For over 70 years, Airstream owners have been living the American dream: traveling across America in a metal Twinkie. These homes on wheels, that have allowed families to travel in style, are still around today — and more trendy than ever.

Airstream now manufactures sleek modern versions, but it’s the vintage models that have caused a craze among architects and designers. When gutted, renovated and decorated, these shiny campers become a kitschy but functional space with contemporary flair. Here are a few of my favourite renos:

This 150-square-foot beauty was remodeled into a liveable workspace by architect Andreas Stavropoulos. An exercise in creativity and planning, he custom built all the storage to maximize the small space. As a nod to the past, he stripped the old paint to reveal the aluminum and riveting, which now lends an industrial-chic Jetsons vibe.

Adelante Austin’s 1976 Airstream was retrofitted into a mobile shop called Curb Service. I love how a few trendy furniture pieces and sisal carpeting easily turned this vintage camper into a fresh new space.

The Grand Daddy Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, shipped seven Airstreams across the ocean to build a rooftop trailer park for guests. Designed by local creatives, these whimsical suites allow visitors to live out their trailer park dreams.

Although not an Airstream, Marcia Cross’ trailer — from her Desperate Housewives set at Universal Studios — is proof that small spaces on wheels can be ultra-glamorous.

Sadly, I don’t own an Airstream, but I’m definitely in awe of those who’ve tackled renos in such narrow spaces. The lesson here: rip out the linoleum, get creative with storage and try to keep some vintage charm.

Photo credits:
1. Airstream Life Magazine
2-3. Dwell, photography by Mark Crompton
4-5. Adelante Austin, as seen on design*sponge
6-8. Grand Daddy Hotel
9-10. Traditional Home, photography by Edmund Barr

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