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This 200-Square-Foot Airstream Is Packed with Style — And 3 Smart Lessons for Homeowners

Melanie and David Raver love to travel. So much so, they moved into a 200-square-foot, vintage Airstream with their three young daughters so they could document their on-the-road family adventures on Instagram. “My hubby showed me the vintage Airstream, and we instantly fell in love with the two-toned orange color. It reminded us of a vintage VW bus! We loved the retro vibe and the size was exactly what we were looking for,” says Melanie, explaining how the fun began after finding the RV listing online. 

We took the tour, and we absolutely love what the family has done with their tiny home on wheels! While we were reading up (and, let’s be honest, gawking), we also learned three super smart tips that any homeowner could steal. Whether your kitchen is on wheels or not, these tips could help you update your space. Come along, and take a look!

1. Eke out extra counter space anywhere you can

Part of living on the road in a tiny dwelling means you have to be super smart with your design choices. “Being mobile is totally unique! Packing up your home and taking it with you wherever you go has been eye opening and liberating,” Melanie explains. One brilliant example: the way the family maximizes kitchen counter space by building a walnut wood insert for the sink, made out of the same material as the countertop. “When the sink is not in use, we put the wood insert in, and it acts like a continued portion of the countertop,” Melanie says. “Our stove also has a top so when we are not using it, we close it, and use it as counter space. Everything has two or more functions.” No matter how big your kitchen is, you’re always going to want more counter space. Trust us.

2. Be open to surprising sources of design inspiration.

Traveling from California to the East Coast, Melanie says she finds design inspiration just about anywhere. Whether it’s a color, a feeling, a pattern, or a place, ideas are all around us. For example, the Ravers were guided by a retro bohemian vibe, largely from their 1973 digs. “Space is sparse, but style is aplenty, ” says Melanie, who sticks to the same clean neutral base with pops of color to tie her home’s design together. She explains, “A vibe is everything. A vibe can come from the look, feel, the sounds, or even the people in the home! My advice is focus on the vibe, and you will automatically form a home you love!”

3. Don’t ignore the boring stuff.

Is it fun to spend a bunch of money on plumbing or gas lines? No, but it’s important. More important, even, than picking out a sink or new oven. Make sure you have all the boring stuff checked out early. “Surprisingly, what cost the most was all the new systems, like the water heater and the furnace,” says Melanie, who had the RV’s systems and lines checked by a professional. “We found a water and propane leak,” she says. While the new systems cost a pretty penny, the Ravers wanted the peace of mind to know that the essentials were installed correctly to avoid any emergencies down the line.

Do you have your own remodeling tips to share? Tell us your top lessons learned in the comments below.

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