In December 2017, Jamie won the heart of Airstream addicts everywhere when she posted the completed renovation of Betty the Airstream. There was an overwhelming interest in knowing how they transformed their 1973 31 foot Sovereign into the beauty it is, so I invited them to tell their story. And, luckily for the rest of us, they accepted.
In 2014, Phillip and Jamie purchased their trailer from a local man in their tiny hometown. He clearly didn't understand the value of what he had and was offering it at a price they couldn't refuse. They weren't really looking at that moment, but knew that renovating an Airstream was something they wanted to do in the future. So, they decided to take advantage of the opportunity and became the proud owners of Betty the Airstream.
After purchasing Betty and doing some preliminary work, they put the Airstream project on hold. At the time, renovations were not something they had firsthand experience with. But that all changed when they purchased a home which was a major fixer-upper. With the help and guidance of Jamie's brother, who is a contractor, they became an integral part in the overhaul of their new home. Once they finished with that and got back to working on Betty they felt a lot more confident. Their trailer was not in horrible condition but it was dated and the 70's models weren't known for the best craftsmanship. The sofa and beds had been pulled out and replaced with cheap futons and a cobbled together booth. So, they gutted it and got to work. They did contract out some of the work. They used P&S Trailer Service in Ohio for polishing as well as utility, tank and awning replacement. But, that still left them with plenty to do!
Their beautiful cabinets were built by a local Amish cabinet maker; the attention to detail and storage capabilities are a site to be seen. But, even with his amazing skills, he admitted that working with the curves and details of the Airstream made it one of the most complicated projects he'd worked on.
They installed a luxury vinyl plank flooring, resembling cork, which they purchased at Home Depot. And, new appliances in the kitchen were a must. They purchased both a cooktop and microwave/convection oven combo. The links to those products can be found here.
You have got to love their use of wallpaper! Jamie fell in love with it and I can see why. She and her dad wallpapered the exterior walls of the bathroom to give the space a pop of color and style. And, chalkboard paint on the fridge provides a fun place to express their personalities.
The boomerang pattern in their Formica dinette table and kitchen counters create a great retro vibe; both were crafted by a local laminate fabricator.
For the interior paint, they prepped the vinyl coated walls with Crud Cutter and a whole lot of elbow grease; then they primed with Extreme Bond Primer from Sherwin-Williams and painted with a standard interior latex called Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint.
The upholstery fabric they chose is Sunbrella and Betty's fabulous pillows and accessories were purchased around town at stores like Ikea, Target and World Market.
If you look closely at the photo above, you'll see how Jamie transformed this now decorative instrument panel from it's original state.
Jamie got creative using a variety of window coverings. She purchased the aqua Spoonflower fabric and sewed curtains for several of the windows. The grey shades are the TUPPLER blinds from Ikea which she riveted onto the skins. And, she made the white shades from plain white blackout fabric sewn in the shape of the windows; she sewed tabs on them to hold them when they are rolled up. She riveted snaps onto the window frames to attach them. Perfect idea to help her little guys sleep after a busy day exploring!
In the bedroom, new bases were built and mattresses were cut using an electric knife to fit the curves of the walls. They created fabric covered headboards and hung adorable vintage looking light fixtures from Ikea.
In the bathroom they replaced the toilet, sink faucet and shower faucet with new fixtures. The sink and shower pan were painted with a Rustoleum Tub & Tile paint kit. The tile walls were created using Smart Tile adhesive tile (https://www.thesmarttiles.com/en_us/). They were a bit concerned because the Smart Tiles aren't made for truly steamy environments, but they read reviews that said the product worked in a shower that wasn't used much, so they went for it and so far so good! The medicine cabinet is from Ikea and the adorable flamingo shower curtain was sewn by Jamie with Spoonflower fabric.
There are so many fabulous little touches that make this trailer extra special. Jamie's dad built a teak shower mat as well as a custom cutting board to fit over their stove. And, Jamie painted Betty a personalized welcome mat.
Jamie and Phillip, what you've created is really special. Thank you for sharing your space and accomplishments with the rest of us. Happy travels! You can follow Betty on Instagram @bettytheairstream.