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Meet the Blue Beluga

Daniel and I spent this past weekend in Nashville. We were happy to have a weekend to explore a fun city and Daniel was able to do some work stuff while we were there.  But the real reason we went was to check out a 1969 vintage travel trailer. We have been thinking about this project for a few weeks now, have looked at several other trailers in our area and talked to a guy who could potentially remodel a trailer for us. We ultimately decided that this particular trailer was the right amount of work for us to feel comfortable tackling ourselves. We have done a fair amount of work here in our home, so we know we have skills in this area.

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I’m going to be honest here and admit that we may have bitten off more than we can chew. This trailer is 47 years old, has some significant water damage and needs like, everything done. Exterior paint, interior paint, new appliances, new tires, new floors, new walls, really just new everything. We are excited and scared and nervous and I am dying to get some white paint on the interior so I can start decorating. Right now, when we don’t have kids and we have family and friends spread out all over the country, seems like a great time to tackle a (crazy) fun new project that will allow us to travel around more easily. Also, this is way cheaper than a new house to fix my decorating bug, so there’s that.

The Details: Our trailer came to us without a brand name. After some internet sleuthing, Daniel thinks it may be this rare brand called a FAN (some dudes initials) but the company wasn’t around for long, so they are apparently rare (read hard to find, NOT valuable). We thought this guy was about a 16-footer when we first went to take a look but it is clearly longer than that. It measures at about 21 feet from tongue to tongue.

We have affectionately dubbed this guy the Blue Beluga. The front end has a little roof extension so a bunk could be added and Daniel said it reminds him of a Beluga whale. I kinda wanna paint him mint or teal #greensaremyjam but now that he’s named, I almost feel like a can’t!

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The Befores:

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When you walk in through the left door, you enter into the little kitchen area. We would love to refurbish this range/oven and keep it where it is. The sink is also salvageable. That’s about it as far as keeping the original appliances. Everything else needs to go (or doesn’t exist to begin with).

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The stop sign is covering a missing window from the outside. We will need to find a replacement for that. I tried cleaning the exterior of the other windows today and I think we can salvage those! That would be amazing! Most of them still tilt open too! But the horrible curtains and mini-blinds HAVE TO GO. Actually, as of tonight they are already sitting in our garbage barrel.


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This gapping hole is where the fridge was. There is some significant rot here in the walls and subfloor that will need to be addressed before long.

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Beside the fridge opening is a closet followed by a tiny bath (shower, toilet, tiny sink). We may nix the closet and extend that bathroom a bit, but we are still deciding. Bascially this entire wall needs to ripped out and built from scratch. The floors are rotted and the bathroom is horrible.

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So with the current shower/bath area we would be showing WITH the toilet. Like, it’s hanging out there and the shower head is on the wall beside it and everything is just getting showered on along with you. How bizarre. After looking at a bunch of tiny trailers, I have found that this is fairly common as a space-saving measure. I’m not sure if we will keep this feature or not, but it’s a possibility.

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Down at the far end (actually the front of the trailer where is will attach to the vehicle for towing) is the bed. Currently  the bed has a little slide out feature so during the day it can act as a couch/sitting area. When we are ready to sleep, we will slide out a section and lay the mattress down. That will block the front door, but we have the other, so it’s no problem. We will be recreating this sliding bed concept with new materials, what’s there is in terrible shape.

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On the right we have the dinette area. 2 of the seats have storage below and there is a cabinet above as well, as you can see. Again, we will be recreating this space with new materials. but we actually really like this trailer layout, one of the reasons we purchased this guy in the first place!

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The table is made to fill in the open section where your feet go while sitting at the bench. Then the bench cushions are laid out horizontally to make a second bed. Trailer designers are smart people, yo.


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Here is a look back at the little kitchen area.

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A closer look at the slide out bed. This is the slid-in position. These patterned curtains are staying as is #nope #reallynope

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Sorry these next few are horribly washed out, I’m still learning my camera settings.

 

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This is the rear of the trailer.

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Stop sign filling in for a window. #classy

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So there you have it. The Blue Beluga in all her pre-reno glory. We have a lot of work ahead of us! Even my Dad, the renovating genius, said “I wouldn’t even know where to start” when we gave him a tour today. I could see the relief on his face that this wasn’t his project to tackle. Great. Dad, are you reading? Thanks for your honesty! We may fail miserably at this, but we are determined to give it a try. Will keep you updated as we go!

