5 Inspirational Small Spaces

Now that you’ve seen our diamond in the rough, take a peek at my dreams for Nellie.

In anticipation of our own Airstream project, I’ve been collecting inspiration for the interior design and style. Throughout the year, I collected various ideas on my Pinterest, but these are my favorite five inspirational small spaces (both Airstreams and Tiny Houses). Together they will shape the renovation and decoration of Nellie.

Throughout the post, I’ve supplied links to my sources if you wish to dive down the Airstream rabbit hole. So, in no particular order, here are my five favorite small spaces:

#1: Happy Camper Airstream

Happy Camper Airstream is the work of the marvelously funny Lynn Knowlton. She began with a 1976 Airstream Sovereign Land Yacht  (the same as Nellie), which she partially renovated (i.e. did not replace insulation, etc.) into the gorgeous Happy Camper Airstream. Lynn kept a lot of the original elements including the turquoise stove and the original couches.

For our project, we likely won’t be keeping as much as Lynn did, but one thing I absolutely adore about her renovation is how she blends modern and vintage elements into a unique and beautiful aesthetic. I also love her use of champagne gold faucets and drawer pulls. They compliment the  original gold on the cabinetry and, as she says they’re, “like jewelry.”

Finally, I love the way the white opens up the space and how it is complimented with pops of color like the couch, the pillows, and the wallpaper. I want to achieve a similar aesthetic in our Airstream. In regards to keeping such a white space clean, Lynn recommends durable paint and linen textiles.

#2: Lucy

When we originally thought we would be building a tiny house, I stumbled across this tiny house built by Tom and Shaye, a couple who’ve chronicled their construction of several ecofriendly homes. Besides a tiny house on wheels, they also have a cob building and a straw bale home. They live in New Zealand and now have a young daughter.

Throughout the design process, their tiny house has probably been the most influential. Both Spencer and I absolutely adore the combination of dark wood, light walls, and pops of color. Their colorful cookware and wood counter tops in particular make me jealous. I also really love the turquoise color inside the pantry shelves and the variegated wood ceiling. While we can’t incorporate everything we love from this tiny house into our Airstream, it’s still incredibly inspirational.

#3: Mavis the Airstream

When I found Mavis on Instagram, several of the things I’ve mentioned before drew me to Sheena and Jason’s project (such as dark wood, light walls, and pops of color), but ultimately it was their ingenuity and creativity that made me stay. The two also write a blog in which they detail their Airstream projects, including unique vent covers. The two (plus their pup Riley) are currently on their shakedown trip.

I have yet to figure out their secret, but I’m continually impressed by the combination of colors and textures they achieve without making the space look messy. Plus, their addition of small vintage or thrifted items throughout the Airstream makes the trailer feel unique and personal without cluttering the available space. My personal favorites are the road sign above their couch and the dolphin bottle opener behind the sink.

#4: A Small Life

A Small Life is a blog run by Melanie, who lives in this beautiful Airstream with her husband George and their dog. I initially stumbled upon her advice for renovating an Airstream and was inspired by her passion for…well…living a small life. Melanie’s blog gave me a realistic view on Airstream life and ultimately inspired our choice. Melanie recently published an ebook full of advice for transitioning to a smaller lifestyle, which I immediately purchased. When initially planning our Airstream project, we looked for rear bath models, intending to follow a similar layout.

One thing that I really admire about Melanie’s design is the way they’ve incorporated hobbies and work into the Airstream. For example, they display their record collection on one wall of the Airstream, including vintage wood drawers. It’s a beautiful addition to their home. George also has his own desk for artwork. Plus, isn’t that just a great chair!

#5: TinCan Homestead

Renovated by Washington couple Natasha Lawyer and Brett Bashaw, this Airstream has slowly evolved over the past year. Once the space was livable, the couple updated incrementally, ultimately creating a usable, effective space which is still evolving. The project was recently featured in Sunset magazine.

My favorite thing about this Airstream are the white-washed shiplap walls. The wood makes the space warmer and more homely. Spencer also loves the hexagonal backsplash. We plan to incorporate both shiplap and hexagons into our own Airstream. One of the most distinctive features of their Airstream is the jungle they are cultivating. At last count, there were 63 plants. Their color palette is largely neutral and so the plants give color.

Tincan Homestead also helped inspire our floor plan, but more on that in another post!

So there you have it. My five favorite inspirational small spaces. Each has contributed in some way to our design conception of Nellie. As we begin our renovation, we intend to create a space which combines vintage and modern elements, dark wood and light walls, and pops of turquoise and tangerine throughout.

I’m so excited!

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