Taking Custom to the Next Level: Unconventional Materials

Taking Custom to the Next Level: Unconventional Materials

If you’re designing a new custom home from the ground up, you may want your home to be unlike any other home that’s existed before. One way to ensure that is to create a unique, one-of-a-kind layout and features. Another is to use unconventional materials, so items in your home are made out of unexpected, delightful, and surprising textures and objects. Here are some unconventional materials you can use in your custom home so it really ends up being a unique and special place.

Old Reclaimed Barn Wood

custom home material barn wood

When farmers tear down barns on their property to build new ones (or if an old farm property is developed), take advantage of the wood from that barn to use in your space. Reclaimed barn wood offers an unrivaled natural, rustic appeal that can enhance any space. Consider using old barn doors to make dividers in a home, or pieces of an old barn to create a charming coffee or dining table. You can also use these materials as structural pieces for the home like beams or refurbished floorboards. This rustic material looks great as doors as well.


It’s not just for one of the three little pigs. You can build parts of your home structure using bales of straw today, since straw is a great natural insulator, and it is also affordable to buy. Consider using bales of straw to create the walls and roofs of indoor-outdoor spaces where you need shelter but not complete protection, like a storage space, garage, or studio space. They are also functional for gatherings or get together. Use straw as seating for outdoor group events or family meals.



Bamboo is a natural, lightweight but durable wood, which is an excellent choice to use in your custom home design to create walls, outdoor shelters, and other aesthetically-pleasing spaces. Bamboo is a sustainable material and using it doesn’t tax the environment. It also has a light, airy, natural look, which can help make the space feel calmer and more visually appealing. Consider a feature wall with bamboo to add texture and style to the home.

Shipping Containers

custom home storage container home

Shipping containers are the large metal boxes used to transport goods on trucks and barges. Once they’re no longer used, they can be discarded–but you can rescue one and use it in your custom home design. Stack multiple containers to create a multi-room structure, or use one on your property as a separate storage or living space.

Old School Lockers

You might have seen lockers or industrial storage containers at antique stores. These pieces are great for storage and create a unique rustic look in the home. If you want to make them look and feel more modern, a fresh coat of paint goes a long way. These items are perfect for the use they were intended for. Keep a few out in the garage to stow athletic equipment or cold-weather clothing and shoes.

If you’re really daring, you can take inspiration from this home. The wings of this decommissioned airplane make the perfect roof for this beautiful home overlooking a beautiful scenic view. No matter what your design style, there are countless options for incorporating unconventional materials into your home to add that something special to your custom home. If you’re ready to take the next steps in creating a home all your own, contact our design professionals to get started!

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