When Sarah and Ed Szymczak from Simply Mothering decided to scale back and live a simple and debt-free life, they agreed to pursue a new adventure that would save them money and bring them joy. They chose to convert a school bus into a tiny home, creating a beautiful, small space for their family to grow.
The bus offers plenty of sleeping and play space for the couple and their four children. Plus the freedom of bus living allows the family to explore the outdoors and get closer to nature, something that was important to the parents of four small, homeschooled children. The result of the family's hard work is evident in their gorgeous tiny home.
Using a new twist on a traditional home floor plan, the family decided to place the master bedroom at one end of the bus, and the children's sleeping quarters at the other end, creating bookends with the family's kitchen and bathroom in the center of the bus. The master bedroom is made from custom-built wooden planks, with room for a mattress on top. Cleverly, the couple added storage underneath the platform to put tools, bikes, and other items you might put in a garage, using every inch of space available.
During the day, the couple puts their mattress away and lets the family use the space as a living/play area, with plenty of room for sitting and reading or hanging out and studying. Plants add a fresh touch and liven up the area.
In the center of the bus there are two fold-down tables and chairs which provide room for eating or doing coursework. The tables flip up to create additional space. The family took space into consideration when creating the home, making it easy for the children to move around the bus.
Sarah and Ed got creative when it came to storage. Jars bolted to the wall hold pencils, crayons and school supplies, while overhead shelving, hidden baskets, benches that lift up, and built-in chests offer even more spots to stash and stow stuff.
The kitchen is fully loaded with a stainless steel sink, beautiful wooden countertops, and a full-sized oven and refrigerator. Cabinets underneath and built-in shelves above offer space for dishes and food, while a spice rack attached to the side of the cabinets keeps spices conveniently within arm's reach.
Custom built bunk beds provide a cozy sleeping space for the children and take up less room than traditional beds.
Plenty of drawers and cabinet space underneath the bunk beds offer places for the kids to put their toys and other things without cluttering up the bus.
With small children who may not be able to shower yet, it was imperative that the family have a bathtub, so the bathroom not only contains a toilet but a combination bathtub/shower too.
Sarah couldn't live without one of a traditional home's most valuable creature comforts—a washer and dryer set. However due to space constraints she had to choose the washer over a dishwasher. When you're a mom with four kids, that decision is pretty simple to make!
The family has managed to create a beautiful, peaceful, and affordable living space out of what was once a mode of transportation. Though they may end up settling somewhere else in the future, their life on the bus is happy and productive!