Design Destination: Weekend Getaway In Your Own Airstream

All images courtesy Hofmann Architecture

When a Palo Alto couple sought a romantic getaway for their favorite spot overlooking Carmel-by-the-Sea, they enlisted Santa Barbara Airstream specialists Hofmann Architecture (HofArc) to create their dream weekend home: a customized 31-foot, 1969 Sovereign called “Luna” that gives a whole new meaning to the term- mobile home.

The clients painted the traditionally silver Airstream an ocean-inspired blue

Wally Hofmann, partner and co-founder of HofArc with 32-year-old son Matthew who inspired the vintage mobile practice, estimates there are as many as 100,000 of these iconic, silver bullet-shaped trailers in the U.S. today, often “languishing in Grama’s backyard” says Hofmann. Estimates figure that 80%  are still roadworthy today. Since 2010, HofArc has custom-designed and built more than 300 Airstreams.

With Luna, the team gutted the interiors and redesigned the spaces to evoke the nature and freshness of the clients’ favorite coastal site. At the same time, they modified the traditional linear layout to one that is more spacious and open, incorporating all the little luxuries of a vacation home.

A new 8-foot gull wing opening across the original entry maximizes light and the sense of indoor-outdoor living. Anchoring the open living area is the kitchen, built across the front of the Airstream. The owners can dine well and in style with the full-size Bertazzoni range, compact fridge and the bold farmhouse sink.

Opposite the sink is a kitchen island whose counter unfolds and swivels to create a larger dining surface for indoor or out. A compact drawer dishwasher hides underneath.

We love the pale, beachside palette and weathered reclaimed wood. Recessed downlights add to the intimate atmosphere at night.

Built-ins create a clean, uncluttered look while maximizing hidden storage. The lounge seating contains storage space beneath while a large, flat screen TV rises from the cabinet across the way.

At the rear of the Airstream is the cozy sleeping area outfitted with a queen-size bed and built-in side tables.

The bath, which covers half the width of the Airstream, feels spacious with a raised glass sidewall that allows in more natural light. The ocean blue penny tile and teak floors add to the spa-like environment.

Hofmann said many of their clients inherit or receive family Airstreams but HofArc provides acquisition services as well as design. Excluding the cost of the vessel, he estimates design-build budgets start at $60,000 to upwards of $250,000+ for high-end renovations, which compares favorably to the cost of a permanent weekend home. But for HofArc’s growing clientele of Millennials who eschew the old ‘bigger is better’ philosophy in favor of a “lifestyle powered by freedom, adventure and serendipity”, the investment is priceless.

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