Interiorssneak peeks

A Family Chooses Smaller Quarters & More Adventures on the Road

by Rebekah Carey

Autumn, Rusty, and baby Bear Bailey all live in their converted 42-foot-long, 300-square-foot toy trailer. They’re currently in Truckee, CA, but joyfully get to travel in their home as needed for Rusty’s work as a welder. With a new addition on the way, they’re happily settled in their home. They’ve been living in the trailer for almost two years, after deciding to commit and buy their trailer to “live tiny” for five years. In addition to the experiences the family could have together, part of opting for this lifestyle was the fact that Rusty travels for work and having a literal mobile home meant that they would be able to all travel together as a family.

When they first went searching for their future home, it wasn’t the most calm scenario, as Autumn explains, “Trailer hunting with a newborn, two weeks before you’re supposed to be at a job in Virginia, is difficult and it didn’t give us a whole lot of time to hunt down trailers.” The family’s needs for the home weren’t particularly lengthy, but they did have to be specific: “Because we wanted to be able to travel together long distance — like say from California to Virginia — we needed a hauler that would fit my Subaru in the garage. Not too many toyhaulers come with a separate garage bigger than 10-12 feet and the ones that do are newer, so our options were definitely limited. But we lucked out and came across a new 42-foot-long Keystone Fuzion toyhauler with a 16-foot garage, and instantly we knew we weren’t finding a better deal or trailer than this one, so we [did it]!”

The family lived in the trailer as-is for the first year because renovations weren’t possible at first with a newborn. “It was hard staring at all the brown-on-brown for that first year but looking back on it, it gave me the time to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with our space and how every room would function for us.” Rusty’s work schedule at the time was working five to six days a week (in another town), leaving naps and after Bear’s bedtime — plus the weekends — as their only times for renovations. All told, it took the couple about three months for the entire renovation to be completed.

When Autumn set about designing the toy-hauler-turned-tiny-house, she knew that living in the space was temporary, but she didn’t want that to stop her from decorating it like a home with quality textiles and materials that will last far beyond how long they’ll live in the trailer. She wanted to create a space for her family that was bright, welcoming, and one that actually looked like a home (but she jokes, one that “just happens to have three axels”). It was also a requirement that the space be safe and functional for their son Bear, and their next baby that will arrive shortly. Autumn also wanted to make it a priority to create space for her to practice self-care and take time for herself.

We love this creative way to have more family time, create memories, and seek adventures, and we can’t wait to see how the new baby settles in when they arrive soon! —Rebekah

Photography by Autumn Bailey 

Image above: With a scene like this, it’s hard to believe that this living room just happens to be in a 42-foot 2016 Keystone Fuzion Toyhauler. 

The Baileys Live In A Converted Toy Trailer They Call Home Tour On Design*Sponge

“When it was time for Bear to have his own area, we decided to convert the garage into our own special space,” Autumn shares. “It’s my favorite place to be in my home, whether it’s relaxing on one of my thousand floor poufs, or lowering the bed to lie down, I instantly feel relaxed after I step through the door. And can you believe our car fits back here too?!”

The Bailey Family In Their Toy Trailer Home On Design*Sponge

“This is my husband Rusty, our son Bear, and a sweet babe in my belly, joining us this January!”

A Relaxing Nook In ThIs Toy Hauler Turned Tiny House On Design*Sponge

Autumn shares one of her favorite creature comforts, “I’m a woodstove kind of gal. I never thought I’d be a fake woodstove gal but Rusty wasn’t into installing a real one, which I can understand, so I bought the most real fake woodstove heater I could find, stuck it in our room, and I think I may like it almost as much as a real one! A plus being you don’t have to add wood!”

A View Of The Living Room Toy Trailer Tiny Home On Design*Sponge

“This space leading to our room from the living area was a challenge to decorate, there’s a lot of space but not a whole lot of wall space available. When I came across the Want Better Not More print I knew it was perfect, not only the size but it pretty much encapsulated the feel I wanted to portray,” Autumn explains.

Kitchen Of A Converted Toy Hauler Tour On Design*Sponge

Autumn’s cleaning enthusiasm is buoyed by beautiful design. “I never liked doing dishes growing up… [does anyone]? Call me domesticated but since we installed our matte black faucet and black composite granite sink, I actually don’t mind dishes anymore. Mostly because it looks killer when it’s clean!”

The Bailey Living Room In Their Tiny House On Design*Sponge

“This is our kitchen, dining, and living area. Small but mighty, there’s a whole lot that goes on in this space. My husband works so much that it’s honestly so nice to be able to share space while either of us are cooking, laying on the couch, or playing with Bear on the floor. It makes everyday tasks or activities more special because we can be together,” Autumn tells us.

The Television Viewing Area Of The Toy Trailer Tiny Home Tour On Design*Sponge

“Our living space is limited, because trailer, but I was determined to make the most of the little space. When we bought it it had brown walls, brown cabinets, brown everything, and white paint did a great job at making this space look a whole lot bigger, while grey cabinets helped it look a bit more modern, and a lot less dated,” Autumn explains.

Master Bedroom Back Door Trailer Tour On Design*Sponge

“One thing I can go a bit [wild] about, especially in our room, is plants. If I could, I would cover my space with every different kind of big green giant I could find. Its my favorite thing about stepping inside our back door, I get to see my healthy green babies thriving as soon as I walk in,” Autumn gushes.

