The Vintage Travel Trailer Needs a Name!

K’s vintage camper trailer renovation project needs a name!

Remember this?

scary old camper

If you don’t, I really can’t blame you from blocking this mess from your recent memory. A brief history:

Where It Started

K has an old family travel trailer that hasn’t moved from his family’s land since the 80s (hence the flat tire). I first saw it last fall, when I went to hang out with his family for a bit and help them move to their new home in Tennessee. K had been trying to talk me into the idea of restoring this thing long before I saw it in person, and has been a major topic of conversation during the winter months as we started setting goals for 2018.

What would it take? What would it cost? Would we have even the slightest clue where to start? Do I call it a camper or a trailer? Who would pay for what? Wouldn’t it look really cool with a giant white stripe going down the top?? And black lacquered floors?!?! (Ok, those last few were totally me.)

At one point, this 1940s Spartan Manor (still not sure of the exact year) was used as an old workshop. The inside of it is pretty grimy, too:

sneak peek inside old Spartan camper
Pictured: nightmare fuel.

Finally Convincing Me

As you might say with a house that’s seen better days, it has good bones. Or perhaps, since we’re talking about a trailer, it has good shell? The rest is a complete gut job. Even in the state it’s in, as I’ve seen from research, it still has considerable value. More importantly, K is pretty invested in it emotionally since it belonged to his dad and grandfather before him.

I said “maybe,” and kept saying it for months. K’s response was to keep talking about it very ambitiously until I said yes.

Honestly though, I was sold on the idea minute he suggested it; I just wanted him to show me he was serious and had a plan. Because that? That sumbitch needs a PLAN.

The Details (So Far)

Here are the details I have for you guys up to this point:

  • Zero werewolves, zombies, or Freddy Kruegers have resided in this trailer. I thought I’d share that first to put us all at ease.
  • Spartan Manor travel trailers were manufactured by the Spartan Aircraft Company starting in 1946. This particular look (with that Art Deco style) was made from 1946 to ’50/51 and had either a mahogany or birch interior. It is not an Airstream; the Spartan Aircraft Company went defunct in 1961, so these are no longer made, even in modern versions. So, it’s a cool score, but it makes finding replacement parts that much tougher.
  • When it was used as a workshop, all of the interior was pretty much ripped out. So, no interior items can/will be salvaged. All insulation and interior walls will be part of the gut job.
  • I have found multiple examples of the original floor plan, but that kind of planning is too far off to be concerned about at the moment.
  • The windows (even the glass) appear to be intact; research tells me that’s a very good thing!
  • The exterior is really nasty looking, but when it’s restored, it will be that shiny “silver bullet” look you might already be familiar with. That will probably take the most work, but will also be the biggest payoff.
  • K has a few things that are early wins, such as being pretty savvy with mechanics and engineering (he’s a design engineer by profession, so he does a lot of 3D modeling and has all of those adorable nerdy skills that will come in very handy here). The company he works for does a lot of custom work in-house, so there are additional resources available should we need more expertise.
  • This will be a restoration-slash-upgrade project. The exterior will be a restoration as much as possible, while the interior, plumbing, electronics, etc. will be modern so we have an efficient and very “us” space to travel in.
  • We totally want to take this on the road when finished!
  • K’s eventual dream is to also find an old truck or car to lug this thing around. It’s a pretty romanticized view, so I’ll be bringing my 7 year’s worth of DIY experience with me to keep him from biting off too much too fast.

If anything on this blog could be called an ugly duckling, then this travel trailer definitely meets that criteria!

Getting Inspired

Every winter around the start of a new year, I feel like my creative mojo is zapped. After the frenzy of hosting both Christmas and New Years at my place (small recap forthcoming), I felt especially tank-on-empty this time around. To fill ‘er up, one of the things I like to do is buy a fresh batch of art supplies. Inexpensive, but usually gives me the color/creativity boost I need. This year, I chose a set of colored pencils. My first completed subject was a sketch of what this travel trailer might look like if we bring it back to its former glory!

drawing camper with colored pencils

sketch of Spartan Manor travel trailer

I need your suggestions!

