Lake Home with a Secret

Hardin Trailer Before
A gorgeous lake lot is now home for an Arkansas couple who completely transformed its downtrodden trailer house.

Country Cottage Makeover

What's the secret to this rehabbed lake getaway? It started as a delapidated flat-roofed 12-x-60-foot trailer home! Thoughtful renovations gave this ugly-duckling structure the look of a pretty country home. Don't miss the "Before" picture on Slide #10.

The addition of several porches and decks expanded the living space from a mere 720 square feet to about 2,400 square feet. Read on and see the inside styled with a 1940s look in yellow and pink.

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To simplify the style and create a consistent look throughout the living areas, all the walls and ceilings were covered with beaded board -- a quick fix for walls in bad shape. The walls throughout were painted a soft yellow that's cheery and fresh. Outdated shag carpeting was pulled up and replaced with black and white vinyl tiles. Pink slipcovers and casual accessories invite family and guests to kick off their shoes and relax.

Room with a View

Uninspired aluminium windows were replaced with wood windows, and old sliding glass doors removed in favor of charm-enhancing French doors. This change was one key element that gave the space the look of a home.


An overstuffed sofa was a daring addition to a small living room, but its grand size visually anchors the space and provides an extra sleeping spot. Reminiscent of ticking fabric, the casual pink-and-white-striped slipcovers can be tossed into the washing machine, making them an easy-care option for a vacation home.

Kitschy Kitchen

The checkerboard flooring, beaded board walls, vintage refrigerator, and turquoise kitchen underscore the '40s feel of the home. Simple open shelving is an airy alternative to bulky cabinetry and a smart way to show off colorful collectibles and new Fiestaware. Paired with a vintage table, new unfinished chairs were painted and distressed to look aged.

Napping Heaven

Custom-built wooden sofas were made to use a twin mattress as the seat. Pillows fill the back, making them comfortable both as chairs and beds. In front, a flea-market window has been turned on its back as a unique coffee table.

Out Back

Imagine sitting on the screened porch or open deck, watching the lake waters lapping the shore. This bug-free zone is perfect for outdoor dining, reading, or even relaxing on a rainy day. If needed, canvas shades can be lowered over the screens to further protect furnishings from inclement weather.

Bunk Room

Short on space? Bunk beds offer lots of sleeping space even in tiny bedrooms. These beds each have a bit of unique personality, shown off in various hues of softly striped linens. By the bed, a small green metal stool does triple duty as a seat, nightstand, and ladder to the top bunk.

Porch Dining

A porch is a wonderful spot for dining. Whether yours is indoors, outdoors, or just screened, it's heaven to throw open the windows and welcome in summer breezes. Even rainy days have their porch pleasures with a choice of reading, napping, or games.

It Takes a Vision

Rehabbing the trailer not only took vision but patience as well. The tiny spaces made it difficult for crews to maneuver, meaning that construction dragged on far longer than most renovation projects. In addition, strict guidelines from the Army Corps of Engineers had to be followed. Was it worth the trouble? The near-miraculous results speak for themselves!

Purchase current and back issues of
Do It Yourself magazine: 1-800-247-0078

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