Do any of you consider yourselves to be good interior designers? Now, if you’re anything like me, you like to rearrange the furniture around in your apartment to get a new look and feel every once in a while. But have you ever taken an old and dumpy place and made it into something completely different? What about a bus? I’m going to safely assume that close to none of you took an old bus and made it into your home. And not just any home – a beautiful one!
Someone who really took her knack for home-decorating to the next level was Jessie Lipskin. With a mind as creative as hers, the possibilities are endless. And the proof is in these photos! After finding an old bus online, she immediately knew what she wanted to do. Who really needs a realtor these days anyway? She went to work, transforming this bus, and the results stunned us all. Here’s the full story.
Buying a Home on eBay
While many of us use online real estate to find our next home, Jessie Lipskin opted for the slightly savvier option. Some of you may have turned to eBay to auction off a few of your old clothes that no longer fit. It turns out that the popular e-commerce site offers more than just used clothes. Jessie Lipskin purchased her home on eBay. But before you laugh off this idea, listen to this.
The 30-year-old New Yorker was surfing the website and came across something special. Before her eyes was an ad for a 1966 GMC Greyhound bus. And she fell in love with it. For those who may think this was a really complicated process, Jessie actually felt otherwise.
Going for Style
She could have opted for a conventional RV with all the commodities available as is make moving in much quicker and easier, but it lacked a certain something. So what does a 1966 Greyhound have that an RV doesn’t? Style. Jessie longed for a simple lifestyle, but she still wanted it to look good! An RV didn’t have the kind of aesthetic that she was going for. With the bus, she had the freedom to decorate it exactly how she wanted. And you should see how she decorated!
You could say that Lipskin was hoping to set trends after choosing a retro bus as her humble abode. The tiny home movement is something of a new phenomenon, but it’s already taken the housing market by storm. If realtors aren’t careful, they could soon be out of a job!
The Tiny Home Movement
This new social movement has motivated people to downsize and simplify their lives. Why? Because people are seeing that it’s wise to save cash on choosing big properties in favor of leading a more spontaneous, adventure-filled lifestyle. Just imagine all the money you’ll have left over!
Sure, Jessie liked the idea of having money left over, but there was an overriding factor in her choice to switch to the simpler and more mobile way of life. And it all started one day after watching something on TV.
‘Garbage Warrior’ is about architect Mike Reynolds and his journey towards a more sustainable life. He does it by inventing eco-friendly Earth ship homes. These dwellings are made of natural, upcycled materials. As soon as Jessie watched this, she knew she was compelled to follow suit.
A Win-Win Situation
Jessie liked the concept of a more eco-friendly life, but something else made her want a mobile home. She had a full-time job in finance, which got her thinking there was more to life than spending all day in an office. She craved adventure! Don’t we all? It turns out that home on wheels was the answer Jessie was searching for.
She would have a place that allowed her to come and go while cutting back on unnecessary commodities that were expensive as well as harmful to the environment. It was a win-win situation! So, let’s talk about her process. While many of us see a dated and destroyed vehicle, Lipskin saw potential. Ok, so the bus had its share of dents and scratches, but this wasn’t anything that she was worried about.
The Bus From ‘Speed’
She was sick of the New York real estate market, and boy did she do a 180! Jessie wasn’t looking for anything too eye-catching, but she was excited to discover that this exact model had been used in Keanu Reeves’ 1994 movie ‘Speed.’ So, how much did Jessie spend on her vintage Hollywood bus? $7,000. Can you believe it? Think about it: this New Yorker’s home costs less than certain designer handbags. And she couldn’t wait to get started on a brand new chapter in her life.
As soon as the bus was ready to be picked up, Jessie asked a few friends for a favor. While she had passed her driver’s test at the time she ordered the bus from eBay, she wasn’t yet fully trained in driving manually. So her pals had to drive her new home from California over to the East Coast.
And the Work Begins
The time came for Jessie to get her hands dirty and turn her old bus into a cool, new home! For starters, she moved the bus to New Jersey for a while. Why? Because she had a few contacts there that would be able to help her get the ball rolling. And the challenge began! In Asbury Park, New Jersey, Jessie watched as friends and contractors came to help make her house a home.
