Welcome to my family’s home.
We live in a rural area, and out here, there are no such things as apartment communities. We are surrounded by large plots of family land (that would be other people’s families), so houses for rent are very few and far between. This is an old farming community; many families reside on acreage that has been broken up as time has worn on and fewer people farm to make a living.
I grew up in the suburbs of a large city in a brick house. Moving into a trailer required some negotiation on my part. It’s clean and pretty- much more spacious than many apartments I’ve lived in. We have a nice yard.
I don’t share walls with strangers and never have to tell my children to soften their footsteps with worries of complaints from neighbors living below. My bathroom is huge, none of the windows are painted shut, and thank goodness there were hook ups for the washer/dryer. But, let’s be honest here: attached to living in a trailer there is a stigma. A stereotype. Sometimes it can be pretty accurate.
And I spent my childhood watching The Wizard of Oz. Storm Chasers, anyone? Have you ever seen what a tornado does to a mobile home? I’m pretty sure there is no yellow brick road at the end of that mess.
After searching, and driving, and investigating a ridiculous number of rental ads, moving into this trailer was decided upon. It is a decision I don’t regret. We love our home. It is cozy and quaint. We have enough space to move around, each of the four of us claiming our own little corners, and we have a nice common area to play a board game or share a meal.
Living in a trailer presents a certain set of logistical problems… problems that I have yet to find information lending itself to solve. There are a bazillion websites, magazines, and even entire stores dedicated to solving the issues of residing in small spaces. There are resources like Apartment Therapy and stores like Ikea that are devoted to the challenges of contained living. The spatial suggestions are helpful- every now and again I’ll find an idea that works. But I have yet to find anyone willing to admit they need help with things like this:
And then there’s this:
Apparently mobile home decorators are very limited, because most of them embrace this bizarre mauve/country theme. Ours is complete with cornflower blue moulding.
I don’t think that we should have to sacrifice self or style just because our home is “mobile”.
And I got to thinking that we can’t be the only young family living in a rented mobile home that wishes our space was a little more reflective of who we are and what we love.
I can’t be the only one that cares, can I?
I’m going with no. But a quick internet search of decorating mobile homes yields approximately two articles that repeat themselves over and over via various links and forms. There are photos of a double wide mobile home that made it into several decorator magazines, and another woman that writes about half a paragraph on the interior of mobile homes, including exactly none photos.
Add to all of this the fact that Chad (my sweetheart) and I have a common goal: buy some land and build on it. And while building we will need a place to live. That temporary home will most likely be a mobile home (unless Chad builds us a treehouse first, or we sleep in the car). Which means that the problems we have here are going to follow us there. In fact this will probably be going on for quite awhile.
Here is where we will post our trailer trashtastic solutions and hopelessly solicit yours. Do you live in a mobile home?
Have you tackled weird wall seams or splackled flimsy wall board or had success covering horrendous wallpaper?
Is your shower impossibly small?
Do you have bizarre bundles of grass engraved into your cupboards?
We want to hear from you!