Family Converts School Bus Into a Home

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Families don’t typically opt to live in a bus converted into a home, that’s more for young adventurous couples and singles. But Jeremy and Mira Thompson of Key Peninsula, WA are making it work. They live full time in a converted school bus with their toddler daughter Carys.

The couple converted a disused school bus into a cozy cottage on wheels and it looks amazing. Perhaps the most impressive thing is that they build the cottage directly into the frame of the bus. Mira and Jeremy designed and built the home themselves. Mira came up with the floor plan and interior design, and Jeremy, who has lots of experience in autobody work and carpentry, brought those plans to life. He even handcrafted the lovely caravan-style bed and refurbished the antique woodstove, which they use to heat the home.

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The interior is well thought out and appears quite spacious. The main part of the bus is taken up by the lounge area and the kitchen, while they also installed a custom-built sleeping nook in this area, which looks like something out of a fairytale. There is a platform atop this nook, which serves as the sitting room, or a guestroom. The kitchen is quite large and features ample counter and storage space. The home also features a spacious bathroom. Jeremy even thought ahead, and installed a removable panel next to the circular window that will allow the family to add a deck or even an extension should they ever require it.

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They are currently using the home as a stationary one, though presumably it could also be driven around. While living tiny certainly isn’t for everyone, and most families with small children shy away from it, it is refreshing to see some examples of people who are experimenting with it and having a blast as they do so! This bus is also one of the most unique and ingenious tiny homes we’ve seen so far.

Shepherd’s Hut That Surprisingly Light and Spacious

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This tiny home was designed by Thomas Alabaster of Contemporary Shepherd Huts based in Suffolk, England. It was inspired by the actual huts shepherds in the area used to live in long ago while taking their animals to pasture. His creation features a skylight, which brings in lots of light, while the whole home appears cozy and welcoming, despite being small.

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The tiny home is mounted on wheels making it mobile, though the exact dimensions of it are currently unknown. It is basically just a rectangular structure with a gabled roof that has a skylight running the length of it. According to the designer, installing the window was quite tricky, but he persevered because it truly adds to the sense of spaciousness, which is usually lacking in similar tiny homes. I would tend to agree.

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This modern shepherd’s hut is well insulated and clad in galvanized steel, which was welded together. The interior walls are clad in white washed wood. The center of the home is taken up by the main living area with a small, but open kitchen that features a two-burner stove, a small fridge and an overhead rack for storage. On one end, this home also features a small covered deck, which is large enough for two people to sit on, judging from the photos.

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The sleeping area is located at the other end of the home, just beyond the kitchen, and features a nice narrow window that lets in plenty of light. Across from the bed is the bathroom, which is quite large for such a small build. It is located behind a sliding door, which saves a lot of space and appears to be repurposed. The bathroom features a shower, sink and toilet, and is clad in zinc paneling, which matches the exterior of the home.

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It cost only about $20,000 to build this hut. It serves as a sort of prototype, and its basic design can be further customized according to clients’ wishes. I think this tiny home would make a great getaway cabin, or even a full time home.

A Wonderful Prefab Tiny Home

There are many ways you can obtain a tiny home if you are looking to downsize. You can either commission a firm for a custom-built one, purchase an already constructed one, or build it yourself, whether from scratch or inside a repurposed shipping container, for example. There have been some awesome school bus and van conversions seen lately too. There are also prefab tiny homes, and a great addition to the already existing lineup is the so-called ARK Shelter, which was designed and built by a Holland-based company.

ARK Shelters actually range in size from tiny to normal sized homes, since the modules out of which they are constructed can be assembled together to form larger dwellings. The modules also come in various sizes, with the largest one measuring 300 sq ft (28 sq m). The exterior is clad in wood and painted black, which gives the home a timeless, classic aesthetic. The interior walls are paneled with cross-laminated timber plates that give the home a cozy, warm feel.

The modules also feature large, floor-to-ceiling windows, which let in plenty of natural daylight, aiding ventilation and making the home appear much more spacious when opting for the smallest module. All the windows also have shutters to provide the needed privacy. The modules feature a well-sized kitchen and bathroom, while different layouts and configurations are also possible.

The ARK shelter is also very well insulated and a circular woodstove is used for heating. There is also the option of having additional electrical heating, which can be powered by wind turbines or a solar panel array. The firm also offers the option of installing a rooftop rainwater collection and filtration system. The modules do not require any sort of foundations, so they can be placed virtually anywhere.

The ARK Shelters come fitted with all the custom-designed furniture, the woodstove and a mattress. Given all the features, one would expect the price to be high, but they are selling the basic model for $59,000, which is comparable to most of the other offerings on the market today.

Tiny Attic Apartment with its Own Indoor Atrium

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Attics are often converted into small apartments, and this one, located in Moscow, Russia, is a great example of such renovation projects done right. It was designed and built by the firm Ruetemple, and they created a light-filled home that even has a small indoor garden of sorts, to make up for the lack of a balcony.

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The attic apartment measures 516 sq ft (48 sq m) and is cleverly partitioned so that all available space is utilized, while also offering privacy should the inhabitants desire it. As is the case in many spall space renovations, they installed a central, multi-purpose spatial element. In this case it is in the form of a white core, and it’s primarily used to separate the space into five distinct zones. These zones can be used for watching TV, enjoy an active pastime, dressing, sleeping and working. This core also features a floating meditation space, which is basically a glass walled cube complete with a living tree.

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This relaxation space is elevated off the ground, providing an area for storing the movable modules underneath it. These modules can be moved around the space as needed, and locked together to create a sitting area or sleeping space. The dining table, which can also serve as the worktable runs the length of the apartment, which is a nice solution when working with such a small space. The apartment features many skylights and windows, so it is always flooded with natural daylight.

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It appears that the small apartment does not have its own kitchen or bathroom, which are presumably located elsewhere in the house that this attic is attached to. Despite the lack, this is still a very aesthetic, comfortable and modern attic-into-home conversion that can serve as inspiration to designers everywhere.

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All in One Kitchen Unit

Looking for the perfect kitchen for your tiny home? Well look no further, because the Swiss firm Kitchoo has the perfect all-in-one solution. The kitchen units they offer are compact and small enough to fit into most any tiny house or apartment without sacrificing functionality.

Kitchoo is actually the Japanese word for “good omen” and these all-in-one kitchen units are exactly that for anyone wanting to downsize and still retain all the comforts of a larger dwelling. The basic Kitchoo unit features a sink, a two-burner induction stovetop, a compact dishwasher and cabinet space. The faucet can be pressed down allowing the two lids that cover the sink and stove to be lowered, which creates a good amount of counter space, or an eating surface. The drawers are all big enough to store plates, cups, dishes and utensils. And best of all, despite the superb functionality and offering everything you need from a kitchen, these units take up very little space. Also, by combining more than one unit, you can have yourself a fully mobile and fully functional kitchen.

Besides the basic model, they also offer several higher end versions, which have space for a fridge/freezer combo or a washing machine. The design of these units is also totally flexible, so any of the appliances you don’t need can be switched out and replaced by the ones you do. The unit also comes in a variety of finishes, including dark oak, light oak and white.

Prices start at $3,483 for the basic version and go up to $4,645. They’re currently only available in Europe and the Middle East, but the firm plans to make them available in North America soon.