Before & After: Augustine the Airstream Gets a Chic DIY Makeover
When traveling couple Nate and Taylor Lavender were dating and living in Florida, they purchased a 34-foot, 1992 Airstream Excella 1000, which they renovated and affectionately named Augustine the Airstream (after the city of St. Augustine, Florida, where they found her on Craigslist). They have since moved Augustine, themselves, and their Goldendoodle named Summit, back to West Virginia—where both their families live—and are now happily married and fulfilling their tiny home dreams.
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Before: Kitchen and Dining
After: Kitchen and Dining
Before: Living Lounge
After: Living Lounge
The Lavenders liked the original Airstream cabinets in the kitchen and bedroom, so rather than replace them, they sanded and painted them, and added new hinges and handles. The metal backsplash also helps to break up white walls and define the kitchen zone.
The Lavenders removed all the existing bedroom elements and replaced the subfloor, and Nate built a new queen-sized bed frame, which he installed in the bedroom.
"Beddy’s bedding makes it 10 times easier to make the bed. A simple pull of a zipper and the bed is made—something imperative for keeping a small space neat," says Taylor.
"Our mattress sits snug inside a table-top frame and underneath is a storage area. We also replaced the couch in the front of the airstream and built a two-tiered bookshelf for extra storage," says Nate.
They swapped the original toilet with a compost toilet instead. "We are really into the freedom it provides and don’t want to deal with the black water tank and worrying if we are ever in a place where we can’t empty," says Nate.
In the bathroom, tongue and groove planks were used to create what Taylor refers to as "a pseudo-wainscoting feel". A new custom countertop, and porcelain vessel sink purchased through Amazon were installed in the space. The floor of the shower area is covered with treated wood planks, and the walls were re-finished with marine paint to give it this area a spa-like feel.
During the course of the DIY renovation, the couple encountered a number of challenges, which called for creative problem solving. Nate had to rework and update the plumbing in both the kitchen and the bathroom, and the exterior of the Airstream needed a good polish.
"We love napping under the tin roof during the rain, and the natural light that pours in every morning while we drink coffee. We love having only the things we need and nothing we don’t," says Taylor.
"Living in Augustine makes flexibility a priority. We wake up every day reminded that, by sundown, we could be halfway across the country, or not. We could chase the seasons or sit still and watch. Augustine is freedom in a tin can," says Nate.
Interior design: Nate and Taylor Lavender
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