Are you even READY for this?
Going through the images of all the work that we’ve put into the Cheerstream Makeover, I can honestly hardly believe the transformation. (Go back and read my Design Plan post if you want some backstory!)
I mean, I’ve been following other trailer renos on social media for the past several years, gathering up tips and tricks and inspiration and, you know, just generally growing my sense of total overwhelm for this project. But I don’t know if I could have dreamt how beautifully it would turn out.
In the beginning I think our hardest mission was finding someone who could actually help us.
It’s not a home and it’s not a vehicle.
It’s not something just any old contractor wants to take on and, as ambitious and able as Melissa and I are, there are a LOT of unknowns when working with something as old and unique as this 31 foot, 40 year old Airstream International.
Like, what exactly is this for example?
I got rid of it.
We were honestly pretty fortunate not to uncover too many obstacles that couldn’t be tackled.
The worst of which was the floor in the bedroom, which we ripped up, replaced with new plywood and insulation and built a bed frame/storage unit on top of.
I did keep this slipper I found as a memento of uglier times though.
I may bronze it.
I know you just want pictures so I’ll try to plow through this as best I can for you.
Here is what the Cheerstream looked like when I got my hands on it:
It belonged to Etsy Canada and they used it for a season or two as a sort of moving back drop for an event called the Etsy Road Trip.
They travelled with it across Ontario and Quebec and would set up outdoor craft markets featuring local Etsy sellers, musicians and food trucks.
I was part of the event here in Ottawa and half-jokingly commented to one of my Etsy friends that if ever they wanted to get rid of it, I would love to know.
Fast forward about 4 years and this beauty was bombing down highway 401 toward it’s new home here in Almonte.
It was wrapped from bow to stern with Etsy’s signature orange vinyl so we quickly began peeling it off.
Fortunately it was summer, and super hot so the vinyl actually came off pretty easily.
Easier probably for the girl behind the camera than the Brad doing the lion’s share of the work…but still. Super easy.
Then summer ended, as summer does, and we had to store it for the winter while Melissa and I got our design plans together and our contractors lined up with some help from our friend Kimberly Kostuch at KKI Designs (who did our kitchen reno btw).
THIS summer, when the old babe was taken out of storage, we were ready to roll.
I ripped out all of the dirty old stuff like the beds, scary bathroom accessories and pull-out couch to find a whopping total of 3 dead (possibly blind, I do not know nor do I CARE) mice and a too-big-to-belong-to-a-mouse-blind-or-otherwise pile of turd in the upper kitchen cabinets.
It’s very difficult to photograph such a small space, so here is a montage of before pics off all the things I trashed.
That couch is the single heaviest item of furniture I’ve ever wrestled with.
Also, is that not the scariest blanket? Like WHAT is under that thing?
I’ll tell you what.
Mouse turds. That couch was a regular turdapalooza.
Once the demolition was done, our amaaaaazing contractor was able to get to work patching holes, replacing the floor and building us a big ole platform bed/storage space.
We decided that if we wanted to make this a place we’d actually like to sleep then we should upgrade the double twins for a nice comfy queen sized mattress.
Who doesn’t appreciate a bedroom with a toilet amiright?
We also high tailed it to Ikea to buy the cheapest cabinets we could find so that our contractor could have a base to work with.
Never one to make two trips, and despite the unconvinced looks from fellow Ikea parking lot patrons, we got creative with the packaging and somehow managed to fit an entire couch and three base cabinets into the back of my Mazda CX9.
I, however, had to sleep in a parking lot.
There was just no more room.
I knew from the beginning that painting this thing was going to be one of our biggest jobs and obstacles.
40 years of camping and cooking grime on a yellowing vinyl interior was going to take research, some prep, serious patience, and a whole lot of high quality paint.
Before painting (as much as I hated every minute of this part) I cleaned all of the walls with TSP and then RE-cleaned them and then wiped them down with warm water.
Fortunately(?) it was hotter than the bottom of this 7 year old laptop in there, so drying didn’t take long and we were off to the painting races in no time.
For this project we used the following Valspar products to prime and paint the space.
The spray paint we used to get the seams, hard to reach spots and various elements like the bathroom shelf we picked up at Value Village and the sliding accordion cupboard doors you see behind us.
Although the prep and paint of this project was perhaps…hmm…let me think about it…yep, the least fun part, it DID give us the greatest transformation.
AMAZING what a good coat of white paint can do!
And now, without further adieu, we begin our BEFORE and AFTER tour.
Let’s start at the back of the bus.
Mmmm romantic, mouse chewed single beds atop a murder carpet.
Because we have so much going on with the GORGEOUS wallpapers you’re about to see, I wanted to go pretty white in this space with the paint and bedding.
But there’s definitely no shortage of colour thanks to our Spoonflower pillow selection. (left to right: Golden Rod & Blush, Pink Mustard Brush, Abstract Geometric Mini Check, Tropical Geometry in Yellow)
It was really challenging to photograph such a small space, so although you can’t see the wallpaper in the bedroom from the front of the vehicle, it’s there!
