Have you ever considered staying in a converted train carriage or windmill? Probably not. But these 10 quirky properties from around the world will certainly make you think twice next time you book a hotel or B&B.
From a converted butter factory in Byron Bay, to a fairytale Château in the French countryside, these inspiring homes are some of the most unusual properties around and make a normal house seem positively boring.
1. Treehouse, Canada
This amazing tree house is perched 15 feet above the ground on a platform that extends across 7 trees. It is built entirely out of wood from the 160-acre surrounding forest, which has been carved and twisted to create beautiful features such as two handmade spiral staircases and a variety of rustic furniture. Its high treetop position means that it benefits from spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains. Perfect for wildlife enthusiasts, you can relax on the deck overlooking ponds and the forest while being totally surrounded by nature.
2. Butter Factory, Byron Bay, Australia
It's not every day that you come across a converted Butter Factory, but this luxurious warehouse apartment is perfect for a family vacation. Spacious rooms with high ceilings are equipped with modern and minimalistic furniture. There is also an enclosed garden with a large pool and water feature - perfect for kids.
3. Converted train carriages in the Australian bush
The long and narrow confines of a train carriage are probably not somewhere you'd want to spend time. But these two wooden railway carriages are surprisingly spacious, with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open-plan kitchen, two living areas and a laundry. Who knew you could fit all that in a train!
Situated in the heart of a 70-acre forest, the property also comes with a beautiful landscaped garden. Novelty features, such as the guard's seat and break wheels have been retained.
4. Private African Wildlife Conservancy with colonial country house, Kenya
Also perfect for nature lovers, the grounds to this Kenyan country house are situated in an exclusive private wildlife conservancy and is home to over 350 species of birds and an average of 1,200 resident animals. This sprawling pad sleeps 20 and comes with a pool. Dine alfresco to the soundtrack of hyenas and hippos.
5. Converted Church, Edinburgh
If you fancy something a bit closer to home then check out this stunning converted church, which is now a spacious modern family home. Situated in the beautiful Edinburgh suburbs, it is an ideal location for a city break. The interior is a juxtaposition of old and new, with modern features, such as the white spiral staircase and bright blue kitchen cabinets, which stand out against the large stone pillars and stain glass windows.
6. Fairytale French Château
Built in the 1490s, Château de Ribagnac is a fairytale come true. The 36 hectares of grounds are dotted with lakes, forests, ancient churches and castles. And the interior is just as impressive as the exterior, with dark wooden floors, high ceilings and ornate furniture in every room.
7. Converted windmill, near Liverpool
This grade II listed windmill was built in 1813 and restored between 2009-2014. And it's surprisingly spacious inside, with 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a downstairs cloakroom, kitchen and a triple height sitting room. We love the curved brick walls, which have been left exposed. It's the perfect place for special occasions, but beware of the stairs!
8. Converted school, Amsterdam
Situated in the heart of Amsterdam, this house was refurbished in 2008 and is modern, spacious and bright. A statement bookcase covers a wall, which spans two storeys, providing a large splash of colour against the white and grey theme. Glass is used throughout the house to separate rooms and floors, making the rooms seem even larger as well as allowing light to travel throughout the building. The result is stunning!
9. Prime Villa in exclusive Lodge in Wakatobi Marine Reserve, Indonesia
Even more breathtaking is this exclusive lodge in a private marine reserve in Indonesia. Just two hours from Bali, it's acclaimed to be the most sought after property in the world for anyone with an interest in diving and snorkelling.
The villa sleeps five and is decorated in a minimalistic fashion, with whitewashed walls and exposed wooden ceilings, each room with breathtaking sea views. And as if that wasn't enough, it also comes with a butler and personal marine experience manager.
10. 21ft Luxury Mongolian Yurt private Hot Tub with beautiful lake view, Essex
This authentic Mongolian yurt is a fantastic idea for outdoor lovers and is certainly a few steps up from your average tent. In the heart of the Essex countryside, it sleeps four and comes with a wood burning stove, BBQ and hot tub. Perfect for snuggling up in Winter or summer evenings in the sun.
Fancy a stay? Visit Love Home Swap and take your pick
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Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.
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