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  • Sarah Fleming

Mobile Bar Design Notes

Now that we have Vicky back, the more we have to think about the fun stuff, aka, what we want her to look like on the inside! Ryan and I renovated our row house and have been through the process of picking materials and trying to balance our love of old things with the necessity of modern conveniences. But this mobile bar is taking that give-and-take to a whole new level.


Case in point. If I had to design my dream kitchen, it would look something like this:

Image credit: Remodelista

Since we're going to be both health code compliant AND braving the pothole-ridden Philadelphia roads, this could not be less practical or realistic. Needless to say, 80 year old porcelain sinks are out. Stainless steel commercial-grade three-part sinks are in.


Also, all of those heavy, durable, timeless materials, like stone, tile and wood are completely off-limits in a trailer that's already going to weigh in at close to 7200 lbs finished. Remember we have to tow this thing, and we have to be safe about it (and the less gas we use, the better for mama earth and our budget!) So I've had to warm up to lightweight fabricated materials that I never thought I'd be considering.


Flooring is going to be resilient tile, which is basically thin vinyl planks that look like wood. They weigh a fraction of true hardwood, and they can take a lot of wear and tear (remember, we're going to be making drinks, spilling beers, dropping kegs and basically stressing the floor pretty much constantly.) The countertops will probably be Corian or even (gasp!) laminate. Everyone who grew up in the 90's is probably throwing up in their mouth thinking about laminate countertops right now and for that I sincerely apologize. I remember my parents once had fire engine red laminate countertops in our Vermont vacation home. But seriously, they've made great advances in laminate since the early naughts. The edges can even be curved or beveled, and as thin as we need. And the material has give, which is important when you're cruising down 76 and happen to run over a piece of someone's bumper (don't act like it hasn't happened to you).


For tile, we are probably going to do a penny tile with a flexible grout. Flexible grout is something I never knew existed but learned about on airforums.com because it's so commonly used in RV renovations. We have to keep in mind that our walls are not perfectly flat; the unique design of Airstreams means that whatever we chose is going to have to curve as the walls curve up toward the ceiling.


Everything is going to very neutral: light wood, white countertops, white penny tile, stainless steel appliances, etc. But since we are technically a party on wheels, we are trying to figure out where we can add in a little bit of fun. One idea we love is doing a pop of color on the door, or painting the ceiling with a mural (like a night sky [Ryan hates this idea]). Bright colors terrify me and also scare off brides who have their own color palette in mind, so I'm also considering that for even less commitment we could do patterned cushions on our settee area, or add a neon sign to the back bar.

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