A 185-Square-Foot Converted Bus Is a ‘Modern Tropical Bohemian Bungalow’ on Wheels

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Credit: Kate Powell
We absolutely love being outdoors and in nature. Learning to grow and take care of our plants has been a fun experience and are always looking for new ways to spruce up the space.

Name: Dana and Aaron Holmes
Location: Palm Coast, Florida
Type of home: Tiny home/Bus Conversion
Size: 185 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, owned

Credit: Kate Powell
An overall capture of our space from the front door as you walk in. The 7 foot 4 inch ceilings are what make the space feel so airy and fresh. The ceiling is one of my favorite details. Our counter space and sink are the most impressive parts of the kitchen. The deep sink makes for a stress-free clean up and extra storage when we move the bus. The long continuous piece of butcher block is beautiful to look at and utilize.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My husband and I bought our 1996 Blue Bird Bus from a friend and began the process of demolition, when we quickly realized that the project was way over our heads. We found a contractor who worked with other bus conversions on the East Coast. He converted our little Blue Bird into a beautiful, brightly colored beach bungalow of our dreams.

The bus was given a complete face lift, including a 12-inch roof raise, eliminating the old bus windows, and a paint job. We replaced them with RV windows for maximum light and visibility. There is now so much natural light that pours in from the Florida sunshine.

Credit: Kate Powell
The front dash area was the space that got the least amount of attention, but we invited our friend to come up and help us build out some of the spaces, the front dash area just came together. We finished it with wood and cut out the spaces around the steering wheel and the gear shifter. We then painted it and hung curtains across the front windows to manage the heat and light that came in. We built a makeshift table that sits over the steering wheel and we use it as an extension of the front dash for our catch all items.

The inside is fully equipped with everything we need. A spacious living room/kitchen space, TV and entertainment center, half bath with a composting toilet, mini wardrobe, and lofted bed with storage underneath. Also, an outdoor shower with hot and cold water.

We call our home “birdie” for birdie venture because the word venture means risky undertaking. That is the perfect representation of the entirety of this project from start to finish, but we are so grateful to have our home on wheels. We never thought that we would be living in such a small space, but we have loved every second.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Modern tropical bohemian bungalow.

Credit: Kate Powell
My husband built the barn door, not bad for a first try. When we first moved into the bus we had to finish building out a few of the spaces and we didn't have a bathroom door for about four months. We made it work, but thankful when it was installed so we could finally have some privacy. The accent wall was bare for the longest time; Dana pieced this together with photos from a friend of our local beach and accented it with the sunburst mirror and snake plant to liven up the corner.

What is your favorite room and why? The bus is essentially all one room, except for the barn door that closes the bathroom off from the living room. We spend the majority of our time in the living room/kitchen space towards the front of the bus. The daybed/couch is cozy to sit and read, watch TV, work on the computer, and drink coffee. It serves us with many purposes. It is where most of our guests can hang out comfortably. Also, with the kitchen being in such close proximity, it’s nice to have a seat or relax while breakfast or coffee is going. But we honestly love every square inch of our beach bungalow.

Credit: Kate Powell
Ah, the bedroom. One of the coziest rooms I have ever had. It feels like we are always on an adventure when we climb into bed. The mattress is a queen short size. Perfect for us short folks. We have our amazing fan to keep us cool at night, and we can see the moon and stars through the maxx air vent and let the night breeze pour in.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? We were in need of a heater for the bus when we went through winter this past year. We researched and found the Dyson Pure Hot+Cold air purifying fan and it has truly been the best investment since the bus. It not only would keep us warm at night, but it heated our floors in the mornings while it kept our air clean. We also love the feature that allows us to check out the temperature inside the bus while gone, and the ability to monitor the air quality.

Credit: Kate Powell
We were inspired by a couple that renovated an old RV and their bed sat on top of these IKEA shelf units. Genius storage and easily accessible. We had enough room for an eight-unit piece and a four-unit on the other side. It mainly contains clothing, shoes, and linens. Also, it serves as a great hideaway or place to come and read a book. All of our friend's children love the kid cave.

Any advice for creating a home you love? When we were able to begin designing the details of how our home would look, I wanted to make sure that each piece of furniture and item that we chose was well thought out and could serve many purposes. We also love to rearrange and change our space up. The bus has the capability to change in the future for other needs if we choose, that is a pretty cool feature and one we always consider. I loved being inspired by other tasteful spaces and tiny houses. It is always fun curating items that brought me joy when I look at them and have a story to tell. I feel that we brought our design of a modern beachy bohemian bungalow to life with elements of natural textures, bright pops of color, and lots of plants.

This submission’s responses were edited for length and clarity.