I have some pretty incredible friends, Karina & Evan, who decided to take on the project of completely remodeling an Airstream while they were dating two years ago. That is some serious commitment and partnership in the person you love if I say so myself! Over the two years that they worked on the airstream, they got engaged and finished up the remodel right before their wedding last month. So for their honeymoon this month, they decided to take their newly improved airstream on a honeymoon road trip! How cute is that! I wasn't able to attend their wedding because I was speaking at the Texas Style Council, but I was lucky enough to get to see them and photograph their gorgeous Airstream when they passed through Seattle. Are you ready for a tour of all of the before and afters? Oh man, there are few things that I love more than an extreme before and after!
April 2011. The boyfriend and I decided that it would be neat to get an Airstream and renovate it. We began by hunting craigslist. We quickly realized that they are very easily snatched up, and we needed to get our game faces on if we are serious about this biz'.
May 2011: After dozens of emails from Evan titled "Oh, look at this one!" and "Want to road trip to Iowa?" He finally sent me one saying "Check out this one!" with the body reading "$4,500 and we pick it up tonight". Luckily we didn't have to pick it up that night, and were able to go check it out the following weekend by having the guy "reserve" it for us. We drove down to the lovely Soledad, CA (It's happening in Soledad!), out to an abandoned dirt lot and saw the beauty that was a 10 year rotting Airstream. We quietly contemplated, "do we want to do this? do we reaaally want to do this?" The tires were flat, the door lock looked like swiss cheese from someone drilling their way in, and it smelled like a gigantic mouse litter box. We left that afternoon, contemplating the price. It WAS a bit over our price range, and it WAS a huge commitment. Over the next week we researched different parts that would need fixing and decided to go with it. We headed down and picked up our new, disgusting, outdated first-adopted-child. We then headed up to my parents house in Nevada County, CA since they have property and my dad has a workshop we could use.
May 2011: Renovation began. We tore out the shag green carpet (It wen't into the bathroom. It went into the bathroom AND up the walls part way.) We tore out the stove, fridge, oven, beds, couch…. everything. We wanted a blank slate. Oh! And the MOLD and dead mice.. So much rotting, molding and carnage. We wore respirators for the first year, immediately stripping and showering right after. I wondered if we would ever feel safe to breathe normally in the Airstream.
Over the next year and a half, Evan and I headed up to work on the Airstream about once a month.
November 2012: Evan proposed and we decided to get married the following August. We also decided that it would be awesome to honeymoon in our Airstream. The only issue here was that the inside was completely gutted, the windows leaked, and the Airstream was no where near ready for being "road worthy" (read that as Safe To Drive With Out Dying or Seriously Injuring Others While Driving).
Nov. 2012 - August 2013: Thus began our crazy hustle and bustle to finish the job we had started. For the next 9 months we would spend the majority of our weekends making the 4 hour trek to go work on the Airstream, rain or Shine or Blistering 100+ degree weather. We renovated the heck out of that old beast. Literally, the only things that are original are the kitchen sink and the overhead cabinets (that really, you can hardly tell are original due to the facelift we gave those puppies). We replaced the rotting floor, took down the vinyl/aluminum walls and replaced the fiberglass insulation with styrofoam insulation, re-plumbed, re-wired, built cabinets, designed beds, painted, floored, tiled. We did EVERYTHING, not alone of course. The amount of help we got from family and friends is INSANE. It probably would have taken us several more years to finish her if we didn't have the help we did. :)
Moorea: This is probably my favorite part of their whole airstream. They turned their bathroom into the prettiest bathroom, from ugly yellow plastic & fuzzy green carpet to beautiful blueish tile everywhere! It's way cuter than my apartment bathroom, that's for sure! And if you study the photos below, you can see that they spent a HUGE amount of time just cleaning up the exterior of the Airstream. Look at it shine now!
Thank you so much Karina & Evan for letting me photograph your beautiful fresh and new traveling buddy. Your hard work over the last 2 years definitely paid off! Cheers to your marriage and all of the exciting adventures that lay in wait for you and your airstream :)