Hollywood discovered Airstream trailers decades ago. Since the ‘50s it’s been common to see Airstreams parked at film locations and on sound stage backlots throughout Tinseltown. So, it wasn’t a surprise to see a brand new Airstream Eddie Bauer Edition sitting in the parking lot across from the Matthew Hofmann Custom Design we delivered for an A-list actor, recently.
This 1972 Sovereign 31-footer has been named mi hija by her owner — a lovingly-spoken Spanish term for my daughter. The actress/mom wears her 30+ years of acting experience very well. Her Airstream also wears its 40 years very well, too.
The HofArc renovation was a blend of vintage and contemporary styling. More than half of the factory-installed cabinetry, systems, and appliances have been retained. The bathroom, refrigerator, furnace, water heater, water tank and much of the plumbing are original.
After six hours on Google over several days, searching anything and everything to do with Airstreams, I settled my attention on HOFMANN ARCHITECTURE. I looked at hundreds of Airstreams; every single “for sale” sign all across America, some even as discotheques, five star hotels, DJ booths, you name it. I took a gander at the lot.
I needed a dressing room / school house / home away from home for my three children and me and as much as money wasn’t a hindrance, time constraints and the family philosophy of simplicity, efficiency, conservancy, and authenticity were.
It was a very simple decision in the end. Not only was Matthew’s design my favorite aesthetically, but philosophically the man, himself, rang my bell. HofArc uses the existing structure as much as possible, retaining the character and charm of the original coach while adding clean, simple and modern details that are thoughtfully efficient and stunning.
My cast mate had bought a brand new version of my same 1972 Sovereign and after seeing mine he promptly return it; I couldn’t blame him. So, the family philosophy remained in tact; we got our “home-away-from-home-keep-it-real-dream” Airstream for a reasonable price. We appreciate her more every day.
Wally and Matthew made it happen in record time, and in the end we gained two new friends. These kids of “stars” don’t align every day.
Shawnee – Actor
The list of custom modifications and upgrades is significant. Starting on the outside with new ZipDee awning hardware and Lankford Willow fabric by Sunbrella. In a world where image is everything, even the studio chairs match the awning. (How kitschy is that?)
Inside, the old kitchen cabinetry was removed and replaced with a continuous deck counter top. Orange acrylic faced laminate cabinetry was chosen to match the original refrigerator logo. (Can ‘70s green be far behind?) The expansive grey laminate counter top creates linear stability to the space.
New kitchen appliances include a three burner stainless stove top, double bowl stainless sink, commercial-style chrome faucet, three-stage reverse osmosis water filtration system, and a soap dispenser. New under cabinet storage space has been increased by 50% over the original design. The custom cut acrylic orange cabinet faces are supported by silent-closing Hafele drawer and door hardware. Since ample lower storage was available in the bathroom for the client, the overhead cabinets were removed to open up the space. A full-height mirror is fixed on the living side of the bathroom door.
Most of the factory closets and drawers were removed from the driver’s side rear of the Airstream to allow for a bunk bed set. Privacy curtains, a child-safety rail, and a movable ladder were installed. Sleek white roller-shades and new screens spiff up the window treatment.
The main living area was paired down to allow for openness and numerous social/work/dining options. Our favorite option is the client’s perfectly-matched modern classic Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chair. A wall mounted flat screen TV with adjustable hinge, Blue Ray player, and AppleTV complement the video upgrade.
The bathroom was repainted with a durable hardened pearl white finish, as well, the entire interior was refinished in white zero-VOC paints. An attractive modern mosaic penny-ground tile accents the tub and lower vanity.
The old, outdated and smelly carpet was removed throughout the cabin and replaced with a durable floating laminate that was glued at the seams to prevent future separation due to use and movement of the coach. Generous underlayment provides a cushiony feel throughout.
After making a visit to a nearby nursery, the client had arranged for delivery of a virtual forest of greenery that included, bamboo, small shrubs, and stout trees. As a result, landscaping the site was a breeze. The hot asphalt parking lot was instantly transformed into a cool and casual environment that would have made Cecil B. DeMille proud.
Then, imagine our surprise (mixed with a tinge of modesty) when we were told that her co-star (also an A-list household name) had purchased his brand spanking new Airstream for more than double her investment, but was returning it because he didn’t like it. Do you think we might be getting another call for a vintage renovation?
Some things do get better with age.