Interior Design

Our overarching idea for living in the bus is simplicity. We want the space to be flexible, so it can change as the occupant needs it to. We want it to be easy to use, so its advanced features are not difficult to figure out. We want the space to be open, inviting, and comfortable, both for guests or a single occupant. As such, there are various high-level design choices, and some more intricate, particular features to implement these ideas. Our guiding design for the bus is pictured below, and this Sketchup file is also available on our Open Source page. Obviously, this section lacks photos because we haven't built a lot of this stuff yet.

In particular, a small space needs to be aesthetically clean - lines need to be uncluttered, and the amount of "stuff" that is visible needs to be limited, so a lot of our storage is integrated into cabinets and such. Because we want clean lines, different sections of the bus need to transition smoothly into each other. However, I didn't want it to be too clean, because I think that modern, extremely minimalist designs are bland and not very homey. I'm not an interior designer, so a lot of our inspiration was pulled from other builds, and many friends. The details of our interior, like trim, color themes, materials, etc. still remain to be decided. 

 One of our main questions was fitting the same functionality into a small home that you'd find in a large one. We knew we wanted a living area, a large kitchen, a large workspace, a shower and toilet, and a bedroom. We also wanted to make sure the space would be comfortable for one person or multiple people. When lots of people are onboard, you need both seating for communal meals and relaxing, but also floorspace so the area doesn't get too cramped or claustrophobic. When you're a single person, you may want amenities that aren't really important when you have multiple people onboard. For me, that's basically a big, flat area to work on things like music, electronics and maybe even some small-scale woodworking. And what individual needs 18 feet of couches? All told, if you want to jam a lot of functionality into a small space, something's gotta give. We made that thing the furniture - a lot of it folds out when you need it and away when you don't. If you're interested in the dynamic furniture, follow the link below. 

One big factor in living for moderate periods of time, or when hosting parties with many people is the ability to break off from the main group. We wanted to make the master bedroom large enough to sustain at least a few people, which is the thinking behind the large queen bed and floorspace, which can be taken up either by people standing, or, ideally, beanbags. We separated the toilet from the shower. That way, one person does not occupy both while using only one. Since this made each of the rooms smaller, we wanted to make the area in between a bit larger, should someone want to get out of the shower in privacy, so they don't have to change in a wet space. As such, the two doors can fold out in opposite directions into the hallway, making the bathroom a single, larger room.

Other factors are important when you consider the livability of a space. Our windows are large, which are spectacular for beautiful views and an open feeling, but not so great when it comes to privacy or the greenhouse effect. Also, what to do when we want windows open for ventilation while in a buggy environment? We decided to install roller curtains, with both mosquito screens and solar shades. Ben has been charged with the design and implementation of these curtains, and we think they will go a long way toward making the space more livable. Check out more below. 

While this is discussed more in a different section, we are incorporating a lot of computerized functions, both to analyze the efficiency of our systems, but also to make it easy for an occupant to interact with them. As such, we want the controls for things like the curtains, lights, cooling, electricity, etc. to be easy to use. We also want the functionality of such things to be easy to change, should an occupant want to customize some aspect of the system.

 

 

 

 

 

The living area, the space that occupies roughly the first 3rd of the bus, is inspired largely by the work of Hank Butitta, whose designs are documented on his website, www.hankboughtabus.com. If you're interested in the design, it's well worth it to scroll through the main page. Make sure you catch his moving images that show how the arrangement of the bus changes. If you're interested in life on a bus, his travel posts are beautifully written and photographed. 

Much like his, our living area is comprised of two bench-style sofas. While they don't seem like much at first, there is, of course, more than meets the eye. Integrated into these benches we have storage, coffee tables, bedding, and floorspace. Yes, floorspace. We'll get to that. 

 
 

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