Just a few short months after starting Mobile Home Living in 2011, I received a Facebook message from Heidi and Tara asking if I’d be interested in sharing their complete 1974 double wide remodel. Naturally, I wanted to share it – this is a gorgeous mobile home!
Unfortunately, in 2012 my writing abilities were even more atrocious than they are now and Mobile Home Living was just finding its voice so I wasn’t able to give the remodel, or the talented owners, the article they deserved. I’m fixing that today because this is not only one of the most beautiful mobile homes I’ve had the honor of sharing, but the owners are pretty awesome too!
Tara and Heidi are a beautiful couple that operates a popular photography studio, In Her Image Photography located in Northern California. Tara loves to garden and bake yummy vegan treats and Heidi is an avid member of the rabbit rescue community. She can be found snuggling bunnies in her spare time (how cool is that?).
Heidi and Tara had spent months looking at homes before they stumbled onto this 1974 double wide sitting on a great piece of property.
Tara said they had initially started looking at properties on the low end for Wine Country and saw plenty of rundown messes. They thought they would never find a suitable place. They got discouraged and gave up.
And then they found this place.
They fell in love with the location and surroundings and didn’t really care what the house looked like. They knew they could always make cosmetic changes.
It simply needed to have “potential”. Now we know that most mobile homes have exactly that.”
You Know It’s a Mobile Home, Right?
Heidi is from Australia and mobile homes are not common so she wasn’t sure what to expect when she had first learned of the property. She didn’t even want to see it at first. By chance, they happened to be in the neighborhood and Tara urged her to stop by. They called a Realtor the next day.
Tara shares a story that happens entirely too often when it comes to mobile home properties. She recalls, “I remember calling a fancy-schmancy Realtor and asking to see the inside after falling in love with the property. He said, “You know it’s a mobile home, right?” (Way to say no to a commission, buddy.)
He said, “You know it’s a mobile home, right?”
Many Realtors won’t work with mobile homes at all. Realtors that will work with mobile homes often have outdated information about them.
Fortunately, Heidi and Tara found a Realtor who was a mobile home specialist. When they met her at the property she kept shaking her head in disbelief. She knew the property was amazing!
Realtors must understand the complexities of mobile homes in the real estate market. Many real estate agents will tell potential buyers that mobile homes will always lose value but that is not the case. Factory-built homes that are sited on their private property can and do appreciate.
Tara and Heidi immediately fell in love with the property because it sits at the end of a private lane, on a hill, on half an acre. They love looking out at the gorgeous green surroundings.
The 1974 double wide was a well-maintained home with unlimited potential.
A Complete 1974 Double Wide Mobile Home Remodel in 9 Months!
The creative couple wanted the interior of their home to reflect where they were: Petaluma, CA, a smaller town in Northern California with a rich agricultural history. The town is steeped in rich agricultural, gardening, and homesteading history as well as being a part of the infamous wine country.
During the complete 1974 double wide mobile home remodel:
Tara and Heidi completed this 1974 double wide mobile home remodel in less than 9 months. They closed on their home in October 2011 and spent 9 months on the renovation before moving into their new home in May.
Being Bold, Not Careful
Although they had never remodeled a home before they quickly caught on and the end result is truly amazing.
The color combinations along with a cool vintage eclectic style make for an inviting and relaxing home. It also makes for a home that could be on the cover of any magazine. Heidi has a thing for the 20s and 30s, and Tara loves mid-century modern.
We wanted to be bold, not careful…
DIY Dining Room Decor in Complete 1974 Double Wide Mobile Home Remodel
Our creative couple used smart interior design tricks to create a stunning dining room. Most obvious is the feature wall. Painting one wall differently pulls the eye into a space and makes the room feel larger.
The white ceiling with dark flooring, paired with the bright white light fixture, and the high curtain rods all help make a ceiling feel taller.
The mantle is another great piece of eye candy. It is ornate but by painting it the same color as the wall creates depth and warmth to the room.
Last but not least, is the dining room table. Naturally, it was handmade by Tara!
Live edge tabletops are a great way to bring a little nature into your home and it’s been a huge decorating trend for the last couple of years. Remember, this 1974 double wide mobile home remodel was first featured on Mobile Home Living 7 years ago. Tara and Heidi certainly have a designer’s eye for future trends.
Tara and Heidi’s Interview
Heidi and Tara were kind enough to answer several questions for us.
What’s Your Favorite Style?
Oh, dear. SO many! We are photographers by trade, and architecture and design nerds for fun. Both of us love kitschy farmhouse, organic, industrial, Asian, whimsical, I guess “eclectic” really sums us up. Ha!
We rarely buy anything new and often fill our home with free finds, our absolute fave! We love garage sales, estate sales, auctions, and opp shops.
