Over the years, my staff and I have executed many interesting decorating projects, from designing hotels and houses to even a teepee, a supermarket and a bowling alley.
And that’s not to mention our design for the interiors of a fleet of taxi cabs, which received kudos from Time Magazine in their article “Drab Cab Goes Fab” back in the spring of 1974. Those Checker cabs looked sparkling, with seats covered in a green-and-white checked upholstery and flooring of bright red.
But never have I decorated the interior of a decommissioned bus.
Last month, while on a restful holiday in Ireland, I enjoyed visiting the filmmaker, poet and horse trainer Oliver Durkin in Longford. (Ireland is the home of so many horse trainers.)
Oliver has just completed a feature film made in India — after a six-month journey on the rural roads through the villages — titled “Bare Transit.” The film is a visual treat.
And when it comes visiting his office, it’s a case of “wherever that might be” because his office is a converted bus. The bus has had all 30 seats removed to make room for a sleeper sofa and a living area with standing lamps, a desk and comfy chairs.
The bus, a DAF model manufactured in Germany in 1990, is 8 feet wide and 30 feet long, and has front and back doors — along with space under the dashboard for his dog. The bus also accommodates technical equipment Oliver uses for film editing along with sound and lighting equipment.
Oliver can sit at his ample desk and enjoy a 360-degree view of his horse farm while working on a new project, perhaps a documentary or a feature film. At the moment a documentary about the Fitzgeralds and the Castle Matrix of Rathkeale, Ireland, is in the planning stages, he tells me.
Oliver has painted his bus midnight black and installed a camouflage scrim on the vehicle, which makes it nicely blend in with nature’s greenery.
He has been a filmmaker and professional commercial advertising man for much of his career. He has created ad campaigns and services for a variety of products, from including Zip firelighters. He considers himself an artistic guerilla of sorts, always looking for new adventures, fighting for new ways to express himself creatively and searching for new roads to travel — thus the name of the media agency he co-founded, Guerillascope.
Working, or even living, in a refitted bus certainly isn’t for everyone. But isn’t that what makes life so marvelous? There’s something for everyone, even a bus that can serve as a comfortable working office or traveling home. What a way to live!