The one thing I’d love to figure out, though? THE NAME. I want to name this guy/gal something awesome and fun and make it REAL. Names like The Nugget and Mavis and other blogs and accounts I’ve found online have me salivating over this. So, can YOU help me out? I have a box o’ random DIY goodies to send to someone if they come up with a perfect name! Here are all of the names I’ve got in my head right now:

  • Sylvester (because it’s silver, get it?)
  • Murray
  • Henry/Hank
  • Lydia
  • Mona
  • Shelly/Sheldon (because of taking it down to the shell, ha!)
  • Waiting until we figure out the exact year and then picking from the top 10 baby names of that year
  • Barb/Barbie
  • Patty
  • Bruce
  • Marge
  • Peggy
  • _ Sue (Peggy Sue, etc.)
  • Ruth
  • Doris
  • Something from Greek mythology (since this is a “Spartan” Manor), such as Leda

sketch of Spartan Manor travel traler

See? I’m ridiculously undecided at the moment. Thanks for your help!

The post The Vintage Travel Trailer Needs a Name! appeared first on The Ugly Duckling House.


The Vintage Travel Trailer Needs a Name!


It’s Time! Get the Scoop on 2018 Interior Design Trends

2018 interior design trends

It’s time for a sneak a peek at the most anticipated 2018 interior design trends. Image: Stephen Graver Ltd.

It’s that time of year again! The holidays are behind us and now you’re wondering what the new year will bring in terms of new style trends to enjoy. It turns out 2018 will bring big changes. We’re seeing old aesthetics come back into favor and entirely new looks take shape.

If you’re ready to find out about the top 2018 interior design trends, read on. We asked the experts to share their predictions on what’s in and what’s out. Their answers may surprise you.

bold colors

Neutrals are out and bold colors are back in. Image: Taylor + Taylor

Bold colors

“2018 will be about anything but neutral tones. Things are moving in a bold direction. Reds, strong blues and vibrant greens, in particular. People have tired of neutral, sometimes boring palettes.” — Rainey Richardson, Rainey Richardson Interiors

This is officially your incentive to push the boundaries of pattern and color. While neutral shades should still make up a portion of your design, in 2018 it looks like we’ll see them take much more of a background position. You can either go big with statement furniture or use these shades throughout your accessories. In particular, rugs, throw pillows and blankets are a great way to get in on the trend without feeling overly committed.

vintage accessories

Use vintage accessories as conversation pieces. Image: rigby & mac

Vintage accessories

“Curating old and vintage accessories and art to tell a story. Whether it’s your home or a hotel, mixing found items, books and art into your space creates a unique and personal experience. One-of-a-kind items are easily accessible these days, from social media channels through to eBay, antique shops and even Craigslist!” — Kellie Sirna, Studio 11 Design

Design should be anything but boring. We love the idea of this vintage accessories trend because it allows you to give your designs a little something special, a built-in showpiece and potential focal point. We suggest doing some research to see which era of design you connect with the most and using those types of accessories as your inspiration.

dark fixtures

Darker fixtures are making a comeback. Image: Brio Interior Design

Darker and mixed finishes

“Brass is making a comeback and overtaking the ubiquitous rose gold.” — Sarah Hullinger, Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA)

“I see a continued affection for mixing metal finishes in all areas, from furniture, kitchen and bathroom fixtures to lighting, cabinet hardware and accessories. Copper, bronze, brass, satin brass, gold and black nickel now all work together and are interchangeable” — Juliet Gold, Juliet Gold Design

We’ve talked about how to mix metals before. If you’re going to go this route, remember to pick one dominant metal to carry the room and to use the others as accents. You should also be sure to match the finishes on each type of metal to help pull them together visually.

