Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Design Bucket List #1 - Remodel an Airstream!


Number one on my design bucket list is to decorate the inside of a travel trailer, preferably an Airstream.

Airstreams have been around since the 30's and have recently seen an increase in popularity. Movie stars and designers have snatched up these vintage trailers and turned them in to works of art. Ralph Lauren acquired 4 vintage Airstreams from the 60's, decorated them and auctioned them off to benefit his Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation.

Each of the four trailers had its own theme. This is the "Nautical" trailer with mahogony paneling and an all American decor.

This is the inside of the "Western" Airstream.

The third Airstream is called the "Utility/Surplus," a nod to post WW2.

The last one, and my personal favorite of the four trailers is the "Adirondack." It's like a traveling hunting lodge, which would be great if you are a hunter or fisherman.
As you can see, we're not talking about "trailer trash" here! These vintage, one of a kind Airstreams were $150,000 each!

Mackenzie-Childs also decorated an Airstream. It was available for $195,000 in the 1996 Neiman-Marcus Christmas catalog.

While the inside was just a tiny bit overdone for my taste, it piqued an interest that I have had since to remodel an Airstream or travel trailer.

I found this photo of a Ralph Lauren inspired Airstream. Sorry, I can't remember where it came from, but it is also a favorite. I actually have those blankets, so am off to a good start!

Then there is the tartan caravan!
The husband and wife team of Scotland's ANTA lined the walls of their camper with their own ANTA tartan fabric and took it to a textile trade show where they displayed their fabrics and wares.

There are a few books available about Airstreams. One is Airstream Living by Bruce Littlefield. The quintessential coffee table book that you won't be able to put down.

Airstream, The History of the Land Yacht is filled with vintage photos. A must for the Airstream lover.

I grew up camping. First in tents, until my parents bought a tiny camper. Eventually, they purchased a travel trailer. I still remember wanting to redecorate the interior as a kid. It had ugly brown Herculon fabric upholstery, paneling and hideous curtains! I wondered why couldn't the inside be aesthetically pleasing and beautiful? Why did the manufacturers pick such tacky interiors?

On my bucket list of life, I would love to travel across the United States with Mr. A and the dog and see this country--hopefully in an Airstream! Hopefully in an Airstream that I got to decorate first!

I'm joining Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday.


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28 comments:

Debby said...

Airstreams were made in Jackson Center, Ohio. My mother and my brother worked there may years ago. My mother did the upholstry work and my brother was the personal manager. My parents owned one for awhile. WIsh I still had it. They are beautiful, aren't they. So much craftmanship in those trailers. I hope you get one someday.

Kate said...

My husband I I were just talking about the Airstreams and how folks are refurbishing them. I so enjoyed seeing all of the design ideas. Hope you get to decorate one...how fun!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Wow I wish I had that much creativity. I too would love to travel with my hubby. And an Airstream would be lovely.

Jocelyn
http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com/

NanaDiana said...

I have always loved those old Airstreams. We have looked at them..the only problem with them is if you are 6' tall you can't stand up anywhere except dead center...my hubby felt confined in them....drat! So, as you know, we have purchased The Pearl and are making that into our own little "traveling" world...lol.. I love Ralph Lauren's take on just about everything, don't you? xxoo Diana

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

I'll take two, one for me and my honey and one for the kids. Wouldn't that be so much fun... but with the price of gas, I would hate to pull one. Thanks

Kathysue said...

Delores, My Dad's dream was to own an Airstream. He was quite the camper and they owned a very nice trailor at one time for camping. He never did get his Airstream. It all sounds so fun to me. That one looks like a McKenzie Childs look. Cathy from Mille Fleur would love that one!! Kathysue

Tamra said...

My husband and I keep talking about Teardrop trailers. I love those little things! I've always wanted to redo one of those and pull it behind a jeep with the top down, an ice chest in the back seat and a map in hand with nothing but time and the open road ahead of us.

Sounds like heaven to me.

The Decorative Dreamer said...

I've redone two campers that we previously owned. One was a pop up and one was a travel trailer. They were fairly newer models with standard upholstery that I found just too boring for our camping trips. I redid both of those in tropical themes as that was my decor of choice, then. I reupholstered the seats and added lots of themed decor. We primarily used them for camping trips to the beach so it worked. I have two other camping friends who did the same, one went with pink flamingo decor, the other lighthouse decor. LOL! It was always so much fun shopping for more decor items for our campers. We don't have one now but I do think if I ever owned another I would redo it again to suit my taste. Redoing an airstream would be awesome. I hope you get to do it someday. I love the Nautical one and the tarten one shown here. Very cute!

Marlis said...

I wish for you that your dream come true. They are quite lovely and if you got to decorate it, then it would be even more so. Thanks for sharing this with us. May your travel dreams come true!

Allison Shops said...

It would be so much fun to decorate an Airstream. The Adirondack is my favorite also. I'd love to see one decorated by Ralph Lauren himself.. then we wouldn't fight over the Adirondack camper. ;)

I enjoyed your Rustic Touch post also. It's been a hectic week so far, but I usually visit your blog daily. Always a welcome relief from "real" life!

