Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On the road again...

I'm iffy on the idea of road trips sometimes. Most of my long driving journeys are between the Bay Area and Los Angeles, on that long, flat, boring stretch of highway known as the 5. (The 5 is also the place where I've gotten the only two speeding tickets in my life, so perhaps I'm a little bitter.) And long periods of time trapped in a car with another person can tear a friendship asunder. Does anyone remember when Oprah and Gayle drove cross-country? Oprah and Gayle started to hate each other a few days in. Oprah and Gayle.

But with spring right around the corner, hitting the open road starts to sound fun and romantic -- especially after looking at pictures of this amazing Airstream trailer.

Living in an Airstream trailer is the ultimate experiment in small-space living. Not only do you have limited space, but everything must be road friendly. You can't have a lot of clutter -- or you can, but you certainly won't have it anymore after a sharp curve in the road sends it flying out a window.

Architect Matthew Hoffman renovated this 158-square foot trailer, and lives in it with his girlfriend in sunny Santa Barbara. The interior of the trailer is as streamlined as the shiny metal exterior, and manages to be luxurious and practical at the same time. I'd love to flop into that bed after a day of driving to the Grand Canyon!

Matthew points out that living in such a small space has its advantages. He shared a few points with Small House Style:

Quicker to clean — Got a call that the girlfriend’s parents want to stop by? No worries. Even if it is a disaster area, the place can be buffed out in 30 minutes — tops.

Improved relationships — Say what? That’s right, studies show that couples who live in a small space have healthier relationships. “My girlfriend and I don’t hide in our caves when something comes up,” [he] says.

LMIAs (Less missing in action) — One phrase you may never hear again is: “Honey, where’s my _____________?” Because stuff simply has fewer places to hide.

In addition to some small-space-living philosophies, Matthew had a really good point about problem-solving in design in general. From Apartment Therapy:

Not having the answer to a problem in the immediate moment isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I am teaching myself to let a problem task go unanswered at the end of the day and still be able to sleep at night. Though not always in clear sight, an answer can almost always be reached, or perhaps we’re not asking the right questions.
Often times, struggling through a task can lead to creative options that aren’t always visible. Looking externally for answers (through what you don’t know yourself) can lead to more successful solutions – listening is key. The opinion of our friends, family, and coworkers is a valuable asset. There’s tremendous value is in translating and understanding the advice and opinion of others.

Check out the full before and after on Apartment Therapy, and be sure to check out Matthew's firm's website at too. His incredible talent has made the prospect of hitting the highway much more appealing -- although if I had a lot in gorgeous Santa Barbara, I think I'd just park my Airstream there, too.

Via Apartment Therapy and Small House Style.


  1. Even though I hate small spaces, this post presents a very compelling argument for looking into renting an Airstream :)

    and yes, speeding tickets are the worst. i feel your pain and share in your bitterness. LOL

  2. It's actually true about the tiny space being good for a relationship. Of course that air stream design is so calm and modern and in Santa Barbara !! Everyday would be a honeymoon day : ))
    The fact thats it's also road ready just adds to the romance factor. I want one !


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