This Old House at Cloudland Station

Get ready for a photo-heavy post everyone! You have been warned. Last weekend Daniel, my Parents, and myself visited a planned community near Chattanooga for the Grand Opening of their show home. We drove about 30 min. to Chickamauga, Georgia on the back of Lookout Mountain to the neighborhood of Cloudland Station. This Old House partnered with this Southern Living inspired neighborhood to design a 1,700 square foot classic American style home.

But before we get to the cute house, check out some pictures I took of this awesome planned community (before my Mom’s camera died).

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When you enter this community off a country road, you drive past a pond and arrive at this large event barn. There were a few other buildings here as well that I assume the community members can use for events and activities. This would be a lovely space for a wedding!

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Next we hopped on a hayride for a drive farther into the community where we saw a few new homes being constructed. Even though the plans for Cloudland Station and many of the amenities (pool, pond, fire pit area, and community buildings) have been around for many years, and the area has over 300 home sites, they are in the very early stages of development. I believe only about 7 families actually live here in finished homes at this time.

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We drove past this little swimming hole area.

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Below the 2 new constructions was this infinity pool. It had some really nice sitting areas, lounge chairs, a pool bath building, and a fabulous mountain view!

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Here is the view standing at the base of the new constructions with the pool below.

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We walked back towards the entrance from the pool area and stopped at this neat little country store with a water mill. It looked like maybe the water mill building was being used for community events and such. Even though these buildings look old and weathered, they are actually relatively new constructions. The planners did a great job of creating so much character for the families that will be living here.

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Just past the water mill and country store was this great fire pit area.

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Finally, we walked by this nearly completed home and just HAD to check out the inside. I actually liked this home better than the main attraction, the one built by This Old House that we came to tour.

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I love the exterior color of this home and the interior shiplap walls and ceilings painting in whites and grays was just lovely.

And now for the main attraction:

All photos below are from the This Old House website. This is when Mom’s camera died 🙁 It would have been hard to take pictures of these spaces myself, though, because it was fairly crowded. For even more photos of this house, click here.

 

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The exterior of this home boasted a huge wrap-around porch for plenty of outdoor entertaining

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Upon entering through that bright green door, we walked into a cozy living area. It was nicely decorated and of course, I love the walls, but would be snug for a family with children as this is the only real living area in the home.

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The living area is open to this cute kitchen with room for a narrow dining table in between (not pictured).

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At the back of the house is this mud room area with the laundry room at the back.

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Back at the front of the house near that bright, green door again, is the entrance to 1 of 2 master bedrooms. I actually think this space could have been better used for extra living or dining space, as I preferred the master bedroom on the upper level, but this would make a lovely space for guests.

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Upstairs we walked into this little foyer area that had a desk and some storage. For being a relatively small house, there was actually a ton of storage tucked in everywhere! Props to the builder.

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Off the upstairs foyer is the kids bath, a kids room with bunks (not pictured) and the 2nd master bedroom.

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I absolutely loved this Master bedroom! It was so bright and cheerful and the tall ceilings were fantastic.

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Attached was this fresh and bright Master Bath.

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Back in the foyer area, we climbed these steep stairs to a kids loft area and another kids room.

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What a fun place for kids to play!

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The kids room on the top level was really cute, but certainly not practical as any other space as the ceiling was incredibly low.

So, my final thoughts on Cloudland Station and the show house: I love the idea of planned community living. It’s a great way to enjoy country living outside city limits while still being able to enjoy things like the pool, swimming hole, pond for recreation, fire pit area, country store, community events, etc. But, you obviously pay for these amenities and are limited in the style of home you build. From what I read and saw, the available home sites were fairly small, so you would still have neighbors close by, which I feel is the whole reason for living way out in the country. I don’t want to hear or see neighbors, I want to enjoy the woods!

Needless to say, Daniel and I have no intentions of building a home at Cloudland Station, but I did enjoy seeing what it was all about and getting lots of ideas for charming home interiors.

Hope you enjoyed it too!

-Jamie