Living Simply… Redefining the American Dream

Matthew Hofmann is a 34-year-old Architect who lives in Santa Barbara, CA. He’s spent the past eight years designing and renovating over 400 vintage Airstream trailers that are being enjoyed by people all over the world.

For the past 10 years, he and his wife Joanna have been living a mobile lifestyle. ”It’s a lifestyle for those who call mobile spaces Home Sweet Home,” said Matthew. “Folks like us are living in vans, trailers and boats not because we have to, but because we prefer it.”

After years of experiencing a mobile lifestyle first hand, they decided to create a family business that assisted others in living a re-defined American Dream. “It’s a dream of living well wherever your hearts take you.”

Hofmann’s company and product is Living Vehicle™. “We travel full-time and live in the same home we’ve designed and built for others like us,” added Joanna.

“Matthew is the lead designer and imaginer,” she said with a smile. “I’m in charge of making it feel like home.”

In early 2015, they set out on a series of extended road trips throughout the US and Europe to experiment living full-time in various types of mobile spaces — from high-end RVs, to vans and luxury motorhomes. What they discovered was that nothing permanent spoke to their desire to have both freedom and the feeling of home.

The term “sustainability” began to take on a new meaning for them and they began to dream up a space that would support a full-time mobile lifestyle in an enduring way. Upon returning to Santa Barbara, Matthew had an intentional message to deliver to his design/build firm: “We’re selling the Airstream renovation company to our construction manager and creating our own ground-up, sustainably built home called Living Vehicle.”

When Matthew says “sustainable,” he’s speaking about not only using low-impact materials and renewable energy sources, but also the ability to live in a nomadic space that has the capacity to support life on a continuous basis. “It’s a mobile space that will allow people to live 24/7/365 in a variety of climates and places, and be in a space that feels like home,” he added. “Living Vehicle is that space.”

Joanna’s favorite features of their LV are the creature comforts, such as large bathroom with teak lined shower, rain tower controls, and overhead skylight. “The space works so well for our active lifestyles, especially with our new mini-Australian Shepherd, Lucca,” added Joanna. “Whether we’re in the desert or the mountains, we want to experience the environment, so the outdoor deck, huge sliding glass door and deck give us that sense of place.” Joanna also appreciates the LVP flooring. “The flooring and aluminum cabinets and walls are so beautiful and durable. The central vac is a nice convenience for quick cleanups, too.”

When Matthew and Joanna aren’t traveling and testing out mobile spaces, you can find them on a boat in the Santa Barbara Harbor that they’ve called home for the last two years. “Living Vehicle isn’t just another business for us, it’s our lives,” says Joanna. “We live and breathe mobile spaces and design, and are obsessed with creating the most innovative and thoughtful product to help inspire others to live a life they love.”

Hofmann’s Living Vehicle answers the real-world question that their customers are asking in a reflective, intentional way. It’s the same question Matthew was asking in 2009 when he designed his first all-aluminum home: How do I find freedom – freedom to live my best life?

“I’m deeply passionate about sharing this dream with others and I’d love to share our passion with you, too,” adds Matthew.

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Phillip - May 29, 2018 Reply

Very impressed with how you have such a modern feel to your home even with limited space. Really cool.

Overzetdak - May 30, 2018 Reply

Nice article. Love the photos! Thanks for sharing.

Leesa - June 19, 2018 Reply

The fold out deck is very clever! Nice way of extending the space.

Nanci - August 23, 2018 Reply

Love the design! Would make a few modifications for a single. Other than that, I’m ready to buy.

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