You’ve never seen a guest house like this before.

Trailer Exterior in Trailer by Tamarra Younis
Katelyn Risinger

Interior designer Tamarra Younis of Union of Art Interiors has an affinity for trailers. In fact, you could say it’s in her blood since her family back in the United Kingdom owns a caravan business (they call them leisure homes there) and she used to design the interiors for the company. Although she had to stop working for the business because “commuting” from Los Angeles to the north of England wasn’t feasible, her love for trailers stayed with her.

When the pandemic hit and it seemed like a lot of people were looking to take on home projects, Tamarra was, too. She had looked into some options for the side of her house in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles. “For example, do I build a pool? The price of pool equipment went through the roof and was not in my budget,” she says. “Do I build a guest house as my home is a small two-bedroom? Planning permission would only allow for something super small and again would end up breaking the bank, or do I revisit a dream to own a vintage trailer that could also be a fantastic guest retreat on the side of my house?” She went with the last option, and the hunt for the trailer of her dreams began.

Patio in Trailer by Tamarra Younis
The surroundings feel like a lush oasis.

Katelyn Risinger

Tamarra admits there was a learning curve when shopping as it’s a whole different world when it comes to vintage trailers. She had to think about the size of the trailer and how it would fit on the side of her house, plus how big of a renovation she was willing to take on. And there was the price, too. “I came to learn that the larger and more pristine the trailer, the more they cost, especially in L.A.,” she explains. “Then if you specifically wanted to have an Airstream, cha-ching, the price went up again.” She ended up falling in love with a 26-foot 1968 Streamline Empress Trailer, which she named JoJo (after the French empress Josephine and her mother).

Bedroom View in Trailer by Tamarra Younis
The trailer was in good condition when Tamarra bought it.

Katelyn Risinger

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“She was in really good condition. It had only been owned by a lady and prior to her it was her mother’s,” Tamarra says. “Once upon a time the mother had lived in it and when she passed away she had left it to her daughter. They had kept it mothballed in a barn for years until they decided they wanted to do some house renovations and it was time to sell her. Fortunately as they had taken such good care of her and given that she was in Arizona I did not have to worry about any rust or deterioration to the exterior. Apart from being a little dated on the inside she was ready to hit the ground running with new tires fit for the journey to Los Angeles.”

Bedroom in Trailer by Tamarra Younis
All the interior really needed was a lick of paint.

Katelyn Risinger

Once JoJo made it to L.A., it was time to get started on renovations. Tamarra wanted the design to be as close to the original as possible and embrace the ‘70s retro vibe, but give it a modern twist. “There is something whimsical and nostalgic about a vintage trailer that we didn’t want to lose when working on the remodel,” she explains. “It was also important that the interior would appeal to all; we didn’t want it to feel too masculine, too feminine, or too kitschy. Our main goal was to have it feel bright, happy, and luxurious (despite its small interior size), but still bright and happy.”

Bedroom in Trailer by Tamarra Younis
“Don’t be afraid to think big in small spaces. We opted for a queen-size bed instead of a full one as we knew it would be a much more comfortable stay,” Tamarra says.

Katelyn Risinger

She wanted to create a cozy retreat for two, so a standard queen bed was added and custom linen blackout shades were fitted for a good night’s sleep. “We sold the original sofa bed and replaced it with a modern queen-sized platform, found the world’s smallest TV, and called our internet provider to order a WiFi extender to bring the trailer into the modern day with a high-speed internet connection.”

Seating Area Bedroom in Trailer by Tamarra Younis
The lounge seating area features groovy and colorful patterns.

Katelyn Risinger

In the lounge seating area, Tamarra converted the two single beds to a seating area for hanging out or enjoying a meal. Custom cushions were made to feel like two sofas (which could also double as daybeds). The original plastic room divider and original curtains were removed.

Kitchen in Trailer by Tamarra Younis
The kitchen was mostly kept as-is.

Katelyn Risinger

Luckily, the kitchen was in great shape—Tamarra says the fridge was like new—so she didn’t change much, just swapped out the kitchen faucet, added a microwave, and installed a new window treatment.

Bathroom in Trailer by Tamarra Younis
The bathroom was painted a soft yellow.

Katelyn Risinger

The bathroom was the biggest job because they wanted to put in a real toilet. “We repainted all the original brown laminate cabinets and doors a soft butter yellow to match the original countertop and shower. [We also] put new flooring down and changed out the hardware and light fixtures,” Tamarra adds.

Outdoor Shower Trailer by Tamarra Younis
An outdoor shower was added to the side of the house.

Katelyn Risinger

Tamarra also made good use of the space outside the trailer, with a space to dine, lounge, and even shower! “The outdoor space is super fun as there is an outdoor shower; built-in BBQ area with a sink; lots of big cozy lounge chairs; outdoor dining table for four; and a super comfy daybed nook to kick back with a great book and a glass of wine,” she explains.

Outdoor Kitchen Trailer by Tamarra Younis
There’s a built-in grill for alfresco cooking.

Katelyn Risinger

Patio Seating in Trailer by Tamarra Younis
There’s also an outdoor dining spot for four.

Michael P.H. Clifford

The trailer now serves as the perfect place to host out-of-town guests—since her actual house is on the smaller side, Tamarra says it’s like having an extended guest suite. “l love that JoJo has her own world that is totally separate from my house. I have been told by many guests how tranquil and peaceful it is down there… the only sounds are the owls, birds, and coyotes, with the occasional rustle of a palm tree,” she adds.