Converting an old school bus into a living space is never an easy task – but when you’re trying to create enough room for a family of six, the project becomes a whole ‘nother beast. When Gabriel and Debbie Mayes began to embark on their skoolie refurb, they knew it would have to accommodate themselves as well as their four children for years to come. The result is an amazing, light-filled home on wheels that has plenty of living and storage space for the entire family.
The Mayes Team began their renovation by buying an 250-square-foot, 2000 Thomas High Top with the seats still intact. Excited as they were about their new adventure, the ambitious couple soon discovered that the old bus was a “rust bucket.” However, they moved forward by gutting the entire interior, and creating a specific layout that would meet their needs.
After months of hard work, the family managed to convert the old bus into a comfy 250 square feet of living space by using several space-efficient tactics. Instead of creating a long, shotgun type of home, for example, the wanted to separate the living space from the bedrooms. Putting the living room towards the front of the bus, they created a natural barrier with an L-shaped kitchen, which blocks the view of the sleeping area in the back of the bus.
For the sleeping area, the kids have four bunk beds positioned over the wheel wells, with the parents’ bedroom at the very back of the bus. The bed was positioned over the engine, leaving enough room for clothing storage underneath, again making use of every inch of available space.
Upon entry, the living space is divided into two sides, with two couches on either side that can fit the entire family. The couches can also fold out into a full bed for guests. The interior design scheme revolves around predominantly black, white, and grey tones, giving the interior a polished look. Using white walls creates an airy, spacious interior, which is enhanced by various large windows that flood the space with natural light. The design also incorporates various wood accents to add a sense of warmth to the design.
As is the case with most tiny living spaces, creative storage solutions were essential in this project, especially with a large family. Throughout the bus conversion, hidden drawers and cupboards were installed in every available inch of space. The team installed storage under the couch and even a shoe shelf by the front door. According to the family, these areas are incredibly helpful to help the big family avoid clutter, “This has been such a blessing and has helped us to keep the bus organized.”