VIDEO: Before & after airstream renovation - Design The Life You Want To Live ®

VIDEO: Before & after airstream renovation

Nov 2

happy-camper-airstream

Do you wanderlust and live for a good adventure?  Do you dream of hitting the open road? Love airstreams!?   Want to learn more about designing small spaces with big style?!  

You’ve come to the right place!

Love tiny spaces with big style? Get hitched with an airstream. Check out the before and after photos of the airstream by Lynne Knowlton!
See more of the airstream renovation on lynneknowlton.com #HappyCamperAirstream
Love airstreams? Click on the photo to see the before and after transformation of a vintage 1976 31 ft airstream!

 

This page is just the beginning of details about the airstream renovation.  I hope you get inspired to design small spaces with big style too!  I’ll show you how!

airstream-reveal-lynneknowlton-com

Q.    Tell me more about your airstream renovation.   I love to see before and after photos. 

A.   I added about 643947436 photos of the airstream here on the blog… but before and after photos show the real deal.  You may need a barf bucket.  I lie. I lie.  The airstream in it’s original state was still a thing of beauty in my eyes.  I could see the potential because hey, it’s an airstream.  They are such gems!

Hawt tip:  The one thing to look for when buying an airstream is to ensure that the subfloor is dry and free of rot.  This can be a hidden problem, because hey… they can be 40 plus years old.  That is history in the making, and things age. Good to keep them in check.  Like wrinkles. Ahhem… laugh lines.

Love airstreams? Click on the photo to see the before and after transformation of a vintage 1976 31 ft airstream!
Check out the restoration of the 1976 vintage airstream with before and after photos. A real stunner!

 


Q.   Why did you remove the centre cabinetry of the airstream?  

A.   An airstream renovation is inspiring and harrowing all at once!  It was a scary thought to remove so many walls and cabinets.  When renovating small spaces, the goal is to try to lighten it, brighten it and make it feel open & airy.  When we removed all the brown cabinetry, it was a game changer in creating a light and airy space.

Check it out....
Check out the restoration of the 1976 vintage airstream with before and after photos. A real stunner!

Before

The before photo of a 1976 vintage airstream, transformed with white paint, gold accents and gorgeous home decor. A must see! Click on the photo to see more. Airstream by Lynne Knowlton from Design The Life You Want to Live www.lynneknowlton.com

after

 


Q.   Why white?  Seems like risky business for a trailer.

A.   Simple design is my jam, espesh when it comes to white. I may have a thing about white and the staggering simplicity it brings to a space.

Simply_White

 

I don’t do brown but white paint, gold faucets & simply designed  spaces are my three amigos.

Everything that wasn’t moving was painted white… white… and more white. I was in a paint coma, painting the interior SIMPLY WHITE for 2 months.    White seems to be the answer to all my renovation problems. 🙂

I pop in colour with throw pillows, art and decor.  Why?  It makes the space super easy to change up with the seasons or if you get tired of the space annnnnnd white gives you a nice blank canvas to work from.

It's hard to believe from this photo.. what a transformation can happen with a vintage airstream! Click on the photo to see the before and after pics of the gorgeous airstream now!!
Love airstreams? Click on the photo to see the before and after transformation of a vintage 1976 31 ft airstream!

 


Q.  White?!!!!  GAH.  How do you keep it clean?!!!

A.   We have four kids, we rent the airstream to guests and it yet it all is quite easy to keep clean.  I find linen duvets and pillow cases are quite durable and easy to bleach/clean. We even use these linen tea towels in the airstream.  They get better with age. ADORE.

I use these linen curtains in my home (ohhhhh how I love them, and the Etsy seller too!) and these ones as well.

For the airstream, Tonic Living made custom white linen curtains for us.  I have a back-flipping-kind-of-LOVE for those.  I bought these online and used them as the curtain tie backs. They are stunners in real life. Legit.

The paint on the walls and cabinetry is wipeable and durable.  The floor is an easy mop clean up.

boom-done
The before photo of a 1976 vintage airstream, transformed with white paint, gold accents and gorgeous home decor. A must see! Click on the photo to see more. Airstream by Lynne Knowlton from Design The Life You Want to Live www.lynneknowlton.com
The before photo of a 1976 vintage airstream, transformed with white paint, gold accents and gorgeous home decor. A must see! Click on the photo to see more. Airstream by Lynne Knowlton from Design The Life You Want to Live www.lynneknowlton.com

 

 

Q.  What style of airstream did you buy?

A.   When we first purchased the 1976 31′ Sovereign International Land Yacht, the overall design was zactly what I was looking for.  

