Before & After: Melanie and George Makeover (and Move Into) an Airstream

Before & After: Melanie and George Makeover (and Move Into) an Airstream

Janel Laban
Sep 2, 2014

Renovation by: Melanie and George
Location: North Carolina

Last year my husband, George and I decided that we were sick of living paycheck-to-paycheck. We wanted a chance to get out of that lifestyle and a chance for George to pursue his art full-time. So we somehow got the crazy idea to live in an Airstream.

We bought a 1978 Airstream Sovereign from a Craigslist ad for $5,000. We pulled the Airstream to land that is in my husband's family. The land formerly housed a single-wide trailer, so it was perfect for our setup. We started renovation work in the heat of a Southern summer. I don't recommend anyone fix up what's basically a large tin can in 90+ degree heat.

We didn't budget a great deal of money to fix up the 1978 Airstream— just $1,000. Unfortunately, we did go over our initial budget by about $500. It took way too many coats of Kilz and a bright white paint/primer to cover the walls. To save on furniture costs and lumber my husband custom-built much of our furniture from old barn wood or discarded lumber. To decorate we used things we already had from previous apartments or DIYed it— like the curtains and the pillows.

To be honest, we didn't do much to the outside of the trailer. We simply washed it and buffed it. We also sealed all the windows and around the doors. Airstreams are notorious for leaking.

I'm so proud of how our Airstream went from a place where I thought I might get tetanus to a warm, comforting home.

See more from Melanie and George on their blog: A Small Life

Thanks, Melanie and George!

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