Floorplan Woes

Creating a floorplan? Oh, that will be the easy part of the conversion. HA!

Before we bought Gillie, we had already had numerous conversations about a floor plan and we thought we knew what we wanted. At this point, those discussions seem to have been a waste of time! It is completely different having these discussions on our couch and laptops vs being on Gillie and envisioning what is best for our family. Not to mention taking into consideration weight distribution, window locations and wheel wells.

Our family has a lot of different needs. Jaime will be working often, so he needs a dedicated work space. We have a 14 month old, Walter, who needs a place to sleep and store a few toys and I spend A LOT of my time in the kitchen and have quite a few kitchen tools that I am not ready to give up 🙂 We also want as much privacy for our room as possible and to have an open, airy feel.

That’s a lot of ‘needs’ to fit into 280 sq ft! So after weeks of obsessing over floor plan options, we dedicated a day to being on Gillie and just talking and experimenting with our options. Shortly into this, I realized that the floor plan I had my heart set on was not going to work. Here is a quick drawing of that plan, not to scale.

Sorry it is so small!

This set up will not work mostly because of our murphy bed. We would have to orient it long ways along the bus in order to have room (with the ceiling) to have it in the ‘up’ position, and that pushes into the living room space too much.

So, back to square one. We have put pressure on ourselves to make a decision because the whole conversion is on hold until we commit to a floor plan. But, how are we supposed to make this decision?! Seriously, every time we think we have found the one that works for us, we think of window alignment, or don’t even get me started on the wheel wells! Or we start thinking, but what about this option? And we keep on going….down and further down the deep dark pit of floor plan options….ahhh! 

However, Jaime did come up with the best idea yet, and that was to create a floor plan puzzle! He measured out the bus and all the pieces that we will include on the bus and we have spent hours going through our different options at this point. The puzzle has been a HUGE help. Before, we were constantly thinking of our options, but actually being able to quickly move the parts around to see if it would work lets us instantly know if we are on to something or if it will not work and to move on.

All in all, we basically have it narrowed down to 2 options. Our first option (the one I, Jessica, am leaning towards) is the living space in the middle option, right here:

Our concern with this one is that the bus will not get enough natural light. With having both ends of the bus closed in, with walls and windows blocked out for privacy, the only natural light is coming in the middle. However, functionally speaking, this gives us everything we are looking for. Privacy, ‘secluded’ work space for Jaime, laundry not in living space, 2 entries and an open, airy living area.

Our other option we are referring to as ‘the kiwi option’. I am sure most of the bus community is familiar with Bus Life NZ. Their floor plan is our inspiration for this option. It is basically the same thing as theirs (thank you for the inspiration 🙂 …….


This option gives us a lot more natural light coming in, 2 couches and all of the tall and blocked off areas are secluded to the back of the bus. But, something about it bothers me. I think it is that this is a common layout and I would like to put our creativity to the test a bit more, but there is a reason this floor plan is so common and it is because it makes sense!

SO, will we ever make a decision?!? That is certainly the question and we hope to within the next few days. I think it is time to tell Jaime that he can no longer ask the question ‘ but what about this?’…..

** We know these pictures are not the best and hard to read. So we included not to scale Google drawings that are slightly easier to read. Taking quality pictures of a floor plan is harder than it seems. Sorry!!

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