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Gorgeous Double-Decker Bus Moonlights as Betty, the DIY Luxurious Tiny Home
We’ve been hearing so much about downsizing and the ever-idealized vanlife these past couple of years, that a certain sense of annoyance wouldn’t be entirely unjustified. But then, there’s Betty, and she’s here for our attention.

Gorgeous Double-Decker Bus Moonlights as Betty, the DIY Luxurious Tiny Home

Betty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny houseBetty is an old double-decker repurposed as an elegant, almost luxurious tiny house
Betty is a bus home, a double-decker that has been repurposed as a tiny home. Painted in bright blue, Betty resides now in “a beautiful valley on the edge of Dartmoor National Park” in Devon, UK, but it could travel under its own power prior to it stopping here. It is the work of Ellie Banner-Ball, a London-based communications manager who, in 2016, decided to pack it all up and move to the countryside, where she became a mindfulness teacher.

That same year, Ellie saw one of those motivational posts on Pinterest, urging her to seize the moment, buy a bus and go travel the country with people she loved. Because she was itching for a change, she did just that, saying in later interviews that she picked the only blue bus she could find for sale.

That bus was a double-decker, a 1977 Bristol VR Series Two that had seen far better days but was still running. Ellie drove it home and set out to work on it – a monumental task, considering she had no experience in this sense. She had help, though, from local companies, some of which even sponsored the build because of its uniqueness, offering stuff for free.

Turning the double-decker into the home that it is today (i.e. Betty) was no small feat, and some of the challenges were highlighted in an episode of Amazing Spaces, the ITV production hosted by celebrity architect George Clark. They included spending the entire budget on windows that didn’t fit, finding that the entire frame was badly affected by rust, and dealing with an interior that was showing signs of a fire and vandalism. At the end of six months of non-stop work, Betty was born.

Ellie moved into Betty in 2018, and lived full-time inside the bus home for two years. At the start of the health crisis, she moved into a brick-and-mortar home, and offered Betty for rent. Today, she’s parting ways with the tiny house, asking the same amount she invested in it: £35,000, approximately $44,000 at the current exchange rate. Asked about her decision, Ellie tells DevonLive that she needs money for her next project and she hopes Betty will find a loving owner to fully appreciate it.

Betty deserves the appreciation. As Clark himself noted in 2018, it’s more than a tiny house; more like a luxurious tiny. Offering sleeping for four people, it has a dining area that converts into a bed on the ground floor, as well as a fully-equipped kitchen, a fireplace, and plenty of storage space. Upstairs is the master bedroom and it comes with its own ensuite bathroom: a free-standing tub and a sink with vanity towards the middle of the bus. On the opposite end is the office, offering almost panoramic views of the valley.

Indeed, Betty doesn’t have a toilet indoors. There’s a compost toilet 15 yards (14 meters) from the bus, which the new owner might continue using if they don’t mind the walk. But that’s about the only minus Ellie could think of when it comes to the bus home. It has a heating system and solar panels, so it could go off-grid if needed. Right now, because it sits on private land, it plugs into an outdoor socket for electricity.

Given the many bus conversions that make the headlines today, you’d think that it’d be difficult to stand out, but Betty does it with its generously-sized layout, “hygge” Scandinavian styling, and adorable vintage touches from the bus elements Ellie decided on keeping (the ring bells have been repurposed as light switches, and many of the bus plaques are still on display, as retro art).

Betty is spacious, elegant, airy and practical. Even if you’re not on the market for a new bus home, Betty can serve as inspiration for future projects, or at the very least, it’ll make for a good eye cleanse.



Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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