Obviously, this is a step that took place long before the other steps, but I thought I would show you what we are planning on doing with Liahona. All of the floor plans are drawn on graph paper and are one square per square foot.
Floor plan #1 was one that I came up with before we even had Liahona. Our friends had a bus that was about the size we were looking for, so I had her give me the measurements they had so that I could begin planning…it was nice to finally get all of my ideas down on paper and really got me motivated to take that first step of actually getting the bus.
Floor plan #2 was done right after I got Liahona home. I kept a lot of the details from the first design, but realized that I had about another foot or two to work with lengthwise, so I could put everything in @ 32 feet and still have plenty of give for walls (only 2x2s in most places). Also, there is really 7.5 feet across, and I my design requires only 7 feet, but I like the idea of planning a little bit tighter and having room left over. On the left side and top, you can see the feet and on the right side, you can see the windows…there are 28 passenger windows and then the 4 windows on the back and the drivers window and windshield up front (also, the front door has windows, but we are planning on replacing that with an exterior house door when we get the chance). I figured out the floor space we would need for flooring, so that I could plan for the Berber carpet we have for the bedrooms, the wood flooring we have for the kitchen/dining area, and the slate tile we have for the bathroom. We found an entire shower insert for $75 online and and decided to go with a shower instead of the tub (which we had from another conversion we had purchased components from). For the little ones, we will store a galvanized wash tub in the bottom of the shower for their baths. I switched the bathroom door around, thinking it would be nice to not have to worry about getting in through there while someone was making dinner, etc. I still kept the single size mattress for Mr. C and I (in the hopes that it would get me more snuggling time). The size of the dinettes (which can both convert into beds) was changed to the appropriate size of 6 feet long.
Floor Plan #3 is the most recent one. It is the most “to scale” design I have come up with, including the drivers area, engine compartment, and stairs. Mr. C reminded me that it might get hot sometimes and we may not want to be nestled up next to each other all night long…he gets really hot at night. Well, he is pretty hot all of the time, but you know what I mean. 😉 So, we are planning on using the used RV queen bed frame that we picked up for $10 to put our mattress in. It will go from wall to wall and the mattress should come up to about the bottom of the windows. There will be about a foot of room left on the frame, which we will put a storage compartment in and put our personal effects on top of. We will build overhead compartments surrounding the room. We moved the wall storage/desk area (where we will hang our hanging clothes and have a pull out desk and folding chair for using the laptops) over by the door. We will have room underneath the bed to store several large rubbermaid containers (the rubbermaids were actually an idea that I borrowed from my sweet friend, Dee, who has a similar bed in their bus conversion). I put an accordion door for the kids’ bunkroom because it will be a little tight with the shower being 3×3 and the fridge door being right there. I measured the 2 sets of dinettes that we have and saw that they are 6 inches wider than I had in FP #2. Mr. C and I spent quite a bit of time *ahem* discussing the dimensions of those stinkin‘ dinettes…I wanted 2.5 feet, he wanted 3 feet. In the end, he convinced me that we would still have enough room to get through if we kept them the way they were at the 3 feet. This would enable us to eat as a family with extra room for visitors and for plenty of room as the little ones grow into bigger ones…it happens all too fast. So, we will only have 18″ (it shows 12″ on the floor plan because of that extra 6″ not being there) in between the dinettes, but if you know anything about floor plans, this will be okay. As I recall from Interior Design, 18″ will suffice in between furniture. We were debating for quite a while on whether or not to get an RV washer/dryer or not. We were also debating on the other appliances…we worried that we wouldn’t be able to function with an RV stove/oven or fridge. After careful consideration, we have chosen to keep the RV appliances we have and try them for a while before changing to bigger ones. We have chosen to purchase two hand powered portable washers and use them on a daily basis for laundry. I think it will be fun to have the kids wash their own clothes…by hand. We already found a folding Amish clothes dryer that someone local was selling online…and bought it. This will slip between the shelving and the bathroom wall when not in use. We switched the bathroom door back to the hallway because it made more sense to have the area behind the driver’s dinette more usable for storage. This area is where we are going to store the hand washers, laundry supplies and all of the herbs that I potted up yesterday. There will be storage underneath the dinette benches and overhead the driver’s side dinette. I penciled in where the undercarriage compartments are, and this is where we will store our generator, lp tanks, and furnaces, etc. (of course, the generator and propane will be on opposite sides and ends of the bus…as they would be in a manufactured motorhome). We won’t be getting the generator until we have a few thousand saved up for a new 5 or 6 watt…Mr. C insists upon getting the generator new.
We are still planning…always planning…and I am sure that there will be a Floor Plan #4 and #5 and etc. before we are through. I just wanted to show you the basic outline of what we are planning on doing with Liahona.
