At their core, Airstream travel trailers are timeless works of manufacturing art. These hand-crafted RVs combine 90-plus years of expert design and quality craftsmanship in a perfect balance of outdoor travel excellence and unparalleled relaxation. The iconic look of our riveted aluminum silver bullets makes it hard for the untrained eye to distinguish one model line from another simply by looking at the exterior. But step inside and the colors, textures, finishes, and flooring come together to bring each model line’s personality to life.
With the Airstream International Travel Trailer, our designers took that mentality up a notch by drawing inspiration from the seaside – from the colors and textures to the emotions we feel watching the gentle crash of waves on the beach. They created an interior décor that draws the outside world in and creates a harmonious balance for those who love basking in the power and depth of the ocean.
What was the design inspiration? Who was the International designed for? How is it unique among our current product lineup – and how does it differ from past renditions? Read on as we go behind the design of the International Coastal Cove.
A Brief History of the International
Airstream first launched International as a trim level in the 1958 model year. It was the first ever self-contained travel trailer that enabled travelers to wander far away from campgrounds and truly discover the joy of off-grid camping (or boondocking). At the time, the International was available in several floor plans ranging from 16 to 30 feet.
Fast forward a few decades later and the International CCD was launched in model year 2002. Airstream collaborated with architect Christopher C. Deam to create a model that connected the dots between the shiny exterior to the modern interior by utilizing aluminum on the interior walls (a design choice that remains today). The International CCD evolved into the International Signature CCD and the Ocean Breeze series in 2008. In 2010, Airstream launched the International Serenity model, and both Signature and Serenity were used for the next decade to distinguish between these two design-centric model lines.
In 2020, the Signature and Serenity names were retired and we returned to our roots with the streamlined and simplified name of International. Regardless of the era, International has always represented superior design and innovative thinking, propelling the brand as we look to meet customer expectations.
Evolution of the Coastal Cove Interior Décor
Airstream’s design initiatives start with a focused goal that provides clarity to the entire team as they source colors, textures, materials, and surfaces that combine in aesthetically pleasing ways. Their approach assumes that a décor should convey emotions without ever having to speak a word – through color choices, fixtures, surfaces, window treatments, and flooring.
Research guided our early vision boards as we honed in on a goal for International’s décor refresh. The Airstream team tapped data that showed a prevalence of blues, aquamarines, and muted pastels in current design trends. As with other interior décor options available from Basecamp to Classic, Airstream utilizes colors often associated with nature. These natural tones help balance the indoor and outdoor experience that Airstreamers crave, creating a welcoming retreat where owners can unwind and reconnect after a long day of enjoying the great outdoors.
Creating a Beautiful, Welcoming Space for Relaxation
With hard data informing initial color choices and our historic trend of tying interior design to the natural world, the team began iterating the possibilities. Starting with shades of blue and green, they landed on a theme that would evoke a spa-like feel through the colors and textures associated with a relaxing waterfront vacation.
For millennia, water has drawn people – for its life-sustaining hydration, its relaxing soundscapes, and its ability to refresh and restore. Water is a powerful symbol, and the design team dove deep into the themes and emotions it inspires. From letting go of tension and cleansing the body and spirit to the positive lifestyle habits that water encourages, the design team worked to create an interior space that encourages mindfulness and relaxation as a path toward wellness. Stepping through the door of an International Travel Trailer should instantly invoke a desire to travel as far as the road will take you– to the place where land meets sea.
The Inspiration: Waterfront Design
A clear vision in mind, the design team began by assembling a color palette buoyed by blues, greens, muted pastels, and warm sandy tones. They sought out textures inspired by the natural world and looked for finishes and fixtures that would help draw even more light into the cool interior.
Colors Inspired by a Morning Walk on the Beach
The design team achieved a delicate balance in the color choices by drawing inspiration from sea glass, celadon ceramics, and modern living spaces. At eye level you’re greeted by a subtle aquamarine hue in the galley’s overhead cabinets and the storage lockers above the dinette and the beds. Like a wave curling toward the sand and catching the sunlight, this high-gloss finish creates a reflective sheen and adds to the fluid feel of the curved cabinetry.
Tucked into that cabinetry, frosted sliding doors are both functional and gorgeous. The translucent white hints at the seafoam spray of crashing waves while softly refracting light and keeping items safely contained. In a unique design twist aimed at creating continuity throughout the unit, the team utilized the same brushed nickel knobs in two distinct uses: As the pulls on the sliding doors, and also as hooks (for keys or hanging jackets) just inside the main entry door.
