I ran into a native Highland Parker and professional artist who has been an active part of Los Angeles art culture for the past 30 years. She crafts one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry from the studio built on her one-of-a-kind property amid the rapidly changing neighborhood. To see her art click here.
I had passed by a vintage trailer parked in her yard for the better part of two years. My roommates were physicists (yeah…I know) in their final year of their doctoral programs at CalTech in Pasadena, and I knew it would be crunch time during their home stretch. I figured it was time to give them the space they needed to get the job done.
I asked my friend if the trailer was vacant, and if so, I was interested in renting it. I had nothing to lose. She was caught off guard, of course, but the transaction ensued at the very moment. I started moving my things into the 1969 19 foot Silver Streak “Jet” I’d been eyeballing for so long.
Interesting fact: Silver Streaks are made by the same people who make ‘Airstreams’, but the Silver Streak is entirely insulated (and maybe a little cooler?)—I’m biased.
Being a self proclaimed minimalist, the move was really just across the street, my belongings were inside the trailer (whose insides hadn’t really seen the light of day in years) in about an hour and a half.
The trailer needed a little bit of work.
Nothing I couldn’t handle! There were cabinets and wooden fixtures outline the interior walls. It was used as a mobile office for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power during the 60s and 70s.
I already had the equipment, which was convenient, now I just had to will the (wo)man power.
There were some original components of the trailer that I wanted to keep, so I set them aside, treated and replaced them later.
I knew some pieces were going to be essential and had to be addressed first; a bed, a desk, closet space, and some air circulation—in the winter? Well, some heat!
After clearing the insides and scrubbing down years of grime from the walls and repainting them with a few coats of stark white paint, I visualized exactly how I wanted her to be.
Sure, it might not look like much…but this soon became the most important art project of mine. Most of my free time went into the trailer. I realized these sorts of projects were probably never really “finished”, and that’s okay. Slowly but surely, the trailer became home.
After using some of the lumber I got from a carpenter/artist pal of mine up in the San Francisco area (he also owns BayAreaCustomFurniture and is one of my favorite painters), it was time to move things in.
At this phase, the trailer really started to reflect my personality more. Because of the tiny-home living situation aka, little to no space, it caused me to really shed possessions that I didn’t use or didn’t need anymore. A fresh start!
I got some cool vintage pieces, and started collecting pictures and art that I organized to hang on my salon style wall. I painted the inside of the door yellow, got some awesome indoor plants, hung up some lanterns for light, and kicked back back to revel in what it had become. The sounds of angry drivers peeling around corners, crying babies, and helicopters flying overhead during the night, shining their lights into my little trailer, became my tropical breeze. Home, sweet home. It really is where you park it!
Feeling like a proud parent, and loving my neighborhood and community more than ever, I posted a couple blog pieces on The Whirling Girlish, showcasing how far we’d come as well as the beautiful and unique surrounding neighborhood that the trailer and myself call “home”!
You can go back and check out the articles here.
*I should note that the bed situation is WAY more comfortable than it looks.
Even though I was pleased with the interior transformation, and of course loved her for what she was already (I accepted her!), I couldn’t help but wish I had a more clear idea of what I wanted to do on the outside. There was the beautiful deck that I was using all the time, which really is a social space. Having people over at the trailer gets sort of crammed inside.
Like many things that are overthought, nothing really progressed after a while. I added some plants or pieces that were “works in progress”, but there’s no doubt there were alterations I wanted to make. It really just came down to a matter of “when and how?”.
And just like so many things that are overthought, so many things are also rushed. I decided to let the exterior of the trailer happen organically to give myself time to really get things done completely.
Here’s how it would go down;
A pair of contractors/TV personalities, originally from HGTV referred to as The Cousins, would come in with a team and re-design the outside deck—all within 24 hours, and all for under $1,000.
Was this real? Did I say “yes”?! Of course! They didn’t have to ask me twice. I was on board, they were excited about the project, and they would be at the gate, hammer in hand, at the end of the month.
Woah, man. What had I done right recently?
True to their word, it all happened, and it was an amazing experience in time. I met the cousins, saw that they were in love with the property, neighborhood, and most importantly, the trailer. They were excited about the project and it relieved any apprehension I had experienced leading up to the moment.
The anticipation about killed me…but it was worth it. The experience and end result are beyond what I had fathomed.
See for yourself.
For lack of a better word—I was stoked.
And I wasn’t the only one! Thousands of other people thought the transformation was amazing too! What a cool show. Something I had wanted to do for so long, completed in a day. Amazing. Not to mention it was EXACTLY what I wanted. I wouldn’t (and haven’t) changed a thing.
She’s pretty dreamy looking at night time too.
Want to see the episode? Click HERE! Enjoy!