Take a peek inside my retro, rainbow, second-hand, mobile home

September 10 | offbeatbride

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The offbeat occupant: Rhiannon, Student/House-girlfriend
Other occupants: My boyfriend, Greg
Approximate square footage: 650-1000 sq. feet
How many bedrooms? 2
Lives in: Kansas City, KS
When did you move into this home? 4 years

Let's start with the neighborhood. What's it like where you live? Our trailer park is along a half-mile stretch containing four other small parks. Surrounding us are truck depots and one of the largest rail yards in the country. It feels tucked away and quiet, but we are less than 15 minutes from downtown Kansas City. Our street is a dead end with only 12 trailers that typically house middle-aged or older people with no kids. It has big trees and decent sized yards.

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Home tour

What makes your home offbeat? I like to think my house looks like someone in the late 1960s was in the middle of updating. Add to that my collection of toys, knick-knacks, and second-hand furniture, and you get my version of paradise.

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Home tour

What's the most challenging about this space? How do you deal with the challenge? There are two big challenges here. One, storage. We only have two small closets. Everything is kind of exposed, so I had to find ways to hide everything in plain sight. I also had to learn to rid myself of unused possessions (which is easier for me than my boyfriend).

Home tour

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Two, we are only going to be able to sell it for about $4,500, so I can't put money into anything. I had to find cheap ways to fix problems, like decoupaging over a hole in the paneling or buying Habitat Re-Store flooring for the hall and kitchen.

Home tour

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Home tour

What's your favorite feature of your home? My kitchen! When I moved in, my boyfriend had no fronts on the cabinets because they were stained from the previous owner. I pulled them out of the shed and painted them with bright aqua paint and wall papered the insides. It is just so cheery, and I did it all myself.

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I am also most happy when I cook, so everyone has always given me kooky kitchen supplies. I have wanted Fiestaware since I was 12 years old, and thankfully there's Kohls. My mom and I have used her Kohls cash, sales, and the random percents-off they give their cardholders to get myself an eight-piece setting for only $120! I think any drab kitchen could be transformed with Fiesta.

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What's the most important lesson you've learned from this home? You don't have to spend a lot of money to have the things you want. Almost everything here is a hand-me-down, bought on sale, DIY, or from a thrift store. I wouldn't have it any other way. It adds a lot of personality.

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What's your grandest plan for the space? This summer I got rid of the rarely used bed in our second room and made it my craft room/library. My next plan was to fix some of the paneling in there and paint. I bought some "oops paint" at Lowes and even started to decoupage one wall with flowers and garden scenes. That's when my boyfriend decided to apply for a home loan and got approved. I was one project away from having everything the way I want it. Now I get to start all over in our new house.

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What advice do you have for other offbeat homies? You do you! If you want a rainbow house, DO IT! When looking online, everything said to make sure to go with the 60/30/10 rule with colors. I say screw it.

Also screw what you think people think about where you live. It used to take me a long time to tell people I lived in a trailer park just because of the stigma. But my friends in apartments don't have yards, they can't paint, and they hear everything their neighbor does. I love this trailer and will always remember it as the place where my boyfriend and I fell in love and figured out how to be functioning adults.

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Home tour

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Any stuff or services you want to recommend?

  • In Kansas City, you can't beat Brass Armadillo for antiques. It is my favorite place to spend a Saturday. It is GIANT! I have spent over five hours in there before and didn't look through everything.
  • I also love estate sales. Everything is usually inexpensive, and you find real oddities. My Haagen Dazs mirror was an estate sale find for only $10.

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  1. Love it!!! And you're an Aldi shopper!!! 🙂 Our favorite thing to do is go thrifting and antiquing for Fiestaware. We vowed to only build our set from ones we find throughout our travels!

    6 agree
  2. 1 Restore is awesome! My bosses use it all the time for repairs and occasionally furniture.

