

Now: A modern expansion

The Railway House Santpoort, as designed by architect firm Zecc Architects, is a project which involved the transformation and expansion of a railway cottage next to station Santpoort-Noord (connecting Amsterdam and IJmuiden). Both the inside and outside of the house alternate old and new creating a surprise effect, with beautifully exposed bricks featured throughout.

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