UPDATE: We have settled down in a cozy cabin in the woods. See our DIY renovation progress on Instgram here with #youngfamilycabin. Barb has gone on to a bright new future as the Pumpspotting Bus called The Breast Express! You can see their Kickstarter and following along with the RV's continued journey here.
It's bananas to sell everything you own and move into an RV, right? Yeap. Completely bananas. But you know what... WE LOVE bananas! In May of 2014 we sold/ gave away most of our stuff, purchased a 1994 Safari Continental. As we started to renovate we found mold which ended up being a tremendous gift. We gutted her and made her into what truly feels like home. It has been and continues to be a BIG adventure and I'm convinced that adventure really means advanced troubleshooting!
I'm so excited to share our home! I've linked most of the stuff for ya just in case you see something that inspires. There are a couple of affiliate links that relate directly to my work as a health coach. The rest are not affiliates, just sharing the love.
Timeline: - Bought her in May. - Renovated at warp speed (seriously it was madness) in June. - Moved in July 1. This was the first time she was clean and put together. Felt sooo good!
- Got used to her in August and continued working on aesthetics. Lots of bumping into each other and hitting our heads on cabinets. Depending on the day it was completely hilarious or frustrating. - Spent September on the road driving from Texas to California and back. - October/ November. Parked her again for more renovations and for me to go to Bali for a month on soul journey! You can see it over here.
That giant hole used to hold the backup camera. On our first trip we hit a bump and it came flying out! We've since removed that TV box. It's just an open hole at the moment but we plan to either 1. get a new smaller back up camera to mount there or 2. make it into a cabinet to match the other two.
Welcome to our home!
It took Ned a little over three months to get used to his new life in our mobile abode. He was an indoor/ outdoor cat before so it's been a little tough on his waist line and spirit to be indoors most of the time. We let him out anytime he wants to go. It's usually once we've stopped somewhere for a few days and when the nights are nice and quiet.
We love having plants in our home and air plants seem to be the way to go in an RV. We've lost a few but about 75% of them are hanging in there! My mom sewed these and the living room curtains for us from linen fabric that was gifted to us by my friend Jamie House who is an incredible interior designer and was my sanity saver on this project.
This is what it looks like when we are stopped. When we are in motion we take everything off the surfaces and put them into three 12x12 collapsible storage bins that then sit at the base of the bed on the floor. We had the bookshelf custom built for the space and there's a leading edge on each shelf that helps to keep everything in it's place.
We started with older orphan garage sale chairs (you can see them in the photo of when we first settled in above) in the dining room that I spray painted white. They were cute but not comfy. We upgraded to these Ikea chairs and they've been great! We've tried to hold our belongings to the rule that it must be beautiful or practical or both (and that feels so good).
We didn't want to bolt down any of our furniture so we made sure the items that were in spaces that could move or fall while in motion would stay put. The kitchen table is wrought iron that I spray painted a soft yellow and we added a table top from Home Depot. That baby doesn't move an inch and it's become the center of our home. We sit here to work, to eat, to chat. I love this space.
I love our kitchen. LOVE IT. I love the butcher block counter tops, the sink mounted under the counter, the subway tile, the color (that was Jamie!), the hardware. I love everything about this space.
We crafted this space to suit our needs. We removed a giant and dated looking microwave and replaced it with a toaster oven. We brought our juicer AND our blender which are my favorite two kitchen appliances of all time.
My only regret in our renovation process is that we rushed the paint (you can see where it's worn above the top two drawers). We only had one day to get it painted before we took it to get the cabinets reinstalled after having the molded damage bits removed and rebuilt. One day we'll touch up but for now we're much too busy living here.
The entire RV is 4 colors from Sherwin Williams.
What we lack in wall space we make up for in cabinets! When I was first decorating and deciding what would go where it dawned on me that I could decorate INSIDE the cabinets. Hello! Happiness! This is our smoothie station. We use it almost everyday. The print is a free download on my site! And loads of smoothie recipes.
We downsized our kitchen BIG time and at the end of the year I plan to comb through and downsize a bit more getting rid of stuff we've not used since moving in. We have 4 plates, 2 glasses and several bowls. We kept too many pots and pans considering we have only 2 burners but I adore our cookware so we made space for it.
Can you tell that's Ned's favorite spot in the living room! We added the divider curtains once we got out on the road. One day we'll purchase actual window screens for the front windows (they're pricey). For now we've improvised in a really beautiful way by installing a track from Ikea and hanging two cotton shower curtains from West Elm, the Pintuck shower curtain. We have the same curtains in our bedroom. The black and white rug is from Anthropologie.
The floor is cork called Barcelos (and it sounds best if you say it with an Antonio Banderas accent) from Lumber Liquidators. And we ADORE it.
I keep my shoes in the baskets under the couch. Cliff keeps his in the cabinets over the bookcase. We have been a no shoes in the house family for the last few years so it makes a lot of sense to keep them at the front of the bus near the door.
The couch is a futon and we've had exactly one overnight guest so far, my sister. She confirmed what we all suspected... most uncomfortable nights sleep ever. On the plus side it fits the space, fit into the door with no problem and was the right price. Downside it's sort of this weird felt fabric that holds onto Ned's fur for dear life and is not comfortable. We'll upgrade at some point but for now it's working just fine.
