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Interiorssneak peeks

A Dreamy 1962 Airstream Trailer Wallpapered with Florals

by Kelli Kehler

will never forget the first meal she cooked for her young family in their 1962 Airstream Overlander. She and her husband, David, had just reached Colorado in their new-to-them Airstream trailer with son Bear (4) and daughter Ollie (2) in tow — a far cry from their stationary home in Franklin, NC. Bonnie whipped up a modest stir fry using veggies she’d brought along for the trip, still fresh from the family’s garden at home in North Carolina. The distance traveled and experience underway as a family were not lost on her, nor was the pinch-me moment of gathering around the 150-square-foot trailer’s table and taking in the magnificent views out the window.

It was all a dream realized for Bonnie, a surface pattern designer and fabric designer, and David, a fly fishing guide — one that was a decade in the making. “Ever since we got married, David and I have dreamed of owning an Airstream,” Bonnie begins. “For 10 years, we casually looked, sometimes more serious than others. This past spring we decided it was the right time for our family to do some traveling, so we made it our mission to find an older Airstream that had already been updated (we weren’t quite up for a full renovation), but something that I could still update to make our own. On Easter weekend, we found the perfect match. A 1962 26′ Airstream Overlander. The previous owner had done a complete shell-off restoration, so it already had new axles, updated plumbing and electrical, new cabinetry and several improvements. She was the perfect blank slate! We scooped her up, and while looking through the original paperwork, found that a Miss Marjorie had first purchased her in 1962, so in honor of her beginnings, we decided to name her Marjorie.”

Bonnie set out to give Marjorie a deeply personal feel, and one that would refresh and relax the family every time they stepped inside. She used every bit of a four-month stint to update the Airstream, and that came with some trial and error on Bonnie’s part. Being a very artistic person, her imagination brims with ideas, and she’s the first to admit that she needs to see all aspects of a concept come together before she can make a firm decision on it — and Marjorie’s design was no different. An initial plan to stain the kitchen cabinets a deep walnut color and use a quartz for the countertops was scrapped once Bonnie had stained and rebuilt the cabinets completely. She instead opted to stain the countertops themselves and re-sanded and repainted the cabinets in a soothing green tone that plays beautifully off the Airstream’s pièce de résistance: the “Pimpernell” wallpaper by William Morris. “As a surface pattern designer, I also wanted to give a nod to the father of surface design himself by using a William Morris wallpaper,” Bonnie shares. “I find it endlessly inspiring!”

Since embarking on their first trip, the family has clocked over 5,000 miles, taking Marjorie from North Caroline, to Colorado, Yellowstone, Oregon down the coast of California, Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon. The couple’s hopes of simplifying their sons’ lives have materialized before their eyes while also ushering in a world of new adventures and memories. Bonnie tells us, “I am most thankful for what this tiny home represents — the ability for our family to be completely mobile. We can go for a small weekend trip, or set out on a cross-country adventure with our home right along with us. There’s nothing more grand than seeing the wonders of nature and the great outdoors through our children’s eyes!” —

Photography by / @

Image above: “In the Airstream, our community is constantly evolving and changing,” Bonnie explains. “We’ve met people in all walks of life and have savored getting to know them and hearing their stories. Most of all, our children have enjoyed meeting new friends, and have even made some ‘pen pals’ that they’ll cherish for years to come. It’s so sweet!”

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Upon walking in the Airstream’s door, the dining space to the right is a light and airy contrast to the detailed floral wallpaper that lies beyond and to the left.

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“The little dining space is where we spend most of our time, and it’s both functional and comfortable,” Bonnie says. “Though the table does fold down to make a bed, we have found that we prefer to sleep in the sofa area and leave the table intact. It’s where we eat and work, and the kids play and draw! I hung a simple copper pipe from two leather straps underneath the original shelf. When living in such a small space, optimizing every inch is essential! One of the baskets underneath the table holds toys for the kids, the other two are where I place all of the unfixed items during travel so they don’t shift about.”

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The view of the dining space from the kitchen. A light fixture by is both cohesive to the new design, yet inline with the original vibe of the Airstream.

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The view from the blink of a hallway from the bedroom area towards the dining nook.

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Plush pillows by Joybird create a soft landing in the dining nook. The walnut tabletop was made locally in North Carolina by Adam Garret Designs.

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In the small kitchen area, a simple wood shelf pairs beautifully with the Salt Wood Chip backsplash by MUDtile. “The next thing we would like to upgrade would probably be the refrigerator. Though it serves its purpose, it’s outdated and has loose clasps that we have to make sure stay latched during travel.”

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The kitchen workspace features cabinet hardware by Emtek Faucet, a Delta Trinsic Faucet in Champagne Bronze, and cabinets painted in “Light Blue” by Farrow & Ball.

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“I wanted to create a space that felt like a little secret oasis. A place that would allow us to explore the country and where we could rest and rejuvenate from our adventures. Creating a place where our children could nap during the day and workspace that I could use was at the top of our essentials,” Bonnie shares.

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At close reach are all the essentials needed to make a meal on the road.

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“A tiny backsplash sets this space apart and makes it feel luxurious,” Bonnie begins. “The kitchen is delightfully functional and as long as we have water hook-ups, I’ve been able to cook regular meals in it every night. We were hoping to use the original stove, but after finding a small gas leak [we] decided to replace it. Though I loved the original, I’m so thrilled with the new oven – it’s a dream to cook on! The tiny backsplash is perhaps my favorite addition. I think I did more research on flexible grout than I have on anything before. We ended up using Tec AccuColor Unsanded Grout mixed with Tec Acrylic Grout Additive for increase flexibility, and after 5,000 miles, it still looks great.”

