Before and After: This Tiny Travel Trailer Fits a Family of Five

published Jun 1, 2018
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(Image credit: Heima Photography)

The original aesthetic of this 1984 home will look very familiar to all of us that remember the year—you can almost smell the cigarette smoke!—but it recently received a totally DIY makeover and the results are sweet vintage perfection. Introducing Myrtle….

(Image credit: Heima Photography)

This is so darling. It looks like the mid-century modern home of a family of storybook beavers. It’s just so sweet. It’s a design cliché, but the new white paint makes this petite space feel more open and airy, and does a bang-up job reflecting the light from all of those nice windows. One of the greatest aspects of this makeover is that the adorable stove is finally able to shine; it was impossible to fully appreciate it when it was drowning in paisley velvet, but now it’s properly displayed. Also that little mint pot is cute and I need it.

Sarah Milne, who kindly submitted Myrtle, a 1984 19-foot Shasta trailer she and her husband worked on last summer in Canada, explains that there’s a lot more to this photo than meets the eye:

A little close-up of the “master bedroom.” The sofa expands into a queen bed. The top bunk, where the birch trees are, extends and unfolds into a huge top bunk. We built a sturdy ladder… that allows for easy up and down climbing to the bunk.

(Image credit: Heima Photography)

You can really tell that this trailer received a ton of TLC.

Exterior project details include: exterior paint, reseal, rust treatment and paint on metal window trim, diamond plate rock guard, PVC window awning, all lights replaced, vinyl name decal installed.

On our driveway, we transformed the entire interior and exterior into a modern, fully functional, livable space for our family of five. Through Instagram, we documented in detail the entire process from start to finish to help others along their DIY way, and to demonstrate how it doesn’t cost a whole lot to make a beautiful travel space. Someone’s trash is another’s treasure! We love our Myrtle and hope you will as well.

The exterior mint paint and charming mountain range offer the perfect taste of Myrtle’s interior design.

(Image credit: Heima Photography)

For those of you who are wondering where the fridge is, Sarah explained that it’s hidden with a chalkboard front. The “subway tile” backsplash is adhesive, too.

(Image credit: Heima Photography)

Liked those raccoon mugs in the kitchen? The theme continues in the bathroom. This black-and-white portrait is just right with the birch wallpaper.

I assumed this bathroom was just a sink and tiny toilet, but once again, Sarah reveals there’s so much more:

Myrtle’s bathroom was the biggest, and most costly part of the overhaul project. We kept the original in-wall medicine chest and lower cabinet but the remainder was replaced with new fixtures and plumbing. A DIY pine countertop, @ikeacanada faucet, and small recycled Kohler brand sink we scored at @calgaryrestore finish the vanity. The toilet and 40-inch bathtub were both replaced. One of my favorite DIY features are the upcycled scrap plywood white-washed planks that front the bathtub.

There’s a bathtub?!? That’s some “It’s bigger on the inside” magic (including how a family of five can comfortably fit in approximately 115 square feet) and I’m excited to see more bathroom photos once she posts them.

Thank you, Sarah Milne!