We promised you an update on the big bus. Fortunately we have been very busy this year with kitchens, reception desks and commercial installations for a new office complex, which has bagged numerous awards! Now the end is in sight for our bus conversion, it’s a good time to reflect on the project so far. So we hope you are sitting comfortably as this is a bit of a long one.
After a successful conversion of two single decker buses in to luxury self-catering accommodation we now have our hands on a double decker looking for the same glamorous make over. Commissioned by The Bus Stop, work began in March after a long winter of planning, designing and collaborating. The brief was simple; Convert a double decker bus into luxury self-catering accommodation for at least 6 people…we had a long way to go.
Creating an interior to fit within the confines of a bus shell comes with its challenges, you would be surprised how many curves there are! However many people across the world are doing just that in an effort to create their own little haven and, for the most part, this is their home, not just a weekend getaway. Many people see it as an escape from the 9 till’ 5, a huge money saver and a great way to unburden themselves from all the ‘stuff’ which we inevitably seem to gather along our way.
After binging on blogs and you tube videos refreshing our minds on how to design a small living space, and using what we had already learned, we began designating areas of the bus. Planning the layout was incredibly simple as everything seemed to naturally fall in to place with the main living area taking over the whole ground floor and bedrooms to the upper deck.
The main obstacle we have in both the kitchen and lounge / dining area are the wheel arches. These will be concealed within cabinetry and have dictated where certain elements of furniture will be positioned. With the kitchen to the front of the bus we have had to remove a fair amount of original features such as the driver’s cabin partitions and some small sections of raised flooring. However this has left us with a good sized space for a galley style kitchen with all the mod-cons including a four ring hob, built in oven and microwave.
The lounge is a multifunctioning space with large c-shaped seating area and a table which can be raised and lowered to become a coffee table, a dining table and a bed! Although this is a small space it needs to work incredibly hard to cover all eventualities.
Creating an adequate bathroom space within the main shell proved to be slightly more difficult, especially seeing as the bus can potentially sleep 8 people. We decided that a wood clad extension to the bus would provide a comfortable luxury bathroom, although there are a few little quirks which we’ll keep to ourselves for the time being.
Two king sized beds and bunk beds, each having their own designated bedroom space, will occupy the upper floor. The famous star gazer roof light will appear again in the master bedroom and again every little available space will be utilised for storage.
We were given free reign with the interior scheme and the client approved elements along the way. Our initial proposal was influenced by the surrounding farming landscape incorporating natural materials and textures to create a clean crisp environment. With the usable space being small it is crucial not to over complicate the design, crowd the space and distract from the stunning views. The client was delighted and with a small tweak to the colours to introduce some warmer tones, we had our final scheme:
We set to work dismantling the interior, which is where the true nature of the project reveals itself. No matter how detailed a design you create it can never account for the angles, curves and immovable parts which only become apparent when you uncover the barebones of a bus.
We also made head-way with the exterior while the weather was kind to us and re-painted the shell from mail box red to a subtler slate grey. Turning our bus into quite the mean machine.
Once we had everything stripped back we then began to block up windows, some for privacy and others for practicality. Wiring, stud walls and plumbing were next. This bus features its very own central heating, as well as a log burning stove; cold thou shalt not be.
We completed as much as we could while the bus was still in situ at our workshop, then it was time to move the bus to its new home. With no power steering, two tractors and some good old-fashioned team work the bus was carefully guided to its final resting place, at times teetering on the edge of quite a steep hill, but it made it safely with no major incidents.
Unfortunately for us (as far as converting a bus goes) we had the longest hottest summer we have had in a long time. We probably don’t need to tell you, but the top deck of a bus can get extremely toasty…
Thankfully everyone survived, and we battled through the warm weather by mainly staying outside, working on the bathroom extension and our tans.
The wood cladding is now installed to the exterior which we are going to stain black to tie in with the bus colour scheme.
Our latest addition to the interior has been carpets to the top floor, and it’s starting to feel really homely! In this shot you can see our popular skylight feature which appears on all the buses. When it’s not raining, this detail makes for an extra special feature!
There have been changes to the design along the way, but we think this is the beauty of the project. It is fluid and you need to be able to adapt the solutions to suit the surroundings. Details have appeared which couldn’t have been designed without a full understanding of the final shell we had to work with. Such as hidden pelmet lighting to wash down walls. A subtle effect negating the need for wall or table lamps, which would ultimately make the space feel cluttered. It’s shaping up to be a beautiful space to exist within.
That is all the news we have for now, we will have another update shortly!
Thanks for Reading!