Jamie and John's 1977 Sovereign - Ember Hairstream

If I lived in Colorado, I may make my husband renew our wedding vows just so I could spend a day in this beautiful Airstream. Ember Hairstream, or "The Silver Beauty Queen", is a 1977 Sovereign that Jamie and John, with the help of family and friends, transformed into Jamie's dream mobile salon.

Ember Exterior with Setup.jpg

Jamie has a wonderful reputation as both a stylist and colorist and regularly found herself traveling to do hair and makeup for weddings and special events. In hopes of opening her own salon, she quickly realized that Denver's commercial lease rates were high and that a large number of salons in the area operate at a loss. That wasn't an option for Jamie. So, she got creative, started her search for an Airstream, checked with the state of Colorado to see if she could legally operate a mobile salon, and took a road trip to purchase a trailer in Casper, Wyoming.

Ember Hairstream Before....

Ember Hairstream Before....

Three months pregnant, no experience with trucks, trailers, or renovations, you'd think the odds were stacked against them. But, with vision, determination and a deadline (a baby was coming!), they made the dream a reality.

They purchased this silver beauty in February 2016, started renovating in June and finished in August, just 2 weeks before she delivered her baby.  They did a lot of the renovations themselves with the help of a friend who is a mechanic and carpenter. Jamie's father did much of the upholstery; he refurbished a vintage barber chair which is a perfect centerpiece to the space.

They use the trailer for wedding hair, make up and barbering all over Colorado. Customers also love to use the Airstream for photos and as a dressing room. In Colorado, there are a lot of rustic, mountain, farm-style weddings that lack adequate facilities to get ready. They’ve really tapped into the “high-end, rustic, Colorado wedding” and they are having a blast!

@larissaelizabethphotography@rhemafaithphoto@briannehaagensonphoto

There are numerous highlights to their space; they are very proud of the upholstered shell. It is all the original interior aluminum that they wrapped in recycled leather.  Jamie's dad works in the upholstery/furniture business and he ordered the recycled leather material; they used over 50 yards to wrap the original aluminum walls. 

They love the Colorado style barn wood wall.

Ember Rustic Wall.png

And, the beetle kill wood end cap, specially designed by one of their best friends, is a show stopper! He had no experience with Airstreams and they were completely stumped with what to do with the front end cap which was missing all the interior aluminum when they purchased it. He went right to work with drawings and calculations and completed the end cap in just 2 days!  The beetle kill end caps are a veneer wood that they soaked in water for 30-45 minutes after cutting to give them a slight bend. To secure them to the aluminum, they glued blocks of wood to the aluminum and after those dried, they used a nail gun to secure the bent veneer to the blocks of wood. They used a similar approach on the lower portions of the wall.

Ember Lower Wall.jpg

Their cabinets were purchased at Ikea and the laminate floor and adorable bathroom light fixture are from Lowes.

Ember Long View.jpg
Ember Chandelier.jpg

They enjoyed being creative and brainstorming together how to layout the Airstream for both beauty and function. They have 3 work stations - the Vintage Barber Chair is used as a barbering station and is the perfect backdrop for photos of the bride getting ready. There is a space by the door that they use for styling hair and a space right behind that they use as a make-up station. The back of the Airstream, which was likely once the bedroom, is used to wash hair; it has lay-down shampoo chair and sink but they can also take out the chair and use that space as a dressing room for brides. 

Ember Vintage Beverage Station.jpg
Ember Make Up.jpg
Ember Curtain.jpg
Ember Wash Station.jpg

Jamie gives a huge shout out to local interior designer Megan Daughtry of Second Nature Interior who she credits for being the "brains" behind the whole design. Megan spent countless hours scouring Airstream forums to learn how others had re-done their vintage Airstreams. 

Ember Hairstream was part of over 30 weddings in 2017; it is exciting to think what the future holds. Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous Airstream - it is truly a silver beauty queen!

To learn more about Ember Hairstream visit www.emberhairstream.com or https://www.rockymountainbride.com/blog/urban-wedding-inspiration/

Jim and Marlene's 1975 Land Yacht Sovereign - The Silver Moose

Jim and his wife Marlene purchased their 1975 31’ Airstream Land Yacht Sovereign in 2015 when they happened upon what has become somewhat famously known in the Airstream community as The Silver Moose.  I wanted to know how it was they came to restore this vintage beauty; so Jim was kind enough to let me interview him and share their story.  