She first hired a carpenter to deck out her floors with some custom woodwork. Growing up in Manhattan, Lipskin didn’t have much experience with DIY projects. This lack of expertise meant that her New Jersey contacts saved the day. Without them, her home may not have looked as impressive as it does.
A Part of Her Own Masterpiece
But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t willing to learn. While the team was working, Jessie helped out where and when she could, installing and finishing the countertops, for example. What’s better than being a part of your masterpiece? Jessie spoke about the move in interviews, and she gave a lot of praise to Asbury Park’s for several reasons.
For one, she loves how it accommodates the vegan community – which is a group in which she is a part of. She fits right into the place. Jessie quickly became a fan of her new neighborhood. From the moment she purchased the bus, it took a whopping three years to renovate it completely! The major question is: did all the work pay off?
Three years of renovations are not easy, especially when you’re starting with an old bus! Over time, Jessie and her trustworthy team of experts came upon a few challenges when it came to restoring such a piece of machinery. Out of everything that could be a challenge on the mobile home, storage, closets, and walls were the trickiest.
The team had to make sure that when they parked the bus, it wasn’t sitting on an angle because it would disrupt the positioning everything. How did Lipskin welcome in the new year of 2018? With a new home! When looking at the stylish decor, no one could have guessed that it used to be an abandoned old bus. But all those extensive renovations did come at a cost.
If you add all the plumbing, carpentry, electrical work and everything else, you’d be looking at a little over $125,000. It’s a lot cheaper than anywhere in Manhatten, that’s for sure. About a million dollars cheaper, maybe. Social media has made a huge impact on the way we live their lives. So how exactly did Jessie get her inspiration to design such a chic abode? Via the trendy Instagram, of course!
Jessie was scrolling down her feed when she saw some fellow members from the tiny home community. She loved how they styled their miniature abodes, and so she took a few of their tips and tricks along the way.
Ok, so now we can go on a tour! We’ll start at the most important spot in most homes, the kitchen.
The Most Important Room in the Home
Looking at all the amenities, it would be difficult not to get a modern feel from this place! From wooden countertops to spacious stovetops, this kitchen is the real deal. Keeping up with the eco-friendly theme, Jessie’s kitchen has been fitted with an energy-efficient washing machine and drying spinner.
When making a new home, so many things come to mind when inspecting the bedroom. Will it be large enough to fit the bed? Is there enough storage space? For Jessie, those concerns didn’t even cross her mind. It may be a little smaller than we’re used to, but it works for this true New Yorker. What she loves the most about her bright bedroom is the lack of technology.
She wakes up to the sound of birds chirping outside. Sounds dreamlike to me!
Jessie’s vision for a bathroom was simple. She just needed a space where she could wash up after a long day. As long as it had a showerhead, she would give it the green light. It’s just as well her bathroom dream was a simple one, as that’s exactly what she got! It may be a little on the smaller side, but this bathroom is all she needs.
After all, these are the types of sacrifices you need to make when you vow to keep a sustainable way of life! Oh, and her toilet is 100% compostable! At the end of the day, Jessie is still a woman! And what does every girl dream of when moving into a new home? A big closet.
Lo and behold, this is exactly what Lipskin got when her home on wheels had finally finished the renewal process. Jessie may have seen a small closet at first, but she shouldn’t be deceived: the closet extends far out to both the left and right, we’re impressed! We’re sure that Jessie was more than pleased to find out she wouldn’t have to say goodbye to any of her trendy garments in the move.
You wouldn’t believe how much space an old bus has. Since she wanted to make her Greyhound feel as homely as possible, her renovators added a second bedroom. That way, she can let others join her on the road!
So, how did they do it? Let’s see…
All White Space
Using extra space from the front of the bus, the team managed to create room for a pull-out bed. Inventive, huh? Her friends can consider themselves lucky to spend a night in this little hideaway. There are too many rules when it comes to painting a wall. Who knew one color could trigger so many emotions? Jessie’s coloring choice was almost as simple as the setup of her new home-on-wheels.
Jessie decided that she wanted to stick to a white color scheme. And she did this for two reasons. For one, white allows the sunlight to enter the space more easily. And secondly, white walls make a room look bigger, which is kind of a necessity when moving into a bus.
