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A Mobile Home From the 1960s Is Just One of the Charming Details of This Upstate New York Property | Architectural Digest


Upon digging into the mobile home and pulling things out, Kai’s contractors assessed that the renovation was going to require more work than expected. Because the home didn’t have a real foundation, it needed to be secured with concrete footing and interior pillars. (Mold was also discovered in the original insulation.) So, all of the paneling and carpeting was removed, and one of the bedrooms was taken out in order to open up the space. “Ultimately, it really ended up being like building a house from scratch,” Kai adds. “Almost everything was taken out except for the original woodburning stove, which I love! I think it’s super charming.” The renovation process took five months from start to finish. The contractors began on the same day the couple closed on the property last September and completed work in February this year.

The extension added 700 square feet, including an extra bedroom, making the entire home just over 1,400 square feet. Other features include self-leveling cement on the floors, exposed wood beams, and Andersen windows, which lend a light, airy feel to the space. But Kai’s favorite features are the steps in each room. “The way to get from the mobile home into the extension are these concrete steps that just kind of flow into the extension’s concrete flooring, and it just looks very minimal and clean,” she explains. “It also reminds me of the adobe homes in Mexico and New Mexico, which I love. Although I’m not in a desert environment, I definitely wanted a little bit of that aspect in the house. The concrete floor is where I was able to sort of bring that in.”

BEFORE: Instead of tearing the mobile home down, Kai decided to renovate and add to the existing structure.

Photo: Kai Avent-deLeon

AFTER: Each bedroom features a colorful textured quilt made by Katrina Sans.

As for the design elements, Kai kept it minimal and cozy, and chose to be intentional about purchasing pieces from local designers and women-owned businesses. She also incorporated items from her travels, including various wooden bowls from Kenya and Ghana, and pottery from Mexico and the Dominican Republic. In selecting pieces from places that she has a strong connection to, Kai added depth and warmth to the space, infusing each corner of the home with meaning and value.

AFTER: Kai kept the design minimal and cozy, being intentional about choosing pieces with personal meaning.


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