Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm free!!! And thinking of living in a vintage trailer...

First off, lemme just say,

I'm FREEE!!!

Well, for the most part at least. Studio is over! And winter break has basically started. I have one final exam still in a week, but I have plenty of time to just relax and study with classes being over...

So what's been on my mind lately? Well, vintage trailers....specifically, BIG vintage trailers! More like mobile homes really....

I'll be graduating college in a year and a half, and I love the idea of starting out after college in a vintage trailer! I could find one with outrageous 50's styling, fix it up, and make it my own little vintage oasis...

I am quite enamored with this 1959 Richardson that's been rotting away in a storage yard nearby my house here in MD... She may not look like much, but I just LOVE that angled end styling... She is very very rough, but in a way that might be better, since I could be free-er to stray away from the original-ness without feeling bad. Not to say I would ever make it modern, but as a designer and architecture student I would love the opportunity to redoe the inside with vintage things to create an entirely new (but vintage) atmosphere. It currently has really awful dark, fake wood paneling that I know is vintage, but I just can't stand... I could probably get that Richardson for free (or close to it) too... I hate to admit I'm not the biggest fan of her booty though. She basically just ends flat. It almost looks unfinished, or like someone modified it to just be a flat wall. I very much prefer the wild angles like the front end has. Because this trailer is so rough, I wonder if I could even modify the rear end design, maybe put in sort of balcony thing or add tapers or something... but make it look original. It would definitely require skill in metalwork to do it right, but that's something I'm very interested in and do want to learn. (I'll hopefully be taking some classes on at least welding soon). Oh, and while there's no pictures, in what's left of the living room is a very cool angled room divider...

I actually like the idea of living in some bizarre little collective grouping of vintage things. Like instead of one house per say, lots of little vintage rescued buildings and trailers...altogether in some little abandoned diners, little cottages, old train cars, vintage trailers, and other vintage oddities, some of which were never intended to be houses... I just think it would be such a fun and varied living experience. And I have seen all sorts of examples like the ones I mentioned listed for sale, often relatively cheap if you have a place for them.

But yea, here are some pictures I've been oogling over for inspiration. What I usually do is find certain images for inspiration when thinking of something like this. In a lot of cases, it's a singular thing or idea in an image I'm in love or am fascinated with. I love the idea of taking a lot of the ideas from these inspiration images and combining them in different ways.

Inspiration Images

LOVE this early 50's Landola! In this image what really strikes me is that sketched in patio/cover thing. I love the angled beam that extends past the roof line, and the play of the sever angles against the curved shape.

Below is another very cool patio covering idea.

The below Glendale has a similar angled front end (though I like the Richardson's better!), but this also has a very cool rear! I wonder if it'd be possible to to something like that to the Richardson. Also, love love this outrageous paint job!

And the chartreusy color of the one below...LOVE...
This one pictured below is a very rare 1959 Spartan Carousel...regarded by many as one of the holy grails of vintage trailers due to its excellent construction, styling, and outrageous floorplan! In addition to the large picture window on the end, which I love, the floorplan revolves around the kitchen in a way that had never been done before or again...

I mean just LOOK at that! How cool is that ROUND kitchen! With pink appliances, no less! Still not a fan of the wood paneling, but that kitchen is to die for...

The ceiling is also bumped down and then pulled back up to reflect the space below...and good lord there's even a Sputnik light tucked away in the recess! Oh! Incredible!!!

And the image below is just so happy and ridiculous I LOVE it. I'm kind of interested in combining some of the ideas from this image with the above one. Both are based on circles.... I love the high kitsch factor of this one and that little round covering thing held up by candy cane poles!
And this pink kitchen has the coolest angles in those cabinets (and in the layout itself). Not to mention its pink!

And I just kind of like this silly little wooden arch transition piece from an earlier 40's trailer...

Finally, I could only find an example in a vintage toy, but I love the little caboose covered balcony thing in this trailer!!!! Something like this also might be a possibility with the Richardson...

So anyways, just wanted to share some of what I'm currently oogling over! Lemme know what you think!


