Progress is taking place...slowly. Mark cut another hole through the van's siding - this time for the refrigerator vent.
But, he wasn't happy with the vent we purchased, so he made one.
Interior view looks a mess, but good things are happening. Water heater and vent are installed and insulated. Frame built and installed for the refrigerator and the custom deluxe vent is in place.
What's happening? Not so much. The reality is our time to work on my future mobile office is limited to weekends. Our thought was that winter would be a good time to work on this project. And then it snowed. A lot. Last weekend consisted of dealing with the snow. Much shoveling was involved: the roof of the house, the porch, walkways, and the 100+ yard driveway. Oy.
On a positive note, we're receiving orders of the materials we'll be using. The reality: not much storage space. The couch/bed is wrapped in a tarp on the front porch. Not a very welcoming site. Our living room is the storage area for the new merchandise. It's beginning to resemble a warehouse.
My mantra: patience, patience, patience....
Thought I'd post an update on the mobile office. My husband has been steadily working on the interior on boring, but necessary, updates. He removed, resealed and replaced one of the upper windows and the awning due to leakage issues. The above- the-cab cabinet has been rebuilt with a shelf added. Face frame and doors to come.
We've been doing more research online: how to install the ceiling liner, how to build a custom shower pan for an RV, which solar panels would be the best option, etc. We've also received a $3500 order of parts: fridge, sink & stove, toilet, faucets, water heater, furnace, LED lights, etc.
But, most importantly, I found my inspiration in this wall mural from Black Crow Studios. I intend to hang it on the wall behind the sofa, across from the sliding door. It will be the first thing one sees upon entering, and it sets the tone for the remainder of the space.
We chose a sleek sink/stove combo, an Italian model from Smev. It will fit in our narrow kitchen cabinetry - the compact size is a plus. Trying to decide between stainless steel penny tiles or subway tiles for the backsplash. It will depend on which has the most 'give' since the walls are slightly curved. We may have to use stainless sheets for flexibility. I'd like a stainless counter, too.
In keeping with the atypical decor, I'm exploring the possibility of using translucent, corrugated plastic as the walls to the bathroom. I want to keep the interior as light as possible and hate the thought of a 6' high wall blocking the light from the rear door window. The material we're looking at is used for greenhouse walls. I'd like to use this material as the cabinet door fronts as well.
It's all coming along. Patience is a virtue!
The interior design of my mobile office/RV is on hold until all the other work gets finished. What's been happening? My husband relocated the spare tire from underneath the van to the rear door. This allows room beneath the van for the black water tank after he removed a cross member and replaced it. (It's all gibberish to me.) Next he started removing metal from the interior of the van to make a bit more space in the shower area. Every inch counts!
You know the old saying, measure twice, cut once? Talk about performance anxiety. We certainly don't want to make a mistake when we cut through the side of the van for the exhaust panels. We spent most of yesterday measuring, re-measuring, scratching our heads, and researching online. We're trying to find the smallest RV furnace, water heater and fridge exhaust panel sizes. Mostly, they're all the same. Which is making this pretty tricky...
This is definitely not the fun part of the project. We've essentially eliminated the driver's side of the van for any panel placement. Mark doesn't want exhaust panels anywhere near the gas tank. Then the wheel well is in the way, and then the shower stall is in the back corner eliminating that space.
Blue squares mark out where the fridge and water heater exhaust panels will be placed. We still need to find room for the furnace exhaust panel. We haven't determined exactly where the furnace will be placed inside. It is 21.5" deep. And that is a problem...
My husband and I spent almost all day trying to get the floor plan figured out. The van, at its widest point, is 6'. From the back side of the driver's seat to the rear doors, is 9' 6". That's not a lot of room to squeeze a bed that will sleep two, a kitchen, dining table and a bathroom. For while this vehicle will be my mobile office, it will also double as our once or twice a year camping vehicle.
We're long-time RVers. Over the last 24 years we've had 3 different camp trailers. We know what works for us, and what doesn't. At this point in our lives, ease of use is a priority. We decided to buy a click-clack couch to use as a sofa and our bed. (Not surprisingly, I found it, like the van, on Craigslist.) Compact, comfortable and quick to set up. I can use it for my office seating with the table as my desk. Perfect.
It was very helpful to have the bed in the van as we planned out the space. We could move it around to different locations to see where it would fit the best in the floor plan.
We also put up temporary wood sticks to see where the walls would be and to see if we could maneuver through the tiny hallway. Definitely not standard hallway width. As my husband said, it's our shoulders that mess us up.
By angling the bathroom walls, we finally got a space we could use that would fit everything (once we downsized the fridge). Every inch counts!
And so it begins. Tearing out the existing camper fixtures to turn it into a design-worthy RV/Office.
Tear-Out: Day 1
Since the first day included a 6 hour roundtrip drive to pick up the camper van, my husband and I were only able to get so much accomplished before the early fall darkness set in and we had to give up working for the evening.
Tear-out: Day 2
We got everything torn out today. Now to figure out how to fit everything I want into a 6' x 9' space...
Over the years, I've had a couple different offices for my business. What I've come to realize, however, is that I rarely see clients there as I'm always driving to their location (the job site). I determined it would be much handier to have a mobile office so I've purchased a used camper van to remodel into a space where I can comfortably work during the day at a job site.
Here are the before photos. I'll be spending the next few months converting it into something that fits my design style.
Room 2 - The Bend Ronald McDonald House, 2014 Philanthropic project for the High Desert Design Council
The room I've been working on, along with Sarah Phipps Design, for the Bend Ronald McDonald House is partially complete. Still to come: local art and gorgeous area rug. Can't wait to see it completely finished!
I'm chairing the High Desert Design Council's 2014 philanthropic project at the Bend Ronald McDonald House. We're updating the six guest rooms for families of pediatric patients who travel to Bend for medical treatment.
Currently each room has a small plastic garbage and recycle can as well as a mini fridge on the floor next to the bed. We teamed up with Hayes Cabinets to create a piece of furniture that will house the mini fridge at an ergonomic height, and provide a pull-out drawer for the garbage and recycling to keep it out of sight. (Hayes Cabinets is generously providing all six of these units!)
Each room team is responsible for painting their piece and providing handles for the door and pull-out drawer. I had the idea of having custom forged handles that would mimic the design of a tile mural we're using in the room I'm working on (along with Sarah Phipps Design). I envisioned two handles that looked like one piece. Luckily, I'm married to an artist blacksmith. This is the design my husband Mark is working on based on the Metolius Ridge Artisan Tile mural.