After Louise’s daughter was born with a rare disorder requiring extended hospital stays, she was determined to make the most of their family time. She and her husband purchased a pop up camper and turned it into their home away from home.
I know. I know. It has been waaaay too long since I had a post up on the blog. We actually just got back from our epic three week road trip to Tennessee, and it was amazing. I promise to tell y’all (Can I say that now that we’ve been to the South? 😉 ) about it very soon. We had a fabulous time. While I am getting back into the swing of things and sorting through comments and e-mails, I thought it would be a great time to share another reader makeover. This one is from a very inspiring reader named Louise.
Louise’s daughter, Clara, was born with a rare genetic disorder called Charge Syndrome. When she came into this world she was crying, but not breathing. They discovered that Clara had no airways in her nose. It was solid bone all the way through. Within the first few months of her life, she under went surgery after surgery to drill the bone out of her nose. Louise spent Clara’s first summer in hospital, longing to be outdoors. On a particularly beautiful day, she held her other daughter on her lap looking out the hospital window and told herself this was temporary. One day Clara would be big and strong and could enjoy the outdoors for herself.
So when Clara was released from the hospital, Louise wanted to make up for lost time. She was inspired by Kaycie’s story on the Facebook page. Kaycie’s son was born with a rare skin disease, and she and her family purchased a pop up camper to allow them to get out and experience nature on their own terms. You can see Kaycie’s story here. Louise could totally relate. She wanted to escape to nature as well and experience some much needed bonding time as a family, so they began looking for a pop up camper.
Louise bought her trailer used from another family in the area and knew she had totally scored. It was a high wall pop up camper, and although the inside was dark and dreary, the floor and cabinets were in great shape. She realized that with just a little bit of fabric and a few great accessories, she could make this a bright and cheery vacation home on wheels. Her idea was to create a fun space with a whimsical nature theme. She really wanted to reuse and recycle when possible, so she and her husband did a lot of shopping at second hand stores.
All of the cushions were actually recovered in grey curtain panels. Louise found that upholstery fabric could be very expensive, but most curtain panels were not only very durable, but also very economical. They were the perfect solution for her cushion covers. When constructing the covers, she also wanted them to be very kid-friendly. She added zippers to the back of each cover so she could remove them and wash as needed. Louise also gave each one a couple coats of Scotch Guard for good measure.
The curtains were made from matching thrift shop fabric that Louise had come across. She gently removed the top trim from the existing curtains, keeping the original curtain clips in place. Then she marked each trim piece with a number, so she would know where it belonged. She sewed her thrift store fabric to the original trim piece and glued cute burlap flowers to the original curtain ties. It was simple, used the original hardware, and made a huge difference.
Louise found the bedding for her camper on sale at Wayfair. The “Happy Camper” pillows came from Etsy. I think the icing on the cake, though, is the way Louise used items she found at second hand stores to accessorize. She purchased dishes, a kettle, and organization racks for cheap and used them all throughout her makeover. It enabled her to achieve her whimsical look on a tight budget. With a little spray paint and an inexpensive lamp kit, an old candle holder became a hanging light fixture.
A cute teal storage rack, also found at a second hand store, doubles as a dish dryer and organizer. Shower caddies hang over the bathroom walls to hold fruit, and clothespins were used to hang cute artwork on the walls of the canvas. I love Louise’s creativity. She really did a lot with a small budget. 🙂
Now that Clara is out of the hospital, Louise does not want to miss out on any more family time. Once the camper was finished, they started camping immediately and have spent as much time as possible in nature. Clara is three years old and much more stable now, but Louise and her husband know that this time is precious. They are grateful for every moment. Louise says, “In a way our tent trailer is a symbol of home. No matter where you are, as long as you are with family, you are always home.”
What a great story, right? I love it! Thanks so much for sharing your story and your makeover with us, Louise. You really are inspiring. I hope you and your family make lots of amazing memories in that new camper of yours. You’ve certainly earned it. 🙂