For Wendy and Larry, converting a van into a stealthy home-on-wheels meant that they could escape the harsh Michigan winters. The couple recently completed their conversion with the help of van-home builder Ross Lukeman of Alternative Homes (previously), which we can see here in this short video tour:
The couple’s home has been built out of an extended-length 2011 Freightliner Sprinter van, which they have appropriately named “Morty” (it used to be a casket salesman’s vehicle). Inside, there’s plenty of headroom and legroom, as the couple aimed for an open-plan layout that emphasizes enough space to move around, while concentrating storage, sitting, sleeping and other functions to the sides and rear.
The pair endeavoured to create an interior that feels “European” — thanks to the minimalistic surfaces of wood and fabric, and unfussy custom cabinetry fronted with IKEA doors. The kitchen has a truck fridge, a small sink with a telescoping faucet, and lots of space to prepare food. More appliances, like the microwave, are hidden behind a sliding tambour door under the bed.
We like the upholstered bench that can turn into a single-bed (Larry likes to nap on this), but which also functions as a dining area with the convenient RV-style swivel table. Underneath the bench is an emergency portable toilet, and it’s also where the diesel heating system is hidden.
Alternative Homes/Video screen capture
Alternative Homes/Video screen capture
The back of the van features a huge “garage” of sorts, with a bed resting on top of a steel-strut platform. One highlight of the design is that the bed and struts are removable, in order to allow for transport of larger cargo — such as equipment for Larry’s band.
Alternative Homes/Video screen capture
Of course, a lot of the technical elements (such as the electrical system) require much forethought in a van conversion, and it seems that this conversion has organized it pretty well. Plenty of intriguing design ideas here; to see more, visit Alternative Homes.
This tasteful van home features a comfortable interior, and includes a removable bed to allow for transporting larger cargo.
Editor’s Note: This feature was made possible by our friends at VIVOBAREFOOT.
Of all entities, you’d expect a shoe company to be the last to point its own finger at the footwear brands and industry for what they’ve labeled a “public health scandal.” Conversely, they’re also the exact people you’d hope would shed light on how important feet are to our overall health.
According to the folks at VIVOBAREFOOT, a footwear brand that specializes in minimalist shoes, there’s a lot of science supporting the idea that modern shoes do more to damage our bodies than benefit them. The research-based documentary, Shoespiracy, points to the jogging boom of the 1970s as the source of the problem, when shoe design took a drastic turn toward comfort over protection.
“It’s astonishing to us that the vast majority of shoes produced each year are actually bad for your feet—and the wearers are none the wiser,” said VIVOBAREFOOT co-founder Galahad Clark. “A number of leading shoe company bosses have often said to me, ‘I know the science and agree with your philosophy, but the consumer isn’t ready.’ We believe people are absolutely ready to start feeling better and moving more.”
The documentary examines everything from the natural shape and construction of our feet to a quick history lesson on shoes. The human foot is the product of four million years of evolution and bio-engineering, but using protection for our feet only began about 40,000 years ago. That’s a relatively small plot on a long timeline, and the past 50 years of cushiony soles in athletic-focused shoes that are now mainstream make up a literal blink of the evolutionary eye.
“The human foot is an amazing structure,” says Dr. Irene Dag, director of the Spaulding National Running Center. “It’s comprised of 26 bones, 33 articulations, each with six degrees of freedom of motion, 20-plus muscles with 10 of them being in the arch in four layers.”
Now through April 21, you can find up to 75 percent off all of spring’s biggest home trends, from warm minimalist furniture to bright bohemian accent pieces in Living Coral (Pantone’s color of the year for 2019), mint green and metallics.
Jessie Balmert, Cincinnati Enquirer Published 3:36 p.m. ET March 21, 2019 | Updated 7:09 p.m. ET March 21, 2019
Gov. Mike DeWine calls his request for an 18-cent-per-gallon increase to the gas tax “conservative.” Jessie Balmert, email@example.com
COLUMBUS – Lawmakers in the GOP-controlled Ohio Senate slashed Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposed gas tax hike to 6 cents per gallon, a third of what the Republican governor requested to fix the state’s roads.
Senators were wary of a large gas tax hike and dubious of DeWine’s claim that an 18 cents-per-gallon increase was the “bare minimum” needed to fix Ohio’s infrastructure.
Some lawmakers even mulled removing the gas tax increase from the transportation budget entirely. They wanted to handle the gas tax in the operating budget, allowing lawmakers to offset any increase with a corresponding income tax decrease.
“In my view, any tax increases deserve an offsetting tax cut,” said Sen. Rob McColley, R-Napoleon, who voted against the increase.
Other lawmakers thought the gas tax hike wasn’t high enough.
