I'm so excited to be sharing this next beautiful Airstream. David and Shelby are starting a new adventure with their sweet daughter Reagan and English Golden Retriever, Harley. They have decided to live and travel full time in a 30' 2000 Excella they call Eleanor. They took a trailer that had great bones and gave it their own personal touch - it looks amazing! Here is David to tell you their story.......
Shelby and I were living what most would think was the American Dream; we had a beautiful house in one of the nicest suburbs of Atlanta, we both drove luxury cars and had great friends and family close by. But, we made the decision to change our lifestyle because as a family we value experiences and want to be able to spend as much time together as possible, making the most of all there is to see and do in the world.
I work in wholesale sales for a large woman's accessories company and Shelby helps with my work while taking care of our (almost) 2 year old daughter, Reagan. During a recent month long trip we started talking about how much there is to see around the country/world. A few weeks later we made the decision to move into an RV; it took us a little less than a month to sell both cars, the house and everything inside. And, during that short time, we located, purchased and began renovating our new Airstream home. Once we put the house on the market, we starting searching for the perfect Airstream. We found one about 4 hours south of our house, so we woke up early one morning in order to be there by noon to meet the owner. The trailer ended up being in much worse condition than advertised and the buyer wouldn't negotiate on the price. We left disappointed and decided to get breakfast before heading home. Checking Craigslist one more time before we left turned out to be a great decision; another Airstream had just been listed about 20 minutes down the road. We called the owners and were there in less than 30 minutes. We fell in love and bought the Airstream on the spot!
Once we got it back near our house in Marietta we decided to change a few things, starting with the flooring. We ended up finding some compromised subfloor and faulty plumbing. We repaired the subfloor, changed the plumbing and then started the upgrades. We painted all the cabinets white and added flat black cabinet and drawer pulls. The paint has been one of the bigger challenges - we purchased high quality primer and paint and it has still taken four coats to cover the existing grey paint. We continue to find places we need to sand and touch up. It's definitely a process.
Shelby put in a tile and marble backsplash in both the kitchen and bathroom using a flexible silicone adhesive and grout. The backsplash was purchased from Floor & Decor and is called Mystic Lantern Glass Mosaic. We had new neutral colored wallpaper installed on the other walls in the living area.
We removed the old countertops and replaced them with American black walnut butcher blocks. We purchased the butcher block from Floor & Decor; they came in pieces that were 96" x 25" so we needed 3 pieces. One we cut down to size for the kitchen counter on the sink and stove side. We needed 10 inches from one of the slabs to make the kitchen/dining counter (it needed to be 96" x 35"). Then we used the remaining piece to cut out the bathroom countertop. Getting this angle right was definitely a challenge. They came as raw black walnut butcher blocks, so after a lot of sanding, we finished them by letting mineral oil soak into the wood in order to repel water. We then put a beeswax top coat for even further protection.
We changed the kitchen sink from a double basin sink to a larger single basin sink with a flat black faucet to match the cabinet pulls, and added a new stainless steel 4 burner stove. We carried the look into the bathroom, by installing a stainless steel sink and flat black faucet.
We removed the laminate flooring and put in a darker waterproof vinyl plank with new 1/4 round throughout. We purchased the flooring at Home Depot; it is from the Home Decorators Collection in Java Hickory. We replaced all the speakers and the head unit for better sound quality, and of course put in a new memory foam mattress!
We plan to continue to update as we live in the Airstream full time and figure out what works and what doesn't. We are adjusting to life on the road; we knew going into this that living in a small space with our two year old daughter would be one of the biggest unknowns. But so far everything has gone really smoothly. At night she sleeps in a foldable portable crib (made by a company called Guava). It folds up really small when not in use. When she's ready for a toddler bed, we'll add a privacy curtain and transition the sofa to a bed. During the day she naps on our bed which has worked out really well for all of us. She loves being outside, swimming, going for hikes and learning to ride her new bike. This lifestyle is definitely keeping us all more active. We are currently in Florida, and once we finish our loop here we plan to head north!
David and Shelby, thank you for sharing your story. It is absolutely unbelievable to me how quickly you turned your vision into reality! Your family will make beautiful memories on this journey. Eleanor looks fabulous. You can follow David, Shelby and Reagan on Instagram @findthegoodchasethewyn.