Hornby's Sandpiper Caravan - Tiny House Blog

Hornby’s Sandpiper Caravan

Hi, I’m Michelle Wilson and my company is Hornby Island Caravans located on…yup, Hornby Island which is in British Columbia, Canada. So far my crew consists of me and occasionally my husband Lawrence Nyberg who is also a very fine luthier (builder of guitars and other stringed instruments).

We have just recently completed our 2nd caravan, the Sandpiper (named after our neighbourhood), which is 8’ by 16’ and was commissioned by a very lovely and talented couple-one is a well known double bassist and the other is a fabulous graphics designer.

What they needed was some extra space for guests, a place to work and also a place to play music. There were more specific requests as well, first of all, since a double bass is not a small instrument it had to have a special spot worked into the design (in between the desk and cupboards), also it’s case needed a storage spot which is under the bed. They also wanted a sense of airiness rather than a cozy feel, which was achieved with the high ceilings, white walls and a whole lot of windows, one of which was a beautiful, antique leaded glass window that they’d been holding onto for years.

I was also asked to make use of driftwood as I had done in my first caravan, which I was very happy to do- not only does it give the caravans a lovely beach feel but it means that I get to go ‘shopping’ for wood on the beach which is something I love to do. Since they liked the look, I used driftwood on all of the shelf supports over the bed and cupboards, the diagonal desk supports, the coat hooks and hooks for a violin and bow. As this caravan was intended for a specific site, the windows, painted to match their cabin’s windows, were placed in such a way that would allow for the nicest views, with the exception of the high leaded window which allows in light but creates some privacy from the neighbouring property.

As with the Vorizo, our 1st caravan (named after our postal code), we built with natural, healthy materials as much as possible- Rock wool insulation, beautiful woods, refurbished wood windows and eco friendly paints and finishes. Environmentally there are obvious reasons to use eco friendly materials but is important to me that the space is a healthy one for the occupant as well.

We’ve just started on our first live-in caravan, a 10’ by 26’ space with a kitchen, bed, desk , reading nook and storage. It will have a wash house (bathroom, washer/dryer and extra food storage) that will be built separately . Once the caravan arrives the two buildings will be attached by a breezeway . You can follow our progress on Hornby Island Caravan’s Facebook page , you’ll find a link to that on our web site which is http://ww.hornbyislandcaravans.com

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Niall - July 31, 2011 Reply

Its a gorgeous space, I love the cupboards and shelves and exterior cladding.

Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural - July 31, 2011 Reply

That is beautiful. Curious about the cost.

    Laura - August 1, 2011 Reply

    From the website: A ball park figure for a furnished caravan built on a refurbished trailer frame is $1200 per linear foot, for example the price of a 12’ caravan would be $14,400 Canadian funds, plus 12% HST tax for Canadian orders only. If you would rather have a caravan built on a new trailer I’d be happy to come up with a quote for you. Commission cost includes the custom design of your caravan.
    Price does not include appliances.

Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural - July 31, 2011 Reply

Also, when I clicked on the link to go to your FB page, one didn’t come up and when I did a Google search for you on FB, nothing came up.

    Randy - July 31, 2011 Reply

    I encountered the same thing as Victoria. When I click on your “follow me” link it takes me to MY page. When I search for Hornby Island Caravans, it doesn’t take me to a FB page but redirects me back to your web URL.

Heather - July 31, 2011 Reply

Wow – absolutely beautiful. Can’t wait to see pictures of the new one w/ the breezeway.

Tanya - July 31, 2011 Reply

Looks like the original link left a w out of the “www” part.

Lovely work on the caravan! Gives me ideas. :^)

Krystal - July 31, 2011 Reply

Such a beautiful caravan! The blue colors are very nice. Wish I could see the progress of the live-in caravan, but I see some people say the FB page doesn’t work/doesn’t exist?

michelle, hornby island caravans - July 31, 2011 Reply

Hmmm, that’s strange that the Facebook link isn’t working, we tried it will various browsers and it worked for us, so I’m not sure what’s going on there. In any case, here’s a link to the page that you can try… http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hornby-Island-Caravans/109615529105597 , hopefully that will work for you. As for price, that varies a bit depending on materials used but generally the 8′ wide caravans are $1200 Canadian per linear foot. That price includes the built-in furnishings.

    Krystal - August 1, 2011 Reply

    The FB page still doesn’t work for me. I mean, the link does, but like alice said, it leads to a login page and like her, I don’t have a Facebook account.