“When we don’t build new roads, economic development suffers,” said Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering. “Six cents is better than nothing.”
In the end, senators landed on a 6 cents-per-gallon increase that would take effect July 1. They also shrunk the increase in public transportation money to $55 million a year. By using state money, Ohio could free up federal money for roads and bridges.
That amount for public transit would be an increase from the current $33 million a year but less than the $100 million that House legislators approved and still less than Democrats wanted.
“(Public transportation) is severely underfunded,” said Sen. Tina Maharath, D-Columbus, while praising the increase that was included. “It’s a small step closer to where we need to be, but it’s not enough.”
A committee of senators passed the bill by a narrow 6-5 vote Thursday afternoon, and it passed the Ohio Senate 24-6 later that day.
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Because the Ohio House passed a 10.7 cents-per-gallon increase earlier this month, a bipartisan conference committee of lawmakers from both chambers will meet next week and work out their differences.
What they decide will determine what Ohioans pay at the pump and how much the state will spend on road and bridge repairs and new construction.
DeWine had asked for an increase of 18 cents-per-gallon, which would have raised Ohio’s gas tax to 46 cents-per-gallon and brought in $1.2 billion a year for road and bridge projects. At that rate, Ohio would have had the fifth highest gas tax in the nation. The state last raised the gas tax in 2005, and the current rate is 28 cents per gallon.
“It is unacceptable that our roads are crumbling in front of our eyes for both safety and economic reasons,” DeWine said last week. “Our proposal was a minimalist, conservative approach. I will continue to work with our state legislators to pass a transportation budget that best protects our families and our economy.”
But Ohio’s GOP-controlled Legislature wasn’t sold. Their tax increase would bring in about $400 million each year with $100 million aimed at new projects.
“Maybe we won’t be spending as much on major new construction as we have been in the past eight years,” McColley said. “Our policy No. 1 should be taking care of existing roads and bridges and this budget definitely does that.”
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives slashed the gas tax increase to 10.7 cents per gallon, phased in over two years. (Diesel fuel would have increased by 20 cents per gallon, phased in over three years.)
That version passed the Ohio House with support from 40 Republicans and 31 Democrats. Some of the caucus’ most conservative members opposed the tax hike.
Lawmakers in the Ohio Senate couldn’t stomach that increase either.
Other Senate changes include:
Allowing Hamilton County’s transit to levy a sales tax to pay for roads, too.
Reinstating a requirement that Ohio vehicles have two license plates, citing concerns from law enforcement that both plates are needed.
Increasing the Ohio earned income tax credit from 10 percent to 30 percent of an individual’s federal tax credit, and removing a credit cap for taxpayers with income above $20,000.
Reducing the fees for hybrid and electric vehicles by $25 to $75 and $175, respectively. Fees would first take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
Removing language defining low-speed scooters and preventing skateboards from riding behind vehicles.
Requiring future governors to introduce their transportation budgets earlier.
Allowing active duty military members and their spouses stationed out of state to renew their licenses online.
Read or Share this story: https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2019/03/21/ohio-senate-gop-shrinks-gas-tax-hike-6-cents/3202824002/
Porto-based firm Diogo Aguiar Studio has breathed new life into a granite wine cellar by topping it with a minimalist holiday home complete with a natural green roof planted with native vegetation. Located in Guimarães, Portugal, the brilliant Pavilion House is a timber-clad micro home with large windows that connects the residence with its bucolic surroundings.
Working in collaboration with Andreia Garcia Architectural Affairs, the architects placed the unique micro home on an existing granite wine cellar that sits on a small hill. Although the minimal building size certainly restricted the floor plan, the elevated structure allowed the architects to maximize the home’s stunning views, which are comprised of expansive vineyards to the front and a dense forest backdrop.
The home is clad in thin timber panels to create a modern log cabin feel. The cube-like volume is punctuated by four large windows that look out onto the surrounding landscape. The house was also installed with a green roof planted with native vegetation to blend it into its natural setting.
The architects outfitted the micro home with just the basics: a small living space, kitchenette and bath. Keeping true to its minimalist roots, the beautiful design features a living room that doubles as a sleeping area with a fold-out bed. Both the kitchen and small bathroom with a skylight can also be completely concealed behind bi-fold doors. Plenty of storage is also incorporated into the walls.
According to the architects, the inspiration for the design came from its idyllic setting. “Pavilion House is a guesthouse. The only true requirement was to emphasize the sense of recollection in the forest, a refuge from urbanity,” lead architect Diogo Aguiar told Dezeen. “The idea of creating a log cabin was behind all the project decisions — it is a wooden minimal house in the mountain.”