Canadian newlyweds Tessa and Jacob were both working full time when they decided they wanted to build a school bus for lengthy trips. They were enamored by the freedom a bus could provide, and the push came when a renovated bus drove by one afternoon as they were sitting on a patio. The couple purchased "Frieda" and spent the next six months renovating her.
To keep to a strict budget while also being ecologically conscious, the couple worked to use as many reclaimed materials as possible. Fabric was repurposed from existing pieces, old barnwood was turned into built-in shelving and many a secondhand store was scoured for goods. Now, the couple travels the country, stopping at farmer's markets to sell Tessa's handmade goods for extra income along the way.
Near the entryway, a small dining area offers a place to eat on two wicker stools. The bus features walls of windows, so the space offers a front-row seat to enjoy the nature beyond. Once, the couple was eating while bears wandere just outside.
Across from the dining space, an array of indigo throw pillows decorates a seating area. The couch also serves as a spare bed when a guest is traveling with the couple. Underneath, hand-sewn curtains cover storage for baskets of linens, toilet paper and extra home goods.
The kitchen features ample counter space for food preparation. Cabinet doors crafted from reclaimed barnwood feature small locks so nothing slides out when the bus is in motion. Because the couple uses mason jars to stash many food items, they custom-built cabinet drawers to accommodate jar height and weight.
The couple created the counters in Jacob's family woodshop. His grandfather gave them accent wood panels to add a little style and "backsplash." The sink features a freshwater and a gray water tank. A switch turns it on so that the couple can have water on demand for washing vegetables, dishes or hands.
Behind the kitchen, storage units serve double duty. While concealing the awkward wheel well space, the units also hold Tessa's business materials and firewood for the small wood stove. Designed for RVs and small cabins, this Cubic Mini Wood Stove can heat up to 250 square feet. Next to the stove, a stainless steel water canister can hold 15 liters to provide the couple with fresh water.
In the bedroom nook, windows surround a double bed. Tessa made the curtains surrounding the space and attached them to copper plumbing bars. Books and laptops find a home at the foot of the bed, and shelving offers additional storage around the ceiling.
The couple decided to build a storage/closet space instead of a washroom. Clothes and camping gear is easily organized in the custom units. The pair use roadside stops and friend's facilities along the way, and they have an outdoor shower they can hook up to the back of the bus.