Airstream Renovation: Redesign

One week from now marks three months living in our Airstream - and while that's not a lengthy amount of time, it's enough to know that we need to restructure some elements. We kept our design simple for several reasons, one for beauty (in regards to the overall aesthetic - lines, tones, colors, materials) one of which was frugality, and the other was so we could learn what we needed and be able to add or change things as need be once we actually lived in the space. Neither of us had lived in a tiny space before, and we knew that we might need to figure things out along the way. Leaving out walls, keeping floor space, and not adding in upper elements (cabinets, shelving), could allow us to truly simplify our possessions and start out with much less.

We've already added in a few smaller elements that we haven't really talked about much - mostly due to time constraints, this blog has really fallen by the wayside as we have adjusted to road life. We have added shelving and organizational components within our cabinets, sealed our countertops and cabinetry, and crafted a door for a cabinet we'd previously left open. The door itself is a temporary solution, we've had multiple ideas but can't seem to settle on a design that we love.

We realized how desperately we need a designated table space, especially after hanging out in so many other Airstreams with one...and noticing how we were missing it. If you've been reading for awhile, you may recall my post about letting go of objects in our old house that had meaning - like the big gathering table we designed and built together for our kitchen. We ended up selling it to the new owners of our house, realizing that we built it for that space, for that home. It only seemed right to leave it there. Yet when it was ours, we were always, always at the table together. At our kitchen table, we shared coffee, planned our wedding, researched Airstream renovation information, worked, baked at Christmas, entertained friends, taught Adelaide how to add and subtract, watched her draw there. We talked about us, and life, and our dreams. It was truly the center of our home and naturally drew us in as a family. Not having a table feels so strange, to not have a space where we gather together...we didn't build one, I suppose, because we thought that such a small space would not need that element. We can admit that this was a mistake, and we definitely need a table.

Starting in September, when we return to Portland after our Alaskan travels, we will be working on the following: building a dinette with bench seats and a table (the bench seat on one side will extend out like the newer Airstreams, and will sidle up to our kitchen counter), dividing the back bedroom space, which contains Adelaide's bed, our wardrobes, storage, and the electrical/battery cabinet, from the kitchen space with two walls. This will allow Adelaide (and us) more privacy, and give Adelaide the chance to customize her space more. We will be adding in some lightweight open shelving (to be used only when stationary) in our kitchen so we can have our dishes and most-used items out and accessible. In addition, we will be adding a door to the bathroom, tiling our kitchen backsplash (and possibly adding a countertop), and building some plant boxes so we don't have to move around all of my plants every time we are hauling. We also would like to add a shelf over our bed/the new dinette (there was one there originally in the 1950's, although it had been removed by the time we purchased it). Eventually we will also put a sink and mirror in the bathroom, but we may do that this winter - we're not really missing it, but we'd like to have one eventually. This fall, we hope to install a wood stove as well, to not only heat our small space, but give us a consistent cooktop.

Our home, like any home, is a continual project. For us, that's actually really exciting - we have never rushed or pushed anything before it's time for it, and because of that, we still have a fairly blank slate to work with now that we know exactly what we want. We both love to work with our hands and create and build together. It's fulfilling for us, we love to feel the strength in our bodies and use our brains collaboratively in an effort to make a home that works wonderfully for us. Keep checking back as we begin our next steps of the renovation to see how it progresses and changes in the coming weeks.