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beve studio vintage camper renovation: Renovated!

Lauren Boggs Meslar

So, summer of 2020 - I gave up rent of our two rooms  and we began to move all of beve's goodies into the camper. Yay! However, you'll notice that not everything is complete when this happened. Light fixtures and outlets still needed to be inserted. The AC unit needed to be reassembled and covered.... and it still does.. in 2024. Truth be told, I could not get the AC to work again and I haven't wanted to buy a new one or pay someone to try to fix it. I haven't even gotten the cover stuck back on there to pretend that it works! Oh well :)

rear view of clutter camper interior

Another setback: we put the camper on our well house access road - all good, right? Nope. Our shared well started having major issues that summer. We had a new pump installed, but were told that they needed to repair the piping and the camper had to move to do that. So, by the day we were supposed to, one of my brothers was kind enough to haul the camper out to our parking area to provide access to the well house.

camper being towed

As we didn't think the camper would be there for long, we didn't worry about getting it exactly level or anything. That was a mistake! Time passed, the well people didn't come. We got a new vehicle and this is how our house looked.. for months!

camper in front of house with multiple vehicles

I did continue moving forward with projects. Pretty lights, check!

cute light fixture on decal wall, white shade, wooden base

Paper straws onto the pegboard, check!

pegboard with colorful paper straws on it

But, uh, there was still a lot left to do! Note the ceiling lights in this photo. Those are one of the only original items left in the camper (besides window handles and skylight trim). I don't think I have a photo of the glass, but it's a pretty, decorative 'globe' that I was happy to keep.

cute camper interior with cluttered items inside

As the weeks passed, I realized I couldn't wait for the camper to get back in its proper place before tackling organizational projects. I was happy to repurpose some wire racks into much more usable and durable storage by zip tying them together.

silver wire shelves being zip tied together and ends snipped off

Voila! Vertical storage for my gift wrapping paper rolls!

stacked, reinforced wire shelving with hundreds of wrapping paper organized inside

A little night painting of an old Ikea chair that was torn up by our cat in a custom-made color.. I'm glad I didn't invest a lot in a studio chair as I hardly EVER design out there.

black Ikea chair being painted light blue-green at night

And here we are! This is a good approximation of what the camper looks like now. No more paper straws and lots of stationery sets nowadays, but this is pretty much it.

cute camper interior semi-organized

And here is that unfinished window trim I mentioned, plus the chair oomphing up the wall color a bit. You can also tell that it can get pretttttttty chilly out in the camper, despite my efforts at insulating. I now have a wifi heater that I can (usually) turn on before heading out. In the winter that means I wait for it to get to 45 degrees instead of 32 before I sit down to prep orders. Brrrrrr!!!

front interior view of camper with ice-covered window, rainbow decor, and painted chair

This is winter 2020-2021. Did I mention that it gets cold!?

And this is what I look like out there packing orders!
selfie in camper with poufy winter coat and hood on

But, wait! We're not done! Did I say the camper was in our parking area for months? I meant A YEAR. UGH. However, I used the time wisely. My neighbor had complained about seeing the camper through the woods. I always thought it was pretty cute, but that didn't mean I didn't have dreams about how to make it cuter. So, while it sat easily accessible in the parking area, in summer 2021, it got an exterior makeover!

1974 terry camper white with light green stripe

Goodbye, Terry!

old, damaged Terry decal at front exterior
heated and scrubbed-off decal

 

Hello, primer!

I believe I used Sherwin Williams' Pro Industrial Pro-Cryl primer that helps inhibit rust and is a good base for marine paints.

vintage camper extierior with grey primer and stripe taped off

Gettin' there! And, yes, I couldn't resist a fun pop of color! I used a glossy spray paint on the door, but on the camper exterior, I think I used Sherwin Williams' Pro-Line 1000 Deluxe Marine Enamel. I did not want to have to paint it again! I listened to many, many hours of the Outlander series audiobooks while painting this thing!!

mostly painted vintage camper with hunter green at bottom and medium grey at top, stripe taped off, golden yellow open door

And there is it! All finished on the outside, too! Fall 2021

completed exterior paint with white stripe and hunter green door exterior

And after over a year in our parking area, in the late fall of 2021, my pretty camper went back to its home on the access road - all tucked in the fall foliage in a pretty, camouflaged way. It only took almost three years!

freshly painted camper back in its spot at the woods, blending in well with fall foliage

A view from 2023, making use of that wheel well for our greeting cards, notepads, and letter writing sets!

interior view of floral decal wall with letter writing sets

And a few projects getting wrapped up like giving the back corner of this steel CB2 table a leg over the short wheel well. Note the wire racks with packing materials underneath the table, above the wheel well. Gotta use every nook you can in a small space!

smart solutions, wooden desk leg cut off to go over wheel well

As we sold out of our paper straws, I moved some of my crafting supplies out to the camper. These rainbow-arranged spools of thread on pegboard make me very happy!

rainbow color arranged thread on white pegboard

There continue to be not-so-fun surprises every once in a while. There's a bit of water damage near the front skylight and I just can't seem to fix the leak. For now, I have a tarp over that skylight and a plan to try again... sometime!

ominous drip coming from screw head at ceiling skylight

However, in the meantime, I get to enjoy tucked in the woods, having birds and deer pass by my windows. And, let's be honest, spiders and hornets too.

doe and fawn just outside camper window

I also am only ~100' away from my house, so I get cute visitors like this popping by to see what I'm working on and to try to build forts in my studio.

preschool boy in yellow raincoat with lollilop in front of yellow door

It can get messy, it can get leaky, it can be hot and it can be very cold, but I don't pay rent, I don't have to commute, and I have a cute space to run my business from.

open camper door showing yellow interior, colorful HELLO entry rug, floral decal wall, and desk set up

A few unseen projects and notes: double piggy-backing wifi extenders to get internet out here.. which can be inconsistent given the metal siding. The flooring has gotten some gaps length-wise with the expansion and contraction due to temperature. Boo! I hope to someday make a 'skirt' for the camper that may help keep it warmer in the winter. Maybe I'll get AC figured out someday and the leaky bit at the front. I still have not put the metal cover on the outside vent.. it faces the bank and 'out of sight, out of mind'! I did, however, finally finish up the hinges at the wheel well and front window trim in early 2023, yay!

And, voila! A little messy, but pretty cute!
cute and full of product camper interior view stationery washi tape letter sets stickers

Lots of storage for washi tape (all those white boxes on the shelves), flat wrapping paper sheets in the cardboard boxes and in the large tubes, rolled wrap in the wire rack behind the shelves, re-used shipping paper/bubbles and boxes on and by the shelves, stickers and paperboard boxes on the pegboard, envelopes galore. There is a lot of beve magic packed into 125 square feet of vintage camper studio! It may not be the prettiest, tidiest, most-efficient studio out there, but it's cute and it works!

business owner lauren boggs meslar in hat in vintage camper studio beve

Thanks for following the journey from this to that!

And now, back to work in my little vintage camper studio in the woods!
cute vintage camper tucked into fall foliage


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