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Adventures in Design

Things that matter to me: design of all kinds, van life, living lightly on the planet, permaculture, flower and food farming; my plans and dreams for the future and my adventures along the way.



Susanna Luck

I came across a Facebook post today that’s got me buzzing with excitement about the possibilities for my van. I’d like to give this guy a huge hug, just for existing, but in particular for creating this beautiful living space and then being generous enough to share it as well.

Here are the things that appeal to me most about his design:

It’s the safest I’ve seen.

I don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on fear but it’s a fact that cannot be avoided that I am a woman planning to live solo in a van and of course one does think about safety. I’m not just talking about physical safety here - I also don’t want anyone to steal my home or my stuff while I’m not in it. Windows, although great for those beautiful Insta-worthy pictures, are also the weakest point for a break-in, as well as the weakest place for heat to escape. Having no windows would also make it so much easier to park nearly anywhere. It’s another sad fact that particularly in the UK, van-lifers do get some negative attention from part of the population. A van like this would be virtually invisible if you wanted it to be.

It’s beautiful.

The streamlined, simple design appeals to me very much. I can’t stand clutter. I can’t think when there’s clutter and being able to close the countertop this way and have just one long beautiful piece of wood will make living in a small space so much easier. And I love the soft closing drawers and cupboards. They’re just plain cool.

Less stress.

I love what he says in this video about reducing his stress. Yes and yes.

The roof light.

Gorgeous, flooding daylight with total privacy. What’s not to like? The only adjustment I would make is having it over the bed, so that you could star gaze without leaving the van.

The simplicity of the energy system. No LPG, no worries about carbon monoxide, just electricity. Sure, lithium batteries are not cheap, but so much of these builds seem to be ‘you get what you pay for’ in action, and if I can afford a system that would allow 2 weeks of stress-free use of a luxurious little home, I think that’s probably worth paying for. I also very much like that the battery charges from the engine use. It doesn’t make any sense to me that if you’re driving around, you’re not also converting that energy to the battery to use later.

The murphy bed.

(random thought: why is it called a murphy bed?*) I totally love that the bed goes away during the day but is big enough for comfort and doesn’t need to be shuffled around or put together at night. You just gently lower it into place and then tuck it away again during the day. My plan so far has included a fixed king sized bed, because it was so annoying to convert a sofa every day in the rental I had recently into what was ultimately an uncomfortable bed. A king sized bed is roughly 2 metres (or a little over 6 feet) square, though and that’s a lot of the available space in a van! I’m a tall single person - I need the length, but do I really need that much width? I think the payoff with space you’d gain from being able to tuck it away during the day would be totally worth it.

What do you think?

Follow Brandon on Instagram for more beautiful van insp @bucksd

*well isn’t this wonderful?

“The bed is named for William Lawrence Murphy(1876 – May 23, 1957), who applied for his first patents around 1900. According to legend, he was wooing an opera singer, but living in a one-room apartment in San Francisco, and the moral code of the time frowned upon a woman entering a man's bedroom.”