Before & After: An Airstream Trailer In Seattle Gets a Complete Makeover

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Living an in alternative home might not be for everyone, but for Natasha Lawyer and Brett Bashaw, renovating and living in a 1972 31-foot Airstream Sovereign has only brought them closer (no, really, they share 200 square feet). “We started with our mutual desire to see the country,” Natasha recalls. “Last year my husband Brett and I bought a 1978 Volkswagen van, converted it into a camper, put everything we owned in storage and handed back the keys to our apartment. We traveled for six months living inside our Volkswagen which we christened with the name ‘Wes Vanderson.’ We began by crossing Canada from West to East, ending in Newfoundland and then headed South entering back into the United States in Maine and continuing our journey through the States. We loved the alternative way of living, and as our trip started winding down, we began talking about how we could live differently when we returned home. After such a transformational trip we didn’t want to simply return to regular life as it was before, as though our amazing journey never happened. We got the idea of renovating an Airstream to live in from lovely nomadic Insta-friends, Birch and Pine and started planning for it during the tail-end of our van trip. Eventually we sold our van through our Instagram account, bought a tow vehicle for our pending Airstream purchase, and headed back to Seattle. We purchased a gutted Airstream in Portland on the way home and started work on it in February of this year.”

Natasha and Brett have scrubbed, primed, painted and installed to transform their Airstream into a beautiful home for them, their two dogs and 59 plants! Taking Natasha’s art background and mixing it with her two years as a display designer for Anthropologie, the couple had the ground work for diving into the renovations. “We had Natasha’s Dad come help put up walls, wire, and guide us in the plumbing of the Airstream and then we started on cabinets,” they tell us. “When we moved in here, we had no running water, but after living in a van for six months it just felt like so much space for us! Since February we’ve gradually put up walls, built a closet, got the water running, installed a toilet and sink, built cabinetry, a daybed, added shelving, tiled a backsplash, whitewashed walls, installed fixtures, and have continued to add to our home by planting a container garden and building a patio outside. We’re eight months in and we’re about 75% finished at this point. As we’ve started wrapping up most of the major work on the interior, Brett has begun working on the exterior; buffing the aluminum to a mirror shine.”

I hope you enjoy this makeover as much as we do. It’s truly a beautiful transformation to take a gutted, moldy Airstream and turn it into a warm and inviting home. —Erin

Photography by Natasha Lawyer

  1. Lin says:

    Amazing transformation! So stylish and chic!

  2. Romany says:

    Absolutely LOVE this!

  3. rktrix says:

    Great space and a great starter home! Kudos!

    A couple of questions:
    When you work with framing a new wall into the trailer (say one of the side walls of the bathroom), do you work with slip joints between the trailer and wall framing to allow for movement?

    Did you find any books extremely handy during your project? A trailer wiring and plumbing hand book? A zen guide to trailer maintenance?

    Thanks for a great project write up, and good luck in your new home!

  4. Kiki says:

    this is simply awesome. i love everything you did and your boundless enthusiasm springs out at the reader. aND the plants… goodness me – you are fantastic. many moons ago I travelled in a 3rd hand VW bus for 5 months, and knew after that experience that I was done with ‘camping’….

  5. Sarah says:

    This is gorgeous and so inspiring. We are currently renovating a 27′ 1976 Airstream Overlander and hoping to be ready for the road by May. Did you document any of your projects on the Airforums? I’d love to follow your renovation more closely, if so! Many thanks and happy living!

  6. emma says:

    This is insane! Absolutly love it! x

  7. Toomuchsugar says:

    Oh, your trailer is lovely. This weekend we spent very rainy days camping in our motor home in a park near Tacoma, still fun/cozy. The most amazing part of this is: you can grow tomatos in Seattle?? I’ve given up. I feel my role in life now is to support the farmers markets.

  8. Kim says:

    Natasha and Brett did such a wonderful job, it’s so beautiful, it’s been fun following their Instagram page to see all the changes and evolution of their home.

  9. What rules and regulations determine where you can park and live in a trailer in Seattle? Is it hard to find a place? What was your experience?

  10. BelForm says:

    What a truly beautiful makeover!

  11. Amazing job! I absolutely love it! So light and airy inside!

    Can I know where you bought your toaster?

  12. Gae says:

    Nice job! May I ask what was your source for the blinds you used?

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