Ever thought of salvaging an old school bus and shipping it to the U.S. Virgin Islands? Sounds like a crazy feat, but that's exactly what the Trattners did.
Amanda, Joe and their dog Maho currently live in their idyllic tiny home: a refurbished 1968 Crown Super Coach bus that's been transformed into the ultimate bohemian paradise.
Bohemian and ecological paradise, to be precise. Amanda and Joe shared with Smaller Living some of the details they're most proud of and what motivated them to choose this lifestyle: "We are completely self-sufficient with solar panels and battery banks collecting and storing the power for the property. This is a clean form of energy, and an idea that we truly believe most new builds should be considered to benefit the world we live in."
Impressive, right? Come take a closer peek at this couple's eco-friendly feat:
It's like a hippie's dream come true. Seriously: Both Joe and Amanda claim that the freedom and simplicity their new lifestyle offers is what drew them to it in the first place. "We have cisterns that collect water from the roof of our shed that collects all the water we need for drinking, showering, cooking, cleaning, etc...," the couple adds. "The tanks are placed at a high point on the property so gravity is what provides water pressure to the One Love Bus. This saves energy as opposed to other methods like an electric pump and pressure tank for water pressure."
Old-school yellow? Gone. This bus shines through with vibrancy and style.
Bringing this precious haul home was a journey in itself. The soon-to-be-dubbed One Love Bus traveled from Chicago to Florida before being boarded on a cargo ship destined for the St. Thomas islands. Phew! From there, the conversion project began in January 2015, taking five months to complete.
No, we're not starting our tour backwards — this is one of those builds that prioritizes the open-plan kitchen space.
And they do so for a very good reason. Don't you just love those sleek counters? Another detail you may have noticed are the beautiful walls of the bus. They "came from around 100 broken down pallets that would have wound up in the St. Thomas Landfill as there's no value to them after they arrive to island with products on them," Joe says.
"Amanda used a saw zaw and earned the nickname of 'pallet crusher'! After the planks were cut away from the base of the pallets, we punched out all nail heads, painted them off white, and then sanded them to give them a rustic beach wood look."
What's not to love about these décor choices? From this angle, we start getting a better feel of this home's bohemian affinities.
Did you spot the "One Love" poster by the bed? What about those groovy lighting fixtures? This bus' décor is not too boisterous, not too reserved, with just the right measure of elements and motifs.
Needless to say, Joe and Amanda put a lot of effort into their cozy quarters.
The bathroom, you ask? Instead of fitting it on the bus, the couple opted to build an outside "shed" that includes a bath house, dressing area and additional storage facilities.
"So overall, self-reliance, eco-friendly, and monetary advantages were the core motivations for moving forward with this project," Joe and Amanda noted. "There were tons of hoops to hop through, and challenges every day. It was completely worth it as we love living in the bus, and enjoy knowing that we built something ourselves that allows us to be self-reliant in a unique/eco-friendly way."
In any case, this boho beauty is simply delightful. Eco-friendly and aesthetically flawless, the One Love bus conversion is everything one could hope for in an off-grid island sanctuary.