Remember our friend Laura at Vacilando Quilting Co.? She made our beautiful "Boat Quilt" as well as two navy blue "Subway Totes" for the boat. Well, she recently started making waxed canvas, roll-top versions of her Subway Totes and so I chose this navy blue ticking material and asked her make us two more totes. (You can never have enough things to carry other things in on a boat.) They're super great, and more water resistant than the original totes (the canvas is waxed with beeswax). We used them the other day to pack a quick overnight back for our anniversary getaway, and they were just PERFECT.
Laura makes all of these awesome things from her Airstream. So if you need the most perfect tote ever (or a gorgeous custom quilt or pillows...) I can't say enough about how much we love Laura's work. :)
We recently commissioned a quilt for the boat from our very talented friend Laura Preston. Her company is Vacilando Quilting Co., and you should follow her because her work is fantastic.
Our quilt arrived the other day and we're super excited to take it to the boat, but for now, here are a couple of photos (courtesy of Vacilando Quilting Co.) that Laura sent before shipping it to us:
You can't really get a good look at the reverse side detail in the overall shot above (it's fabulous, and I love that little white rectangle), but we went with a soft patterned gray fabric that looks like this:
Also, the out-of-the-box experience was really sweet, complete with a hand-written note on the back of a Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska postcard. Awwwwww.
Laura also makes a super versatile tote called the Subway Tote. We ordered two of them for the boat with the idea that they would make great multi-purpose bags for shlepping stuff to and from the boat, going grocery shopping, etc. When they arrived, we had just returned from the market and so we decided to see how much the Subway Tote would hold in the way of groceries. Not only did it hold our entire bag of groceries, but we tried a wine bottle in one of the small outside pockets (there are four of these pockets), and it fit perfectly! Glad we got two of these!
The Subway Totes come in nutmeg, natural, and navy ($45/ea). Ours are both navy, and there are better photos of the bags on her site, of course.
Laura was so much fun to collaborate and work with on this project! I think we might need a new quilt for home! :)
Now that we've spent about a hundred days/nights in our Nordic Tug (since the end of September 2014! Can you believe that??), there are a few details in Nordic Tugs that we think Airstreams should have.
1.Locking cabinet/drawer pulls
Obviously, the real wood (sapele) cabinetry in the Nordic Tug is great but not an option for the standard Airstream, due to cost (and weight), but these locking drawer and cabinet pulls are SO much better than the 5lb/10lb RV latches on the cupboards in the Airstream.
They're essentially a push button style pull. When pushed in, the hardware is flush with the cabinet and the cabinet or drawer is locked.
To unlock, just push in and the pull pops out for easy use as a handle.
When you're ready to get on the road (or sea) again, a quick push in and the cupboard is locked.
The problem with the latches in the Airstream is that they're supposed to be strong enough to keep the doors and drawers closed while under way, but they aren't and they don't. In both Airstreams we've owned we've had drawers come completely out during travel (denting the floor, spilling the contents, breaking the drawer) as well as cupboards opening during travel (spilling/breaking dishes all over the floor, covering the interior with walnut oil, truffle salt, and Sriracha). We are NOT the only ones this has happened to. At all.
We've replaced a couple of the 5lb latches with 10lb latches, and that helps, but it's a little annoying to have to yank so hard on the cupboard to open it during normal everyday use.
This push button locking option would be a great solution to the clunky issues surrounding the Airstream cabinet and drawer hardware.
2. Better LED fixtures
The LED fixtures on the Nordic Tug are great and the light from the LED bulbs in them is so nice you'd never know they were LED. I kept asking Steve (our Nordic Tug dealer) when we were first looking at this boat "These are LED? Really?" and then thinking he must have been mistaken when he said "yes" ... even the third time. It took me a few times touching them after they'd been on for hours to really believe it. (Sorry I doubted you, Steve!)
I think the LED fixtures in Airstreams are the original halogen fixtures, but retrofitted for LED "bulbs." The frosted glass shows the little square-gridded "bulb" right through, and doesn't soften the light enough. If you have warm LEDs in the bedroom, for instance, and a white bedspread, you'll see yellow splotches of light on that bedspread when the lights are on, which is...um...not awesome. If you have the cool LED "bulbs" the whole inside of the trailer takes on a lovely "operating room" vibe. Anyway, we think these LED fixtures by Imtra Marine are KILLER. (I'm not sure of the exact model we have, but here's one example from the Imtra Marine website.)
We LOVE the flooring in our Nordic Tug:
You might think this flooring is WAY too heavy and expensive for an Airstream, but hold on there. It looks like the traditional boaty wood floors, but it's a product called Amtico, and it's a synthetic flooring that's pretty much indestructible, and simulates teak & holly, cherry & holly, or mahogany & holly, depending on your wood preference). Seems like it would be perfect for Airstream's "land yacht" concept. Here are two links: Link 1 and Link 2 to sites with some photos and info about it. I couldn't find it, specifically, on the Amtico website.
Anyway, it's gorgeous, it looks and feels like wood (even when you're down on the floor cleaning up that spilled glass of red wine), AND it's not going to dent or be affected by moisture like real wood floors.
If we ever decided to build/design an Airstream from scratch, I would definitely borrow all three of these things from our Nordic Tug.