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This gypsy trailer interior (and exterior) is something to behold!
Introduction: An Eclectic Gypsy Style Remodel
Are you a wandering nomad who loves mixing vintage and found objects to create an eclectic yet comforting space to call home? You may be onto something.
While the rest of the world embraces minimalism, the gypsy style embodies “maximalism.”
At this year’s Trailerfest Vintage Camper Trailers Rally at Camp Fimfo in Waco, Texas, I met Dusty and Cory Caswell and their gypsy-renovated 1963 Shasta Compact. Only 11 feet long overall, they lovingly spared no expense in their detailed renovation.
Beginning with the outside of the trailer, they specifically wanted to have the 1950s retro vibe while keeping with the theme of being uniquely theirs.
Painting Custom Exterior Colors
They found an auto paint detailer and mixed their own custom colors of paint on the outside (even naming the peach color “Camper Putty”). With thousands of color variations to choose from, Dusty said, “Don’t be afraid to try a few different shades to get it just right.”
Unique Camper Screen Door
When you first open the door, you immediately notice that they inlaid a gorgeous patterned lace on the screen door to the camper entry.
They call this “The Magic Door.” You can build one similar for your own rig by watching their YouTube video.
Gypsy Trailer Interior Design
One of the things you notice right away is the layers on layers of textures and fabric of seemingly different colors.
Every square inch of this trailer has a story to tell, and we’ll start with the galley.
This kitchen sink was taken from a 20-year-old mobile home that was about to be demolished.
Dusty loved the color and knew it would go perfectly with her palette for this renovation.
Do you see how it’s set at an angle? She did this on purpose to allow for as much counter-space as possible.
Copper Hammered Countertop
The copper countertop was hammered by hand, and she had someone professionally mold the top to the frame of the counter. You can do something similar by following this tutorial.
Dusty explained there are different acid washes to use to get the specific patina you want for your divots (from shiny to dull).
Here’s another YouTube video showing 5 different recipes for adding patina to copper metal.
Mixed metals? No problem! Dusty likes incorporating all types of metals to give her designs a unique flair.
Wait, what’s under those arms on that hinged door?
Would you believe it’s an air conditioner?
Dusty and Cory wanted something other than a window-mounted AC, which would be too modern for their style. Instead, they opted for a 14,000 BTU unit and hid it underneath the kitchen counter. Sure, they sacrificed some storage space, but with this door open, you get the full blast of air inconspicuously.
You can get a similar one through Amazon. You will need to vent it, which they did by running the pipe underneath the cabinet and venting it out the side of the trailer.
- Portable AC: Use this personal air conditioner (16.5” x 14.06” x 27.09”) in rooms up to 700 sq. ft. Stay cool in the hot summer months and sleep well with this BLACK+DECKER ac unit for bedroom.
Keeping with the vintage vibe, they hid the air conditioner with an old cast iron fireplace grill they found.
Dusty said they could still see the white parts of the unit, so she covered the back of the grill with fabric and made a skirt that extended underneath the grill to hide it completely.
Gypsy Fabric Touches
Speaking of fabric… It may seem that the layering of fabrics and textures throughout the trailer was done haphazardly; however, Dusty explains the care and effort involved to achieve the final result.
She uses a color wheel chart similar to this one to find the undertones that will go together well. The colors she focused on for this renovation were greens, burgundy, mustard yellow, and peach, some of her favorite colors, all with the same undertone.
The entire ceiling of the camper is covered with ruched fabric that Dusty painstakingly sewed together (she recommends doing this in pieces or panels) and then tacked trim to a backing board to keep the fabric in place.
Seating Area with Velvet Cushions and Buttons
For the bench side of the trailer, Dusty covered a cushion with velvet and added another unique touch of sewing in buttons that she took from her grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s clothes!
What a great way to honor your loved ones by literally sewing their mementos into your trailer’s fabric! You can watch the video of how Dusty does this here.
Sleeping Space with Custom Mattress
The inside of this Compact Shasta is only 9 feet long. Usually, the mattress would be horizontal along the far end of the trailer. However, Dusty wanted a walkway down the middle of her trailer.
The problem was a regular twin mattress wouldn’t fit.
She found a European mattress (which is 2 inches shorter) and used that to fit perfectly in the space.
Did you notice the beadboard wood paneling throughout the trailer? They used single beadboard wall panels, cutting and shaping them to fit the curves of the trailer.
Like this look? Replicate it with beadboard wallpaper:
- This Pre-Pasted Bead Board Wallpaper Gives The Beautiful, Streamline Effect Of Bead Board Without All Of The Work
The back windows of Shasta trailers generally leak, so they are strengthened with plumbing tape before putting the board over the top.
- Teflon tape has a sealing function to prevent the leakage of water or gas.
They finished their design by putting hand-carved wooden trim around the top of the beadboard, painting it with nearly 20 different layers of paint colors and oil rub to capture the highlights and lowlights.
Custom Light Fixtures
Underneath that custom trip, do you see the hanging lights?
Well, those are regular lamp bases given to Dusty, which she repurposed by turning them upside down and mounting them to the top of the trailer.
She added her signature trim and hung the lampshades to hide the light element from view.
Each light has its own chain link so that she can turn only the lamps on that she needs for reading or ambiance. For added flair, Dusty recommends draping jewelry from the lampshades!
Using Found Objects as Decor
Whether you visit your local antique market, thrift store, or have heirlooms tucked away in the attic, found objects add a unique character and whimsy to your trailer.
Using them keeps with the true gypsy spirit as nearly every object in a gypsy wagon is either a reminder or a gift from a loved one. Apparently, it is also very bad to give any of those gifts away (which could be an issue for trailer weight, depending on the size or amount of gifts!).
Dusty has a music section of old instruments:
As well as a tea section:
Conclusion: Gypsy-Inspired Trailer Remodel
Gypsy style is all about your own personal expression! Try incorporating some of this into your modern trailer for something different.
You can always contact Dusty and Cory for questions or advice; they love sharing their process. You can find them on Facebook or see more of their videos from renovating this trailer on their YouTube channel.