Before and After: A 1963 Mobile Home Gets a Fresh, Fun Facelift

Before and After: A 1963 Mobile Home Gets a Fresh, Fun Facelift

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Name: Kat H. and Pomeranian pups: Mandy, Bubba, and Perri, and a rabbit, Chloe
Location: Aptos, California
Size: 1140 square feet
Type of Home: A 1963 “Budger” Mobile home
Years lived in: 3.5 years, owned

My partner and I had recently finished an extensive remodel of a big house and then we split up. That experience led to a search for a new smaller home. My search was a process both physically and mentally as I previously had not considered a mobile home due to the negative stereotypes. However, my budget was limited and my “musts” included staying close to the ocean, not sharing any walls, parking space for two cars, and a yard for my dogs. This filtered out most apartments and condos. I am quite content with where I ended up and love my mobile home aka “the Budger.”

Credit: Suzanne Yeager

I picked this “Budger” [mobile home model] because it is in a great all-ages park that’s very safe and spacious. It also had good bones and came with an underutilized large yard. It was almost all original elements, including wood paneling, built-in cabinets with cool bottle glass, and other ‘60s details, so there was opportunity for me to have some fun with it. There was a solid shed that was used for storage and I turned that into my office. When we’re not out and about on my cruiser bike, my pups and I enjoy playing in the yard. Pre-pandemic, I had friends over for a glass of wine by the fire pit or on the deck. Indoors, I like to dance to ’80s music or curl up on the couch with a good book or watch Netflix.

Credit: Suzanne Yeager

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Comfortable, practical, eclectic, modern retro. I like different materials, especially natural ones including wood and cotton. Colors are fun and I try to incorporate as many as I can in a theme through textiles and art.

Inspiration: Before & After: Mobile Home Goes Mod on Apartment Therapy, Tiny Homes, The Minimalists

Credit: Suzanne Yeager

Favorite Element: My kitchen, where I embraced the smallness of it and made it feel bigger with downsized appliances and open shelving.

Biggest Challenge: Everything had to be touched because the home didn’t have a good flow and it was a little overwhelming as I had to live there during construction. I overcame this by doing it room by room, looking for inspiration in many images, visualizing the end goal, and deciding quickly on materials.  

Credit: Suzanne Yeager

Proudest DIY: I assembled my large and heavy bed frame by myself.

Biggest Indulgence: Smeg refrigerator. It is so cute but not that great functionality wise despite the wine rack. I would go with a clean stainless steel fridge next time.

Credit: Suzanne Yeager

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? I converted the storage shed into a home office by insulating and finishing the walls and roof, adding a window and electricity.

Credit: Suzanne Yeager

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? My favorite products I have bought for my home are:

  • Artwork by Doug Ross – He’s a Santa Cruzian and has some really fun ocean creatures
  • Lee Industries grey sectional couch – I love sectionals for their flexibility and the semi-chaise lounge
  • LG washer dryer all-in-one combo – My home didn’t have a washer and dryer so I installed this in the main bedroom closet and it takes up half the space, doesn’t require an outdoor vent, and is gentle with my clothes.
  • Method Home cleaning and laundry products – These are my go-to as they are kind to your things and look and smell lovely.
  • Land’s End Waterblock door mats – Great for puppies and humans in a coastal climate
Credit: Suzanne Yeager

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: I try to declutter my drawers frequently and to keep my surface areas clear. I’ve been getting rid of things using the Minimalists’ 90-90 rule (it’s out if I haven’t used it in the last 90 days or if I don’t plan to use it in the next 90 days). I like to take photos of my space because they offer a different perspective and I notice things in a photo that I may not see while standing right in front of it. Rearrange your furniture to see if it freshens things up and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Credit: Suzanne Yeager

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Embrace the age of the home and highlight cool features of that period. And improving curb appeal is my favorite thing to do first. You see it all the time and it will motivate you!


Credit: Suzanne Yeager


Credit: Suzanne Yeager


  • Sectional sofa — Unknown, bought at consignment
  • Faux fur cushions — Pottery Barn
  • Dresser — CB2
  • Eames replica lounge chair
  • Vintage chair
Credit: Suzanne Yeager


Credit: Suzanne Yeager


Credit: Suzanne Yeager


  • Textured Tufted Queen Bed Frame — Cost Plus
  • Vintage chair
  • Leather Pouf — CB2
  • Dark brown convertible sleeper — Room and Board (new version)
Credit: Suzanne Yeager


Credit: Suzanne Yeager


  • Desk — CB2
  • Filing cabinet — CB2
  • Chair (new version) — CB2
Credit: Suzanne Yeager


  • Standish Patio furniture — Target

Thanks Kat!

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.