During the winter of 2014/2015 Joe and I began converting a wooden horsebox into a home on wheels. It took them several months of stripping back rotten wood and grinding back rusty metal before the real fun began…
At the back of the box we built a stud wall to house two opening double-glazed windows. The bottom one doubles up as a kind of french-door to the seating area. The bedroom window doubles up as a fire-exit.
We decided to split the level, creating two spaces; a bedroom and a comfy,low seating area.
The bed is constructed largely from oak from the nearby woodland, there’s just enough headroom to sit up and read in bed.
In the sitting area is a celtic-knot coffee table made out of chestnut, which Joe carved by hand.
The horse box is insulated with offcuts found in a nearby building site skip. It’s heated by a small woodburner, but with all that insulation we don’t really use much wood!
Designing a home in a small space can be a bit of a challenge, but we found some good design rules of thumb:
- Minimise corridors.
- Maximise edge.
- Design multi-functional elements.
This breakfast bar style surface is used as a kitchen work surface, dining table and a desk. The stools below it are also storage cupboards.
The kitchen’s made mainly of oak with a few ash features. It includes a full size gas cooker, running water and a sink.
It may look spacious but the kitchen actually has less than 5m square of floor space. It’s great for the lazy cook because everything is at arm’s reach!
The kitchen cupboard doors are made of ash, with gorse handles. The cupboards behind the doors are rectangular boxes, but the doors are cut to a curve to avoid visible straight lines.
Here is the washroom, fitted with a low Belfast sink.
The horsebox is completely off-grid, powered by 200watts of solar panels. All of the timber used in construction was either recycled or sourced from local woodlands and sawn up from logs. Many other materials used were found in skips or purchased second hand. All in all the conversion cost them less than £4000 (including the horse box itself) and took about 6 months to complete.
Thanks for looking!