Who says you need tons of space to make your family feel close-knit? Brad and Deb Cummings made the choice to downsize their family’s living situation when they realized they didn’t have enough money to pay their bills, while also providing the lifestyle that they wanted to give their children. To accommodate this, they converted an old van into a home, complete with sleeping and cooking areas. They even designed it themselves! With over 60 square feet of living space, this family of six are able to live together without sacrificing the love that makes them a family!
The Living Room
When you first step into the van, you’re greeted by a small but cozy living room. The space is airy and bright, thanks to the large windows. The sofa doubles as a bed for guests, and there’s plenty of storage for clothes and belongings. Despite the limited space, the family has everything they need to live comfortably. There are even two sets of bunk beds for their four children. There are solar panels on the roof that power both an LED light and a laptop. They use it to watch movies or play games together at night before going to sleep.
The family has a portable toilet that they empty every few days. They also have a shower that they use sparingly to conserve water. The kitchen is equipped with a small sink, a mini fridge, and a two-burner stove. All of their dishes are stored in bins to keep them from breaking. The family eats most of their meals at picnic tables or at the homes of friends and family. To stay cool in the summer, they use portable fans and open the windows. In the winter, they have electric blankets and extra layers of clothing.
Under the Bed Storage Area
This storage area is located under the bed and is easily accessible. It is large enough to store many items, including clothes, shoes, and other belongings. The family has found that this area is very useful for keeping their belongings organized and out of the way. Additionally, this area helps to keep the van tidy and free from clutter. There are also hooks on either side of the space to hang clothing, which can be accessed while seated or standing.
The Kitchenette with (hidden) Stove, Sink, and Refrigerator
On rainy days, the family of six spend time together playing games, reading books, and cooking inside their small but well-designed van. The windows provide ample natural light and the comfortable furnishings make it feel like home.
Even though they’re close quarters, everyone has their own space to retreat to when they need some alone time. It’s a cozy set up that works well for them. The only downside is that there are no children’s beds, so the kids have to share a mattress. However, this is hardly an issue since they all love one another very much and enjoy spending time with each other so much!
The Bed Space With Built-In Nightstands
We have two built-in nightstands that we made out of scrap wood. They’re both on the same side of the van, so my husband and I can both reach them from our bed. We put a power strip on one of them so we can charge our phones at night. We also keep our emergency supplies (flashlights, first aid kit, etc.) in a box under one of the nightstands.
The other nightstand is where we keep our books. We each get to pick three books to bring with us when we travel and then rotate which ones are in this nightstand. It’s nice because it feels like home wherever we go since we’ve got familiar things around us.
Outdoors on Rainy Days
The family of six spends most of their time outdoors, even on rainy days. They have a few umbrellas and raincoats to keep them dry, and they love feeling the fresh air and being close to nature. Being cooped up inside all day would be difficult for them, so they make the most of every opportunity to be outside. Even when it’s raining, they find ways to have fun and stay active.