4 Genius Small Space Solutions to Steal from a Home in a School Bus

published Nov 16, 2015
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(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)

As the tiny house movement grows, so does the need for storage. The trick to getting the most out of your space when there’s little to begin with is getting creative and rethinking the purpose of the everyday elements of your home. Here are a few clever tips from Julie that work whether you live on a bus or not!

(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)

1. Sofas Are Storage, Too!

Originally we had planned on doing an IKEA hack from one of their bookcases, but it didn’t feel big enough to store things, or for people to sit or sleep on. Andrew and my dad designed our couch to be wide/long enough for an adult to sleep on comfortably. The top lifts up so that the things inside are hidden, and the beadboard helps it fit in with the Shaker cabinets opposite. My mom made the cushions and pillows custom for the dimensions of the couch.
(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)

2. So Are Beds!

The bed was a tall order: it had to house all of our musical instruments and equipment, along with our laundry basket, winter coats and sweaters, and assorted other things. And we had to be able to access all of those things semi-easily. My father designed a bed that had a platform that could be lifted up using hydraulic lifts and would fit a queen size bed. It’s exactly what we need in terms of storage and sleeping space. We could have gone with a smaller size bed, but it was important to make choices we could live with in the long run.
(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)

3. Slide-Out, Tiered Shelving Is Your Friend

We decided to give the kitchen a facelift with new custom Shaker cabinets, in bright white. My father surprised us by making these himself, and they are gorgeous. I chose textured, silver finish knobs from World Market. The cabinets and drawers all have child safety locks on them to prevent disasters while the bus is moving. To increase the square footage of the cabinets, we added slide-out tiers to the two biggest bottom cabinets which have been such a lifesaver!
(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)

4. A Table Is More Than Just A Table

We knew from the beginning that we wanted a fold-down table to eat and work at, which would collapse against the wall when not in use. That was easy enough. The tricky part was coming up with a solution for Starbuck’s dog crate. Where would we put a bulky, awkward dog crate in this tiny bus? While my dad was cutting the table, I had an idea: we would re-purpose his existing crate to snap in under the table, and be able to fold it up when we didn’t need it. It took some convincing to get everyone on board with this idea, but it’s worked so well. He still has a place that feels safe and his own, and we have the space we need when he isn’t in the crate.
(Image credit: Selena Kirchhoff)

Thanks, Julie & Andrew! Check out their blog, House Bus!