Adding charm to a (mobile) home

Living in a mobile home for more years than I care to remember – there are three things that irk me. Coincidentally, those same three things are the first thing I do when we redo each room to take away that “mobile home” look.cottage style bedroom blue 1 – Strip the walls. Or should I say de-strip the walls? Mobile homes are made fast, so to make a quick job of covering the walls, they put up sheets of pre-wallpapered drywall (that is thinner than traditional drywall). To cover the joints they put little strips over the gaps, which are also covered in the same wall paper. And they look hideous! If you look very carefully you can see one in the upper right hand corner of this photo. window chalkboard So, as we’ve been redoing room by room we removed all those {stupid-looking} strips and then covered each wall with beadboard. Ah! much better!cottage seating area 2 – Hideous Flooring – Mobile homes are not only made fast, they’re also made cheap. So beautiful flooring isn’t their main concern – cheap and fast is. A huge roll of lino is used to put flooring in the kitchen & baths, then one solid piece of carpet is put down – even before the walls are put up. Yeah, it’s a nightmare to get up – but we did. I have no before photos, but trust me, 1970 called and wanted their kitchen floors back – so I gave it to them and installed my own wood floors instead. no molding 3 – No molding. Well there are little strips, but what the heck is that? Tiny little insignificant stuff that peels right off? No, thank you very much!molding Another notch on every room’s to-do list is installing crown molding and baseboards. Easy job (most of the time), budget friendly & big impact – those are my favorite kinds of projects.

Other things that make my home-loving heart go pitter patter?

  1. Pretty doors, door knobs & good hinges
  2. Pretty, sturdy windows
  3. Moving walls to where they actually work

It’s not always easy to pretty up a mobile home (or any home for that matter), but the results are so worth the effort!

What’s your main priority in redoing a room?

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Comments

  1. Wow beautiful job!!

    My main priority is always the color. Without the right color, the entire theme can lose its flair.

  2. Gina, this is a wonderful post. I would think there are lots of people who live in some kind of manufactured housing who will take great inspiration from your tips. But actually, your ideas are inspiring to most of us–almost all of us have some spaces that really need some attention, and you’ve described great ways to get some real bang for your buck. Thank you for sharing your ideas!

  3. I agree. I don’t like the strips either. I’m afraid that our walls will crack if we remove them because our house shifts quite a bit here. I may have to try it in one room and see how it works out.

    I do have a question for you. :) I noticed you have some pretty large pieces hanging on your walls. It’s tough to hang things on the walls of mobile homes. What do you use to hang your pictures and such with?

  4. Hi Not So Functional Housewife!
    Our house shifts, too, which is why we haven’t attemped dry wall – beadboard not only looks pretty but it’s faster to install and sturdier, too.

    Another good thing about beadboard? I can hang heavier pieces on it! On the walls that haven’t been attacked yet always – always – get anchors in the walls before I put the screws in there to hang things. We use the heavy duty kind. BUT – it will leave a 1/2 inch hole in the wall if you remove it, so make sure you’re committed to the piece. Beadboard makes it easier, because the wood will hold the weight.

    Hope this helps!

  5. I grew up in a mobile home. One that my single, hillbilly, dad thought was great even with it’s ugly walls and floors and even the orginal little, paper thin curtains that came with it! :)

    Could be why I grew up obsessed with interior design and having a beautiful home. LOL

  6. Reminds me of a nice little beach house! :D

  7. I think your home is beautiful! You have put your personal stamp on it. Your ideas are inspiring to everyone. It does not matter what type of resident you have, if you surround yourself with comfort and the things you love.

  8. What a wonderful post. Thanks for showing everyone that you can be inspired to make your home beautiful no matter where you live. I grew up in a mobile home and just recently helped my mom remodel hers, so I knew exactly what you were referring to!!

  9. Wow! If I had a mobile home I would so be like you! lol! We just rent so that’s almost worse, I cant (and really don’t want to) fix up someone else’s house. Someday….

  10. I also lived in a mobile home as a child.. you hit the nail on the head.. those things even bothered me as a child. What a great idea to get rid of them.. I’ll bet most people would not know they could do that. Your home has a beachy feel.

  11. There is a stigma attached to mobile homes. They always seem generic and sterile. You should really publish a book just on this topic because with your ideas I think you could change perception!

  12. Thank you so much for your response Gina. We will def. try your suggestions.

  13. Gina, you are to be admired, the stigma of living in a mobile home is horrible, and I once lived in one as well. It just goes to show, you CAN make ANY home beautiful and lovely, it only takes creativity & desire. You have it all, thank you for sharing with the world what can be done with ANY home to make it beautiful. To answer your question, my main priority is to make any room in my house something that just makes me want to be in it, peaceful, serene, most of all to me just beautiful & inviting.