Jim and Marlene have two sons; when their boys were young, they spent time camping and enjoying the outdoors in a pop-up camper.  But, when the opportunity arose to sell the pop-up and, for the same price, purchase a timeshare and travel with their boys, they took advantage of it.  Well, the boys are now grown and Jim and Marlene fell in love with camping all over again when Jim built a teardrop camper. But, the small size wasn’t ideal for the long term so they began their search for a larger trailer with more of the amenities of home. The two could not justify spending $45,000 for a trailer they would use a handful of times per year.  At that point, they weren’t necessarily on the lookout for an Airstream. But, an Airstream found them.  They saw a somewhat neglected Airstream for $4500 at a nearby dealership.  Someone had gutted the trailer and had taken it to the dealership to replace the electric jack, water heater and exterior lights. But, the owners abandoned it, never coming to pick it up. That worked in Jim’s favor - he offered the dealership $2000 and they accepted.  

It was a big project - it smelled absolutely horrible, had mice damage, and the only thing left in the trailer was a rotted kitchen.  Jim is a home builder so he had both the knowledge and tools to take on this kind of project. They wanted a different layout than the original design, so they moved the bedroom to the rear, traded the twin beds for a queen and put the bathroom in the middle of the trailer.  After they finished gutting the trailer, they repaired the frame, installed a new subfloor as well as all new plumbing and electrical. With that finished, they had a blank slate. Their goal was to create the feel of a Northern Maine cabin. The interior birch skins are absolutely gorgeous and make this such a unique project. Jim used 1/4 inch birch throughout; bending the boards was initially a challenge. He broke a few and at $65 a sheet, that is definitely a bummer.  He learned that if he got them a little damp, it went much easier. 

17201010_161146844400274_5510874418968661934_n.jpg

All of the maple cabinetry in the kitchen and living room is a combination of store bought and custom. Jim built the boxes and face frames for the cabinets since in an Airstream you are working around things like curved walls and wheel wells. And, he installed cabinet doors that they had purchased.  The warm wood tones make everything feel so inviting and I love the shallow cabinets he built in the living area that house small tables - such a great use of space.  The countertops are all Corian, which Jim built as well.

20160726_215333.jpg
20727062_1902965879720202_1630409765_o.jpg

For the cabinetry in the bedroom and bathroom, Jim repurposed doors he had leftover from other projects and built the cabinetry around them.  

He purchased a new shower pan at Home Depot and built a custom shower using Formica kitchen countertops that looked like granite and fit their decor.  

20170205_064859.jpg

The floors throughout the main part of the trailer are snap together laminate with a foam rubber backing; and the floors in the entry and bathroom are a heavy linoleum (1/8 inch thick) that came in 18x36 inch tiles. They liked how the linoleum picked up the color of the laminate floor. They purchased all of the flooring at a discount flooring company for a total of $180. 

The fireplace fits perfectly with their cabin feel. They thought about refurbishing the furnace, but even if they did, the furnace would still be forty years old. So, they opted for an electric fireplace.  They aren’t boondockers, so an electric heat source was perfectly fine for them.  They can also turn off the heat and just use the flame for ambiance. Nice!!!!

Jim and Marlene’s son can be credited for the beautiful logo work. At college he had access to a laser cutter. Take a look at the Airstream and Silver Moose logos and speaker grills he created. He even made them custom coasters and salt/pepper carrier. The screen door protector was created locally at a friends shop.

fireplace-1.jpg

The couch is a futon they ordered on-line. The aluminum arched legs make it perfect to recreate the arch of the Airstream!  Jim credits his wife for the pillows, clock, shower curtain and all the great moose decor.  They even found moose shower curtain hooks; because they didn’t need all of them for such a small shower, he used them to customize a shelf in the living area.

moose2.jpg

So, how did the Silver Moose get it’s name?  Playing around with names that just didn’t fit, one day Jim picked up a small silver moose keychain from a client. It hit him. He talked with his wife and they both knew that would be the name of their home away from home. 

It is amazing that in his spare time he completed all of this in about 6 months. As a result of this project, the two realized that there was a need to save and repair vintage campers and thus, Silver Moose Restorations was born. Jim will repair, rebuild or remodel any vintage camper. You can find Silver Moose Restorations on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/silvermooserestorations/or visit www.silvermoose.me. Reach out to Jim directly at jroy187@aol.com.

TO POST A COMMENT: ENTER YOUR COMMENT; CLICK POST COMMENT AND THEN ENTER YOUR NAME AND LOGIN AS A GUEST.