In Santa Cruz, trolley cars were decommissioned and replaced by buses in 1926. We don't know exactly what happened to the outdated machines, but at least two of them were salvaged and given a new lease of life. They were converted into this beautiful and colorful house that is now owned by Mary and Gerhard Ringel. However, it was not the couple who converted the two retired streetcars into a residence. They bought it as such, but according to them, it was "pretty run-down," so they made it their mission to bring it back to life.
Do you know how people connect shipping containers and turn them into small dwellings? The same principles apply in this case as well. The two trolleys, one measuring 25 feet (7.6 meters) long and the other 30 feet (9.1 meters) long, were parked side by side, with a 3.5-foot (1-meter) space connecting them. They offer a total of 750 square feet (70 square meters) of space, so the house is not so tiny after all. But for the couple, who had previously lived in a 2,500-square-foot (232-square-meter), three-story house, moving into this home was a major change, and they had to seriously downsize their lifestyle.
The vibrant, eye-popping color palette, both on the exterior and the interior, is the standout aspect of this house. The hues harmoniously combine to give the building that beach home vibe and instill a feeling of joy when stepping through the door.
The couple had the assistance of a local artist in choosing and combining the colors for the interiors. What impresses the most is the diversity of hues, as interior colors range from creamy yellow and orange to pink, dark purple, and forest green.
The smaller streetcar houses the living and dining room, while the second one includes the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. A regular roof has been installed over the two streetcars, making it look just like a regular home from the outside.
In terms of furniture, the space is occupied by an L-shaped couch, a daybed that invites you to take a nap, a cabinet, and a wood-burning stove.
The kitchen is right next to the dining room and occupies the 3.5-foot space connecting the two trolley cars and a part of the second car. The owners kept the cabinets it came with but painted them a combination of white and Granny Smith. It has an old-school vibe, thanks to the color palette and the funky tiles on the floor. It is equipped with basic appliances, like a cooktop, a stove, a double sink, and a fridge.
Thanks to the extra space added to the back of the home, the bedroom is very spacious, and you can see on the ceiling where the streetcar roof meets the addition. The artist that worked on the restoration added a faux-finish to the walls and added texture with the help of stencil art. A huge bed, a long desk, and a couple of antique drawer cabinets make up the furnishings for the bedroom. There is a door in here that leads to the backyard.
There is a lot of charm and good energy about this converted streetcar home, and it just goes to show how a little bit of creativity and imagination can birth amazing designs.