  14. Who would know looking at the beautiful home you’ve created! When I approach a room design I first think of how it will be used, then find something I’m really excited about, design wise, to get the design off to a great start. Janell

  15. You have done such a great job with your home! I love it, and it goes to show it is possible to work with what you have like you blogged about the other day!

  16. Your home is so nice. You have done a really good job. I agree, it looks like a beach home.

  17. I forget that you live in a mobile home until you mention it. It really doesn’t look like one AT ALL.

    I don’t know much about mobile homes, but have you moved this one at all, or is it still in the same spot where you grew up? Do you plan to build an addition as your kids grow?

  18. Gina, thanks for this post! It is so true that manufactured homes can be beautiful and functional. Another, less costly approach the those drywall seams is to do board and batten directly over the wallpapered drywall, planning it so each seam is covered by a batten strip. Then paint everything (or paint it first). Love how you have made your home so beautiful!

  19. You have done an ah-mazing job with your home!! It really is beautiful :)

  20. We also live in a ’76 model mobile home and have been remodeling it little by little. We totally gutted the kitchen, uhh the cabinets were some boards with ugly wood paneling on top. We haven’t completed it yet, so I’m waiting to post the before and after pics. We also used bead board! It totally changed the entire feel of the kitchen, I love it! Thanks for posting your changes, I like seeing how someone else tackled the problems of a mobile home too!

  21. Love, love, LOVE your wood floors, they are beautiful!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Gina,
    We have lived in a mobile home for the past 8 years and it’s been a trial to ‘find’ my style with a cheap home. I’m so grateful to see your posts about living in a mobile home. It gives me new inspiration! We pulled the strips in our livng room and patched them but one is starting to show again. I will have to think outside the box on a way to fix it that won’t require a major re-do, but I feel it can be done! Thank you so much being open and sharing your beautiful home! I look forward to new posts about decorating while living in mobile homes!
    juliatrefethen@yahoo.com

  23. I know you always say you live in a mobile home but it looks anything but that! Looks awesome, like a true little cottage. You’ve done an amazing job.

    ~Shanon

  24. We lived in a mobile home for over 20 years and loved it. It was the best way for us to get the space we needed, when our children were small, and be able to afford it! We did a lot of thins over the years to make it more attractive and more livable. One of my favorite upgrades was putting bead board on walls!

  25. Can you tell me how do you paint over that wall-paper? I doin’t mind the strips but I’m tired of the wall-paper. Do you have to take the wallpaper off or can you paint right over it? Nancy

  26. All I can say is WOW! I had to read through things twice to realize that you were capturing a mobile home! Amazing!!What great tips for us all! Thanks for sharing.

  27. I never would have guessed! Kudos to you for showing how to make a home beautiful, no matter the type of home!

  28. Ditto all of those things for pre-fab or manufactured homes, too! Those darn strips!!

  29. You have done a much harder job than people living in non-mobile homes. Your home is beautiful and you should be very proud!

  30. You give me hope. Your place is beautiful! I don’t have a mobile home but I do have a 1070′s prefab, so I have lots of the same issues. My biggest peeve right now is the dark brown vinyl windows. Grrrrrr

  31. Oh Gina! I hate, hate, hate to strips! I have lived with them since 1993! I took down the strips in the living room and dining room and filled the cracks, but they open up in the winter time! I even added more strips to most rooms so the would be 2 ft. apart and looks more like they belonged! I long for smooth sheet rock walls, but I expect I will never have them.

    We are getting ready to put down hard wood floors and I can’t wait! Hard wood been bought and ready since last July! First we are putting in new windows! I know, it never ends!

    So glad I found your blog!

    Theresa
    aka:tot

  32. I meant to say (those) strips!
    tot

  33. Oh my gosh..I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now, and I had NO idea you had transformed a mobile home! It’s absolutely stunning! Would never have guessed you could do so much to one!

  34. amazing,, i live in a mobile home and the things you mentioned are all the things i hate and then some. Thanks for sharing,, i’d love to make mine look more like a house than a mobile home.

  35. Gina, We just bought a mobile home and your post couldn’t have come at a better time! I’ve got the itch to change this stuff up!! I went to Lowes.com to see about beadboard and had some trouble finding exactly what kind works… Could you please give me an idea of what I should look for when buying the beadboard??

    Thanks!!

  36. Amazing! From looking at the photos we never would have guessed that this was a mobile home. You have definitely given some great tips here!