wide plank flooring

Wood plank flooring is getting wider and longer. Image: Granit Architecture + Interiors

Wide-plank woods

“The popularity of wider planks has been on the rise. As homeowners are trading out conventional widths for more expansive planks, 5-inch wide planks have become the new classic. Wider planks represent a return to a more rustic or vintage look and there is a strong trend towards random width installations.” — Sara Babinski of Armstrong Flooring

Wider planks are the perfect choice for those who prefer rustic or industrial aesthetics. They have a way of providing the room with a sense of history and charm that is rarely found in more mass-engineered looks. Additionally, even though the wood will probably be fairly neutral, the wide planks will add a subtle pop of visual interest to the room.

aspirational spaces

2018 is about creating spaces that feel aspirational. Image: Marie Flanigan Interiors

“Aspirational” spaces

“I believe we will see a shift toward designing spaces based on how people want to feel. At home, people are done feeling the pressure to impress their friends. They don’t want a generic home that looks like a magazine. People are ready to get crystal clear on how they want to feel at home — and they will make design choices from there. Whether it’s ‘relaxed’ or ‘energized’ or ‘intimate’ or ‘professional’ — spaces have the power to help us feel the way we want to feel in our lives.” — Annie Kip, Annie Kip STYLE + DESIGN

With this trend, we’re seeing even more emphasis on design freedoms. Here, instead of relying on conventions or pre-determined sets of rules for a particular aesthetic, you truly have the ability to create a one-of-a-kind space that suits who you are and what you want the room to accomplish. How cool is that?

2018 interior design trends

Get ready to see these trends pop up over and over again. Image: De Meza + Architecture

Each year brings changes to the design landscape and 2018 is no different. Fortunately, we can always rely on the pros to tell us what to expect. The trends above are the ones we heard mentioned time and time again. Keep your eyes peeled and we guarantee you’ll see them popping up before you know it.

What do you think of these 2018 interior design trends? Which looks deserve to top the list and which do you totally disagree with? Let us know in the comments.

The post It’s Time! Get the Scoop on 2018 Interior Design Trends appeared first on



Chicken Enchilada Dip is Cheesy Goodness • The Ugly Duckling House

This cheesy, creamy Chicken Enchilada Dip is a simple yet hearty appetizer that will be the star of your next get together!

Hey y’all! It’s Pam and Sara here, the mother-daughter blogging duo from Biscuits & Burlap. We’re back to share another one of our scrumptious party recipes developed just for Ugly Duckling House! We just know that you’ll love this Chicken Enchilada Dip as much as we do.

If you’ve missed our past posts, you should definitely check out our appetizers like Herbed Goat Cheese Crostini with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and cocktails like Spiked Hot Chocolate with Bourbon and Grand Marnier. Today, though, we’re bringing you chicken enchilada dip!

Southwestern flavors are just our absolute favorite and this enchilada dip has it all. That smoky enchilada sauce, creamy Monterey Jack cheese, black beans and cilantro… You really can’t go wrong! The shredded chicken and black beans make this dip hearty enough to hold over your guests until dinner is ready and if you’re taking it to a party, it won’t take long to see how addictive it is.

Here’s how easy it is: Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, enchilada sauce, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Then, gently fold in the diced or shredded chicken, 3/4 of the Monterey Jack cheese, and the green chilis. Then, add the black beans… be gentle! you don’t want them to turn to mush. Add the whole shebang to a cast iron skillet or a small casserole dish.

If you’re not yet a member of the cast iron skillet fan club, you need to get on board! They’re inexpensive, indestructible, and you can literally make anything from breakfast to dessert in these bad boys. We made our chicken enchilada dip in one because cast iron heats up quickly and it stays that way, so it’s perfect for a hot dip.

Now that you have the mixture transferred to your skillet (or casserole dish), top with the remaining cheese, and pop it in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbling around the edges and in the center. Serve with tortilla chips!


