Before & After: A 1966 Airstream Gets Road-Ready For a Single Mom and Her Son
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Before & After: A 1966 Airstream Gets Road-Ready For a Single Mom and Her Son

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By Kathryn M.
Colorado Caravan reconfigures a 1966 Airstream Safari to hold two beds and a dining bench without feeling cramped.

While many people might steer clear of old, dilapidated travel trailers, Kerri Cole and Patrick Neely of Colorado Caravan prefer to do just the opposite—which is why we've long been a fan of their work. Last year, the Denver–based couple shared with us how they restored a 1969 Airstream Globetrotter on a lean $19,000 budget. Today, they're back to give us the lowdown on their latest revamp: the 1966 Airstream Safari named Margot.

Before:

Before: a look at the trailer's exterior before the major rehab work began.

Before: a look at the trailer's exterior before the major rehab work began.

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For the past three years, the husband-and-wife duo have been remodeling Airstreams for people all over the country, converting them into sales offices, mobile nail salons, bars—you name it. 

With Margot, their client wanted a transportable home for herself and her son to travel in when they came back to the states for the summers.

Before: just as with the exterior, years of neglect left the interior space in a decrepit condition.

Before: just as with the exterior, years of neglect left the interior space in a decrepit condition.

"Our biggest challenge during the project was the layout," explains Kerri. "We knew the client, a single mom, wanted two separate, semi-private bed areas for herself and her 11-year old son—not to mention storage, a place to eat, functional kitchen, and a bathroom with shower. That's a lot to fit into a small space."

Before: the original layout did not include specific sleeping areas, only pull-out bed options.

Before: the original layout did not include specific sleeping areas, only pull-out bed options.

"After a full gut, we were able to stand in Margot and take a look at the needs and wants on the list while asking ourselves: how can each person have their own space?," says Kerri. "How can they eat together without staring at a wall? Do we keep the existing bathroom? How do we fit in all of the storage necessary for full-time travel? How can we do all of this with only 22 feet?"

Before: a peek at the outdated bathroom, located in the back of the trailer.

Before: a peek at the outdated bathroom, located in the back of the trailer.

"We took the time on the floor plan for Margot, and all of the details, to make sure she felt large, bright, and airy."

—Kerri Cole

Before: to meet the needs of their client, the couple reconfigured the Airstream's entire layout. 

Before: to meet the needs of their client, the couple reconfigured the Airstream's entire layout. 

After:

With a stylish blue-and-white palette, Margot now radiates a sense of calm and tranquility. 

With a stylish blue-and-white palette, Margot now radiates a sense of calm and tranquility. 

"I knew the client wanted a blue-and-white interior, along with a feeling of airiness and openness," recalls Kerri. "Being an interior stylist and designer by trade, I knew I wanted to pack a punch, so I kept the palette uncomplicated with a crisp white and a pack-a-punch blue."

Charming and well equipped, the kitchen features a microwave (hidden in cabinetry), plenty of upper cabinet storage for dishes, a stainless sink with pull-out faucet, a double burner cooktop, as well as task lighting. Custom leather pulls add a stylish touch to the cabinets and drawers.

Charming and well equipped, the kitchen features a microwave (hidden in cabinetry), plenty of upper cabinet storage for dishes, a stainless sink with pull-out faucet, a double burner cooktop, as well as task lighting. Custom leather pulls add a stylish touch to the cabinets and drawers.

In the eating area, "a custom table for two provides not only an eating space but also a deep bench to hang out on and watch the TV that is mounted on the opposite wall," explains Kerri. The bench is upholstered with a faux leather, helping ensure any spills are easy to clean up.

In the eating area, "a custom table for two provides not only an eating space but also a deep bench to hang out on and watch the TV that is mounted on the opposite wall," explains Kerri. The bench is upholstered with a faux leather, helping ensure any spills are easy to clean up.

The couple designed the new layout to include a full bed, which is located on the right upon entering the trailer. Here, "a privacy wall at the head of the bed creates a nook with a dimmable reading light. Two long sliding drawers underneath the bed allow deep storage in an otherwise unusable space."

The couple designed the new layout to include a full bed, which is located on the right upon entering the trailer. Here, "a privacy wall at the head of the bed creates a nook with a dimmable reading light. Two long sliding drawers underneath the bed allow deep storage in an otherwise unusable space."

"By placing the twin bed in the back corner, taking up some of the space by the previous bathroom, we were able to fit in a slimmed-down twin," explains Kerri. "Underneath the bed is a full-height base cabinet for clothing, and at the foot of the bed is another base cabinet that is accessed through the bathroom."

"By placing the twin bed in the back corner, taking up some of the space by the previous bathroom, we were able to fit in a slimmed-down twin," explains Kerri. "Underneath the bed is a full-height base cabinet for clothing, and at the foot of the bed is another base cabinet that is accessed through the bathroom."

In the small yet highly functional bathroom, sleek blue penny tiles line the shower, along with a custom stainless-steel floor pan. The couple even managed to integrate other nifty features, including a recessed alcove for toilet paper (to help keep it dry), as well as a bi-fold door for easier accessibility. 

In the small yet highly functional bathroom, sleek blue penny tiles line the shower, along with a custom stainless-steel floor pan. The couple even managed to integrate other nifty features, including a recessed alcove for toilet paper (to help keep it dry), as well as a bi-fold door for easier accessibility. 

Sporting a freshly polished exterior, the newly renovated Margot is now all ready to hit the road.

Sporting a freshly polished exterior, the newly renovated Margot is now all ready to hit the road.

More Before & After: 

An Artful Update Streamlines a Portland Midcentury

A 19th-Century Row House Becomes a Boho Newlyweds’ Nest 

A Brick Church in Quebec Becomes a Resonant Home 

Project Credits:

Builder/general contractor: Patrick Neely of Colorado Caravan / @coloradocaravan

Interior design: Kerri Cole, Kerri Cole Design

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