For those of you who didn’t know, I was in an Interior Design program when Mr. C and I first met….many years ago. I later changed my degree, after learning that there are an abundance of young ladies graduating with ID degrees without being able to find sufficient relative employment, but that is another story. I LOVE colors…and designing living spaces…and bringing together ideas that make someone smile. I can’t wait to paint, sew curtains and bedding, choose hardware and lighting, and all of the other fun things that will complete Liahona. For now, I am just gathering materials and ideas for what I want our traveling home to look like. Here are some of the ideas that I have so far….
First there will be the installation of all of the cupboards and components we have collected. We have quite a bit of stuff in our garage. Once we have all of the cupboards and cabinets in, we will paint them all Swiss coffee and I will go over them with a chocolate glaze for that slightly used look (that way the fingerprints and dirt will be less of an eyesore for me). I purchased both of these paints/finishes for next to nothing online. I want to paint a few pieces of furniture with several layers of leftover bright colored paint and then give them a worn look, revealing all of the hidden colors, with a little bit of glaze over the top. I also have a few ideas for some murals that I want to compose and areas where our family pictures and a few keepsakes will be displayed.
I am planning on sewing bright quilt patches together for the kitchen curtains, which will attach to rods, one above and one below the windows. We are planning on keeping all of Liahona’s windows in place, instead of replacing them with sheet metal like other skoolies do. We will paint pieces of paneling and attach to the inside of the unused windows, only for the purpose of keeping it somewhat uniform from the outside view. We will find material for the backside of the curtains to match the color we paint this paneling, to give it that uniformed look. The areas that these panels will be in are the darkened areas around the outside of Floor Plan #3, with the exception of the laundry area, which will now be keeping its windows open (see, I am already working on Floor Plan #4). I am planning on sewing some plaid and denim quilts for the bunkbeds. I have had the squares cut out for years and just need to sit down and do it. The curtains in those windows will be denim and the curtains in front of the beds will be denim as well. The master bed will have our bedspread we got from my mom for our first wedding anniversary. And the windows will probably have white curtains. The bathroom will have some curtains to match the yellow and purple slate we are installing in there. At the front of the bus, right above the beginning of the dinettes, there will be a rod that will hold the curtains that will give privacy to the living quarters of Liahona. Also, in order to keep the little ones from gaining access to the driver’s seat and steering wheel, we will be creating a gate that will pull out from behind the driver’s seat and the dinette. We will make it high enough to keep the littlest ones in and still allow the older kids to step over to get out. It will lock onto the back of the other dinette across the way. The cushions that we got, from the conversion components we purchased a while back, will work for both sides of the dinettes….I am still in awe that we managed to do that. I thought we would for sure have to use some of the old bedding foam (we salvaged from another trailer being parted out) to create more cushions. The components we purchased had a gaucho pull out sofa on one side and the dinette on the other side, and the gaucho cushions are perfect for an additional dinette. The only modification we will need to do is to cut one of the cushions in half and resew with a new zipper in one side. Mr. C’s sweet aunt, the world’s best seemstress, has offered to help us sew that up and install the zipper. The cushions are somewhere between a cobalt and navy blue. They fit perfectly in the other dinette we scored for $20 (along with our microwave, a horizontal propane tank, and some cupboard doors) from Ernie, a really nice guy in Herriman, UT, who was parting out his motorhome in preparation for this year’s Burning Man. He has been going there for several years now…I think he said 14 years. I am always amazed at the awesome people we meet preparing for our adventure.
I have the laminate for the counter tops, it has sort of a cherry wood look to it. The wood flooring will either be the Brazilian cherry wood that Matthew gave us or the light oak wood floors that we purchased later, depending upon how many sf we need. We have some bead board (also purchased from an individual online) to go up on the wall in between the kitchen counter and the fridge and the wall between the bathroom and dinette. We have some used wood paneling that we will use for walling where needed. We want to cover the walls up to the windows and leave the ceilings as they are for now. We are planning on building some storage compartments where the kids can keep their personal belongings. They will be screwed in at the foot of each bunkbed and will be able to be removed later, that way the beds can be used by someone who is 6 ft. tall later on.
Last, but not least, for the exterior paint…I want to paint Liahona a pale turquoise. Originally, I wanted to paint her like the sky at sunset, only backwards, with the yellow on top of the bus down to a dark blue on the bottom. After realizing how much that would cost and how difficult it would be for me to accomplish, I settled on one color….the color of daiquiri ice ice cream from Baskin Robbins. Mr. C likes the color (only a little muted) and so do I, no debate going on there. 😉
Well, enough daydreaming….I am off to paint the house we are putting up for sale. I need to stay focused so that I can get started on the next project…Liahona!!
Catch ya later, alligator!
Mrs. C (that might be for Creative or Color…or just Crazy)