With small children afoot and two self employed parents, finding a quiet corner to work in is vital around here. Last Christmas, I decided to surprise my husband with a home office. I wanted to knock it out of the park. I wanted to give him a space that he could call his, a place that would be an inspiration and a refuge. I found it in an old Airstream travel trailer.The Airstream’s rocket shape had long appealed to both my husband and me. We’d find ourselves rubber necking on the freeway when one was towed past. I looked for over a year to find the perfect model.
When I found a cheap, severely neglected one down in Modesto on Craigslist, I jumped at it. I paid the owner a few hundred to tow it all the way up to Grass Valley and then set to work.Aiming to get the project done before the holidays, I got the rotting cabinetry and flooring torn out. A power washer cleaned the inside quickly.Since the interior was empty, without even a floor, spraying on the Swiss Coffee color white paint was a breeze. I asked around and found a friend with a little bit of extra hardwood flooring, which we laid on top of a layer of insulation.The main expense was hiring an electrician to install plugs and light fixtures and pull the DSL line. I searched online for the fixtures and had a hard time finding models that were thin and close to the ceiling. Then IKEA popped to mind and I found the perfect solution for a very low cost.Needless to say, it was quite the awesome gift. It took my husband about a week to get all moved in and settled. It was so cool to see him put all his favorite belongings in his new office. It became the ultimate place to work, relax, and get inspired.Sweetly, he brought out a box of LEGOs, kid’s books, and baby toys for our children to play with. We put a chair and a rug at one end so they could enjoy his new space quietly.Now the kids can be with him while he’s working. It’s invitation only and they know they need to be totally silent while Daddy works. Our older girls often go out there to read and sketch, all comfy in the armchair.The curve of the Airstream walls meant that traditional storage pieces were moot. Instead, we hung shelves. While things may look a little cluttered, the space simply won’t allow for a tall cabinet. Instead, we’ve gotten creative with propping items up.We haven’t taken the time to polish the outside. Between the two giant Great Pyrenees dogs that sleep by the step, the oak trees that hang overhead, and the amount of weather we get up here at our 2500 foot elevation, it makes little sense to worry about whether the exterior is pretty or not. We just need it weather tight, which it is.
We had to seal each seam of the metal frame to prevent leakage. There are three skylights that run down the center of the tube shaped body. One used to be a fan, but it was so worn that we took it out and replaced it with a piece of plexiglass.In a storm, it sounds amazing inside. Too loud to take phone calls, but perfect for writing a poem. A writer’s retreat!Overall, having this home office Airstream has been a win-win. I think it’s so cool that my husband’s collections of Lesney Matchbox cars, handmade robots, rockets and wooden boxes can be displayed in such an ideal setting. It’s a getaway that’s located just steps from the house but feels a world away.