Chicken Enchilada Dip

This cheesy, creamy Chicken Enchilada Dip is a simple yet hearty appetizer that will be the star of your next get together!

  • Author:


  • 1 cup cooked chicken, diced
  • 1/2 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz. can green chili peppers, drained
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated and divided
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained (We prefer reduced sodium)
  • cilantro for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Mix cream cheese, sour cream, enchilada sauce, cumin, chili powder and salt until smooth.
  3. Stir in 1.5 cups Monterey Jack cheese, chicken and green chilis. Add black beans last.
  4. Pour into oven safe skillet or small casserole dish and top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes or until hot through and lightly browning around edges and on top.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve with corn chips.

Have you made any of the recipes we’ve shared on Ugly Duckling House so far? Tell us below!

This cheesy, creamy Chicken Enchilada Dip is a simple yet hearty appetizer that will be the star of your next get together!

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy & effectiveness of the information displayed on this website, The Ugly Duckling House is for entertainment purposes only. All tutorials and demonstrations are not intended to be professional advice (nor substitute as such), and I make no guarantees as to the procedures and information here. Creating with my suggested methods, materials, and tools is under your own risk. Please ensure you are following proper guidelines with anything used, and seek professional advice if you don’t know how to do something! Read my complete disclosure here.


This Chicken Enchilada Dip is Cheesy Goodness


4 Questions To Help You Finally Identify Your Interior Design Style

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interior design style

Here’s how to figure out your interior design style once and for all. Image: helsingHouse Fastighetsmäklare

Before you can start any design project, you need to have some sort of inspiration in mind. If you’re fully aware of which design styles you’re consistently drawn to, finding a muse should be fairly easy. If not, though, it can be hard to even figure out where to start. In that case, the question becomes: How do you go about finding your interior design style?

We’re no strangers to defining a personal aesthetic. Below you’ll find a few questions. Ask yourself each one, in turn, and look over each of the corresponding options. You’ll likely find some overlap in your answers. At the end, research whichever style catches your eye most often and see how you feel. We bet you’ll find a look that resonates with you.

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modern or traditional

Are you more modern or traditional? Image: Forsite Studio

Past or present?

If you’re all about the PAST, you may want to consider:

  • Contemporary: Full of sleek lines and ’60s flair, contemporary design will make you feel like you’ve landed on the set of Mad Men.
  • French country: French country design is full of romance. Its elegantly curved furniture and opulent décor can remind you a palace.
  • Traditional: Traditional design is the epitome of “old world.” Classic lines, comfortable furniture and orderly lines reign supreme.

If you’d rather appreciate the PRESENT, you may feel drawn to:

  • Modern: As the name suggests, ultra-clean lines and minimalism are the keys to today’s top design trends.
  • Scandinavian: Using warm woods and area rugs, Scandinavian design is a blend of modern and rustic.
  • Eclectic: Defined by its rejection of traditional conventions, eclectic design offers a chance to create your own casual aesthetic.
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colors or neutrals

Would you rather have lots of color or plenty of neutral shades? Image: Lucy and Company

Full of color or pleasantly neutral?

If you’re into bright, bold COLORS, you might be drawn to:

  • Contemporary: Contemporary design is full of bold, saturated colors like burnt orange, mustard yellow and navy blue.
  • Eclectic: The create-your-own aspect of eclectic design means you can basically use whichever mix of colors catches your eye.
  • Traditional: Traditional design is all about invoking richness. It involves a lot of deep, dark colors like reds, blues and greens.

If you rely on NEUTRALS, you may prefer:

  • Modern: Modern looks usually are built around monochromatic shades.
  • Scandinavian: The base of a Scandinavian color palette is based on whites and grays. Sometimes there are pops of subtle colors like pink and blue.
  • Coastal: Stark whites and sandy tans are the backbones of coastal style. As you might guess, blue is the dominant accent color.
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minimalism or opulence

Would you rather have minimalism or opulence? Image: Anastacia Schular

Less is more or more is more?

