Vardo Inspiration - Tiny House Blog

Vardo Inspiration


My post for today is still preparing for the traffic he might receive so I am postponing it for the time being. Cheyenne sent me some great Vardo inspiration from several sites so I thought I would give you some Vardo eye candy in todays post. I have covered George’s min vardo before here. He has a great blog with some cool photos I’d like to invite you to spend some time on it if you have interest in vardos and other hand made things.


Photo Credit George

bowtop vardo

George's Vardo

Photo Credit George

Following are roulottes gitanes = gypsy caravan

Photo credits and more information at these websites: and



interior Roulotte

Roulotte in legno

Roulotte - Salotto

Roulotte gitana

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Joel - May 1, 2012 Reply

Wow! Those are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

    Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural - May 1, 2012 Reply

    I know this is totally unrelated to the vardos, which are beautiful, but Tumblr doesn’t have a commenting function. Joel, those pics of the mountains when you click your name are some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen.

      Joel - May 2, 2012 Reply

      Thanks, I’m responding to this twice because I’m internet incompetent. But those are all photos from my families farm in Montana, we are looking to add some tiny houses into the mix so I’ve been doing a lot of research.

Angie - May 1, 2012 Reply

I love the art that is incorporated into these. And the colors. That one bare wood one is pretty, but looks as if it’s just waiting for someone to put their creative stamp on it.

The interiors look cozy, and I do like the bed nooks. I could see curling up and reading a book there.

Louise - May 1, 2012 Reply

Nice, I Love them all.

Gabriel - May 1, 2012 Reply

Definitely a good use of space, making ample room to move within the room, partly thanks to the lack of clutter. I would be very interested to see the inside arrangement of the closet underneath the bed. Having only one opening at front (and not along the side), makes it somewhat difficult to retrieve any clothing located deep inside. Is there a drawer which you can pull instead of crawling in?

BenBrown - May 1, 2012 Reply

I think they are fantastic.. Makes me want to do a vardo. I especially love the one with the intricate wood carving. Here’s a free idea (just credit me) for someone to incorporate: design a vardo with a roof top patio/screened pavillion, that can double as a summer sleeping area. I’m thinking a rubber roof and eco-carpeted could work. Plus it would shade the vardo proper.

Paula - May 2, 2012 Reply

There is something about Vardos that are very compelling for me. I haven’t yet been able to put my finger on it. I think part of it is the coziness, the wood, the art.

However everytime I look at them I also see very “un-aerodynamic” vehicles that would be quite uneconomical to tow down the road…read highway driving. Because well, they were originally pulled by horses.

Due to my fascination I want to believe they are more capable of doing more than being moved from one part of some land to another or parked and lived in. I keep wanting to turn the design so that the curve is facing the rear of the tow vehicle, like a sideways vardo. But then it would be like a wooden canned ham! Am I daft? Comments anyone?

    Benjamin - May 2, 2012 Reply

    You need an Airstream vardo. ;-]

    Abel Zimmerman Zyl - May 2, 2012 Reply

    Someone correct me if i’m wrong, but it might not matter much which side the curve is on. You punch a big hole through the air with a truck, and all that seems to matter back there is frontal area… Curve or not. This is a generalization of aerodynamics, but look at big trucks. The most they do is put those skirts on their trailers, and you can bet those big companies who run a thousand trucks thousand of miles a week, care about the bottom line.

    Anyway, a decent 3/4 ton or larger diesel doesnt care too much about pulling a trailer. If youre starved for power, making it lower and narrower will help. And RVs are always lighter than a wooden vardo. But they dont feeeel like a vardo, no?

    Abel Zyl Zimmerman

      Paula - May 3, 2012 Reply

      Abel-Yeah, given that scenario it probably doesn’t matter. However I do not want for a large truck. I have a teardrop with my 6cyl. Subie. But of course there’s always the lust for virtually anything small and mini… BTW I heart your designs.

      How about a mini vardo with all the beauty that they offer with some wood but somehow lighter, lower, but not teardropy?? Is it possible? I drew one up yesterday with the box and the curves on the ends. It looked like a mushroom or small loaf of bread! I suppose when you start fussing with the basic design then you lose the “Vardo”.

      Are your Vardos built to be road worthy that can see traveling miles?

        Abel Zyl Zimmerman - June 16, 2012 Reply

        They are roadworthy. And if I knew that it was going to spend much of its time on the road, I would design it just a little different: the spray and grit of a wet highway trip are a little more than house weathering is usually designed for. I might even recommend a sheet or galvanized metal skirt of the lower portion. Easier to scrub road grit off metal than cedar shingles.


Joel - May 2, 2012 Reply

Ha! Thanks Victoria. Those photos are all from my families farm in Montana just outside of Yellowstone. We are looking into adding a tiny house component so I’ve been doing a lot of research.

Lester - May 4, 2012 Reply

These are just beautiful. Most of the larger designs are not actually vardos. Instead, they are Roma waggons, Roma wagons, gypsy waggons, gypsy wagons, etc. Although the traditional wagons had not even a vestige of a bathroom or loo, two of the larger wagons shown above actually have bathrooms.

Bathrooms are (to me) a practical feature of a home. Another practical aspect of all of these units (even the true small vardos) is that the bed is not elevated above the ceiling. Thus, no ladder is necessary. Even a typical 80-year-old could live in such a home.

Daniel - May 7, 2012 Reply

I really like the first vardo on the post that looks to be sitting on a tandem axle trailer. Could you provide me with some more information on this vardo. I have been dreaming of building something similar for years.
Thanks Daniel

Victoria - July 18, 2012 Reply

I love those gypsy wagons. For me…I would get a tiny one, but I hope someday to have another relationship so a medium one with the bed and bathroom side-by-side would be perfect. I’m not getting any younger and it would be nice not to have to climb into a loft to sleep.
Does anyone know anyone that builds them with green materials, I can’t be in something that is built with glue and off gasses, I have a picture of one that is pretty simple and fills my heart with happiness when I look at it.
I’m disabled and am hoping to start a help me build it fund on one of those websites this weekend.

Tiny Houses Hankerings - December 13, 2012 Reply

Wow, these are all so gorgeous both inside and out. I love the bright colors used in most of these, very refreshing compared to most of the tiny houses on trailers that are being built right now that seem to lack any color other then wood. Are those last two photos before/after shots of the same vardo?

Howard - September 28, 2014 Reply

Thank you for compiling these pics. The paleo wagon and the bowtop inspired me to make my own. Pics at with a video link.

    Kent Griswold - September 28, 2014 Reply

    Howard, I would enjoy sharing your story on the Tiny House Blog if you approve. Please contact me at tinyhouseblog (at) thank you -Kent Griswold

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