The Moroccan pouf came from my friends store in Belmont, MA called Marmalade. The squirrel pillow came from Target. The chair was a Home Goods find. The rug was a hand me down from my mom.
We were in Joshua Tree in our house and it was by far the most magical experience to date in the RV. It's wild driving your home everywhere with you. WILD. This maiden voyage west and the way I felt... I'll remember it forever. I remember the way I felt when Ned chose me to be his mom, I remember the way I felt watching the sun set over the Grand Canyon with Cliff when we moved from California to Texas and I remember the way I felt driving through Joshua Tree in our home.
You get a little peek of hardware in this image. Since the entire place is lined in cabinetry, I tried to help differentiate rooms by choosing different knobs or handles for each room.
We used my favorite blanket to create a divider curtain for the bedroom. It helps to keep the morning light from blazing in and also helps regulate the temperature. We used the same track system from Ikea as at the front.
The bedroom! Oh the bedroom. When we went to purchase the RV the bedroom was a sad, sad place. Old window boxes, stale energy and the bed was what they call an RV queen which is really code for too small to sleep on. We knew if this place was going to feel like home we'd have to be able to fit our Cal King mattress in the room! Getting it in the door was pretty hilarious. Picture the mattress folded like a taco with Cliff inside pulling and me and mom outside pushing.
We ripped out side cabinets to make room for the mattress which obviously eliminated some storage space but it was totally worth it. Cliff made a bigger bed platform and we covered the base in the same bead board that we used for the ceiling throughout the RV. You can see we still need to paint it white... soon. The massive diesel engine is actually under the bed and the platform that the mattress sits on is on hinges to allow access.
Jamie found this amazing reclaimed wood for us! She hand picked every piece! Cliff cut and pieced it together to create a headboard. It's both glued and tacked into place with little finishing nails. It's stunning, so warm and beautiful. It's our favorite project in the RV so far.
This gives you an idea of space in the room. Cliff can easily walk along side the bed to get in but since my side is near the wardrobe it's a tight squeeze so I get in and out of bed via the foot of the bed.
You can see we're all comfy here. <3
Clothes... we downsized our wardrobes BIG time to move into the RV and have downsized even further by adopting the capsule wardrobe lifestyle.
I believe your home is a snap shot of who you are. That meant we HAD to have an art wall somewhere. This is literally the only wall that is open floor to ceiling and you can see I took FULL advantage! The little cat is from Whismy Kitten on Etsy is Ned's favorite thing. He uses it as a pillow (no idea how he learned to do that but it's adorable).
We used conduit pipe for the bedroom curtain rods and since the curtains are actually shower curtains I used leather cord to tie them to the rod. The hook with our robes is from Anthropologie. I had it in my studio holding oodles of ribbons in our house before and I love having it on our bedroom now.
That little black unassuming fan has been a lifesaver! We will eventually get one more for the bedroom and two for the front of the bus. The top cabinet pulls are from Anthro. We made the leather pulls on the desk intentionally to have something soft since it's so easy to bump against everything living in such a small space. It's a bit like child proofing to make sure we can bounce off the surfaces without injury. The calendar and pockets are from Pottery Barn and the idea came direct from one of my besties who has a similar set up in her kitchen.
The bathroom got thoughtfully spruced. We have a full makeover planned. The sink is a find from ReStore. It's a hair washing sink, a nod to my dad who has been a barber since he was in the Navy. He was on laundry duty and they asked if anyone knew how to cut hair... he said yes (total lie to get out of laundry detail) and has been a barber ever since! Mom sewed a skirt for the sink and our collapsible laundry hamper lives underneath.
The composing toilet was a big win though it took us a little trial and error to figure out the proper proportions of coconut coir. These days we've got it dialed and have a home completely free of any unwelcome odors. The shower curtain rod is a double curved rod from Lowe's. We use the extra rod for hanging wet towels and clothes. Shower curtain is from Target.
The floor is pebbles that give a mini foot massage every time you walk on them. The tub used to be trimmed in this weird, peeling gold foil stuff. We weren't sure if there was anything that could be done but the man who helped us renovate her in record time surprised us by covering it with wood! Completely awesome.
Getting this old gal in shape had been a true team effort and we've felt tremendously loved and supported along the way. I love that our home has been a collaboration of so many hearts with time and talent.
Huge. Massive. Grand. Big, big, big thanks to Jamie House Design for helping us at every turn. When I was maxed out and could not make a decision she was always there. Thank you sweet Jamie for your time, your love and holding the vision of this project from the beginning. I love you.
Thank you to Johnny Loftis who worked diligently, quickly and honestly. We appreciate you! To mom for scraping, peeling, sewing, sweating, pushing, pulling, lifting, adjusting, hammer and nailing! To dad for knowing which power tools to bring, how to use them and for teaching me what a miter box is! To Aunt Mary for expert painting and tile demolition, Cody for serious man power in the demolition category, Mema for the best cork shelf liner install I've ever seen. Thank you all so much for your support with and through this huge transition.
UPDATE: We have settled down in a cozy cabin in the woods. See our DIY renovation progress on Instgram here with #youngfamilycabin. Which means Barb has been parked and is ready for a new family! If you are interested in finding out more information get in touch here.