Behind the Scenes of My Airstream Trailer Renovation
I love nature and being outdoors. Growing up in Utah I spent many family vacations in the mountains and on my parents boat at Lake Powell. I guess that’s where it all started and now I’m going back to my roots and my love of nature. Don’t get me wrong, I love living at the beach in Newport. The weather in Southern California year round allows me to spend most of the year doing outdoor activities. However, it’s another thing in California to get away from traffic and people to just be alone with nature. Solitude and quiet time restores my spirit and stimulates my mind and creativity. So in my quest to get more of this, I thought an Airstream would allow me to get away and escape the hustle and bustle of my everyday life.
Airstream trailers are a classic and were started by Wally Byam in 1929. I’ve always loved the sleek look of Airstream travel trailers. So I decided to get the 23″ International CCD. The original interior design was ultra modern, sterile and very stark. To me, modern and camping just don’t go together. I wanted to create a rustic interior design for my weekend road trips so I started looking for materials that would warm up the space and make it more like a cabin.
A Little History on Airstreams
In 1931, Airstream history began with Wally Byam’s dream: to build a travel trailer that would move like a stream of air, be light enough to be towed by a car, and create first-class accommodations anywhere.
Every inch of an Airstream has a function. They are the most thoroughly tested brand in trailer history. Its engineering is the culmination of over 80 years of experience plus millions of miles on roads throughout the world.
With Airstream travel trailers, there is no planned obsolescence. Airstreams of the Thirties are still on the road today, sturdy and modern as ever. They are intended as a lifetime investment in happiness.
Let the Renovation Begin
Here are some of the highlights of my renovation that I thought would be fun to share with you all and show you some before and after photos. If you are looking to do your own Airstream renovation, hopefully this will give you some inspiration to start.
I kept the original floor plan due to the expense of rerouting electrical and plumbing. So after tearing everything out, the only thing remaining was the bathroom. I didn’t do any remodel to the inside of the bathroom. Below is the photo of what it looked like after everything was taken out.
I knew I wanted reclaimed wood floors and that was where my inspiration began. In the wood that I found, there was a pale blue gray, so I decided to use varying shades of blues in my design.
Below is a photo of the wood and the materials that were inspired from these floors.
I love the look of cement countertops, but when designing any trailer, I had to be conscious of weight, so rather than use real concrete, I opted for a laminate that looked like concrete. I loved the lighter and darker shades in this laminate and it looked so realistic.
To contrast the lighter countertops I chose a charcoal gray wire brushed oak laminate for the cabinets. The original samples I had selected were too busy with the floors.
I had the dinette booth made and used a blue gray ultra suede fabric for the seats and seat backs and then contrasted the back with a medium brown leather.
The bathroom laminate was originally a stark white and it just didn’t complement the warm colors I was using, so I chose a wall covering from Phillip Jeffries to cover it. It created texture and warmth to the space.
The original window treatment material that I selected above looked great and had a bit of blue that I liked, however, they were too thick and wouldn’t work as a roller shade, so I had to go with a grass woven material that would roll up tightly in the recessed areas in the overhead cabinets. Be careful when selecting roller shade material to make sure that they will roll up properly in a small space.
In the bedroom area I chose a natural linen for the drapery panels. I used my accent blue gray on the sheets and blankets and a decorative pillow with a pattern that encompassed all the colors which added a bit of interest to the bed.
The accessories really finished the design by adding pops of color and texture. I purchased rustic melamine dishware from Williams-Sonoma since I didn’t want anything that was breakable. Rustic bark textured silverware, vinyl grass woven placemats, a pale blue ultra suede desk chair and a blue lamp with a natural linen shade. And finally some artificial succulents that added a bit of color and life to the countertops.
This airstream renovation took as long as some homes I’ve designed…almost a year! There were many challenges working in a small space with weight specifications and other obstacles, but in the end I’m very happy with the results.
Are you looking to start your own renovation? Give us a call and we will advise and help you renovate and create the look you want for your Airstream.
If you’re interested in renting out my Airstream and are in the Southern California area or want to visit and do a road trip up the California coast, follow the link below to book your reservation on Outdoorsy.
Have you just renovated your Airstream? Share your story and post photos in the comments section below. We would love to see what you have been up to and would also like to get your feedback on some of the challenges and advice for others who are just starting their own renovation.