Before & After: An Abandoned Airstream Turned Warm Tiny Home on Wheels

Before & After: An Abandoned Airstream Turned Warm Tiny Home on Wheels

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Bedrooms
Square feet
225
Sq ft
225

Name: Ashton, DJ, and rescue pups: Deezy, Juno, and Scarlet
Location: Home – Bryceville, Florida; Current – Columbia, SC; Up Next – Houston, Texas
Size: 225 square feet
Years Lived In: 3 months, owned

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Honey” is our 1972 Airstream, an old storage shed turned 31-foot home on wheels. My husband and I both love to travel, and had been looking at ways to save money while doing so. We had recently renovated a smaller camper when we made the decision to look for something bigger to live in full-time, as the dream of living in a tiny shiny home drew our attention. One night around the dinner table with my grandparents, we were discussing our hopeful plans of traveling full time in a camper, when my grandfather (appropriately named PoppaHoney) informed us he had already found one just across the pasture at the neighbors that was the exact size we had been looking for. Shortly thereafter, we towed her over and started removing walls and appliances among other things not so pleasant: mold, lizards, mouse traps… you get the idea. Throughout the next year, we devoted all our free-time to renovating this forgotten beauty into a home, before hitting the road full-time!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My style is eclectic—I love a little bit of everything! Mixing vintage pieces with modern elements is my go to! I love the unexpected balance that results from pairing minimal, clean-lined shapes with more organic boho touches.

Inspiration: I knew with all of the windows in here, I essentially wanted a blank canvas to let the focus be on the landscape outside. The white walls make the 225 square feet seem bright and airy still while making the space seem larger. Subsequently, we went pretty neutral with the larger elements as well and brought in pops of color here and there that would be easy to swap out over time as our style and preferences change.

Favorite Element: My favorite element in Honey is our sleeper sofa. We really wanted leather to be able to wipe off dirt and fur easily, but didn’t like the price that came with it. DJ is a huge bargain shopper and one of his favorite places to patrol frequently is Facebook Marketplace. We found this one on Marketplace for only $150 and discovered shortly after it was over $2,000 brand new, and that is not a price we (and by we, I mean DJ) were wanting to pay for a camper sofa. Not only does leather age well with time, but it also had a brand new queen mattress tucked away inside. This gives us the opportunity to have guests over if needed or family snuggles up front with the pups whenever.

Biggest Challenge: Our biggest challenge throughout the build was without a doubt the shower. There wasn’t a lot of information online in blogs or forums regarding custom building a shower that didn’t involve mortar or a fiberglass shower pan. To top it all off, this was our first time building anything. We learned a lot throughout the reno, but I think our bathroom was the area where we gained the most knowledge from. We quickly understood how pivotal it is to plan out plumbing, how to work together in a really tight space, and of course to tile. We decided to use a silicone based grout in our shower over a lightweight Styrofoam system, by Schluter, to allow the flexibility that the camper requires while moving. Now it’s safe to say the bathroom is one of our favorite areas in the Airstream and it’s even held up through the bumpiest of roads throughout South Carolina.

Proudest DIY: I’d have to say our entire home renovation. Although we had renovated a travel trailer before, it was just minor cosmetic updates and nothing like the full gut job we did for Honey. Though on a smaller scale, I’d have to say our pocket door, no doubt! On the same wall we have our floating vanity, wall-mounted faucet, and sconce. So when I explained our plan to build and install a pocket door between our bed and bathroom, our families laughed at us, saying there was no way we could fit all of that into our tiny little camper wall. It’s no easy task finding room for a track among all the other electrical, plumbing, and structural components, but their doubt made us that much more determined to make it happen.

Biggest Indulgence: Our biggest indulgence was our kitchen countertops. We’d never had nice countertops in our previous apartments and agreed we wanted something high-quality in our first “home.” We knew natural stone would not only look nice, but also provide a more organic touch to the space. We searched through several stone yards and finally found a remnant that fit our budget and look.

Best Advice: Take the leap! If you have ever thought of hitting the road or going tiny— there’s never a time better than now. Although it took us a year of hard work to get Honey road ready, we have absolutely adored our past few months in our home on wheels. It has allowed us to see and explore places we never would have been able to see, all the while having the amenities of home.

What’s your best home secret? Since we have three husky babies who like to leave A LOT of fluff around the house, on our pillows, and rugs, finding an effective way to clean all of these items efficiently was a huge game-changer for us. We had gone through so many lint rollers and were tired of the constant roll changing and waste that comes with it. We found that a really simple way (this is for all you dog parents out there) is to actually wet your hands until damp, and just wipe. If you’re like us, you may have to clean your hands off more than once to get all of the fur up, but this is the most effective technique we’ve found to help handle the shedding.

Resources:

PAINT & COLORS

  • Behr — Dusting Powder
  • Behr Custom Mix — Hillside View, Gazebo Grove, Sycamore Grove

LIVING

  • Leather Sleeper Sofa — Facebook Marketplace
  • White Throw Pillows — Amazon
  • Green Velvet Throw Pillows — World Market
  • Plant Holders/Stands — Marshalls, Ross, TJMaxx, Goodwill
  • Large Woven Basket — Target
  • Sconces — Etsy

DINING

  • Antique Stools — Etsy (Shops: PikesPointTradingCo, CurioCityGoods )
  • Custom Plexi Glass Table — Brad’s Glass Co

KITCHEN

  • Minifridge/freezer — DAEWOO
  • Hardware — Etsy
  • Shelves — Custom
  • You, me & the dogs Sign — Etsy
  • Linear Tile — INAX Tile
  • Turkish Rug — Etsy

BEDROOM

  • Green Striped Pillow Shams — Target
  • Linen Pillow Shams — Target
  • Linen Duvet — Target
  • Olive Throw Pillow — Amazon
  • Copper Throw Pillow — World Market
  • Blue Throw Pillow — Marshalls
  • Lumbar — Etsy
  • Turkish Rug — Etsy
  • Leather Pulls — Etsy

BATHROOM

Thanks, Ashton and DJ!


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