Oh it’s there.
This paper is Rhapsody in Beige and Teal by Spoonflower and I just love how “modern retro” it is.
We found these little pendants on Amazon here.
Now you KNOW I prefer to shop locally, but finding the right hardwired sconce WITH a pull chain (there are no light switches in this bad boy) was a challenge.
Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
Fortunately, we atoned for that sin by DIY-ing the heck out of the ceiling pendant.
I made that pendant!
Melissa held my hand, but I made it.
It’s literally two lampshades woven together. YOU CAN DO IT!
On to the bathroom!
First of all, I think we can all agree that other people’s bathrooms are gross.
Add to that the fact that this one is 40 years old and mostly yellow?
We did a lot of research before painting this horror story let me tell you.
In the end, we added some really really fun wallpaper, matching penny tiles and a brand new modern Delta Faucet Canada Premium Single-Setting Adjustable Wall Mount Hand Shower and heck!
I might even PREFER to take a shower in here!
We also added the Delta Faucet Canada Lahara bathroom faucet which really helps to modernize the space and still works with the existing counter and sink.
Hard to believe this is the same bathroom!
Pretty undeniable that the Swimmers wallpaper from Spoonflower steals the show in this space.
Beyond the wallpaper, it really is mind-blowing how much just some fresh paint can transform a space.
We partnered with Valspar Paint for this makeover and although we used their basic, un-tinted white for 90% of the Airstream, I had to add a pop to the bathroom.
I wanted something that could tie together what was going on both inside and outside the room, which truly wasn’t easy with all the fun patterns we have going on.
It had to match, but like, not match you know?
Yeah, I didn’t know either, but Melissa is great at this stuff and landed on Lake Breeze for the sliding cabinet and rolling door.
All Valspar paint colours are available at Lowe’s Canada.
We purchased door track hardware from Amazon (this is what we bought) and sprayed it with some Valspar gold spray paint so it didn’t stand out as much.
The first thing you might notice is that I kiboshed the stove.
I just don’t see myself using a stove in such a small space (during BBQ season no less!) so I opted for more counter space and we got a hot plate for rainy days.
Did you spot my new fridge ?
That was my first (and possibly favourite) purchase!
I can’t even either.
These counters are a major Ikea hack and we were lucky again to partner with Delta Faucets Canada who provided us with new faucets for the kitchen and bathroom.
Man, what a difference changing your faucets can make!
They’re such an easy upgrade or good place to start if you don’t have the budget to do the whole space.
We chose the popular Trinsic Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet in Champagne Bronze. The very same one we used during our kitchen reno.
Paired with a modern white sink, the kitchen is…well…it’s basically unrecognizable.
Melissa added some vintage flare (as Melissa is so so good and doing) and I think it’s fair to say that, with the addition of this UBER CHEERFUL wallpaper ever from Spoonflower (Blush & Golden Rod), we have majorly “Upped the Happy” in this place.
We partnered with Spoonflower on this project and truly based most of our design decisions around the amazing artist submitted wallpaper patterns we found on their site.
If find starting with patterns and colour palettes you’re attracted too is always a great place to start design projects.
If you have a few hours to kill and want to get lost in a rabbit hole of amazing inspiration that’s the place to go.
Last but not least…the LIVING ROOM!
The plan for this area changed a few times.
Originally I was thinking of putting a telescopic dining table but wouldn’t ya know it, that’s not an over-the-counter product (weird).
I also figured we would be mostly eating outdoors and I wanted to maximize the amount of sleeping space for when we take the family on the road.
Here’s what it looked like before:
We decided to leave the living room as is to maintain some of the vintage integrity of the space.
Don’t worry. That bed pulls out and if you sleep on the right side you can hardly feel the springs.
So much more inviting right?
The sofa is from Ikea and turns into a double bed with storage for sheets and blankets. (So much cozier than the cardboard box it came in!)
The whole Airstream got some new vinyl flooring that we picked based on what was on sale (cuz that’s how we DO) but then splurged on this crazy cool lighting, designed specifically for RV’s (aka switches built in) by Lucent Lightshop.
We added a wicker coffee table, that doubles as storage (it’s hollow), some plants and touches of whimsy with accessories both found and new.
And that’s it kids!
I hardly know what to do with myself now that this project is over.
I mean, besides like regular work.
It’s interesting when you take on such a lofty project and work on it for so long.
When it’s over you flounder a bit. Maybe we’ll get another one huh?
The Cheerstream will likely go into storage for the winter, but we hope to get lots of use out of it next summer and are considering renting it out to visitors (it IS poolside afterall!).
It still needs a polish and we’ll be adding a yellow strip of vinyl and maybe some lettering on the exterior next spring.
But for now I think we’ll just revel at the fruits of our labour and dream of all the adventures we’ll take.
Thanks for reading if you made it this far!
I’d love to know what you think!
xo Em (and Melissa)