Imagine being able to pack up your home and take it wherever you wanted. This family swapped their suburban apartment for a converted motorhome, with Mother Nature as their closest neighbour…
Downsizing is a chance to find out which pieces of furniture are truly important. ‘We were glad to say goodbye to clutter when we moved. When you have more space, you have the freedom it allows to just fill it up with nonsense,’ says Karlton. ‘One thing we didn’t want to leave behind was our FRIHETEN sofa, but that meant customising it ourselves. We even adapted its built-in storage to fit our photography equipment.’
Packing and unpacking is a big part of life on the road. While being minimalist has its pay-offs (the last thing you want is to have everything slide across the room when driving), it doesn’t mean that the only furniture you have is what’s bolted down permanently. ‘Every time we stop somewhere new, we get to do things differently. I love the process of bringing out my plants and all the things that make our home every time we move. It isn’t a chore, it’s like redecorating,’ says Toni.
Everybody needs their own space to reconnect with what’s important, especially when it feels like you live in each other’s pockets. Toni’s spot for taking time out is either in the bathroom, where she’ll treat herself to a mini spa day, or relaxing in the bedroom. Even though there’s barely any floorspace, hidden storage under the bed brings a feeling of calm to the room: ‘Our bedroom is serene,’ says Toni.
Any space the family lost inside their home, they gained outside by having the great outdoors as their garden. Eating meals around the worktop indoors can be a bit of a squeeze, so the family often cook and eat alfresco – their outdoor furniture folds neatly into a storage compartment under the RV. ‘The first thing we do when we park is open up the windows – everywhere we go the air is different,’ says Karlton.
‘I have a fear of getting too comfortable, too stagnant in life. The same drive to work, the same neighbours… that just isn’t us. There’s an excitement in packing up your home, setting off and waking up somewhere different,’ says Karlton, who grew up with travelling parents. ‘We spend half the year pitched in Florida for work, then when we travel full-time, it’s like our vacation. For our first road trip, we drove 4,000 miles across 19 states,’ says Toni.
Karlton and Toni stripped out the original interior (‘dark carpets, patterned upholstery and weird wallpaper’) and renovated their 28-square-metre motorhome in just two months. It now contains the living area, kitchen and workspace up front, with David’s loft bed above the sofa. The bathroom and master bedroom are at the back. ‘We built almost everything by hand – that means a lot,’ says Toni.
We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.
Interior stylist: Martin Bourne
Photographer: Benjamin Edwards
Follow Toni and Karlton: @this_little_adventure