New Upholstery for a Vintage Airstream (Pt. 1 – Getting Started)

Making my way to North Carolina from New York to visit family over the holidays, I had plenty of time to go over my renovation plans in my head and work on my To Do List. Of course, it’s important to factor in the increasingly cold weather – there’s only so much you can do when it’s freezing. But in order to feel comfortable using the trailer and living on the road, I already knew I need to replace the stained, musty foam cushions and the missing curtains as well. So I decided to visit some friends who own a shop in Hendersonville, NC that sells (among many other things) high-end fabrics at a fraction of what they would cost in NYC. This is the kind of shop that’s a haven for a treasure hunter like me, and I’m always grateful that the proprietors, the Goranson family, let me peruse to my heart’s content and answer all of my questions.

The Stock Market, Hendersonville, NC
The Stock Market 340 North Main St., Hendersonville, NC

In between family gatherings and helpings of turkey, I made my way down to The Stock Market in Hendersonville, NC to say hello and take a look at what they had in store. Fortunately for me, in addition to their fabrics and antiques business, the Goransons have been designing and fabricating western-style clothing, jewelry and accessories for the past couple of years. I scored a beautiful leather hide because they happened to have it on hand for this purpose, and took home a bag full of fabric samples to compare against pictures of my Airstream interior so that I could choose colors and textures based on the existing design.

Leather samples

If you’ve been following my blog for a little while or checked out my Pinterest pins, you’ll know that I’m interested in the design intersection between the futuristic, aeronautic Airstream exterior and the rugged, organic experience of a life lived outdoors and on the road. It’s important to me that any new interior design choices I make – and this would be my first broad design stroke – should be an attempt to meet those intentions somewhere in the middle. In short order, I came up with the following choices (with valuable feedback from my mom, a talented, self-taught designer in her own right):

LGA FabricsIn general, I chose light, sturdy materials because dark colors tend to make a small space feel smaller – but the caveat is that you need to be more careful about keeping them clean. The dark fabric was chosen as an accent. Texture is very important because I plan to use the trailer for an extended period and when returning to a small space over time, comfort and durability are very important features. The materials I chose are not overtly modern in style, but they do create a clean look, and blend in well with the wood and cabinetry that I plan to keep for the foreseeable future. They’re certainly an update from the original colorways of 1969:

Original fabricAfter the fabric was purchased, I visited a local upholsterer recommended by the Goransons who specializes in automotive seating, and was able to discuss the fabrication & pricing with him. In my next post, I’ll explore that part of the process in greater detail and discuss the sustainability aspects of the materials I’ve chosen.

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  1. Nice. I am to see more pix! I love small town shops like that. Reminded me of my travels in Wyoming and also Iowa.

  2. Thanks Mike! Great, I’ll have some more pics up next week… Hendersonville is a pretty, quaint little town with shops and side streets I spend hours wandering through. I’ve met some great people there : )

  3. The Stock Market has a variety of things includng cowboy boots and hats, sterling jewelry, handmade leather goods…purses, belts, bracelets, and boots with custom boot jewelry. They also have antiques and fabrics

    1. Thanks Ann, they sure do! And all top quality items, too. Everyone in the family has a keen eye for design, and David has encyclopedic knowledge about all of the items to be found in the shop.

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