April - July 31, 2011 Reply

Beautiful! Simple, open, really nice space!

alice - July 31, 2011 Reply

I love all the windows in this one and the interesting woodwork. Definitely like this one better than the first model. The link to their website worked for me even with only two ww’s, lots more pictures and info there. The FB button on their website went to a sign in but I don’t belong to facebook so I don’t know what happens after that.

    michelle, hornby island caravans - August 1, 2011 Reply

    Hi Alice, I didn’t realize that you had to had to be signed up on Facebook to see the public pages, that’s too bad. I’ll try to get some build pics on my web site soon, I’ve been thinking about doing that anyway.

michelle, hornby island caravans - July 31, 2011 Reply

hi there to the moderator- my earlier post from around 11 am is still “awaiting moderation”, I’m just wondering if it got overlooked?- no need to post this one though, thanks, michelle.

Andy Anderson - July 31, 2011 Reply

Wow – this is so cool I am going to have her build one for me. That is really amazing work from a true artist


cj - August 1, 2011 Reply

What a sweet retreat. Nice design in the shelving.

cj - August 1, 2011 Reply

Had to do a double take. I just realized where you are sitting. I pass you on the ferry. Now if they would only stop at Hornby and load one up!

Irene - August 1, 2011 Reply

Exquisite detail. Going to visit your web page now.

Deek - August 1, 2011 Reply

Hey Michelle- hope you’re well! great work- love the trim and the natural shelving (I’ve messed with the same branch supports in the past and loved the look). Anyway, if you have some ultra-hi-res versions of these- send ’em this way- I think I like this one better than the last- the photos are better too- and could get the publisher to most likely include it, or both, for the new version of “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks”. Thanks


    michelle, hornby island caravans - August 1, 2011 Reply

    Hi Deek, I did send some pics of the new caravan about a month ago but if you can’t track them down I’d be happy to send them again. I can’t wait for the book to come out, is it getting pretty close to completion?

      Deek - August 2, 2011 Reply

      Hey MIchelle- no, couldn;t open those- will try again- still have the files- I only have the two other emails (the older caravan) you sent. As for the book, its done- the editors are just letting me tweak the photo sections, and add/change things….book’s already up on amazon.com for pre-order/reservations and has been doing REALLY(!!) well- even though its not even out yet….(Feb 1, 2012). Hope you’re well!


        michelle, hornby island caravans - August 2, 2011 Reply

        Hi again Deek, I’ll send more photos right away. Feb.1st woohoo! I’m sure it’s going to be a fabulous book, I’m, really looking forward to it!
        Hope you’re doing well too.

Elizabeth Haugh - August 3, 2011 Reply

I have tried to get to the site on Facebook with the new 2 caravan set is being built and have not found it either her site or Facebook. Please publish how we can get to it. I am interested in the 2 caravans and breezeway connection for main and wash house. Sounds like I could use one.

Thank you for hooking me up to site in advance.

    michelle, hornby island caravans - August 4, 2011 Reply

    Hi Elizabeth,
    I’m sorry that you and everyone else is having a hard time connecting to my Facebook page. It looks as if the problem for some of the folks might be that they weren’t signed up for Facebook, but if you are here’s a direct link http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hornby-Island-Caravans/109615529105597. Failing that, I’ll try to get some pictures up on my site soon of the new caravan being built- it’s only in the framing stage though, nothing too exciting yet.

Jackie - August 4, 2011 Reply

I love the photos of this caravan! I totally want one…your design is gorgeous! I’m a bit of a facebook addict and tried your direct link but it only took me to my own news feed, and when I searched for you on fb, it said there was no such page. Perhaps your privacy/network settings aren’t allowing everyone to follow you? No matter what, I can’t wait to see photos and follow your work in some way! Thanks for being so inspiring!

    michelle, hornby island caravans - August 5, 2011 Reply

    Hi Jackie,
    Aargh, the Facebook thing is so frustrating! I’ll check the privacy settings, thanks for the tip. And thanks for the kind words too!

    michelle, hornby island caravans - August 5, 2011 Reply

    I might have fixed the problem with FB- apparently it was set so that only people in Canada could see it, it must have been a default setting.

      Jackie - August 9, 2011 Reply

      Hey, Michelle! That did it on FB, I’ve now liked your page 🙂 I thought that might have been the problem (had the same issue with some organizations in the UK after spending a year there…). So glad I can follow you now!

Bobbie - August 10, 2011 Reply

I would love to know a price on having one of these made, and some idea of the price for getting it to my location in Oregon?

Nancy - September 20, 2012 Reply

Love this – this would be a great artist studio for me!

Vicki - April 20, 2013 Reply

I do not write many comments, but i did some searching and wound
up here Hornby’s Sandpiper Caravan. And I do have some questions for you if you usually do not mind. Could it be just me or does it look like a few of these responses appear as if they are coming from brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are writing at additional places, I would like to keep up with everything new you have to post. Would you make a list of every one of all your public sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

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