Vintage Airstream Trailer Has Been Made Over with Sustainable, Reclaimed Materials


Guest Post: By Walter Hofmann

A 1974 Airstream sits peacefully in a vineyard while overlooking forested hillsides and the Northern California wine country below. This vintage trailer is just one of more than 300 mobile spaces designed and built by Hofmann Architecture . The family-owned firm of 10 has been based in Santa Barbara, CA since 2010.

The owner of this 1974 Sovereign 31’ has named his home Elizabeth. He’s a globe-hopping businessman whose dream was, “to be filled with peace and beauty” when he returns to his home on wheels. Travel demands take him from Ireland, Singapore and back home to the Sonoma Valley “…where I need a down-sized slice of solace.”


Custom tailgate doors in the rear create a clamshell back porch off the bedroom suite. The boutique deck offers stunning views of the tranquil Sonoma Valley. Twelve automated skylights offer a night time view of the stars. Six pairs of sunroofs open and close in pairs with six steel toggle switches.

An international vibe rings true in the Euro-style kitchen. The petina’d copper countertop provides ample food prep space. A mid-century replica SMEG refrigerator blends an iconic feel with efficient technology.


Other kitchen accouterments include a vintage 1930s Wedgewood gas stove, an apron farmhouse-style porcelain sink with commercial pullout chrome faucet.

The bathroom exudes sophisticated luxury thanks to custom Moroccan Mosaic tile on the floor and up the shower walls that continue to the curved ceiling. Venetian bronze bathroom sink and shower control faucets, with copper accent bathroom accessories. A surface-sliding barn door provides simple space-saving privacy.


An heirloom Kensington sofa fits nicely in the living space to complete the vintage experience.

Interior walls feature reclaimed barn wood sandwiched over a milky white plexi-glass, with 1” slotted openings to allow a modest bit of light. Reclaimed wood has been sourced from a local Central Coast-based shop. The combined effect produces a cozy space that feels much larger. It’s a magical feat that Matthew Hofmann, the Architect and founder of HofArc, has spun into a successful niche business and craft.


Aged steel sconces throughout the coach feature antique oil-rubbed bronze fixtures with 20th Century filament bare Edison bulbs. A powerful solar package integrates 12v and 110v electricity in a 50 amp supply distribution panel located on the front hitch.

The skin of this 40-year old beauty has been polished to a mirror shine. Four aluminum mag wheels, and a new Zip Dee awning with Tuscan Clarity Sunbrella fabric, complete an exterior that accurately reflects the ‘70s classic styling.

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Other Highlights:

● Warm floor radiant heaters are sure to keep toes toasty on cold nights

● A ceramic bowl sink with oil-rubbed bronze faucetry and copper piping

● Reclaimed wood shelving with copper hardware in the kitchen

● Stonington Grey walls and Symphony Blue cabinetry

● American oak reclaimed oil-rubbed flooring

● Exterior shower sprayer helps keep dirt out

HofArc is a family-owned architecture firm in Santa Barbara specializing in full-service design and renovations of mobile spaces, the only licensed Architecture firm in the world to do so. Founded by Matthew Hofmann, HofArc is pioneering the tiny house movement with its sustainable, luxury design.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.