Of all the vintage trailers that are out there, Airstreams are probably the ones that have the biggest mystique surrounding them. Their silvery, bullet-like exteriors are eye-catching, but also known for their durability, and old Airstream trailers have been turned into everything from office spaces to full-time residences.
Husband-and-wife team Patrick Neely and Kerri Cole of Colorado Caravan renovate vintage Airstreams, containers and caravans for tiny house living, pop-up shops and more. Based out of Denver, the couple travels around the country in Bonnie, a revamped, 21-foot 1969 Airstream Globetrotter that also functions as their office and showroom for prospective clients. As Neely tells Dwell:
Most of the phone calls we get [for Airstream renovation projects] aren’t for travel. People call wanting a mobile nail salon or something they can park at businesses. These trailers are so iconic that you can do anything with them. They are a great structure—easy to move and very designable.
The pair bought Bonnie off Craigslist for USD $2,500 -- a real bargain, due to the fact there was water damage and other repairs to made. The two gutted the trailer completely and started from scratch, replacing the flooring, panelling and removing the overhead storage, which really opened the interior up.
The couple kept the one-piece, molded fiberglass shell of the trailer's original "wet bath," and redid the kitchen to include cabinets from IKEA and new walnut veneer countertops. The interiors are painted in a minimalist white to give an impression of spaciousness, and punctuated with small pops of colours, patterns, and textures from the DIY fabric curtains to the leather enclosures and banquette seats.
The layout is pretty simple: a bed at one end, counters to either side in the middle of the trailer, and a multipurpose seating area at the other end that includes a small, removable dinette table. The appliances like the small refrigerator are basic and inexpensive, but the couple spent a little more money to include upgrades like air conditioning and a two-burner gas stove.
All told, the pair spent about $20,000 to renovate the Airstream, which now allows them to visit potential clients, travel and see new sights, while living in their own home-on-wheels. To find out more, visit Colorado Caravan and Instagram.