Here is another van into home conversion done right. It was designed and created by builder, architect and entrepreneur Ross Lukeman who wished to enjoy the digital nomad life in style. He completed his van home about half a year ago and now lives in it full time.
He used a non-descript white cargo van for the purpose, which he first stripped down completely. The mobile dwelling is barebones, and features a bed, an office space, a sink and closet/storage space. The twin bed flips up to reveal ample storage space. All the amenities and utilities, such as a water tank and batteries, are also hidden out of sight. The office space is very well thought out too. It features a full-size computer that’s mounted on the wall, and can also be used as a TV. All the other office components, including the keyboard, can be safely and neatly tucked away when not in use.
For insulation, Ross opted for a sustainable approach using UltraTouch recycled denim insulation instead of spray foam, which is often seen in projects like this. He also used very little protective polyurethane coating, which he only added in the kitchen. Another great sustainable feature is the solar panel, which provides all the needed electricity for the van. It is a 300-watt LG panel, which is connected to a 200 amp-hour battery bank. The van also features a roof vent fan, as well as an interior box fan. For heating, a propane heater is used.
Ross has been living in his van home for the past eight months and has travelled across most of the west coast in this time. He finances his nomadic lifestyle by helping other people design and covert vans into homes. He also teaches an online cargo van conversion course.
Tiny homes can often look anything but open and cozy, but Hikari Box, the most recent offering from the Portland, Oregon-based firm Shelter Wise manages to be both. It’s light-filled and has all the comforts you’d expect from a larger home, which includes a well-sized kitchen and bathroom, a spacious sleeping loft, and a nice lounge area.
The Hikari Box has 263 square feet of interior living space (not counting the lofts) and is 24 feet long. The name Hikari comes from the Japanese word for “light-filled”, which in the case of this home is achieved by having twelve windows and two skylights. Finding a way to let in plenty of natural daylight into tiny homes is important, since it does wonders for the appearance of spaciousness, which the designers of this one clearly understand very well.
The interior of the home features a kitchen with ample counter space, as well as a normal sized sink, stove, and even fridge. The bathroom features a toilet, shower and sink. There is also a large dining table running along one side of the living area, which can easily double as a worktable. The lounge area is located at one end of the home, and is perfect for one person.
The Hikari Box also features two lofts. One is used for storage and the other for sleeping. The latter offers enough space for a queen size bed and has a good amount of headspace thanks to the home’s shed-type roof, and is accessible via a clever set of stairs. These steps hide storage cabinets, which were inspired by Japanese tansu chests. The storage loft on the other end of the home is accessible via a ladder.
The home was also designed in a way to make it more appealing to those wanting to build it themselves. This is the reason why they opted for a shed roof instead of a gable one, which is much harder to build. They also put all the plumbing in just one corner of the house to simplify that aspect of the building process. The plans to build this home can be purchased via PAD Tiny Houses.
Seattle, Washington resident Candice Ding built a tiny home for herself and her elderly mother. She decided to take on the project, after they were not approved for a senior’s apartment. She built the home by hand using a Fencl plan as inspiration.
One of the first things that becomes apparent when looking at this tiny home is just how much natural light is let into the house. The home features large windows, as well a skylight, which also adds the illusion of spaciousness.
The lower level of the home houses a living and dining area and a small kitchen. There is also a lofted area, accessible via a clever staircase. This is where Candice’s mother sleeps, while Candice sleeps in a small bedroom next to the kitchen. Candice loves her new home, and her mom is also getting used to it, though she still sometimes misses the 1,200-square-foot condominium in which she lived until recently while still in China.
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