It has a center bath configuration, and surprisingly.. most airstreams have a bathroom at the very back.  

I consider it a super cool feature that we wouldn’t have to walk through  the bedroom to get to a bathroom.  

Priorities, sista.

The before photo of a 1976 vintage airstream, transformed with white paint, gold accents and gorgeous home decor. A must see! Click on the photo to see more. Airstream by Lynne Knowlton from Design The Life You Want to Live www.lynneknowlton.com
The before photo of a 1976 vintage airstream, transformed with white paint, gold accents and gorgeous home decor. A must see! Click on the photo to see more. Airstream by Lynne Knowlton from Design The Life You Want to Live www.lynneknowlton.com

Q.  How did you do it?   No really.  Howwwwww?!

A.   The process of renovating any small space is to maximize the minimal space with small space living ideas.

 

begin-anywhere

 

The before photo of a 1976 vintage airstream, transformed with white paint, gold accents and gorgeous home decor. A must see! Click on the photo to see more. Airstream by Lynne Knowlton from Design The Life You Want to Live www.lynneknowlton.com
Love airstreams? Click on the photo to see the before and after transformation of a vintage 1976 31 ft airstream!

The journey of looking for an airstream was a loooooooooong one.  We searched for two years for the perfect one (longer, if I’m reallllllly being truthful with myself).  We wanted an airstream that had great potential but not one that had been totally gutted.

Some are like time capsules, still stuck in the era that they were born in.  I love that.  It gives you a chance to save vintage elements and yet modernize the important things like faucets and toilets.  Keeping it real.. keeping it real… toilet talk and all.


Champagne gold faucets
are like jewelry.

ART.

{and one of my fave fave fave elements in the airstream}

The before photo of a 1976 vintage airstream, transformed with white paint, gold accents and gorgeous home decor. A must see! Click on the photo to see more. Airstream by Lynne Knowlton from Design The Life You Want to Live www.lynneknowlton.com

 

airstream-dreams

Q.   How did you find the airstream?

A.  I told every single soul that I knew that I had a dream of buying an airstream!!  Airstreams have such character and 60% of them are still on the road today.  They’ve been making Airstreams since 1931!  Holy batman,right??!!  Impressive!

One day, a friend called me and said… “You’ll never guess what I just saw for sale.  Never guess. Nevah evahhh

It was love at first sight.  Boom.  I was sold.

PS.  If you are going to invest in a trailer, have an end in mind.  Mine end in mind was obvs.

White.

Love airstreams? Click on the photo to see the before and after transformation of a vintage 1976 31 ft airstream!

 

Q.   With all the choices on the market, why an airstream?  

A.  I’m a big wuss when it comes to sleeping outdoors but I could imagine hitting the open road in an airstream .. no public washrooms… board games…soft fluffy linens…essential oils diffusing lightly in the air…. hours of nothing sprinkled with good conversations and kickass music.  These things are my jam.

 It’s the little things in life that really get my motor running.  Candles.  Playing Cards.   Airstream vibes.  Sorry I said vibes.  Was that awkward?  Don’t leave.  Airstreams are a good boho love fest.  Weirder?  Okay. Stopping now.

Youre Rad

 

See the before & after transformation of this vintage airstream by @lynneknowlton !

Q.  How long did it take to renovate the airstream?   Where did you spend money, save money? 

A.   I imagined it would take a month for our dream to take shape.  It took 6 months.  Maybe longer.  Definitely longer.  It’s still happening. LOL…. annnnnd some things were extraordinarily expensive! Barf.  Like polishing.  Holy smokes, expensive.

Some things were really cost efficient too.   Like paint.  Paint is a small price to pay for a big change.   We primed every surface with a primer that is meant for metal, glass, wood, everything and anything.   Be sure to pick a primer that is a top drawer, high quality primer that sticks to everything.  The base/adhesion is super important for durability. Do it.

The big bananas were spent on polishing ( it takes 200-400 hours to polish an airstream exterior to a mirror like finish.  First, you have to strip the entire surface of the original clear coat.

Yes.  We hired strippers.

Then, after 44574573454056 hours of polishing… it was finally polished to a mirror like finish. We parked it on the pond and napped for 47347 hours to recuperate.    This is actually the home where we park our airstream for most of the year.

~  In our backyard ~

PS.  There are frogs in there.  We aren’t talking about that. ?