The Nursery For Their Son In The Converted Toy Trailer Tour On Design*Sponge

“While decorating Bear’s room, I wanted to keep it simple and minimal, but also incorporate a few of my favorite things. I bought some plain white sheets from IKEA and dyed them with indigo. It’s such a happy and peaceful color, how could you not want to nap in that bed?”

The Nursery Reading Nook Is A Special Feature Of The Toy Trailer Turned Tiny House Tour On Design*Sponge

Autumn and Rusty’s renovation included creating areas that would grow as their family does. “This slide in Bear’s room used to be drawers and a closet, once gutted we decided to make a toddler bed for Bear to grow into. For now we use it as a book nook and a place to hang with his favorite stuffed animals!”

The Nursery Is A Cohesive Part Of The Tiny House And Gives Room To Grow Tour On Design*Sponge

Autumn shares another piece of the transition after their renovation: “When we transformed our [original] room into Bear’s space, we decided to take out our bed and some dressers. That immediately opened up the space, and boy do we need it!”

The Petite Trailer Bathroom Is Artfully Adorned Tour On Design*Sponge

“Told you our bathroom was small! We decided to brighten it up with some paint, and some scrap butcher block we had from the kitchen. That and a copper sink really helped warm up our space,” Autumn explains. “It may not seem like it, but I was afraid of color with our remodel. Like really. Especially with paint. But I wanted something unique and beautiful tied into our bathroom space, so I asked my sister Mesa to paint our door. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still afraid of color, but the door turned out way too pretty not to like it. I love what it adds to our space.”

The Baileys What I Love Most Note On Design*Sponge

“‘Cause any Kacey Musgraves song about a trailer pretty much sums up my life right about now,” Autumn jokes. “Before I was born, my father renovated an old International Harvester USAF bus and traveled around the country mining gems and minerals and making jewelry with my mother. My siblings and I grew up running rampant in that bus, and that’s one of the things I value from my childhood and hold so dear to my heart. I’m so beyond thankful that our children get to grow through travel and experience different aspects of this country and still know the comforts of their own home every night. I hope to teach them from a young age to appreciate this earth and acknowledge the magic it has to offer, and to be aware of and value differences. That’s real wealth and we are so grateful that our lifestyle can aid in teaching our children this through our experiences living life on the road.”

Toy Hauler Tiny House Floor Plan Tour Of The Baileys Home On Design*Sponge

Autumn explains a little more about life on the road, but also how versatile their home is, “I think the most unusual aspect of our home (besides the whole living in a toyhauler thing) is how it can transform. For example, our bedroom can transform into a garage, separate living space, and has a huge deck, too. Our bed is on rails, so it can come all the way down for sleeping, or all the way up during the day or when we move. When the bed is up the back wall, aka our ‘garage door’ can open and turn into a ramp to load our car into the back. During the summer our garage door can turn into a deck, held up by cables, and complete with a railing along the whole area so it’s safe for babes! And if you’re in a mosquito infested area and still want to admire the outdoors, there’s a ceiling-to-floor screen that comes down to separate our room from the deck and outside world.”


Kitchen/Living Area
Flooring- Floor & Decor
Butcher Block Counter- Floor & Decor
Couch- IKEA
Sink- Wayfair
Faucet- Wayfair
Table- Target
Want Better Not More Print- Schoolhouse Electric
Copper clock- Target

Bed- Tuft & Needle
Faux Wood Stove Heater- Home Depot
Rug- eBay
Woven Poufs- IKEA
Rug Poufs- sunshine tienda
Wood Planks For Door- Stikwood
Seagrass Belly Basket- IKEA
Good Things Grow Here Banner- The Bee & The Fox
*all things not listed either thrifted or gifted

Sink- eBay
Faucet- Wayfair
Rug- eBay
Mirror- West Elm

Bear’s Room
Crib- IKEA
Rug- eBay
Large Braided Basket- World Market
Various Crates- Micheals

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  • Wow! This is so smart and beautiful and cool. Love the bed that moves up and down. And what a great life for kids–I maintain that growing up in a small space (although not this small) forced our family to have closer relationships.

  • I enjoyed reading this. This home has great style, especially with all the wood, the rug and the cabinetry colour. And the photo of the three owners is the sweetest happiest family portrait.

  • This is one of my favorite home tours you guys have done in a while! Beyond the home itself being beautiful and inspiring, you can feel autumn’s spirit radiating through her words! ❤️

  • Lovely space. I think they need to get a dog and show how truly extraordinary they are. :)

  • Looks beautiful but I am confused. Do you mean you can stow a car in the livingspace/trailer? And then tow the trailer (car inside) with another vehicle (like a truck)? ;-)

    • Thank you so much! So our room(the garage area) is big enough to fit our Subaru in it for long hauls. So yes haha it’s a car inside a trailer towed by a truck (my husbands dually) Hope I’m making sense :)

  • I loved this piece! What a great lifestyle and family! Wish we could hv seen what a toyhauler looks like from the outside…. I’ll hv to look it up on google!

  • Clever use of space! Great-looking home. I would love to hear your tips for finding beautiful rugs on eBay….

  • Loved this piece. Would like to see more pieces on people with space and/or real budget constraints.

  • It would be really hard for both my partner and I if one of us had to travel frequently for work! I love that instead of living with it as a hardship, this family has found a way to be together and experience different parts of the country together.

  • Looks amazing! You guys must own very few things, which is always impressive to me. Where do you keep your clothes and do you have hobby supplies/sporting goods you store somewhere in there?

    • Thank you! In our room, we keep our clothes folded and in that cedar chest! And everything else we want on hand fits into a storage compartment at the bottom of our trailer!