40-Year-Old Aluminum Trailer Gets Updated With Fresh Look

A 1972 Avion Le Grande trailer was lovingly restored it to its former glory. The home on wheels has its original appliances, a white and gray palette, and a floral-pattern fabric adding color throughout. 

Trailer's White Midcentury Kitchen & Dining Areas

White Midcentury Kitchen and Dining Area in Trailer

All you need to live the simple life waits inside this adorably chic Avion trailer. A light palette keeps the space from feeling too cramped while bold graphic patterns adorn the curtains and welcome mat.

Photo by: William C Johnson Architect

William C Johnson Architect

What did your clients want? Why a trailer? Is it a permanent residence or for travel?

Trailer With String Lights

Trailer With String Lights at Night

As the sun goes down, turn on the string lights and the trailer's interior lights for a warm and welcoming glow.

Photo by: William C Johnson Architect

William C Johnson Architect

When a client asked if our company owner and his wife, Bill and Cathy Johnson, wanted to buy and renovate this 1972 Avion LaGrande, they immediately accepted the challenge. Bill and Cathy used it at the Piney River in Tennessee and would stay there when they went on fishing trips. It has, however, traveled to lots of really nice places.

What changes did you make to the trailer?

White Kitchen and Bedroom in Trailer

White Kitchen and Bedroom in Avion Trailer

Crisp white cabinetry and bold floral patterns unify this trailer's two main living areas, the kitchen and bedroom.

Photo by: William C Johnson Architect

William C Johnson Architect

Bill and Cathy kept the basic layout as-is and updated the finishes and fabrics throughout to give a fresh look to the more than 40-year-old Avion. They kept the basic existing layout. The appliances are original as well. The cabinets are original, but they replaced the upper doors with plexi inserts.

What was your biggest obstacle in the designing the trailer?

The existing mechanical systems were really, really old, so some updates had to be done to get it running well again.

What inspired the trailer’s style?

We used light and bright colors to make the space feel larger. The floral-pattern fabric is inspired by the natural landscape surrounding the camper. Bill’s wife, Cathy, purchased the fabric for the curtains and pillows at a local fabric shop in Nashville and then sewed it all herself.

How did you maintain each space’s individuality?

White Interior of Airstream Trailer

White Interior and Kitchen of Avion Trailer

Bins mounted on the wall just inside the trailer's door make a handy place to stash reading material and mail. Walk back through the tiny kitchen to the cozy bedroom.

Photo by: William C Johnson Architect

William C Johnson Architect

The white and gray base-color palette is consistent throughout the trailer, along with the patterned fabrics. We did not want to mix and match patterns. Using the same pattern in a small space helps unify the design.

Did you use the same or a different color palette throughout the trailer?

We used the same color palette throughout.

Was there a specific element that tied the design together?

Yes, the Waverly fabric. It was purchased at a local fabric shop in Nashville and was used throughout the trailer for consistency. It’s a fun pop of color.

What is your favorite feature of the trailer?

We love the existing crystal chandelier. We couldn’t bring ourselves to get rid of it.

Why did you use twin beds in the bedroom? Are there other sleep accommodations?

Gray Banquette and Table in Trailer

Gray Banquette and Floral Curtains in Avion Trailer

A wraparound bench cozies up to this trailer's stately wood dining table and takes full advantage of windows on all sides. The floral curtains add graphic punch and a subtle pop of color.

Photo by: William C Johnson Architect

William C Johnson Architect

The twin beds were part of the original design, but the dining table folds out to a full-size bed.

What makes this project uniquely yours?

We try to provide lots of natural light in all of our projects whenever possible.

What “hidden gems” are in your design?

Bill and Cathy personally renovated the trailer on their own, so it turned into an ultimate DIY project. 

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Noble Johnson Architects, LLC

Noble Johnson Architects, LLC

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Noble Johnson Architects, LLC
noblearchitects.com AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, NCIDQ PO Box 2008 Brentwood, TN 37024 615-292-4017