Today’s blog post comes to you by Becky Keating. Becky and her husband, Roger own Blue June’s Retro Deco, and are always posting cool new finds on their facebook page. In Becky’s own words, “Along with my husband, Roger, I scope out the area auctions, garage sales and thrift stores for great vintage deals that we can pass along to you.”
As I was working on the camper project, I kept reflecting on the improvements Becky and Roger were making to their Streamline Camper. I was so inspired by each milestone they made, and asked Becky if she would be willing to share with you, her inspiration and progress.
As a little girl, I spent hours trying to create my own space. I dreamt of having a playhouse where I could imagine, play and create. I created makeshift playhouses anywhere I could. Closets, sheds, spare rooms – nothing was off limits. Once, I even tried to build a house of out of spare bricks and mud. (That didn’t get too far.)
The desire for my own space didn’t wane as I grew older. As an avid crafter, I longed for a place to spread out my projects. A place that didn’t have to be cleaned up in order to eat dinner or have company. And, once again, unsatisfying attempts were made and abandoned.
Last summer, my husband and I bought a 1960 Fan camper to spruce up for family camping trips. (Please don’t ask how many of these trips have actually come to pass. It’s embarrassing.) I was full of ideas for decorating the tiny space, but most of those ideas proved a bit impractical for actual camping with a family of four. As I discussed these dream ideas with Roger, he said, “You need a playhouse.” Yes! That is exactly what I needed! More specifically, I needed a craft studio!
Not long after this conversation, Roger emailed me a craigslist ad for a vintage Streamline travel trailer about an hour from our house. Streamlines are big. They were meant to be the ultimate in travel trailer comfort. Most of the vintage advertising we found featured a pair of empty nesters traveling the United States in their luxury trailer. Their Streamline was not being mussed by pesky children. The price on this trailer was pretty good and we actually had the money in our savings account. On a cold day in mid-January, with snow flurries in the air, we talked my brother into driving his truck out to look at our trailer. We all knew it was coming home with us. We just needed to make sure it was all in one piece and wasn’t housing any raccoons or possums. Several hours later, the Streamline was parked in our backyard, and I started asking, “Is it done yet?”
Ultimately, the trailer will have a large work table across one end with lights directly above it. This is where I will do my scrapbooking and other projects. My sewing machine will be right next door to it. The opposite end of the trailer will have a reading nook with storage underneath. In between the two ends will be a countertop high enough for cutting fabric without having to bend over, and then storage, storage, storage! Like any crafter, I have a lot of supplies and need space to keep them.
I am fortunate to have an incredibly handy husband. I can kind of-sort of tell him what I want, and he can come up with it. Even if the final product isn’t exactly what I had in mind, it’s still going to be fantastic. Pretty much all of the work on this trailer has been done by Roger. I’ve done a little painting and some decoupage work, but mostly, I just approve stuff.
My trailer is not mobile. It will be a permanent fixture in our backyard, and we even plan to build a deck around it to incorporate it further into our living space. I love that we are essentially adding another room to our house without doing any actual construction on the house.
We are currently nine months into this project with still quite a way to go, but I am definitely starting to see it develop. What started out as a gutted tin can is slowly transforming into a pretty, comfortable, inspiring space. Each new light fixture, brush stroke, piece of trim, even the boring stuff like caulking, rivets and seals, brings me one step closer to my dream playhouse. I think my childhood self would be pleased.
If you’re interested in seeing more of our progress, you can check it out on my blog, Becky Kay Designs.