Thanks for the sweet comment you left on my pantry post.

Allison
Atticmag

Shirley said...

Wow, those interiors are beautiful. I like the more rustic ones the best too, but they are all amazing. The little Airstreams are so cute!

g.suzie said...

Oh, I'm pretty sure you need to
do a redesign on an Airstream!
It looks like a very interesting
project to take on!
We'll be looking forward to your AIRSTREAM POST and also the rest of your Bucket List projects!
Sue

Leslie said...

What great pictures! You can come over and redesign my travel trailer as soon as your done! Love it!

Leslie
Your Newest Follower
Tranquil Acres of Alexandria

carolinajewel said...

I also have a dream of traveling across the continent preferably in an Airstream. We have a pop-up camper and the interior is very blah! Maybe I should start re-decorating it! Thanks for the inspiration.

info said...

Wow! You have an amazing eye for design. I would have never thought to put this on my list of things to do before you die. They are all truly amazing creations. I wish I had one. :(

Designs By Pinky said...

Delores, I hope your #1 dream comes true and we all get to go along during the process as you decorate it!!!! My hubby has always wanted to fly out west, rent a mobile trailer and travel around to the national parks. I hope we get to do it one day....soon! If I got to decorate it first that wouold be MY dream!!!! I loved the Adirondak interior too, my favorite. I have only been camping once...it was in a tent with 2 small children and not very enjoyable:):) Thanks for sharing thes egreat pics! XO, Pinky

Jo said...

How ironic is this, me and MR.NLOL,was on the way into town and noticed a old airstream for sell sitting beside the hwy, and I said, man,I would love to buy that and remodel and see this wonderful country!...I hope you and my dream comes true.
I am new follower!...please visit LazyonLoblolly!...I love your blog!
I'm visiting from OUTDOOR WEDNESDAY!
~Jo
LazyonLoblolly

Linda said...

There's a place in Riverside that refurbishes them and shines them until they are just beautiful...I'm with you...pretty is the way to camp!

Ariadone said...

Wow, this is a fun post...how strange..many of these interiors...

Donnie said...

What fun to go through these Airstreams. I even forwarded it hubby who said he wanted to see them too. Great post.

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

I am so happy to see this post! Those are adorable. My husband and I talk ALL THE TIME about selling it all, buying a trailer, and traveling around the country with the dog. Where would we go, who would we met..the travel bug is deep inside us! Thanks for such an interesting post! Linda

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

I am so happy to see this post! Those are adorable. My husband and I talk ALL THE TIME about selling it all, buying a trailer, and traveling around the country with the dog. Where would we go, who would we met..the travel bug is deep inside us! Thanks for such an interesting post! Linda

Sarah said...

Delores, the trend here in Austin is to set up a food business in an airstream. They pop up on empty lots all over town. ;-)

A Runner's Mind said...

Such a fun idea.....
I see burlap, china, candlesticks, books......can't wait to see your dream come true in a far future blog! Go for it! xo

MasterShake13 said...

I love these pictures - Adirondack and the Ralph Lauren-inspired designs are so lovely! It’s always been my dream to buy a house that needs LOTS of work, and do everything myself – I mean, gut the thing from shingles to floorboards, and really make it my own. Well, I’m finally ready to buy my first fixer-upper, so I’m gathering ideas for my first Northern Virginia remodeling project! Now where to start – kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, living area, dining room…*sigh! It’s so hard to decide. Thanks for the ideas! I’m so excited to get started!! :D

Glimpse of My World said...

You can purchase our 1963 Silver Streak in Texas.. click on my website for contact and more info.... :)

hwylde69 said...

Delores you are a woman after my own heart. I've been wanting to gut & remodel an Airstream for at least the last 25 years. My hubby & I will be celebrating our 29th anniversary next April & we are also musicians. We have talked & talked & dreamed & dreamed about finding an old Airstream that has been stored in someone's garage in immaculate condition, getting it for a song (not literally of course, but that would be even better! ha ha), & completely redoing it from the shell. I have sari fabrics from India, fabrics from Morocco,small carved tables, a carved wooden folding screen, & a huge mirror with a carved wood frame all from Bali & so many beautiful pillows with beads, sequins, embroidery & tassels & beautiful fabrics, & 3 sets of hippie door beads that I made from glass & metal beads that I've made, purchased & saved just for the Airstream project. We wanted to make it look like a Gypsy caravan on the inside because we ARE modern day gypsys in a lot of ways & we are most definitely hippies (no, not the tie-dye wearing hippies *shuddering just thinking about that* ick) in the sense that we are free spirited people that love to meet new people & learn new things (like my newest thing....I want to learn to blow glass!!). Anyway, thanks so much for sharing these amazing photos of Airstream trailers! I have renewed my love affair with them and have been pouring over the classifieds ever since I read this post so I had to come back & comment. Thanks again & I will send up a prayer that your Airstream dream comes true!! Have a blessed day!!!

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