  1. When you said you like the idea of a collective grouping of vintage living spaces.. it made me think of a tv episode of American Pickers.. they visited an old man who kind of actually did just that. I think it was in Wisconsin.. but the guy had a big piece of property and just collected old buildings.. anything from saloons, to barns to gas stations. He had his very own private vintage town. It was pretty neat

  2. "lots of little vintage rescued buildings and trailers...altogether in some little abandoned diners, little cottages, old train cars, vintage trailers, and other vintage oddities" Dude, your talking about the Backlot! Haha Thats exactly what I want to do, and will start when im 30. (Basically Disneyland with out the rides) lets do it! I can find houses you can find trailers!

  3. I am looking a buying a 1959 Spartan, too. I have only peeked in the windows but it has such great potential that I am excited. It will be a little less room than I have now but I think I can handle it with an outside storage building. What a hoot!

  4. ***DROOL*** All those trailers are so frikkin' sweet! I love the brushed aluminum one with the big ole windows in the back. If you get the Richardson, where would it go? You'd have to have a lot to park it and restore it. Its a great dream...I hope you make it a reality! I just noticed you are following my blog, I heart Everything and had to check out your place. I can't wait to dig through the archives! Happy Holidays!!

  5. These great images really make the point that design used to be so great. I'm still working on my 16' Shasta, so I know how much work would go in to restoring one of these big ones, but it sure would be cool to have one when it's finished!!

  6. Reading some of the other comments, there is another collection of smaller campers you can rent overnight, the Shady Dell in Bisbee, Arizona. I would add some other touches to the dream, including an old bowling center with a full vintage arcade, a drive-in movie theater, and a go-kart track. There's an antique mall (the Sled Factory) I sometimes go to in Duncannon, Pa., with an old camper inside next to a recreated malt shop with a bunch of old pinball games - great place to visit!

  7. I really hope you get one with a pink kitchen so pretty and girley.

    So glad i found your blog


  8. Awesome! What a fantastic idea! Good luck and looking forward to the pictures of the one you purchase.

  9. Sounds like we have similar tastes in vintage trailers. I have a couple Spartans and also love the look and styling of late 50's- early 60's mobile homes. Check out this one. The best of both worlds. Far out mobile home styling in a short portable package.

  10. Ooooh Don that one you posted the link of is increeeedible... That's exactly 100% me... I normally hate fake wood paneling, but in that rare rare case I actually like it since it more grey, which works great with the pink and other colors....

  11. Thank you. I know what you mean about the paneling. I usually only collect 40's and 50's stuff and never thought I'd go for anything that didn't have birch, but when I found the Terry I knew I had to have it. The grey paneling really works with the black trim and the pink fixtures. I actually found the original owner. A lady who is now well into her 90's. She was single and wealthy at the time and she custom ordered this trailer and bought a new Oldsmobile and picked up the Terry at the factory in CA. She then took it on a coast to coast tour that lasted almost a year. When she returned home to Oregon she sold it and it ended up parked in 1975 and didn't move again until I bought it, and the rest is history.. I have a growing collection of trailers and since I've moved on to other projects I'm considering putting the Terry on the market once spring comes. I'm kind of "putting it out there" until then so I made a little youtube vid if you or your readers would like to see more.

    Wishing you the best with your vintage dreams!

  12. I want the candy cane kitchen.

    So glad I found your blog. Stop by some time.

    -Desiree, Pop-o-matic Deluxe!

  13. Wow, that would be so much fun to fix up! Great ideas! I so love the round kitchen and the cool light!

  14. Holy Moly!!!
    I live in a 1962 Vindale expando trailer. It doesn't look very cool from the outside because they put new siding on it, but the inside's pretty neat. There's light green fluffy carpet, wood walls and avocado kitchen sink and bathtub. I always wonder what the outside originally looked like!

    Good luck, I hope you score one of your own! A combo of the Glendale with the color of the pan-american would be the ultimate [and then add the patio cover and sputnik lights!!!] :)

  15. Your blog is good.. Today I came across a new alliance offer from a big brand GROHE for Designer and Architect, you should must check out the GROHE Designer Alliance

  16. its been 6 years since your initial post I am curious as to what became of your fetish?? Did you get a trailer rehab it and move in ?? Or did you end up in traditional housing??