Crista and Marlon Hilmes are an Airstream-renovating duo based in St. Louis. With about 30 years in construction under their belt, the couple recently turned their personal Airstream transformation into a full-fledged business, documenting their work on YouTube along the way.
Penelope the Airstream is a nine-month labor of love the couple personalized to their needs and tastes. They chose a layout without a telescoping table in favor of a true living space for them to enjoy with their two bulldog pooches.
In the main living area, the dining table easily flips up to accommodate eating for two. Stowed away, it leaves ample room, including two work spaces and a spacious sofa, created from an IKEA loveseat paired with a daybed cover from Urban Outfitters. The all-white palette keeps things clean, accented by valence curtains with a subtle blue stripe pattern.
Crista was most excited to redesign the kitchen. The space features custom white cabinetry and countertops created from IKEA butcher block. A stove, microwave and hidden refrigerator offer all of the amenities of home. Because the couple knew evenings cooking by the campfire would create a lot of dishes, they opted for a full sink, paired with a dark bronze pull-out faucet. They smartly saved the butcher block cutout for the sink so it can be easily dropped in and used as added prep space when the sink isn’t in use. The highlight of the space is a statement wall papered in removable wallpaper with a watercolor stripe.
For long trips, ample storage is paramount. The duo incorporated an entire wall of storage off of the kitchen, including deep shelving, drawers, floor storage and a full wardrobe near the bedroom. The upper cabinetry mimics the windows in the front of the Airstream to complement the design.
The couple kept the bathroom in its original space and incorporated a custom sliding barn door for privacy. They added new, custom-built cabinetry, a vessel sink from IKEA and sleek Corian countertops. Custom shelves were a DIY project, created by cutting a basket into two pieces and hanging them with plumbing strap. In the shower, a teak floor mat adds a pop of design on simple plastic shower walls from Lowes.
The coziest space is hands-down the rear bedroom, complete with a queen-size queen bed. Two reading lights and dark bronze sconces flank the bed, which is set on hydraulics to offer hidden storage underneath.