This couple left London for a self-built bus home.
Published October 18, 2022 03:00PM EDT
A growing number of people are opting for simpler lifestyles, usually by living with less and living in homes with a smaller footprint. But tiny houses come in all sorts of shapes and sizes beyond the stereotypical gable-roofed microhouse on wheels. There are ready-made campers, as well as van conversions—and, of course, the ever-popular bus conversion that is roomier and typically cheaper to renovate than building a conventional tiny house from scratch.
Luke and Nikisha are one couple that decided to take the plunge into bus life, moving out of the hustle and bustle of London and into a self-built bus home that’s now parked on some farmland outside of the city. The bus has been remodeled to evoke a distinctly modern farmhouse feel and, thanks to the large windows on all sides, also feels quite airy and open. We get a tour of the couple’s lovely little home via Alternative House:
The couple’s tiny home used to be a city bus that Luke rescued from the scrapyard for a small sum of $1,500. Luke began the conversion during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when he had a lot of time on his hands, and the two actually had their second date on the nearly built-out bus. To round out the project, Nikisha masterminded much of the interior decoration, from the muted pastel green cabinets to the collection of textiles and natural window coverings that give the tiny home a softer side.
As Luke explains, this particular bus was chosen because of its high ceilings made of durable and slightly reflective material. The city bus’ existing split-level design—going up one platform after another before reaching the rear—helped to inform its current “hybrid design” that includes a number of distinct zones.
The exterior looks like any regular city bus, but it’s the context here that makes it picturesque. The bus is currently parked in between two stands of trees, which helps to shield it somewhat from the elements, as well as offering more privacy. Though the couple considered installing a solar panel system to make the bus more off-grid, the lack of reliable sunlight in the United Kingdom meant that they opted for regular hookups to power and water instead, in addition to using a sustainable energy supplier. Nevertheless, the couple enjoys the idyllic setting, which has allowed them to set up a small outdoor garden with a fire pit.
First off in the bus is the entry area, centering around the driver’s seat. Here, the couple kept the original red flooring, which is designed to withstand high amounts of foot traffic.
This front area is where they can wipe shoes, take off coats, and either store them behind the driver’s seat or hang them up on this coat rack.
Stepping up from the entry area, there are two countertop areas extending on either side. These were built over the bus’ existing wheel wells and are intended to serve both as storage and workspaces, as well as to hide those big wheels.
Past these wheel well cabinets, we have the kitchen area, which is defined by two countertops on either side. One side has the integrated stovetop and a small refrigerator hidden behind a cabinet door, while the other side has a deep farmhouse sink and a DIY copper pipe faucet that’s hooked up to a hose for water.
As we go up another step, we come into the seating and dining area. The built-in sofa seating has a bespoke cushion, a glorious smattering of soft pillows, and storage integrated with the cabinets underneath. The mini wood stove helps to keep the interior quite toasty while staying consistent with the farmhouse theme.
Opposite the sofa is a small round table and a set of chairs. The roundness of the table helps to ease any feeling of cramping in this compact space, while the chairs add a touch of rustic charm. But to make it feel a bit more modern, a copper-colored geometric pendant lamp hangs above, offering an alternative to the still-functioning, but not-so-flattering, original lighting in the bus.
Beyond the sitting and dining zone, we ascend up into the sleeping area, which is separated spatially by some open shelving that doesn’t block the view. The bed here is built on top of cubbies for storing clothes and is surrounded by two generous sideboards.
Because the bus is stationary, the couple decided to save space inside the bus by moving the bathroom and shower into a nearby “glamping shed”. There is a portable toilet and an on-demand hot water heater here for relaxing showers.
In all, the couple spent about $13,200 on the whole renovation and the bus—significantly cheaper than some of the high-end tiny houses that are floating around nowadays. To see more, visit Luke’s Instagram.