Gulf Stream Coach has relied on the skills of two female designers, Lynn Donat and Kathy Miller, to create interiors that are comfortable and attractive in the Nappanee, Ind.-based company’s towable offerings.
According to a press release, Donat and Miller are behind the upholstery, bedding, flooring, window treatments and colors chosen for every Gulf Stream Coach products. Their efforts enable Gulf Stream trailers and fifth-wheels to reflect current residential design trends in the high-demand environment and limited spaces of recreational vehicles.
” ‘Homey but luxurious comfort’ is the look we’re striving for,” Miller and Donat said. “RV owners want a refuge that suggests a touch of luxury and elegance for themselves, their families and friends. We work to establish a seamless, uncluttered look with soft classic lines, radius corners, subtle fabrics and leathers, and traditional glazed wood cabinets.”
Earth tones and natural colors dominate the palette, according to the two designers. Sophisticated details like antique patina for metals, dimensional sink backsplashes, and beveled glass cabinet inserts enhance the appeal of soft fabrics and warm wood grains. Solid-surface countertops are high-demand options because they are both stylish and practical.
“RV owners want to enjoy a home-like atmosphere, but also expect rugged durability on the road and in camping environments. Our ‘luxury homes’ have to endure bumpy roads, extreme temperatures, wilderness campsites and active outdoor activities. Those facts of camping life enter into every design decision we make,” Donat said.
“Weight is another factor. We are constantly looking for fabrics, countertops and other materials that reduce the weight and improve the fuel mileage of our trailers,” Miller added. “At Gulf Stream, smart, eco-friendly, weight-saving materials are an integral part of the design process. Ease of care is yet another. People on camping vacations don’t want to spend extra time cleaning.”
The relatively small, multi-function interiors of travel trailers add unique factors to the design work, according to Miller. “We’re using design tools to establish separate living spaces, but the spaces have to work together too – all in just a few hundred square feet. RVers often entertain friends and family, so the main living space has to be inviting, comfortable and practical for guests. By contrast, bedrooms and children’s bunks are private refuges. Of course smart use of all available storage space throughout the RV helps keep the living areas organized and uncluttered.”
“It’s unusual for all the design choices for a traditional home to be made in advance,” Donat added. “But due to the way trailers and fifth wheels are constructed, all design and décor elements are a part of the product delivered to the retail customer. The choices we offer in our décors have to appeal to many individual preferences. We work hard to accommodate the style sense of the widest possible range of owners.”