Port Shipping Containers’ Accommodation Units featured in TV Show Top Design

Channel 9’s new reality renovations TV show Top Design features Port Shipping Containers’ Accommodation Units. Granada Media contacted Port Shipping Containers to see if we would be interested in the project, and we were happy to be involved. We supplied five shipping containers for the Top Design contestants to renovate and transform into a livable area. Initially, after talking to the contestants, we installed a glass sliding door and window into the shipping container and left the rest to the competitors. It was a perfect opportunity for us to showcase what a containerised accommodation unit can look like, built to a clients specifications.

The Contestants

Team 1 – Mary and Rob

Mary, 55, SA
An office worker who wants to prove it is never too late
Mary works as a broker and manager in the finance industry and also has her own Christmas decoration company. “I want to prove that you can be nice and kind and behave like a lady and still be a winner,” she says. “Also I have never met a diamante I didn’t like.”

Q. If you were a colour, which colour would you be?
Red, because it is the vibrant, energetic and warm.

Robert, 29, Victoria
A headstrong and ambitious architect

Robert loves intimate, warm personal spaces. “I try to achieve a level of clarity and minimalism, but the space still needs to have a soul,” he says.

Q. Your house is on fire and you can save only one item or feature. What would it be?
My collection of miniature buildings I have been collecting on my travels.

Team 2 – Dee and Leigh

Dee, 29, NSW
A creative rebel from the fashion industry

Born in WA, Dee has always pushed the boundaries. She is currently working as a visual merchandiser for a fashion house in Sydney. Dee spends her downtime skating, surfing, painting and drawing.

Q. Who is the designer you most admire and why?
Peggy Oki (artist) — she’s the original Dogtown girl. She’s now 60 and she still rips, skates, surfs and paints (and has long, long hair).


Leigh, 29, Victoria
The carpet cleaner looking for more

Leigh, who describes himself as “blokey”, is a carpet and upholstery cleaner. He decided he liked snooping around the wealthy homes he visited for work, so enrolled in an interior design course. He is now looking to make his mark on the industry.

Q. Who is the designer you most admire and why?
It would be between Banksy and Philippe Starck. I like their bad-boy style.

Team 3 – Jo and Craig

Jo, 39, NSW
A renovator mum keen to make her mark

Jo is a working mum who loves romance novels, shopping and exercise. “Being part of Top Design is a personal achievement for me — something for me and no-one else,” she says.

Q. Do you detest any design styles and why?
Minimal style — I think a house should look homely and inviting. I don’t think this style achieves this.


Craig, 49, Victoria
A teacher, swapping his text books for tools

Craig is a TAFE teacher has his own building business. He collects science fiction and ’60s iconic toys. Craig wants to reverse the thinking that those who can’t do, teach.

Q. When did you first realise you had a passion for design?
When I was about five. I loved to build cubby houses.

Team 4 – Kai and Dan

Kai, 27, NSW
The country girl not willing to settle for second best

Originally from country NSW, Kai is passionate about literature, theatre, music and collects ’50s and ’60s furniture. “This year is going to be about me — if there is something I want to do I am going to do it,” she says.

Q. Summarise your design style in three words.
Drama, contrasts and texture


Dan, 36, NSW
The urban artist with big ideas

Dan is a graphic artist who works in advertising. He is a keen painter and photographer, loves sport and has surfed most of his life. Dan is headstrong and eager to showcase his wild and crazy side.

Q. Summarise your design style in three words?
Challenging, bold and fusion.

Team 5 – Lisa and Stephen

Lisa, 32, Queensland
A single mum who is doing it for her kids

Lisa is a working single mum. Her drive to succeed in the design world comes from a passion to create beautiful spaces and her need to provide a good life for her family. “I strongly believe that ‘expensive’ doesn’t necessarily equal good design,” she says.

Q. When did you first realise you had a passion for design?
Very young when I constantly changed my room around and drove Mum and Dad crazy!


Stephen, 41, Victoria
The youth worker who believes style comes from the heart

Stephen has worked in youth care for most of his life. He works three days a week as youth and families coordinator for a Victorian-based charity and spends the other two days on his online products business.

Q. How would you summarise your own design philosophy?
I’d summarise by saying I enjoy bright with vintage, old and new, used and inventive and also using things for different purposes than they were invented for.