Before & After: A Classic Airstream Becomes a Modern Airbnb
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Before & After: A Classic Airstream Becomes a Modern Airbnb

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
A Portland, Oregon, couple pushes up their sleeves and completely transforms a 1958 Airstream Land Yacht into a bright and modern Airbnb.

Set under a tall sequoia tree in Portland's Buckman neighborhood, the "Silver Sequoia" is a 1958 Airstream Land Yacht that now serves as a well-planned, contemporary Airbnb. The project took Cynthia Tuan and Shane Beers two years to complete—with Beers dedicating himself full time to his first Airstream renovation project.

Ultimately, the couple met their goal of creating an efficient, tiny living space with the potential for future mobility in mind. "It was important for us to build and create a unique space for guests to experience modern, nomadic homesteading and get a chance to leave a small footprint while they travel," explains Tuan.

The Airstream is parked under a tall sequoia in the couple's Portland backyard.

The Airstream is parked under a tall sequoia in the couple's Portland backyard.

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The couple sought to make the most of the Airstream's aerodynamics and clean lines so that the renovation would remain true to the unit's road-worthy heritage. They chose a neutral/light color palette complemented by reclaimed Settlers’ Plank flooring from local company Pioneer Millworks.

Before: The Floors

The 1958 Airstream Land Yacht was in desperate need an update in order to become a functional and efficient tiny home. 

The 1958 Airstream Land Yacht was in desperate need an update in order to become a functional and efficient tiny home. 

The original interior layout was cramped and the flooring needed an overhaul.

The original interior layout was cramped and the flooring needed an overhaul.

After: The Floors

The reclaimed Settlers’ Plank flooring is from Pioneer Millworks. It consists of a mosaic of hardwood species precision milled in a tongue and groove format that allowed the couple to install the floor themselves. The couple also decided to finish the floors themselves—this photo was taken before the finishing.

The reclaimed Settlers’ Plank flooring is from Pioneer Millworks. It consists of a mosaic of hardwood species precision milled in a tongue and groove format that allowed the couple to install the floor themselves. The couple also decided to finish the floors themselves—this photo was taken before the finishing.

The couple finished the floors with Oxmo Polyx-Oil. "We like that it’s natural and even food-grade safe," they explained. 

The couple finished the floors with Oxmo Polyx-Oil. "We like that it’s natural and even food-grade safe," they explained. 

Choosing the reclaimed wood was an important design decision for the couple—they wanted the space to feel warm and cozy, instead of cold and minimalist. "We wanted the floor to serve as a counter-point to our clean interior layout," explains Tuan. "We love the natural texture and patina of the reclaimed wood," says Tuan.

After: The Living Area

The couple efficiently divided the space to create fully functional zones. This view is from the bed looking towards the other end of the Airstream. 

The couple efficiently divided the space to create fully functional zones. This view is from the bed looking towards the other end of the Airstream. 

Breakfast bar seating lies next to a tiny, efficient kitchen. 

Breakfast bar seating lies next to a tiny, efficient kitchen. 

Ultimately, they were thrilled with the results and the new life they gave this beautiful piece of Americana. "Even though it’s a modern build-out, we didn’t want to forget its heritage. Our Airstream is 60 years old this year! There’s something about the history of reclaimed wood that feels so right in the space." 

A daybed provides a sunny spot for reading and relaxing. 

A daybed provides a sunny spot for reading and relaxing. 

The entryway has a spot for wet shoes and jackets—a necessity for much of the year in rainy Portland. 

The entryway has a spot for wet shoes and jackets—a necessity for much of the year in rainy Portland. 

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After: The Kitchen

The minimalist kitchen features chic ceramics and a matte black faucet.

The minimalist kitchen features chic ceramics and a matte black faucet.

After: The Bedroom

The airstream's stove, heating, and hot water systems all run on propane. Electricity powers important amenities such as the air conditioner and the mini-fridge. Outlets provide extra power to run personal items like laptops and phones.

The airstream's stove, heating, and hot water systems all run on propane. Electricity powers important amenities such as the air conditioner and the mini-fridge. Outlets provide extra power to run personal items like laptops and phones.

A simple platform bed jives with the minimalist design. Caitlin Robinson created the custom window shades.<br> <span style="color: rgb(204, 204, 204); font-size: 13px;">Peter Schweitzer</span>

A simple platform bed jives with the minimalist design. Caitlin Robinson created the custom window shades.
Peter Schweitzer

After: The Bathroom

The bucket sink in the bathroom is from Rejuvenation, and the pink acrylic bathroom door is from TAP Plastics.

The bucket sink in the bathroom is from Rejuvenation, and the pink acrylic bathroom door is from TAP Plastics.

The trailer is hooked up to running water, however it features a waterless composting toilet from Separett. In the winter, there is on-demand hot water for luxurious bathing. The deep, repurposed stock tank tub is one of the couple's favorite things about the renovation.&nbsp;

The trailer is hooked up to running water, however it features a waterless composting toilet from Separett. In the winter, there is on-demand hot water for luxurious bathing. The deep, repurposed stock tank tub is one of the couple's favorite things about the renovation. 

You can rent the Silver Sequoia on Airbnb starting at $58 per night.

Related Reading: A Couple Revamp an Old Airstream Into a Charming Workspace and Home, Augustine the Airstream Gets a Chic DIY Makeover

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