Sun-Drenched and Sea-Worn Textures
There is nothing quite like waking up in an Airstream and gazing out the panoramic windows on the surrounding landscape. A relaxing night of rest turns into a relaxing morning of reflection as the interior and exterior blend through the expansive wraparound windows.
In the International Travel Trailer, the 25-, 27-, 28- and 30-foot floor plans all feature iconic Airstream panoramic windows wrapping around both endcaps (the 23-foot International is the exception, in that it has panoramic windows up front and a three-piece bathroom that spans the width of the rear). Those windows let in ample light that illuminates the interior while playing well with Coastal Cove’s colors and textures.
Used prevalently throughout the International interior, a wood grain laminate anchors the interior furniture and panels with a sun-bleached and water-worn look. Echoing the texture of a driftwood branch or the siding on a lifeguard shack, this surface laminate delivers a cool, natural feel as it ushers light into an already expansive interior living space. Those woodgrain surfaces are contrasted with warm, white accent panels behind the television and on the galley wall. This washed wood laminate features a subtle geometric overlay pattern and can also be found on the dinette tabletop, where the same blue of the overhead lockers is used on the table’s edge banding.
In the galley, the Dupont Corian® countertop features a sandy, crushed stone pattern with contrasting light and dark gradation that mimics the textured look of sand after the waves retreat. Whites, grays, and sandy beige combine in a textured flourish that contrasts with the subtle surface colors, as well as with the muted reflective surface of the aluminum interior walls. And when the sun sets, aluminum roller blinds pull down for privacy, and dimmable LED lighting lets you set the perfect mood for a night of relaxation.
Hardware, Flooring, and Soft Goods
Throughout the International’s interior, our design team selected hardware, flooring, and soft goods that tie the beach house theme together. Stainless steel appliances in the galley provide the functional benefits you get by bringing along the comforts of home, while their brushed reflective surfaces take on the color and softly amplify the ambient light. From the 3-burner cooktop to the Baraldi cooking vent and stainless-steel sink with Moen® faucet, these premium components provide long-lasting service and complement the décor choices throughout. These same design choices also play out in the bathroom, where stainless steel components pair with warm woodgrain surfaces.
Spanning the entire length of the travel trailer, a herringbone pattern in the seamless vinyl flooring mimics the wooden slats of a beachfront pier while remaining soft under foot. This beautiful vinyl is easy to clean and lays atop a foundation of seamless composite flooring. While water might be the kernel of inspiration for this beautiful décor, our engineers go to great lengths avoiding its harmful effects. Our waterproof composite flooring is an innovative upgrade over the industry-standard plywood and provides the perfect foundation beneath the soft feel of the vinyl flooring.
Our designers also selected a package of soft goods that perfectly complements the finishes and textures used throughout the interior. With International’s Coastal Cove décor, the soft goods package features a quilted bedspread in delicate blue-green to lay on the pillow top memory foam mattress, and accent pillows featuring a crystalline geometric pattern.
The Décor Difference: Choose from Two Beautiful Ultraleather Options
Airstream has long used Ultraleather upholstery in many of our interior designs. Soft and supple like genuine leather but with the easy-to-clean durability of a synthetic material, Ultraleather combines the best of both worlds.
In the International, the Ultraleather upholstery forms the primary difference between the two Coastal Cove décor options – choose from either Aqua Ultraleather or Seashell Ultraleather. Both offer a pebbled texture with a subtle sheen that captures the sandy seaside motif. With Aqua, color rises prominently to the forefront with a soft blue covering the lounge and dinette seating. With Seashell, the seating is covered in a muted light gray color that provides more latitude for putting your own spin on the interior décor.
No matter which color you choose, Ultraleather’s industry-leading abrasion resistance lets you slide into comfort atop a memory foam core that cradles your body. Whether reading, eating at the dinette, or cozying up for a night’s rest, this innovative material is as gorgeous as it is functional.
Coastal Cove with Aqua Ultraleather
Coastal Cove with Seashell Ultraleather
You’ve learned about the décor – now discover the differences in International’s six floor plans. Download our International Floor Plan Comparison Guide and see how Coastal Cove plays out in the various travel trailer lengths.
Ready to experience the spa-like comfort of the International Coastal Cove? Find your local Airstream dealer and see it up close in person.