The interior makeover of a vintage 1971 Airstream caravan

Anyone else thinking about the summer holidays yet? I would love to pack up and make a long road trip through Europe, stopping off wherever I fancy, no set plans. Visiting flea markets (of course!) in France, sipping wine in Italy, climbing a mountain in the Alps, going wild at a festival in Berlin. Dreaming… And what better way to do this than to take your own perfect little mobile home with you?

Airstream lettering on the exterior

From drab seventies to striking Scandi

A few years ago I got the incredibly exciting job to redesign the interior of a 1971 Airstream caravan for a client. Oh my word, what a beautiful shiny silver beast. The interior décor was still in its original state and looking very dated. Think brown laminate walls, yellow fabrics, smelly carpets and saggy sofas. My clients, Gavin and Angelique from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, were feeling a bit overwehelmed by the thought of doing it themselves. Where to start? So they called me.

After an initial consultation about what was reqired, I found out they wanted something fresh, ‘Scandi’ style, and also asked for the colours orange and mustard yellow to be in it as well as some retro patterns without going overboard.

I went away and had a good think, creating mood boards on Pinterest and colour schemes to give my clients an idea of what the caravan could look like. I decided on the combination to be hot orange, teal blue and grey, with a splash of mustard and combined with some playful animal/outdoor prints as a reference to the trips into nature they’d be doing in it soon. The fabrics are by Scion (by Harlequin) and Moon, who produce beautiful quality wool materials. The latter being a lovely high quality wool that is perfect for high traffic areas like caravan seating. The Scion patterned fabric was used mainly for scatter cushions but also for a few of the back rests. My clients chose the carpet themselves, which I feel compliments the look perfectly.

The airstream caravan parked outside

The dark brown interior walls of the caravan were painted grey, which made the space immediately a lot brighter and more modern. The mustard coloured kitchen worktop stayed the same, but immediately looked a lot better in its freshened up surroundings.

Before the makeover of the airstream caravan

Before the makaover of the vintage airstream caravanNew interior of vintage airstream caravan

For the sofabed in the front of the caravan I selected a grey wool with a small pattern on the back rest and a lovely deep teal wool on the seat.

For the beds in the back of the caravan I decided to add a bit more fun and pattern, with the back cushions done in different fabrics, stitched together in a contemporary patchwork style. As the cushions are loose they can be moved around and changed position if wanted. The scatter cushions were all made from scraps from the upholstery material that was used on the furniture.

Interior design of airstream caravan with Scion fabrics

The loose Mr Fox cushions by Scion are great to add some colour to the understated sofa bed.

makeover of a vintage airstream

Airstream upholstery makeover
Interior design of airstream caravan

What do the owners think?

The clients were very pleased with the end result. Gavin, owner of the Airstream, said about the project: “This was a challenging project that Nina not only rose to with enthusiasm but exceeded all expectations! An unusual request for sure – transform a very tired old, 1971 Airstream caravan interior from it’s drab, beige Texan original state to something modern and contemporary for a family of four with two young children.”

“We contacted Nina just as we were ripping out the beige shag pile carpet and three original, tired old brown sofas wondering really what we had gotten ourselves into – could this ever be the ‘mobile extension’ of our modern new home? Nina not only rekindled our enthusiasm for the major project with her excitement and ideas but went away and created a number of fantastic proposals, all of which were spot on and all of which were professionally presented. Left to transform the full design of the interior with soft furnishings, Nina by far exceeded our expectations for how a small space could look – the caravan is now our perfect family home from home, doubling up as the perfect business presentation space at trade shows.”

Office inside a vintage airstream caravan

Papillon Landscaping and airstream at the AECC Scottish Home Show

Since then the beautiful vintage Airstream has been on many outings with its owners, who run Papillon Landscaping.  The caravan doubled up as an eye catching office and showroom at the Scottish Home Show at the AECC in Aberdeen.

When it is not used as mobile office space or rented out to others (yes, you can rent this beauty!, owners Angelique and Gavin enjoy taking it on camping trips with their kids around Scotland. And well, who wouldn’t?

Vintage airstream in Scottish highlands

If you would like our help in revamping your caravan or camper van, please get in touch! We’d love to work with you!

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