It’s no secret that teeny tiny homes are trending, and it’s not hard to understand why. Just imagine being able to simplify your life down to a few hundred square feet and not have to worry about multiple rooms to clean, expensive heating bills or your minor hoarding habit. But like any home, the issue of redecorating the space to make it feel more “you” stands. That’s when having less wiggle room for a full-fledged makeover can be a major challenge — and one that, when conquered, makes one heck of a big-deal reveal.
Rockstar food blogger Meseidy from The Noshery knows a thing or two about living small and small-space decorating. After bouncing around from rental to rental, she, her husband and their three dogs decided to move into a vintage camper to declutter and save money. Meseidy partnered up with Lowe’s to completely gut and redecorate the space into a place she and her husband could call home. The end result is an old-school camper-turned-glamper that looks like the perfect blend of mod and glam. Read on for the DL on how she nailed the small space makeover, and of course, ample DIY tips for anyone else looking to update their teeny tiny space.
What inspired you to switch to small-space living?
“I wanted for us to have a space that truly reflected our taste and not be tied down. We loved the idea of living with just what we need. We asked ourselves, ‘What do we need to live and can we make it a home?’ Over the eight years my husband and I have been married, we have moved to three different states and that doesn’t include the moves we did while living in those states.”
“Throughout our marriage, we’ve rented because we didn’t want to purchase if we knew we weren’t going to be there for the long haul. But we had grown tired of renting because we couldn’t truly make the home our own and renting is challenging when you have three dogs.”
“Before we moved to Texas, we had purchased a 1972 Arrowflite [and] did a light remodel. After our first year in Texas, our lease was up, and I was ready to move. I hated where we were living. But finding the right location, at the right price when having three dogs, was more than challenging. Around the same time, my husband and I had watched a marathon of a tiny house living show, and I said to him, “Why don’t we move into the camper?” And that is when we moved into our first camper. It was over 40 years old, had no modern amenities and was approximately 150 square feet. We lasted eight months in that camper before we upgraded to this one. Which is basically a mansion at approximately 350 sq ft.”
How has living in a small space changed your decor style?
“Everything has to meet three requirements. It has to be aesthetically pleasing, functional and necessary. Living in a tiny house (camper) requires creativity with a limited amount of space and challenges us to take stock of what is needed. It was also important that my husband and I had a space where we felt at home and an environment where I can be creative. Because I work from home, it’s important for my home to be efficient, pretty and functional. These were things I took into consideration when making any decisions on decor and organizing.”
What was the biggest challenge of this project?
“Painting in 100 degree weather! We decided to take this project on right when a heatwave hit Texas. We are lucky that the RV park where we live has a storage area in the back that allowed us to work on the trailer while we still lived in our old one. My husband got his hands on a generator, and we spent the weekends prepping the camper to paint, which is very tedious! Once it came time to paint we couldn’t run the A/C and have the windows closed because it wouldn’t allow ventilation. Even with the windows open and fan running, the fumes would build up because the space was so small. We wore paint suits, gloves, industrial masks and head scarves. We looked like we were auditioning for Breaking Bad. It took several sweaty weekends and many gallons of water.”
There are some really cool decor pieces here! What was your greatest find?
“My greatest find is my dining chairs. I’ve had the chairs for a few years, but they’ve been in storage. I have always loved mid-century furniture and when we were living in Tulsa, Oklahama, I was on a hunt for some dining chairs. My husband and I frequented a breakfast chain and one morning I noticed the chairs. They had some wear and a lot of pancake syrup, but I loved the angles on the chairs. I asked my server if by chance there were some extra chairs that they may be willing to part with and next thing I know the manager is at the table. It turns out that in a few weeks they were going to do a remodel and toss or donate all the chairs. I immediately said I would take all of them. A few weeks later my husband and I took our pickup and loaded up over 50 chairs. In the process of loading them, we discovered that they were Thonet. We kept some, sold others and donated what was left.”
What were your aesthetic and functional goals for your kitchen?
“My tiny kitchen is my pride and joy! And, there is a lot packed into this tiny space. The kitchen is basically in the living room, so it was important that it aesthetically tied in with the whole space. I did this by painting the bottom cabinets the same color as the opposite wall and adding the champagne stainless steel backsplash which complements the brushed brass cabinet pulls throughout the camper. The backsplash was a great find because it’s a peel-n-stick tile, which is easy to install and moves with the camper when traveling.
Functionally it was important to maximize counter space. We did this two ways, by changing out the countertops which included a fold-away extension and installing an undermounted sink. With an undedmounted sink, I can put a cover over the sink to maximize counter space.”
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to make a camper into a “glamper?”
“It all looks easy when you’re watching someone else do it on TV, but you’re going to run into challenges. Even if you plan you’re going to run into issues and make many trips to Lowe’s. We had spray gun failures, a generator die, plumbing issues and triple digit heat. It’s a labor of love; you must be patient.”
What were your best resources for affordable decor and supplies?
“I found all of my key decor supplies at Lowe’s. I wanted the camper to have a modern luxe feel without breaking the bank, and I accomplished that with the dark gray paint and brush brass fixtures, which I found at Lowe’s.
For small details, IKEA is a treasure chest. Everything is sized and designed for small spaces. One of my favorite decor details from IKEA is their throw pillows. They sell the pillow and cover separately so I can buy multiple covers. This is great because it saves on storage space while still fulfilling my need change things up. It also comes in handy when living with three dogs. I can remove the cover and toss them in the wash.”
What was your proudest DIY moment?
“It is going to sound silly, but painting. This camper isn’t for weekend getaways. We live in it full time. It was important to us that the paint job is durable. When we redid our first camper, we threw up some paint and called it a day. When we decided to live in it, we started to see wear on the paint pretty quickly. With this new camper, we were meticulous about the paint job. We prepped, primed, sanded and painted. It was a lot of work, but when we pulled off all the paper and painter’s tape, it was like unwrapping a big present. Once I saw how bright and open it looked I squealed with delight. The feeling of accomplishment was overwhelming. My husband and I celebrated with high-fives and cold beers.”
What was the source of inspiration for tackling this huge project?
“It may sound silly, but it was the challenge that most inspired me. My husband and I enjoy taking on challenges and proving to ourselves what we can accomplish. We fell in love with the concept of small space living. It’s a delicate balance between what you need and creating a beautiful space. It’s also very freeing. Not only in the terms of mobility but financially. No matter what happens or where we go, we are home.”
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