Vintage Trailer Makeover Reveal

vintage camper makeover

If you follow along on Instagram, you may recall that I acquired this adorable vintage camper last year. Well life got a little busy…hello! global pandemic and first season as an Air BnB host. So one year later, I finally had the time to give this minty nugget (current but not necessarily permanent name) a proper glow up and I’m super excited to share this vintage trailer makeover reveal with you!

I bought this trailer with the objective of it being a combination of a bunkie and tiny cottage on wheels for me to stay while my own cottage was rented out. Plans seem to change on a weekly basis but I knew that whatever its fate, I needed to give this adorable nugget the Sweet Escape touch. I knew it would be colourful and have a vintage vibe with a modern twist, but I’m the first to admit that I went BOLD with this one. Even for me! I think it suits it perfectly and I love the result.

Let’s get to the good stuff – the before and after! This is what it looked like before. The exterior was already painted the most fabulous minty shade of green which is what I fell in love with in the first place. The interior had already been given a mini makeover by the former owners who did a great job to give it a Navajo desert vibe with a touch of grandma chic but I had different plans in mind. I was ready to transform this space into a colour lovers dream.

And this is what it looks like now! I embraced the vintage charm and ran with it but added some modern touches and fresh new design and patterns.

Ok, let’s be real for a second. We all love the magic of before & afters but you know it takes more than a snap to transform a space. I won’t get into the nitty gritty but I like to show a little bit of the process so that people are attempting a similar project aren’t intimidated or discouraged by all the beautiful after photos. ALOT of sweat (and swearing) went into this makeover. Thankfully no blood or tears (this time). Aside from the professional servicing for the water heater replacement, I spent about 8-10 hours a day for almost 10 days straight working on my own for this transformation.

Here’s my vision board for this vintage trailer makeover. The objective was not a gut job – but to be super budget conscious and try and work with what’s already there. Who doesn’t love starting with a clean slate but sometimes (a lot of the times) you have to work with what you have which can be a bit more challenging but it forces you to be more creative.

1. Led Remote Control Battery Wall Sconce, Amazon / 2. Wonderland Flowers Wallpaper, Spoonflower / 3. Mod Thin Stripe Vertical Peel & Stick Wallpaper, Spoonflower / 4. SOKA 2 Handle Bathroom Faucet in Matte Black, Amazon / 5. Matte Black Door Knobs, Amazon / 6. Geometric Check Grid Performance Velvet Fabric in Misty Green, Spoonflower / 7. RV LED puck lights, Amazon / 8. Geometric Check Grid Performance Velvet Fabric in Mustard Ochre Yellow, Spoonflower

My main inspiration was this fabulous peel and stick wallpaper I found on Spoonflower. I mean….what’s more bold and fabulous than florals with faces?! I was looking for a reason to use this wallpaper and this was definitely it!

Once I had the wallpaper I kept digging in the glorious black internet hole that is Spoonflower to find some complimentary patterns. This trailer is only 17 feet long but I made sure to go big in the pattern dept. There’s no less than 4 patterns used in this small space. Calming? Maybe not the word I would use but it definitely sparks joy and it’s physically impossible to be grumpy while sitting in this trailer and last time I checked being happy was pretty great place to be.

Speaking of painting…as much as it’s not my favourite task, it definitely is the easiest way to make a big impact. For a project like this – be sure to talk to your local paint specialist to find out the best product and prep for the job. I used an oil primer on all the original wood panelling to make sure that whatever I put on top would stick properly, including under the wallpaper.

For this little space I decided to keep all the current white but give it a fresh coat, including the ceiling (Behr’s Whispering White) in semi-gloss for easier clean up. Then came the decision of what to do with the rest of the space. I kinda painted myself in a corner (pun intended) by using so many different patterns and colours. I was debating painting it all white, and I knew it would look fresh and great with all the colour but I also knew that in a space like this, it would also show every little mark especially in an indoor/outdoor environment. I was convinced I was actually going to go with black to really make the colours pop, hide all the past and future imperfections and add a bit of drama but then at the very last minute my gut told me the black would be too heavy and I did a total left turn. I pulled this chartreuse-like green colour (Benjamin Moore 385 Savannah Moss) from the wallpaper and went for it.

The big splurge for this transformation was the new custom upholstery. Because all the seating doubles as sleeping areas, I wanted new thick high density foam so it would be comfortable to spend the night. I used Spoonflower’s newest performance velvet for all the new cushions because it will hold up great to use and its so nice and soft! Also I love how vibrant the colours print on the fabric.

For the kitchen, I got new black hinges and handles for the cupboards and then found a bathroom faucet that works perfectly as a kitchen faucet in an RV. I made sure the measurements matched so it was just a swap out. Installing that faucet and seeing the water actually run was one of my smallest but proudest DIY moments. It’s the little things ya’know?

Lastly, I got really creative (read: budget conscious) when it came to the window treatments. I had a left over set of IKEA curtain panels from the cottage that I used to sew all new curtains and even had fabric left over. For the hardware, after a failed attempt to spray paint the old rods, ended up buying the most basic cafe curtain rods and clips and spray painted them black. Did I want something a little more special? Sure. But these ended up working and looking great and my bank account was happy about it.

I will admit – not surprisingly this “quick” makeover took way more time and effort than I anticipated and I hustled to get it all done. I was left pretty exhausted but very happy and I can’t wait to live the RV life for the next few weeks and call this cheerful space my home.

One thing though….after this transformation I feel like the space is too bold and “Minty Nugget” just doesn’t seem like the right name. What do you think would be a good name for my adorable new home on wheels?

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