One of the Best Things
What’s one of the best things Jessie likes about her new home? All the free time she has! Once all the repair work was done and she started working again as a remote project manager, Jessie was happy to discover that she could catch up on the things she loves to do the most.
So, how has Jessie been making the most of this new-found freedom? By reading. Reading was always a passion of hers, but only once her tiny home was complete, did she get the opportunity to spend her day getting cozy with a good book.
It may be a big change from the hustle and bustle of New York City, but changing things to a more eco-friendly way of life was pretty easy for Jessie.
Practice Makes Perfect
If she’s not reading a new book, she’s making the most of her new outdoors lifestyle! That’s the beauty of living in a mobile home. Having the freedom to pick yourself up and drop yourself off wherever and whenever. It’s perfect for those who hate being cooped up in one place for too long.
So how does Jessie cope with the space? She may have everything she needs, but you can’t deny it’s a little smaller than most apartments. As it turns out, Jessie was prepared for the dramatic downsize. Living in New York was a sort of practice, you could say. Before the Greyhound, she lived in apartments. She also is proud to say that she has a way of keeping things tidy and organized, so it’s perfect!
Making Her House a Home
Sometimes, a well-built house just isn’t enough to make it feel like a home. It’s really all about the personal touch! Jessie took it upon herself to hit the market and find as many interesting features as possible. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to complete your home. She went straight to Goodwill to get those finishing touches for her Greyhound bus. Take a look at this oil painting which hangs in Jessie’s hallway!
For many of us, we consider our home to be something special. While Jessie does live alone in her mobile home, she still needs to be surrounded by the ones she loves. How? Through the personal objects situated located throughout the bus.
Jessie didn’t bring too much with her when she moved in, so whatever she kept holds some sentimental meaning to her. Walking around her home, you’ll find a collection of framed photos of her grandparents. As we can see, Jessie is the sentimental type. This doesn’t stop at family photos. Not all her decorations come from Goodwill; several items found in her home are from her childhood.
As you look around the home, some of Jessie’s stuff, such as china dishes, have been passed down from her great-grandmother’s tenement, in the Lower East Side of New York. How sweet is that? Jessie has a flair for decorating as we can see by looking at her stunning home. Let’s see some of her finishing touches now…
Some Finishing Touches
She should take it up as a full-time career! The white walls and curtains give it a nice and simple vibe, while her extra decorations give it that needed a pop of color. From her custom-made bench cushions to the vibrant rugs, the style of her home-on-wheels is an Instagrammer’s dream! It may be a small home, but she makes up for it in huge doses of character.
One of the most appealing things about moving into a mobile home is how you decide to live in whichever location you desire. If you’re a sucker for a good view, you should seriously start considering this home-on-wheels idea. Isn’t this a relaxing way to cook? Just imagine how therapeutic it would be to cook your dinner while looking out at a gorgeous sunset every evening. If the trees are blocking the view, you can just drive round to a less covered spot!
It’s Up for Sale
Guess what? Jessie has decided to put her mobile home up for sale and if you like what you see, for $149,000 it could be yours! Why is this? Being the free spirit she is, she wants to travel as much as possible. Some of the locations on Jessie’s bucket list include Malta and Russia. If only she could pack us in her suitcase and take us with her! She had a blast designing her first mobile home, but we totally understand her desire to explore the world.
When the time comes for Jessie to settle down (which might not be in the near future), she’s already got one place that sits high up on the list. Where is that exactly? New England.
She Learned from the Best
It may be a while before Jessie decides to buy a permanent home (if at all), and that decision will change about a million times before she really gets down to it. For now, she should focus on exciting travels around the world!
See what inspired Jessie to make her amazing home…
Jessie found inspiration on how to decorate her mobile home by scrolling through her Instagram feed. She saw how other members of the tiny house movement decorated their chic eco-friendly dwellings. Just like Jessie, and everyone else in the tiny home trend, Mike and Natalie Young were on the hunt for a less permanent and exciting way of life. They had just married, but didn’t want the adventures to stop after the honeymoon! They did this by meeting Rosie.
They Found it on Craigslist
Okay, so now it’s time to meet Rosie. Who’s Rosie? Rosie actually isn’t a person but the name of their home! After tying the knot, the two looked online for a new place to live. They didn’t visit any real estate sites, nor did they go on eBay. This time, the mobile home was found on Craigslist.
