The vintage Airstream is making a hip comeback everywhere across the U.S., and it’s no surprise why. The adorable, quintessentially-American mobile trailer that’s been “selling like gangbusters” has become much more than just a shiny head-turning symbol for the open road. These days the adorable silver camper is being revamped into food trucks, hair salons, and even retro-chic hotels by enterprising folks who love its durable and iconic silhouette. We’ve rounded up seven of our favorite Airstream renovations that might just get you dreaming of a polished aluminum camper for yourself.
Fancy a trim inside a retro-chic trailer? That’s what awaits customers at the cozy HairStream boutique in Southampton, New York. Housed inside a retro Airstream trailer, the hair salon owners renovated the interior into a gleaming destination to match the shine of its silver facade. The modern salon is outfitted with clear acrylic chairs, beaded curtains, and four reflective styling stations.
Landscape architect Andreas Stavropoulos realized his dream for a mobile, modular, and affordable dwelling with his renovation of an original 1959 Airstream. The 150-square-foot camper was transformed by hand into Stavropoulos’ quirky and light-filled studio. Not only does the restored Airstream immerse him in nature, but the mobile camper can also be easily moved to the project site for greater productivity and convenience.
Fed up with the rental market, Mark and Charlotte Mabon decided to roll up their sleeves and renovate a vintage Airstream into their mobile dream home. The couple tried to reuse as much of the original interior material as possible, but gave the insulation a big boost by replacing the old aluminum skin and insulation with an aluminum-coated bubble wrap material.
Aether apparel repurposed a vintage 34-foot-long Airstream into a stunning pop-up shop that travels from city to city. The interior was completely gutted and replaced with reclaimed wood floors, modular shelving, and metal hangers that show off the line’s stylish and functional outdoor clothing. French designer Thierry Gaugain created the concept diagrams for the project, which is described as “the ultimate guy’s workshop, an adventure lab on wheels, a mobile man cave.”
Timeless Travel Trailers brought this beautiful 1954 Airstream Flying Cloud trailer back to life with a stunning new hardwood interior. Commissioned by Orvis, one of America’s most renowned outdoor companies, the completely restored Airstream is road ready and rugged enough to handle any cross-country expedition. Behind the gleaming hand-polished exterior lies a warm and cozy interior outfitted with natural hardwood surfaces.
Architect Matthew Hofmann got hooked on renovating Airstreams after completing his first conversion: a vintage 1978 Tradewind Airstream transformed into a beautiful mobile live and work studio. Despite the small 150-square-foot footprint, the renovated contemporary interior looks and feels spacious with its light-toned surfaces, numerous windows, and easy access to the outdoors and natural light. Hofmann, who has an eye for locally-sourced eco-friendly materials, installed bamboo surfaces and flooring; recycled glass tiles; durable fabrics; and low-VOC paints and stains.
If you lack the funds or the time to convert an Airstream but would still like to stay in one, check out the Grand Daddy Hotel, a creative trailer park in Cape Town, South Africa made up of seven renovated Airstreams. Located on a building rooftop, each of the polished aluminum trailers is redesigned with their own individual style by a local designer. The award-winning retrotastic hotel collectively reflects the theme of the “South African road trip” and overlooks stunning views of Table Mountain.