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The view from the kitchen into the sleeping area. Of her design process, Bonnie shares, “I always recommend creating inspiration boards for every space before committing to anything. I usually start with a digital inspiration board, then slowly pull together samples, colors and textures to make sure it’s all working well before making any purchases. There will inevitably still be some small changes, but this helps me pull together the overall look and feel early on in the process.”

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A look into the bathroom from the sleeping space.

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Handy storage is found just underneath the sleeping area’s beds. Bonnie tells us, “The flow for our family of four can get interesting in such a tight space, but overall it works surprisingly well.”

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A sleeping space nook and macrame mirror from . “There are two potential places to sleep in Miss Marjorie [the Airstream], one is where the table is, but our favorite is where the two sofas are. I installed a small ledge right beneath the cushion and had a piece of wood cut to match its size. It lives underneath one of the cushions and at night, we slide it out to make a bed. The back cushions fit side by side on top of the wood to make it a complete king size bed! I had the cushions recovered in a rich green velvet-like fabric that makes the space feel so luxurious.”

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“I wanted to make the Airstream light and bright to give us a refreshing feeling every time we open the door,” Bonnie shares.

We use it as a place to rest up from our adventures and plan the next one!

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The William Morris wallpaper inspires Bonnie every day in her daily work as a surface designer and life while on the road. “My heart is filled with flowers and making artwork for companies and products around the world is my happy place. I teach surface design online and have a passion for sharing what I know and inspiring others to follow their own BIG dreams, as well.”

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“I also worked one-on-one with Worley’s Lighting for all of the lights in the Airstream,” Bonnie notes. “After working with Shelli [Worley] on some of the lights for our home, I knew she was my ‘go-to gal’ for the Airstream. She made a few of the backplates and light lengths custom to fit the space just right.”

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A chic sink from , pretty penny tiles on the backsplash, brass faucet and hardware, and a custom walnut countertop make this bathroom feel like it’s anywhere but on an Airstream trailer.

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A glimpse of the bathroom’s penny-tiled shower and adjustable hand shower head by Delta.

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A view down the corridor of the Airstream that encapsulates all of Bonnie’s lovely design choices, from the kitchen’s materials, to the William Morris wallpaper and the sleeping area’s green velvet beds and the gorgeous bathroom beyond.

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The window’s views change whenever Bonnie, David, Bear and Ollie seek out their next destination.

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Marjorie the Airstream trailer, parked in beautiful Colorado.

SOURCE LIST

Note: Links to all of these below can be found .

Kitchen

Cabinet Hardware – Emtek
Faucet – Delta Trinsic Faucet in Champagne Bronze
Cabinet Color – Light Blue by Farrow and Ball
Backsplash – Salt Wood Chip by MUDtile
Walnut Countertops – locally made by Adam Garret Designs
Oven – Dometic Range
Kitchen Sink – Amazon

Bathroom

Cabinet Hardware – Emtek
Lighting – Worley’s Lighting
Faucet – Delta Trinsic Faucet in Champagne Bronze
Shower Faucet – Delta Adjustable Hand Shower
Tile: Lounge – Lyric Wafer Penny Tiles
Turkish Towels – Togar Rugs
Bathroom Sink – Amazon
Brass Towel Holder – Ferm Living
Wooden Tray – Terrain
Walnut Countertops – locally made by Adam Garret Designs

Sleeping area

Upholstery Fabric – Gentle Dream Cargo by Robert Allen
Rose pillow – vintage
Wallpaper – Pimpernell by William Morris
Leather wall pouches – handmade
Lighting – Worley’s Lighting
Macrame Mirror – Amazon
Hardware – Emtek

Dining nook

Cabinet Hardware- Emtek
Lighting – Worley’s Lighting
Flooring – Oak Fortress Rochesta by Kaindl
Baskets – H&M Home
Upholstery Fabric and Pillows – Joybird
Walnut Tabletop – locally made by Adam Garret Designs

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Comments

  • You did a fabulous job on the airtream. It is the kind of decor that would make you love taking a trip in it. You are just as talented as your Mom. I hope you enjoy many years traveling with your new beautiful toy.

  • This is an amazing result and a thrilling inspiration. I am fortunate enough to have a ’64 Safari Airstream which was refurbished by the previous owner in 2001. It’s in (mostly) functional condition, but so very, very dark.
    What Bonnie has achieved here is truly “dreamy”.

  • It’s so gorgeous! What a wonderful space for the family, and the design is just such a reflection of her. (Also: She’s got one son and one daughter, so I think the mention of the sons’ lives may be a typo!)

  • This is just about the loveliest thing I have seen on the entire internet in my entire life!!! I could live in that forever and be happy as a lark. Beautiful work!
    -Terresa

  • Gorgeous!!! I know it can be awkward to share, but I would love to know how much the Airstream cost to purchase and how much was spent on renovations. I have no idea how much a project like this costs and would love to learn!

  • So fresh and calm! What a great place to retreat to. The finishes are so pretty and that wallpaper is just stunning!

  • So pretty, just wondering how you deal with the open shelving in the kitchen area while driving, wont the stuff just slide right off?? Thx!

  • HELLO GORGEOUS! This is such a huge undertaking and every inch is breathtaking. Curious about where the children sleep – in the king with the parents I’m assuming? I’m thinking about the flow to use the potty at night. Mom here ;) Sounds like lovely family times.

  • This is cutter and more functional that most homes ! The kitchen is my favourite part and I love the fact that they went with the bold printed wall paper. Very cute

  • Absolutely stunning! Enjoy Marjorie and the memories you will make. I think I could enjoy camping with a space as comfortable and zen as this one. I really love the wallpaper, add a that pop!

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