We are photographers by trade, and architecture and design nerds for fun.Heidi
Where Did You Get Inspiration for Your 1974 Double Wide Remodel?
Nature! Our living room is painted grass green, our bedroom a sky blue, our guestroom earthy brown .
If I could fill the place with beach stones, driftwood, branches, shells, moss and lichen, I would!
Tara LOVES Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Organic Architecture” and the idea of bringing the outdoors in. We wanted to live here because it sits at the end of a private lane, on a hill, on half an acre.
We love looking out at our surroundings.
What’s Your Favorite Room?
We spend the most amount of time in the office area, as we work from home, but our favorite room has to be the bedroom. It’s the exact color we wanted, white curtains & linens for a crisp, spa feel.
We didn’t overcrowd the bedroom with furniture or “stuff.” It’s as relaxing as we need it to be and it houses our most prized heirlooms – quilts Heidi’s Mum made for us!
What was Your Biggest Challenge?
Umm, not having ever done any home renovation before, ALL of it was challenging!
We were doing everything for the first time and winging it! We are HGTV addicts, and they deceptively fit SO much into that 30 minutes, making it all look so easy. Everyone said we could do it ourselves, so we believed them.
Once we started ripping up the carpets, there was no going back. We uncovered all sorts of issues with the subfloor. There were decades of layers of linoleum and lots of gaps and holes to patch.
We have this wall of built-ins that seem typical of older mobile homes. We’ve painted it, removed the awful glass shelves and mirrors, and took off some of the cabinet doors but it’s still a strange little area that in hindsight, I kind of wish we had drywalled.
What Friends Say About the 1974 Double Wide Remodel
No one can believe it’s a mobile home!
The outside could pass as a ranch style home, I think. And apart from the beaded curtains we left in the guest bathroom, it doesn’t look like a mobile on the inside anymore.
Any Mistakes or Issues During the Remodel?
Oh, the baseboards. We were always quite bad at math so we had some patching to do after a few bad cuts, but again, not something we ever thought we’d be doing.
There’s also a dimple in our vinyl floor that we somehow missed while we were laying it down. It’s all flat and perfect apart from this tiny mound right near our café table. We’re looking for the perfect rug to cover it up!
We also had to paint our living and dining room twice. We picked a very safe, somewhat bland green color at first but we never really loved it. Then we decided that if we could paint any color we wanted, we wanted to be bold, not careful so we went with a grass green.
It’s bright, but we decided it was a happy color and there was no way we could ever be grumpy in those rooms.
What’s Your Proudest DIY Moment During the Double Wide Mobile Home Remodel?
The floors we laid! We used laminate in three rooms and the Home Depot vinyl planks in the others.
After we discovered how easy it was to use the vinyl planks, we certainly would have skipped the laminate and utilized vinyl throughout! We divided up the work. I did all the tricky cuts while Heidi used the rubber mallet to set the planks. Apart from a few cracks and short planks, it looks pretty great. We still can’t believe that we just ripped up the carpet and replaced it with all new flooring!
Source of Material and Supplies
It seemed like we were at Orchard Supply Hardware every single day. We went to Lumber Liquidators and Home Depot for flooring.
Most of our furnishings came from IKEA, World Market, or several different used sources, like auctions, Craigslist, estate sales, etc. In fact, I obsessively refresh the Free Stuff section on Craigslist daily. You’d be amazed at what you can find for little to no cost! And also check the Materials section for lumber, flooring, tile, etc.
Best Advice for Anyone About to Do Their Own Mobile Home Remodel?
See beyond what’s in front of you regarding possibilities. There’s little need for anything new these days, so re-use and salvage whenever you can. Allow for more time than you think it might take you for renovations. And seriously consider a mobile home as a base for your homestead – they are economical, impermanent, and relatively simple to make over. Recycling is always a plus!
Mobile Homeowners are Special
Over the last 7 years, I’ve watched Heidi and Tara grow their photography business, In Her Image, into a world-renowned photography studio. They have traveled the world empowering women through their camera lens and have been featured in Forbes and The New York Times. WOW!
This couple, like most of the mobile homeowners we’ve featured over the years, saw beauty where no one else could and had the determination to transform a 1974 double wide into a gorgeous home.
I loved this mobile home remodel so much that I used a lot of ideas and paint colors in my own mobile home remodel.
I’m still not sure how they ended up finding the Mobile Home Living Facebook Page but I’m forever grateful they did. It is kind homeowners like Tara and Heidi that have helped make Mobile Home Living the resource it is today. I hope they know how thankful I am for them and all the other homeowners that have allowed me the honor to share their beautiful homes.
Thank you so much for reading Mobile Home Living!
This post was originally published Jun 15, 2012 . It was updated on April 17, 2019.