  37. thank you for being open about living in a mobile home (it’s the reason i subscribed to your blog in the first place). i am currently in a mobile home (the second one i have ever even stepped foot in). i didn’t realize how lucky i was to have textured walls and crown molding. we still have to work on the baseboards and the carpet though.

  38. Hi Gina..
    This house is really beautiful. Is this your house?

  39. Gina, we lived in a 1973 mobile home from 1992-2002. That sucker was a hot mess! I so wish I had someone like you who could have shown me something to do with that place. Red carpet in the halls and bedrooms and those crank out windows. Whew girl. I was so happy
    To be free of that place only because I had no idea of where to begin.

    Luckily, we moved out to a 1940′s house that needs just as much TLC. Thank you for this post. Even though it was too late for me, it shows a realistic way to turn affordable housing into a beautiful and warm home.

    Jenny

  40. Hi Gina! I lived in a 1973 mobile home from 1992 to 2002. It was a hot mess. I sure could have used you and your great ideas then! Now we live in a 1940′s house that is a fixer and you are one of my many inspirations.

    Thanks for the post. It’s great that you are showing how turn affordable housing into a beautiful, warm home.

    Jenny

  41. I’m so happy I found this blog. I’m currently remodeling my 1995 double wide after 7 YEARS of living in it and hating everything about it. I love the beadboard idea so I’m copying you. Except I’m trying the paintable beadboard wallpaper. I can’t believe how easy it is to apply! I’m putting it up in my guest bath now. If I like it I’m going to do all the bedrooms, the laundry room and the master bath with it. Thankfully the last owners of this house put real drywall in the living room, dining room, sun room and the hall.

  42. Hi Gina , I too and currently living a mobile nightmare , We have done many things like destrip the walls, installed handscraped oak hardwood flooring in most place , however i left a small spot in the entry aeway the kitchen and the bath, i didnt want hardwood in those areas, but now im at a delima because i was told i cannot have ceramic tile in those parts due to the sway of a mobile home would cause it to crack, any suggestions ? I have red oak cabinets and black granite couuntertops waiting to be installed in the kitchen as soon as I figure out what to use to cover the floor . Any thoughs on the matter would be greatly appreciated :)

  43. Rachel Parrish says:

    A few years ago we added a screened porch onto the back of our mobile home. We have really enjoyed it. I love the outdoors but because of the mosquitoes we were unable to sit outside at night. I’ve done some decorating in order to give the porch a more liveable and homey space.
    I do however have one thing I’d like to be able to do that I haven’t been able to find a solution. I have a fairly light weight flat wooden carving of a sea turtle that I’d like to be able to hang on the side wall of our mobile home that attaches to the porch. The wall needs something there and the sea turtle would be the perfect fit. Can you please give me some ideas?
    Thank you,
    Rachel

    • Hi Rachel you could use Traffic Master Allure vinyl tile from Home Depot. It comes in the look of slate, marble and wood. It floats on top of your floor so expanding and contracting doesn’t bother it. It is very durable and reasonable in cost. We have used it in our bath and laundry room.

  44. Samantha Richerson says:

    How do I hang pictures up on the wall of my trailer and make them stay!?

  45. Hi! I have recently bought a mobile home in a park in Florida, and I too want to make it mine. I’m having an issue with the vinyl windows in the Florida room, I can’t find the vinyl to replace the torn weathered windows. Any ideas?
    I do love what you have done with you home, the colors brightened up the space so much! Thanks for the positive ideas Gina!

  46. Hi

    I love looking at the pictures of your remodeled mobile home–love the colors and flooring, and the cottage feeling. I am thinking of buying an older mobile home, which I would want to update and renovate just like yours. I am curious as to what wood you used for the flooring? The older mobile home I’m thinking of buying now has brown panelling throughout. Is the beadboard easy to install (over the brown panelling or would I have to remove it)? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  47. Love your look! My husband and I just purchased a mobile home in Lake Placid Florida so we can spend six months of the year where it’s warm! We purchased our single wide mobile home (1967) for just $2500 so we have some money to work with on the remodel. We have discussed several options for covering the paneling and beadboard is the best solution we have come up with. We can’t wait to get started!! Kitchen, and bathroom will be complete gut and remodel. Wish us luck!

  48. I rented a very old 1980″s mobile in VA, the walls screaming with large bolded yellowing floral through out.. Since I was renting and obviously the landlord wasn’t worried about what I had to live with everyday. I got a 5 gallon bucket of primer and paint. Getting more creative I got spackle and created a texture under the paint. This kept the walls from looking like paneling, by eliminating the “sheen”. My landlord loved it, as did anyone that visited. I ended up being hired out by my landlord doing something I loved.. getting rid of ugly!

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