If you believe LESS IS MORE, you might enjoy:

  • Contemporary: Contemporary spaces have a clean feel to them. There tend to be few accessories, most of which are function forward.
  • Modern: Modern designs are all about minimalism and including plenty of negative space.
  • Scandinavian: Scandinavians believe in a concept called hygge, part of which centers around being comfortable without going over the top.

If you’re a fan of a MORE IS MORE philosophy, check out:

  • Eclectic: When putting together an eclectic design, it’s important to balance the room with plenty of unique accessories.
  • Traditional: Traditional looks are all about creating a sense of coziness. These rooms have plenty of accessories, usually heirlooms or pieces with history.
  • French country French country styles are defined by opulence. Gold and embroidery are common.
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urban or rustic

Do you prefer a more urban or rustic look? Image: Tate Interiors

City or country?

If you feel at home in the CITY, you’ll prefer:

  • Modern: Cities are hubs for modern design and fresh ideas.
  • Contemporary: Contemporary design may be from the past, but it was very modern for its day. It has managed to stand the test of time without feeling out of date.
  • Scandinavian: Scandinavian looks are cousins to modern design. They follow the same principles with a European twist.

If you’d rather be in the COUNTRY, you may feel drawn to:

  • Rustic: As the name suggests, this style is built around the idea of living in a cabin in the woods.
  • Coastal: Though it may not be woodsy, coastal styles are a good choice for those who enjoy spending time at the beach.
  • French country: It’s in the name. French country styles are a variation on European rustic.
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interior design style

Use these tips to learn your interior design style. Image: Benjamin Moore

Finding your interior design style for the first time can be tough. After all, how do you even know where to start, much less how to put an entire room together? You don’t have to go through this process alone. Let the questions above provide you with a direction for finding your design inspiration.

Do you know what your personal interior design style is? How did you go about finding it in the first place? Share your experience with us in the comments below.



Why Having a Pet is Good for Your Health

Pets offer companionship and a lot of health benefits. Having a pet means being a responsible owner as well. You need to provide your pet with proper care, food and shelter. Although the needs of a pet will add to your expenses, the joy and benefits of owning one make everything worth it. Here’s why having a pet is good for your health.

Reduce Stress

A pet offers unconditional love. Your pet is always ready to listen without any judgment, helping you forget about your problems and reduce stress. Caring for your pet diverts your attention, so you feel calm.

Time Management

Owning a pet that can follow orders requires training and time. You have to plan your time table. This can help improve your time management and organizational skills. If you want to teach your child about time management, owning a pet is one of the best ways to do so. Our Veterinarian clinic in Weddington, NC lets us come to the clinic and lets the kids help with the animals.

Social interaction

Pets are social magnets. They are a natural conversation starter, especially for animal lovers. Talking to other people with similar interests can help you make new friends and improve your physical and mental health. It’s a great way to grow your network.

Relieve Depression 

Playing with your pet releases endorphins and dopamine, brain chemicals that help improve mood. Pets distract you from bad thoughts as they demand attention and love. Caring for your pets creates structure, which keeps you moving and prevents you from thinking of anything negative. These benefits make pet ownership a good option for those suffering from depression.

Exercise for Elderly People

Pets can keep older people moving. Taking care of a pet keeps elderly people socially engaged and physically active as they need to walk their pets. Older people who own a pet are generally healthier and happier than those who don’t own one.

Improve Heart Health

According to studies, pet owners who suffered from heart attack have a higher rate of survival. Playing with pets produces calming chemicals in the body, helping people relax and feel good throughout the day. Since pets need to be walked regularly, pet owners also get more exercise. This is good for the heart.

Lower Blood Pressure 

Studies show that petting an animal helps lower blood pressure. People who have high blood pressure can benefit from owning a pet and proper medication. It protects them from stroke and heart disease.

