Rachael Gibilterrra

1972 Airstream Renovation

1972 Airstream Renovation

In March of 2017, Virgil & I took a plunge and purchased a 1972 Airstream Overlander (27 feet long) to gut, renovate, and travel across the country in. We finished in November of 2017. This is the end result — a petite, charming home on wheels with a bright, airy, minimal-boho vibe. We sold in February and she now lives in Malibu!

Featured on Apartment Therapy.


Interior Design / Woodworking / Upholstery / Material Sourcing / Spacial Design

Client — Self

Year — 2018

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We took the tiny home route for reasons most do — to live more simply and efficiently. Since I have a creative eye for spaces, and Virgil is a handy and talented craftsman, we always knew we'd get into renovating things together


The kilim pillow and shibori throw are both vintage finds. The tea towels on our oven we dyed ourselves — they were favors at our wedding.


We put the most priority on our kitchen/dining space — where we knew we'd be spending the majority of our time. We both come from Italian families and love to cook together. For an Airstream, we have a massive amount of counter space, along with a full-size sink, two burner electric cooktop, 5.6 cubic foot, energy-efficient refrigerator, and a 24" convection oven that we LOVE. It's really functional and spacious enough for us to both be working in there at the same time — just what we wanted! We also have a floor-to-ceiling pantry for dry goods and three huge drawers for the rest of our dishes, kitchen appliances, and drinkware. We also have tons of storage under our bed. For our dinette, we built a walnut table to bring some beautiful warmth to the space, and filled in the u-shaped dinette with plush gray cushions. It's such a cozy space now, perfect for sharing wine and a meal with a few friends. The table telescopes down to create a large couch/spare bed.


Not ones to spend hours in the bathroom (and wanting a sleeping alcove tucked away in the back of the Airstream) we decided to move our bathroom from the rear to the side, and gave it a precious 3'x4' footprint. That tiny bathroom houses a sink, our shower, a medicine cabinet for storage, and our composting toilet! Our bed nook fits a queen size mattress perfectly, and we love how nestled away it is back there.


When you design a space this small and open, it has to be designed as a whole — too much going on in here would be really overwhelming, and we wanted to create a sense of calm that flowed easily from one area to the next by keeping things consistent and harmonious.


The advice I've lived by is to fill your home with items that speak to you, ones that make you feel something. Having such a small space, we don't have the room to fill it with senseless STUFF. I've appreciated this William Morris quote on a whole new level since living tiny, and I plan to hold onto this methodology in all of our homes to come — "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."


Read the full story of our design and renovation on Apartment Therapy.