Sure, it’s an unusual way to find a home, but it worked out for them. After scrolling through the public site, the pair was beginning to lose hope, but then finally something caught their eye. A 1978 Bluebird Bus came up, and they instantly knew it was where they needed to live. We don’t usually picture a school bus as our home, but this was a resourceful couple.
Their Home on Wheels
Why choose a school bus? It’s out of the ordinary, but Mike and Natalie both had valid reasons for creating a home-on-wheels. Weighing out their options, in the end, it seemed there was no other choice for the couple. Mike always wanted a home full of natural light, and Natalie was a huge fan of alternative living styles. So they chose to relocate to “Rosie” which was the perfect option for the pair. They styled their home with a Texan feel to it.
If you spend $3,000 on a new place, you can’t really expect much to come out of it. House prices are going up every second. Looking around at their 300-square-foot school bus, Mike and Natalie knew they had work cut out for them.
The Astounding Result
Luckily, the previous owner of the bus was inventive. He used it as an office space, so the seats were already removed. They had a completely blank canvas, which meant they had the task of redecorating the space to fit the Austin, Texas-style they were going for.
Take a look at that! Who knew it was possible to make a school bus into a beautiful little humble abode? All the traditional rooms of a house are present, including a small kitchen, a bedroom, and a living area.
Not that they had much choice, but Mike and Natalie chose an open-concept living space, with every room on the bus flowing into one another. The bus has a modern feel, with grey walls. To this day, Mike is happy to see his wife’s good eye for decorating!
Living a Dream
When choosing their new space, Mike and Natalie had one specific requirement: that it would have a friendly atmosphere and be a place where both friends and family could come together. From Thanksgiving dinners to dinner parties, Mike and Natalie are the best hosts! In Mike’s own words, a get together on the bus would involve friends who “all come to hang out, sit in our little space, drink chai tea, drink beer and eat some food.”
Living in a school bus isn’t always as exciting as we’ve made it out to be. The hot temperatures of Austin mean the couple faces some pretty long and exhausting summers. This factor is greatly emphasized when you live in a metal bus.
There’s a Downside to Everything, Though
Between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., life on the school bus is pretty unbearable, even with the installed air conditioning. But luckily, Mike goes to work full time at a solar electric installation company, while Natalie works full time as a nursing student. The couple works around the summer months in their bus, but what about the winter months? As soon as the temperatures of Austin cool down, this dynamic duo was quick to find a solution to their winter worries.
They purchased the thermal fabric. In the chilly winters, this fabric can trap any heat. With magnets attached in the fabric to the ceiling of the bus, they can also divide the rooms, allowing for more efficient heating.
As you’ve probably seen, Mike and Natalie are quite a creative duo. They love to display a side of their personalities in their new home. It’s exactly what they set out to do during the decorating process. Looking around, it’s hard to find a spot that hasn’t showcased their inventive flair. Not many would think to do it, but since their home is made up of metal, magnetic strips were placed in various spots to stick to hold up metal cutlery and containers.
While some may laugh at the idea of living in a school bus, it’s not a big deal for the couple. In an interview, Natalie said, “It’s funny to see people’s responses and have them see us as crazy kids. In reality, it’s just an extension of how we’ve already lived.” Since their move, the couple kept busy with renovations. They love keeping people in-the-know of their latest adventures on their blog. We hope these two stories inspire many more people to create their own mobile homes!
This next story is quite similar, as in this man took an unusual spot and made it into a home…
This Man Built a Little Home Under a Bridge in Spain
Do you remember when you were a kid, and you would build forts and secret little hideaways in your home or maybe in your backyard? Those nostalgic memories are precisely what inspired Fernando Abellanas to build a tiny apartment under a bridge in Valencia, Spain. Abellanas is a self-taught designer, and his secret little hideaway is an example of a new trend new trend in architecture.
The tiny dwelling can be thought of as a type of studio apartment. It includes shelving, a desk and a chair, and even a place to sleep. The walls can be folded up or down to make the small space more open or to close it for privacy. Next, you’ll see the clever way he gets into the apartment…
And It Moves!
The space is actually moveable. By watching the video, you can see that Fernando climbs up to enter the box and he pulls a lever to move the whole contraption towards the wall where a desk and chair are ‘floating’. Without the box attached, they seem completely random and without context. But once the moving box attaches to the wall, the home comes into place. It turns into a neat little home.
