Airstream Living Area Remodel Part 2 | Before & After

When we decided to rearrange the interior after our first remodel, one of the things that had to relocate was the front living area. Mavis 1.0 shown below is how the Airstream was originally built in 1975. During our first round of remodeling, we left everything where it was and just upgraded everything in the same footprint. When we decided to move things around, the sofa was relocated from the front of the trailer to the rear.

Below is a look at the remodel of the living area in it’s original location. This area was simply upgraded with paint, new curtains, new upholstery and a new countertop added along the left-hand side and affixed to the original newly painted base cabinets.

Below is where the living area moved to—in the footprint of the old twin beds. We left the overhead cabinet storage here since it wasn’t in the way and these things provide so much storage for our clothes. We started with a futon mattress but later decided to make a sofa with a back on it because leaning against a curved wall just isn’t comfortable.

The sofa was built in the same fashion as the bed frame. A frame with cross beams was nested inside of a frame built with 1x4s held together with metal brackets. A 3/8″ sheet of birch plywood lays over the top of the frame. It can be lifted off if needed as there is plumbing from the kitchen that runs underneath. We left an access hole on the right side to easily be able to get to the fuse box and switches. The former bedroom TV (and all of the wall decor) came down off the wall and was then placed opposite of the sofa on the new TV built-in that was constructed.

We also left a cut-out under the right half of the frame to allow a side table to slide under. We ended up with some wallpaper damage after removing the twin bed but that’s the beauty of wallpaper with squares—easy to repair in sections!

The frame was painted in the same paint used on the skin—Olympic satin finish in the color snow bank. The doors were constructed out of 1/2″ birch plywood and stained with Varathane wood stain in Briarsmoke. I affixed the doors with self-closing hinges to ensure they don’t pop open while we are driving.

Below is the finished space complete with the sofa (with a back on it!). We constructed the sofa so the back sits on top of the base and isn’t fixed. The back is made from a long piece of 3″ thick upholstery foam and a 1/2″ sheet of plywood for the back. There are metal brackets custom made by my dad to give the backing a slant. But this same idea can be achieved by building with wood as well. The back isn’t affixed to the wall and can easily be removed to serve as an extra bed. The base of the sofa is made from a twin-sized memory foam mattress wrapped three times in upholstery batting to give the edges a curved appearance. We are thrilled with the space! It’s super cozy and comfortable and there’s nothing we’d change!

Rug by Tea Time Rugs
Bike & Surf Print by Three Potato Four

Mudcloth Pillow by My Haven Home

Mexican Blanket Throw by Urban Outfitters (no longer online)

Macrame Wall Hanging by Esme Design


Sheena is a free-spirited adventurer who designed and renovated a 1975 Airstream in 2016 and travels the US with her husband and mohawk-sportin’ poodle. She’s a business owner, self-taught carpenter, blogger, yogi, professional photographer and a lover of the outdoors and healthy living.

Leave a Reply