Resist Allergies 

Many parents avoid owning pets because their kids are allergic. However, recent research suggests that kids who are raised on farms or in homes with pets are less likely to develop allergies than those raised in environments with no pets. This resistance seems to develop from living in the same environment with pets. Children born in homes with pets develop a stronger immune system.

Teach Children about Responsibility

When you give your child a pet, he will definitely take care of his new companion. They will keep an eye on their furry buddy. Cuddling with their pets can make them happy. This is a good way to teach them about responsibility. You can teach them how to multitask. They have to feed their pet and ensure that it’s getting the love and care it needs, but they shouldn’t neglect their studies. Caring for pets can help them develop a positive mental attitude. It is also a good way to bond with your kids.

These are only some of the benefits of having a pet. Make sure that you can really take care of your pet. If you are interested in owning one, you can go to pet shelters and adopt a dog or cat.


Health Benefits of Massage

Over the years, people have embraced the reality that massage is not just good for rest and relaxation, but it has also many health benefits. Practiced for so many years, massage has always been the number one option for people who are looking to take the most holistic way to maintain their overall health and well-being.

What are the Many Health Benefits Of Massage?

The health benefits of massage could change your lifestyle that allows you to enjoy your life more. Here are the prominent health benefits of this kind of therapy offer.

  • Gets Rid of Health Issues:

Be it back pains or headaches, massage is the best choice to eliminate these health issues. Usually, people resort to pain relievers in these cases, but the truth is that these painkillers are not safe for your health. One research conducted by experts revealed that massage is far more effective in eliminating health issues than any type of medicine. Also, with regards to osteoarthritis, there’s nothing better than this type of therapy. One hour of massage every week is sufficient to get rid of stiffness in your joints.

  • Improved Flexibility

Massage is great for improving your flexibility as massage expert can practice a variety of motions and passive stretching on the limbs. This type of stretching provides a better stretch because massage sports therapist is capable of isolating the muscles more than you can make in your own. Variety of motion helps a lot in opening and loosening stiff joints. Massage on a regular basis can help to avoid muscle related injuries in diverse sporting activities.

  • Reduced Swelling and Inflammation

Typically swelling and inflammation in the body are due to the trauma, but sometimes they could remain in an area which is lacking good circulation. Swelling and inflammation are minimized by enhancing the lymph and blood circulation. With manual massage methods, stagnant lymph and blood are moved back to the heart and fresh blood and lymph return in to circulate the area. With less swelling and inflammation come less discomfort and pain. After running a marathon, I love to go to the best massage spa in Charlotte.

  • Prevents the Build of Lactic Acid

A lot of people are aware of the fact that massage helps improve blood flow that in turn lessens the build-up of lactic acid in the body. Because of the repeated muscles compression, the vessel will pump the blood in and out that will do away with toxic chemicals from the body. Once you have physical exertion, this type of therapy could essentially lessen the fatigue.

  • Reduced Anxiety

Anxiety and other psychological issues are the rage at this point in time. If you want to reduce anxiety, try to get a massage. Adults and kids alike can decrease their anxiety through this kind of therapy.

  • Great Relief for Cancer Patients

A massage is a wonderful supplement to over the counter medicines that are used to treat people with cancer. Not just it will give relief, but also help in reducing the signs of cancer. Through strengthening the immune system, it will put fatigue, nausea and relapses off. However, its benefits aren’t just limited to physical aspects because massage can also aid in relieving depression.

  • Keep Blood Pressure in a Good Condition

Because of the immense pressure everyone is subjected to nowadays. It is normal for them to have a high blood pressure. Massages can come in really useful and beneficial if you want to keep your blood pressure in a good condition.

So, the next you want to boost your health and get some relaxation, you might want to turn to the local massage center in your area. But, as with any complementary health care techniques or treatments, ensure to consult with the doctor before you seek massage treatment. Be honest and open with the therapist about some pertinent health background, your reasons for seeking this therapy etc to make sure you get the safest and most advantageous massage session possible.