    2 I have to agree sometimes you have to ignore the stigma and do what you want. I own a house in a development and I always thought it was so tacky. But my house is new without any issue, I can do pretty much anything I want to it, and it is a great place to raise kids. I think people are always shocked to see how big out townhouse is on the inside. People might judge if you live in a trailer, but I think people eventually understand when they talk to you and hear the perks. My grandparents live in a trailer and people hear it and make a fact, But they LOVE it! Once I explain that they love the one floor, the smaller space, being close to neighbors, I think they understand why they would love it.

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  3. This is so much fun! I love how much color you have everywhere in your place, even your silverware and other kitchen items. I usually tend to opt for color also.

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  4. oh my, I didn't know about Fiesta ware, but now I need some in my life!! Unfortunately, it seems that it's not available in Europe?!

    1 agrees
  5. I love your kitchen! I'm a huge VW fan so all the VW paraphernalia makes me smile. It's so bright and cheery. I want to hang out and drink tea all day there.

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    • I love the VW theme too! I have a '71 Superbeetle just chilling in my garage because I can't drive stick. I'm learning slowwwly, and I'd love to make it my primary driver one day!

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      • I didn't know how to drive stick until I bought my current car off my sister-in-law. My other car was about dead so it forced me to do it. Just take the plunge and go. You will learn quick and it is a ton of fun!

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      • We also have a superbeetle but ours is a '73. Originally it was supposed to be mine but the stick shift was too hard to learn because they are tricky cars!

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    • I had that immediate response upon seeing their kitchen. I just want to sit there and drink hot beverages all morning. Maybe while we discuss thrifting or VWs.

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  6. I love lots of things about this home, but my favorite is the mushroom letter organizer. I didn't remember until I saw it, but my grandparents had the same one. (My grandfather operated a mushroom cannery, so lots of mushroom-themed decor in the house.) I wish I knew what happened to it. (Maybe it made its way from Upstate NY to Kansas!)

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    • That was my favorite part too! I found the remnants of contact paper that would have matched in some of my kitchen drawers, but sadly it was under 2-3 other layers and wasn't in good enough shape to keep.

      Also, using wall paper on the inside of the cabinet doors is a great idea!

      1 agrees
    • Maybe in her new home the OP can make a gallery-type wall of the hoops as functional art! (I'm jealous since I can't use a hoop to save my life.)

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  7. Fuck yeah, rainbow house! My living room was rainbow themed, I loved it. Hopefully I'll be able to bring some of it back home now that I've *sigh* had to move back in with my parents. Also – mixer twins!

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  8. I love this place. If it were in Colorado, I would buy it off your hands tomorrow. I've been saving for a house for months.

    1 agrees
  9. You did a great job. I've been in quite a few mobile home and this one is real, practical, and nice. The best part for me is how you kept the kitchen cute, clear and bright. Kudos to you in trying to keep the clutter out and the cuteness in.

    2 agree
  10. This is my sister's home. First, I must say I am so excited for her that her home has made this website. She has put lots of work into making this house a home! Second, I am kicking myself over the fact that I have yet to come and see it in person (I have three young children so making this happen has been difficult)! What a beautiful and loving home you have created! Rhiannon has always been a passionate artist with an eye for all the uniqueness that she encompasses. Your home is nothing short of amazing! I hope I can help add to your vision through Christmas/birthday gifts that I feel will add to your incredible vision. Sending all of my love! 🙂

    2 agree
  11. This is seriously helping me mentally right now. My family of 4 (and 2 dogs) live in the trailer that was my grandmothers before she died. We have 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, and it still feels like my grandmas house. I need to just cover EVERYTHING with coats of paint, and replace some of the ceiling paneling because it is sagging in a corner of the kids bedroom. Having a yard was definitely important to us, and the price (free!) was definitely right. At some point we would like to build a home here or buy one nearby, but it will be awhile before that is an option at all. We have no space, whatsoever for storage. It's really terrible to just have a section of the counter that is thoroughly dedicated to having a pile of mail and school papers on it. But it is what it is. And its ours.

  12. I know that in a lot of places, living in a trailer is still a stigma (I don't think we even have that kind of trailers/trailer parks in Europe). But with the Tiny House movement gaining more and more momentum, this might change – because seriously, a Tiny House is usually really just a hip trailer.

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