Abellanas doesn’t live there if you’re wondering. The shelter is actually more of an art installation than a long-term abode. The shelter is part of a collection of spaces that Abellanas has said that he is planning to create. Next, you’ll see why he chose this particular spot…
So why did he choose this spot under this bridge? Abellanas said, “These are locations that due to their architecture, location or size have become useless. People hardly notice when walking by.” The strangely peaceful little studio is hidden away from passing cars and trains. You would never even notice it if you didn’t pay attention, which is just what Abellanas intends.
The innovative designer was inspired to create his humble abode when looking back on his “magical” childhood experiences. He remembered as a kid he would build forts and hide underneath the tablecloths, and make secret dens. He wanted to recapture that sense of whimsical playfulness and childish freedom in a place where thousands pass by every day but give little attention to.
Want to get away from it all? Fernando has you covered.
Abellanas said that “It is also about recovering those sensations of the huts we used to make as small ones. To stay isolated but at the same time close to our house, the city.” He also said, “We are not referring to an idyllic hut you would find in the middle of the woods but rather to tiny spaces recovered from the city itself, where you can hide from the city’s hectic pace,” Abellanas said.
So what’s the trend in architecture? Let’s find out…
The project is an example of what is known as parasitic architecture. Sure, the word parasitic doesn’t sound so appealing, but the term refers to buildings that cling, perch or sprout from others. They make use of existing architecture to reclaim wasted space or resources from a host structure.
The Parasitic Trend
You might be familiar with the pop-up trend, where shops, art projects, and restaurants will just pop up out of nowhere for a short period of time. Well, pop-ups are quite similar to parasitic architecture projects. ‘Parasites’ are often a longer-term intervention in an urban landscape, however, whereas pop-ups are usually temporary standalone structures.
Abellanas’ little apartment is literally attached to a concrete bridge. It makes use of its structures, such as the bridge’s beams and rails. Parasitic architecture has started to become a thing.
You might be wondering if it’s dangerous. It’s not really. The shelter doesn’t pass over a road. It’s still under a bridge though, so there is a bit of a drop. However, it doesn’t seem too dangerous. And the structure is built really well. But it’s definitely not for little kids!
A Bit of Mystery
Want to visit Fernando’s little studio? You might not be able to… Apparently, its location is a secret.
If you’re wondering where it is in Valencia, and maybe on your next trip to Spain you’ll make a point to go visit, think again. The location is a secret. Abellanas chose not to reveal the location of his “cabin”. He wants it to remain there until someone finds it and “decides to steal the materials, or the authorities remove it.”
Fernando Abellanas is a plumber and designer. He’s self-taught and prefers the DIY approach to creating and building. He runs a product and furniture design project called Lebrel. His project Lebrel has an Instagram page. Which family member gave Fernando the creative push?
His Passion Started When He Was Young
Abellanas has designed and built everything around him from a young age. Abellanas reflects on his lifelong passion for creating. He said, “Since I was very young, I’ve been in contact with handicraft work. Even as a child my father always encouraged us to take part in the creation, manufacturing, and repair of our own furniture. This made me develop an interest to find out how the different objects around us are designed and manufactured.”
Fernando was inspired by designers and architects from the 1960s and ’70s. He likes to create highly-functional products with minimalist aesthetics. He makes products such as lamps, shelves, benches, and bike racks.
We’ll see next what type of dwellings attract Fernando, which give us an idea as to how he thinks…
Looking to Make Use of Space
Abellanas has said that he is “attracted by the concept of huts: making use of small wasted spaces existing often in large civil works such as underground, roads, etc. I have visited these types of places for many years looking for ways to use them as living spaces.” Every designer, or creator for that matter, has his or her own method. Abellanas has his own style of work.
Source: InhabitatHe said, “My work as a designer consists of trying to implement the concerns relating to design, handicrafts, and architecture which I come across on a daily basis,” said Abellanas.
“I observe, research projects, in a self-taught way, with the only purpose of satisfying my own personal motivation. With the experience, I acquired during years of work I collaborate with artists, interior designers, and architects offering them design and manufacturing solutions. All this I do under the name of Lebrel.”