NOTE: This is a long post that I started writing while functioning on little sleep and a strong dosage of cold medicine. I finished writing and edited the post while feeling incredibly indecisive, yet still feeling a strong need to create. This post…. is like my middle child, Patrick. Full of ideas, imagination, creativity and zero sense of direction. You have been warned.
I am trying my best not to get ahead of myself, but I can’t help but dreaming and planning what Alice will look like when she is done.
There are so many ways to go! There are so many fantastic remodels out there to be inspired by.
Warm and rustic by The Local Branch
Clean and white featured on Tiny House Swoon
Brody Travel Supply does great renos that are always warm, woodsy but still open and clean.
Hofman Architecture, HofArc,is undeniably incredible. Their designs are smart, modern and clean and beautiful.
There are so many Instagramers that I follow that are at the start of their Airstream reno journey or just finishing up. I watch my Instagram feed obsessively to see what everyone is doing. It is inspiring and so encouraging to see others working toward similar dreams as ours. It really is a great community. Daily I am getting new ideas and sending Tim photos of what others are doing. Because of the online community and photos from the pros above I am overwhelmed. I just don’t know what direction we want Alice to go
Tim is my sounding board. He keeps me in check for when it comes to function and practicality. He is quick to say, “But why are there wood pallets on the wall? Wouldn’t that just add more weight?” Weight is a big concern for Tim when it comes to design. Alice is already a big girl, we need to be careful not to add too much of what I call “design” and Tim calls, “unnecessary weight.” When we are finally done with renovations we need to be able to actually haul her somewhere. Thus, I need to be light on design both literally and figuratively.
Here is what we know for sure. This is our layout. You can read more about that in my previous post wittily titled, Layout.
Tim is working on putting together a 3D model using SketchUp.
For the record, this was Alice’s original layout.
The second and final thing I am sure of is that I need Alice to be easy to clean. It is completely unlike me to want, “Everything to have a place and everything to be in their place.” but for some new-to-me pull for a simpler life, this mantra is exciting. I don’t want excess. I want an easy to sweep, tidy up and scrub clean trailer. Everything will have a place. That means that good efficient storage and smooth, easy to clean surfaces are key.
We want the floors that will last a very, very long time. We live in MN where the temperature varies well over 100 degrees every year. Because of this we are very wary to install any flooring with seams of any kind. This means either painting/sealing the floor, or a going with sheet floor covering.
For the purpose of extra water and scratch/dent protection we have our eyes on Marmoleum. We like that it is eco-friendly, has little to no off gassing and best of all, comes in sheets and lots of colors. My favorite is the Striato line.
For cabinets we are at a function/design impasse. We both like white cabinets. We have white cabinets in our kitchen now but they get dirty quick and with such a narrow galley and 5 people who plan on spending their days hiking and playing outside in dirty nature, white seems like a bad idea. That said I love a clean blank canvas so I really like the idea of white cabinets. Hof Arc rocks white cabinets in most of their designs and it looks so so good.
I also really love fun color painted cabinets but I know that scratches and knicks will happen and I worry that the paint over time will not wear well. It is a lot of work to paint cabinets and it is even more work to repaint them. We are planning for the long haul here. We want to do this once and do it right. BUT I love the idea of blue or green or even a really great yellow painted on the cabinets!
Stained cabinets are great. Easy to clean, long life and very natural. I like the idea of the warmth of stained cabinets but I don’t want the space to feel even smaller than it is because of all the heaviness of lots of natural wood. BUT when you are in the woods camping, the warmth of natural wood seems like such a good fit.
Counter-tops. I thought counter-tops was going to be the easiest of all choices. We would buy IKEA butcher block. I would stain them darker and then seal it to be food safe and extra durable. Ends up IKEA has discontinued their butcher block. And now, the more research I do the more I think that may be a good thing. I really don’t want the maintenance of butcher block… unless Tim says I can use the bowling lanes that I found on Craigslist as counter-tops. Then I have no problem oiling and maintaining wood counters. But since the bowling lanes are 2 1/2 inch thick solid maple wonderfulness, I doubt they are light enough to pass Tim’s weight requirements. But come on… bowling lane counter-tops! How fun is that?!
And then there are textiles. I am drawn towards bold, bright and fun patterns. I can’t help it. It is what I like. However, I don’t want Alice to feel like a fun house or like Elise’s crayon stash and Miami Beach exploded all over our 200 square feet of vacation sanctuary. So I guess there has to be a balance. Plus if the kids plan on spending time in the trailer I need to have a space that isn’t too visually over stimulating or chaos will erupt. Don’t get me started on how I think today’s classrooms are the antithesis of fostering a good work environment for kids. Want kids to sit calmly and ready quietly? Sure add 100 posters of brightly colored characters shouting ABC/123 at them, that will work great! However, if I don’t get at least a few pops of sunshiney happy color in the trailer my mood will quickly become as desaturated as Alice’s color palate.
So all those words and photos boils down to this moodboard that is anything but our final design direction for Alice. Poor Alice is going to have a serious identity crisis if I start sourcing, selecting and shopping before I come up with a semi-solid plan!
How would you or did you design your Airstream interior? Clean and Modern? Warm and rustic? A mix of both or did you keep everything original and rock a truly retro design? Sound off in the comments below. As you can see from this post, I am need of some design guidance or inspiration. Nothing I have seen yet seems to fit us just right. Please link to photos if you have any!