The before photo of a 1976 vintage airstream, transformed with white paint, gold accents and gorgeous home decor. A must see! Click on the photo to see more. Airstream by Lynne Knowlton from Design The Life You Want to Live www.lynneknowlton.com

 


Q.  How do we see the photos with the inside scoop and deets?

A.    You can see the airstream renovation process from start to finish here on Instagram #HappyCamperAirstream .

  • Follow along on the journey @LynneKnowlton Instagram…. where it’s cool to be square.
  • Sign up to the blog to follow our road trip.  Our next journey is to take the airstream into the United States for a road trip!!! <— freaking out with excitement.  We are currently working on a bucket list for my hubby Michael.  He was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.   You can read more about that here. xo
  • See more airstream photos on the blog here.
  • Love Pinterest? Go glamping on Pinterest here.
find-it-here

 Champagne Bronze Trinsic Faucet c/o Delta Faucet Canada  ||   Wallpaper // Gold Knots  c/o Hygge and West  ||  Flock circa throw pillows  White linen curtains  Turkish towels by Tonic Living || Flooring by  Ecolay EZlay vinyl flooring… no glue required for installation ||  Countertops are Formica in glossy white.   We made them by cutting MDF to size, and gluing glossy white formica on top || Brass plated drawer hardware is from Lee Valley

Shop the airstream here:

Happy glamping!!

Lynne

Over to you!  Any questions about glamping/airstream life?   Ask away… xoxox….  I’m here to help and SIP wine.  Wait.  Did I mention the sipping part?  SIP.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Kristy

    June 9th, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Beautifully done! Did you have custom cabinets made for the kitchen or did you modify premade ones?

  2. Lynne Knowlton

    February 27th, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Hi Kristy!

    So sorry it took so long to reply to your question. I somehow missed it! We had our cabinets custom made as the space is so unique we couldn’t find anything that premade would work in.

    Hope that helps!
    Lynne

  3. Niki

    January 29th, 2018 at 9:03 am

    HI Lynne, greetings from Scotland. we have just brought a Airstream… and I have a question for you…..what did you/they use to strip the entire surface of the original clear coat? honestly I was not aware it had a clear coat on it…ours is in good condition but the silver is dull and we want to get a mirror like finish too…. I will be polishing it myself……any tips received gratefully.

  4. Lynne Knowlton

    February 24th, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Hi Niki,
    We had to buy a special remover to remove the clear coat. It is an airline stripper. It was wicked difficult to get but it worked really well. It took about 3474798745735987 hours longer than we thought it would take to strip it and polish it. Worth it, but wow. Work. If you can find a body shop to do it for you at an affordable price… it really is worth it.

    Hope that helps!
    Lynne

  5. Suzanne

    February 23rd, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    Hi Lynne I was wondering about the roller shades in your airstream are they Oceanair? I am looking for a source in the U.S.
    Thanks,
    Suzanne

  6. Lynne Knowlton

    February 24th, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Hi Suzanne,
    The roller shades are just inexpensive ones that we found at home depot. For the curtains, we had them made at Tonic Living in Toronto (they are so pretty!)

    Hope that helps!
    Lynne xx

  7. Robin Briggs

    April 23rd, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Hi,

    Thanks for the great blog on your renovation! I read other blogs which warned of floor rot, copper pipes like swiss cheese in older Airstream models. Did you come across anything like this? Do you recommend not purchasing one that is older than a certain date?

    ~Robin

  8. Rebecca

    April 26th, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    We just purchased a 1976 Airstream with the interior in very good shape. My original plan to gut the inside (before actually seeing it) has been discarded, and I plan on playing off and adding to the original. In regards to all of the roll up doors, do you have a suggestion for the best cleaner?? Also, I see that you seem to have painted the interior of the existing bathroom. Does attempting to paint the roll up doors pose any type of problem? Your thoughts?

  9. Rick Edwards

    June 12th, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Love it, do you have airstream trailers you have done for sale.
    Thanks Rick

  10. Want to live the RV lifestyle? Read how we renovated an Airstream, hit the road and had much needed Cervezas.

    June 19th, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    […] it only took 23,579 hours to renovate the airstream + 458 glasses of wine. I won’t tell you who drank all the wine, so don’t even try to […]

  11. Jeanette

    October 14th, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Hi there,
    Really beautiful and very inspiring. Can you tell me where you bought your oven and hob from, I would love to source for a project I’m looking to do?
    Thanks 😁😁😁

  12. Lynne Knowlton

    November 8th, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Hi Jeanette
    The airstream oven is actually the original 1976 oven and it works great. Perhaps you can find one on some airstream forums ? Best of luck and happy cooking! Lynne

1 2 3

FREE DOWNLOADABLE 

 Sign up! We'll send occasional, inspiringly witty emails with exclusive deals, blog faves, design tips & free downloadable prints.  Like this one!

Unsubscribe at any time. No spam. Not even in a can.

Sign Up