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At Home Anywhere: Living on a Bus

by Garrett Fleming

Atlanta, GA is having a moment. It’s flourishing creatively, and many of my friends have been brought there to work for brands and on truly inspiring films. Unfortunately, there is a downside to all this great juju – a surge in the cost of living. It was this exact pressure to keep up with the rent race that put Julie and Andrew Puckett in a bit of a pickle. The two were working two jobs just to stay afloat when their landlord announced yet another rent increase. The couple took it as a sign to finally move on. It may seem like a dramatic announcement, but friends and family weren’t surprised in the least when the out-of-the-box thinkers announced they’d be cutting costs by moving into a 250-square-foot bus.

The couple found their partially-renovated, 1990 Bluebird school bus on Tiny House Listings and immediately knew they could make it a home. With a little help from Mom and Dad, it only took four months to finish up the renovations. Together, Andrew and Julie added to their tiny house new floor finishings, cabinetry, a clean paint job, and built-in furniture. “So much love went into this bus, and I think it really shows,” they say. At the heart of all of the design decisions was the desire to craft a “bright, cheery oasis” where creativity could flow. Being able to live comfortably on the bus full-time was also crucial, of course. The two decked out the four wheels in all the basics needed to thrive, including a fully-functioning kitchen, bathroom, and nooks for the family’s dog and cat to snuggle in.

As you’ll see, the once-traditional bus has already been dramatically transformed, but there are still some additions that the couple can’t wait to add. Now that they are homeowners, Julie and Andrew hope to one day park their home on a plot of land, add on a porch and give themselves a dedicated space to create. Until then, they have taken their home on the road for a music project and are documenting their big life in a tiny abode online. Be sure to pop on over here for more insights into how the couple loves living small. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Samuel Laubscher

At Home Anywhere: Living on a Bus, Design*Sponge
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"Roam sweet home!" as the Puckett's say. The family's converted school bus is a fully-functioning, 250-square-foot home made for the road.
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The two found their bus on Tiny House Listings.
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"Every area of a tiny house must be purposeful," Julie explains. The driver's seat is no exception. It serves not only as a spot to man the wheel, but to work and read as well.
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Mr. Butter's litter box also lives here. Andrew and Julie use plants to add a pop of color and to infuse a bit of life into nooks throughout their home.
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Starbucks the dog poses in the bus' main living area. "This is probably my favorite picture of the bus. It really captures how lovely and open it feels, despite how small the space is," Julie says. The sofa was designed to be wide enough for an adult, and the occasional pup, to sleep on.
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Julie's dad helped the couple out with constructing the sofa. When Julie and Andrew initially saw it constructed, they were a little doubtful that it would fit inside the cozy space. Leave it to Dad to measure just right -- it fits like a glove. Not only is the sofa abundantly comfy, it's a "storage powerhouse."
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Julie loves how much warmth the butcher block brings to the quaint kitchen. The rug displayed on the fridge was handmade by Julie's mother – a folk artist. An art piece Andrew gave Julie for their anniversary and her grandmother's teacup decorate the kitchen's shelves. With too many accessories, the open shelving would have felt overcrowded and made the bus feel smaller, so Julie minimized its decorations. All of their appliances are fully-functioning, apartment-sized versions of their full-size counterparts.
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The Puckett's are very excited to use their wood-burning stove for the first time this winter. It was purchased at the same time as the bus.
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The water closet is over the wheel well so it's not the most grandiose of spaces, but Andrew and Julie make it work with minimal accents and clever storage. A rolling storage caddy holds all of the essentials. The print inspired the bus' color scheme, and the cedar wall it hangs on only cost $10 to make.
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This mirror serves as the bathroom vanity.
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A print of a photograph Julie took sits in one of her grandmother's old hangers. "I love that it has a history," Julie says.
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Through some strategic floor-planning, the family was able to fit some "life-size" furnishings inside the bus, like this shower.
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The closet is large enough to accommodate all of the couple's clothes without any problems. When space is limited, organization is key. IKEA accessories are used to keep everything in its proper place.
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At the back of the bus is the bedroom. Julie wanted the room to be as serene as possible so she chose this "light and dreamy" duvet set. "We often get flak for the amount of books we have, but we're avid readers, and books we love become like family to us," the couple says. The abundance of natural light that streams into the bedroom's windows makes it appear larger and airier.
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The whale figurine was Julie's dad's. It's been in her family for as long as she can remember and is a great reminder of home when the family is on the road.
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Creative pair Andrew and Julie Puckett.
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"What we love most about our home is..."
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The 1990 Bluebird school bus' floor plan.

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Comments

  • Awesome! As the old saying goes, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. It’s hard to find affordable rent in big cities these days.

  • Really like what you’ve done, just wondering if you have holding tanks. I truly love the sliding shelves in the kitchen! Are you totally self contained? Do you have a certificate for Leave no Trace? How about solar? Sorry I get a bit excited when I see others doing what we want to do and try and get ideas.
    We’ve purchase a 40′ bus conversion, I would love to show you pis of ours, we are taking it on a maiden voyage for the month of December! Hubby is planning to retire mid next year we are planning to become grey nomads and tour Australia. We are selling everything! I want to follow y’all and your journey, thank you for sharing! Keep posting xx

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