Family converts school bus into beautiful cottage on wheels (Video)

Von Thompsons
© Von Thompsons

When we hear of vans and school buses converted into full-time homes for people, we often think of cash-strapped students, freewheeling travelers on the festival circuit, or maybe couples looking for a bit of an adventure on the road. We don't usually think of a young family of three living out of an old school bus, but that's exactly what Jeremy and Mira Thompson of Key Peninsula, Washington, are doing with their 2-year-old daughter Carys. With a lot of imagination, design savvy and skillful craftsmanship, they've managed to transform this vehicle into a whimsical, modern cottage on wheels. We get a two-part tour from the couple themselves:

Von ThompsonsVon Thompsons/Video screen capture
Von ThompsonsVon Thompsons/Video screen capture

What's most striking about this project is the fact that the cottage was built directly into the bus frame. The couple worked on their current home over the space of two years. Previously, they had done a simpler version of a RV converted from a smaller bus, living on the road for a couple of years. They loved the experience and decided to take the plunge by putting their efforts into doing a bigger and better version, suitable for a baby that was now on the way. As Mira tells the San Francisco Globe:

After living the typical, fast-paced Western lifestyle, the idea of living simply ... intentionally began to appeal to Jeremy and (me) more. We wanted more time to set aside for family, travel and to live in the moment. So after eight years together, we got married and hit the road, living nomadically for a couple of years. ... We fell in love with our new lives and the freedom we had found and decided not to go back. But we did find ourselves wanting a home base ... close to our families.

Von Thompsons© Von Thompsons

Mira masterminded the floor plan and interior design, while Jeremy put his extensive experience in autobody work and carpentry to good use, handcrafting everything from the charming caravan-style bed, to refurbishing the gorgeous antique woodstove sitting across the loveseat -- a lovely space. Even more clever is the fact that the wheel wells are hidden under both the woodstove and loveseat.

Von Thompsons© Von Thompsons
Von Thompsons© Von Thompsons
Von ThompsonsVon Thompsons/Video screen capture

The layout is spacious and thoughtful: the sleeping nook is packed with storage drawers galore, and above sits a loft for hanging out and for guests to stay over.

Von ThompsonsVon Thompsons/Video screen capture

The kitchen feels substantial, like a real kitchen. There's a counter especially designed for little Carys to sit at, and the cupboards painted with chalkboard paint are a great idea.

Von Thompsons© Von Thompsons
Von Thompsons© Von Thompsons

Another great detail is how Jeremy has installed a so-called "bump" or removable panel right where the circular window sits, which will allow the family to add an extension or veranda if it's ever necessary. It's smart to keep the options open like this, especially when it comes to tiny spaces.

Von Thompsons© Von Thompsons

Currently, the bus is stationary in its location beside a vacation home (no indication if this is a friend's or family's place or their own), until the couple finds their ideal property to permanently move onto. Jeremy says that the point is to experiment a bit with creative possibilities:

We also believe that creativity is essential to stay young at heart and in body. It seems like such a common thing in our culture for the years to slip by as we are consumed by the daily tasks of working to live... in homes way bigger than we can even appreciate or afford. We decided instead to work pretty hard for a couple of years, expanding our minds in creativity, to give us a place that meets all our needs beautifully, while still nudging us to get off the couch, out of the house and out to live our lives.

Von Thompsons© Von Thompsons

As we've said time and time again, while tiny homes aren't for everyone, it's nevertheless great to see families creating their own inspiring versions of the ideal home -- all earnest alternatives to what's conventional and expected. To see more, visit Von Thompson Creative.

Via: Tiny House Talk

Tags: Less Is More | Living With Less | Small Spaces

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