Recycled Materials (126)

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School Bus Converted into Incredible Off-Grid Home



This school but to tiny home conversion could easily be one of the most impressive we have seen so far. When standing inside this home, it’s hard to believe that you’re actually in a vehicle! That’s largely thanks to some great design mixed with skillful execution of the conversion, which involved raising the roof by an additional two feet and cleverly shaping it to feel more like a house.

One of the things that I like most about the idea of a bus conversion compared to a traditional tiny house on wheels, is that they are designed to sustain long-term travel and life on the road. This home in particular is fitted with lots of off-the-grid features including ample solar power, water storage and propane to enable the family to live for extended periods while adventuring in remote locations…

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Mystery of the Gypsy Vardo Solved

Lloyd posted this post a little over a year ago; we just received a letter from the builder, Cennydd Rees, with a little info about his build:

Hi Lloyd,

Just to solve the lovely little mystery on your blog, ’tis I, Cennydd Rees. It’s my little bowtop hybrid or camping karutsa. I live with my Bulgarian girlfriend and two children in an equally tiny house in northwest Bulgaria. I am a designer/builder and am now making a much tighter version of the karutsa in your blog.

Just had two families staying here. One a surfer/designer friend doing a Euro tour with his family in his converted van. The karutsa is a subtle twist on the standard gypsy-style wagons, and I am hoping to make a small living with the now mk3 version. Just enough.
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Tastefully Built Shipping Container Home

…The shipping container, which was on the property when Troy Walker bought it, provides the solid anchor for the house but is in fact less than half the floor area. Troy is a boilermaker by trade so he knows how to work with steel, cut out the side of the shipping container to open it up, and used the pieces to build the bathroom. The rest is welded up from steel to fit around the windows. Everything is found and recycled…

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Exquisitely Handcrafted Eco Tiny Home on Wheels



When you first walk into this home, it’s hard not to be taken aback by its striking beauty. It’s not often you come across a tiny house, or indeed any house for that matter, that has been finished to such an incredibly high standard. Perhaps even rivaling the home’s build execution, is its design with every inch being cleverly and effectively utilized.

It’s hard not to notice the impressive use of timber in this tiny house. The vast majority of this home has been crafted from timbers that have been reclaimed, wonderfully reconditioned, and then given brand new life in this build. By no means is this home a throw-together though. All of the fittings, joinery, and components have been sourced from sustainable, artisan, and local sources. The quality of this home is impossible to ignore…

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Beautifully Converted Bus



From modern live-work spaces to family-oriented dwellings, we’re seeing a number of beautifully renovated interiors inside buses that have been converted into tiny homes. But what’s great too is that each vehicle has its own fascinating story behind it. Take Denver, Colorado’s Charles Kern of Art Builders Guild, a professional bus homebuilder who first built his own home on wheels a few years ago, using a bus that has quite a history.

Charles tells us that he converted a bus for a simple reason: he needed a place to live as a cash-strapped 20-year-old philosophy student, and as someone who was knowledgeable about buses for over a decade, it seemed like the best solution. Charles relates the story behind the bus that he calls The Queen — a 1982 Bluebird Bus on an International Harvester chassis…

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5 Questions with Lloyd Kahn

City Lights Bookstore welcomes Lloyd Kahn on Tuesday, April 11th. He’ll be discussing his new book, Small Homes: The Right Size, from Shelter Publications. Lloyd answered our 5 questions. More about him, and his answers, below.


The Event: Tuesday, April 11th at 7:00PM. 261 Columbus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94133.

About Small Homes: Are tiny homes too small for you? Do you want living space larger than 200–300 sq. ft. of floor area? Hot on the heels of his popular Tiny Home series of books, Lloyd Kahn revisits smallish structures and explores the possibilities of working within limited physical spaces and maximizing creativity in relation to one’s needs. His new book is profusely illustrated and he will be presenting a visual presentation that will include many images that never made it into the book.

Featuring: 120 homes in the 400–1200 sq. ft. range, owner-builder techniques, natural materials, a variety of construction methods, inspiration from owner-builders, a cornucopia of ideas, small homes in the country, towns, and cities, and over 1,000 photographs. Use your own hands to build your own home.

About Lloyd Kahn: Lloyd Kahn is the editor-in-chief of Shelter Publications, an independent California publisher. Shelter Publications specializes in books on building and architecture, as well as health and fitness.


City Lights: If you’ve been to City Lights before, what’s your memory of the visit? If you haven’t been here before, what are you expecting?

Lloyd Kahn: First time maybe 1962, I was an insurance broker and started to wander in North Beach during my lunch hour. Memory of wonderful place. I bought Howl.


CL: What’s the first book you read & what are you reading right now?

LK: I started out reading books on the sea by Howard Pease at 12 years of age or so. Right now reading A Man Called Ove by Frederik Bachman.


CL: Which 3 books would you never part with?

LK: Barns of the Abbey of Beaulieu at Its Granges of Great Coxwell and Beaulieu-St. Leonards by Water Horn and Earnest Born, Das Skizzenbuch des Francesco di Giorgio Martini, and Richard Halliburton’s Complete Book of Marvels


CL: If your book had a soundtrack, what would it be?

LK: The album “Let It Bleed” by the Rolling Stones (which includes “Gimme Shelter”).


CL: If you opened a bookstore tomorrow, where would it be located, what would it be called, and what would your bestseller be?

LK: Maybe some day I’ll open a bookstore and sell off the some 600 books I have on building and architecture. I could call it Learning to Build.


Join Lloyd and City Lights on Tuesday, April 11th at 7PM as we celebrate the release of his new book, Small Homes. Get the book direct from Lloyd’s Shelter Publications, at City Lights, or ask for it at your local independent bookseller.

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Tiny Texas Houses

This photo is the cover image on our book, Tiny Homes.

My Mascot, the first house I ever built: a 10′ × 16′ Rustic Texas Cabin, our most popular style. It was picked up in the air and dropped 15 feet over on the edge of a concrete slab in the tornado, one of the reasons we have stainless steel cables that run through the house peak and down for anchoring them now. We only broke one pane of glass in the loft when it was tossed around…

–Brad Kittel
Founder and Owner
Tiny Texas Houses

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