It’s the little things that bring me comfort when I feel out of control.
The feel of a nice breeze on my face, a cozy place to read a good book, the process of trying out a new
recipe-the comfort of these things that make me feel better, even in a pandemic, shouldn’t be minimized.
I know certainty is an illusion but it feels more vivid now when we are going through tornado recovery, a pandemic and an emotional social justice movement that has ignited and divided our nation.
May 2020 was jam-packed with activities surrounding my son graduating from college and my daughter graduating from high school. I had a full interior design client calendar through July and the retail shop was all ready for Spring. Welp…..all of that changed drastically and left me anxious and sad.
If you are anything like me, all of this has you out of sync and trying to figure out how to navigate a new normal. I was okay for the first couple of weeks because I was in survival mode. There was no time to think about how disorientated I was, I had to keep my head down and get stuff done. Then the reality of the pandemic set in and the uneasiness became hard to ignore.
I am a firm believer in making your environment cozy and a place that welcomes you to relax. It is in these difficult times that we need to identify what calms us and make it a priority. Creating pretty spaces brings me joy and with all of my client projects on hold, I decided to indulge myself and start a personal project that has been on hold for a couple of years. Now I have a house full of projects that need my attention but they were all going to cause me additional stress since we were all home, all the time. I didn’t think it was a great idea to destroy a few rooms and live in chaos, crazy right? But tackling renovating our travel trailer was a project that would get my creative juices flowing without causing any turmoil at home.
We purchased the camper several years ago when our boys were in middle school. It was all brown, and when I say all, I mean everything was brown. It didn’t really matter to me at the time because brown doesn’t show dirt and there was a lot of dirt when you took boys camping. The boys have both graduated college and our baby girl is headed off to college so our weekends are free for the first time in almost 20 years (Yikes, that went by so fast!) so I wanted to make the camper a pretty place to spend time and a space that I could unwind and enjoy a relaxing weekend get away with my husband.
I decided to start with the bedroom and work my way through to the main living space in between camping trips over the summer. The first thing to go were the wall of mirrored cabinet doors. Once I took them off, I knew I was going to make that a cozy space to read a book or take a nap and a place to hide stuff if needed because clutter makes me crazy.
Next to go were all the brown upholstered valances, wow did that brighten up the room. The cabinets above the bed had to go too. They weren’t really useful and they were ugly so I had fun taking a hammer to them.
I painted everything, walls, cabinets and the sliding door Alabaster White from Sherwin Williams. A little decorative trim for the door and it looked so much more substantial. New window coverings and curtains for the napping nook (don’t you love how that sounds?) kept things light but also offered privacy and the option to sleep in a little later than sunrise.
Textured bedding gave me the coziness I was determined to have. I used pillows and a throw from my shop to complete the look. A small antique side table give me a place for morning coffee and a lamp for night time reading. A small 3 drawer chest replaced a bulky cabinet that wasn’t very useful and allowed us to put a full size queen bed instead of an RV short queen that came with the camper.
It is still a work in progress but that didn’t stop us from heading out to our first stay at Clearwater Cove RV Resort on Tim’s Ford Lake. This view was all we needed to recharge and enjoy some down time at the lake. Now that she is getting a makeover and looking so good, I thought it was time for her to have a name and Toodle Loo seemed perfect! You can follow along on her remodel and our camping adventures on Instagram at Toodle_Loo_Yall. Now pack your weekend bag and head out on adventure, it really is good for the soul.
Kelly Spalding serves as Home Design Editor for SEM. She is also the owner of Kelly Spalding Designs, a lifestyle boutique for home, gift & apparel located at 915 Columbia Avenue in downtown Franklin.