Have you ever wondered how to modernize a caravan? Our first caravan makeover was a bit of a gamble.
We’d bought a little touring caravan; plain, boring (and a bit beige). And I’d decided to upcycle her.
As you do.
But it was well before the days of Pinterest and Instagram. There was no reference.
So it was a risk. But one that really paid off!
Quick View of What You'll Find on This Page
How Do You Modernise a Caravan?
When we first bought Dolly 1, she most definitely wasn’t cool! My first thought was: how do you modernise a caravan?
As there weren’t any touring caravan makeover ideas on the internet when I did our first van, I was pretty much winging it.
I settled my own questions by trying things out!
Questions like ‘can I paint the inside of my caravan’ and ‘how do I cover my caravan seats’ were soon answered, simply by trying things out.
Resplendent in Cath Kidston; it had been noted — on many occasions — that our little caravan looked like CK had thrown up in her but I don’t want to dwell on that ;)
She was comfy and cosy and a million miles away from the boring old beige caravans that you usually see crawling along the roads.
Although she didn’t start off like that. Oh no.
Caravan Makeovers Before and After Photos
When we first bought her, she was your typical offering.
Beige. Brown wood. Nasty upholstery.
ugly standard touring caravan.
It’s not often I’ll put ugly pictures on my blog, but — in this instance — I thought it was important to illustrate just what we were dealing with when we first clapped eyes on her.
I think before and after caravan renovations are much more interesting than just the ‘afters.’
Ack. The above pictures hurt my eyes to be honest! She was a vision in brown.
Why do caravans always look like that?!
Needless to say, a few cans of paint and some chintzy wallpaper rectified all that.
Although I searched on the internet for caravan makeover photos, it was before the days of Pinterest. Trying to find out how to update a caravan interior was pretty tricky.
Nevertheless, with some moderate DIY knowledge — and a lot of good intent — I set to and turned Dolly into what we see here today.
Dolly — our funny little box on wheels — became such a cool caravan and such an integral part of our family life that I was gutted when we sold her.
A vision of shabby chic — probably more shabby than chic — and the catalyst for so many amazing adventures.
She offered the most comfortable bed and shelter from torrential rain (I’m thinking Glastonbury last year when the deluge was so bad it bent and snapped the metal poles of our awning).
Whilst other festival revellers struggled with damp clothes and steaming socks, we were safe in the knowledge that our spare clothes were bone dry and we had a comfy warm bed to snuggle up in, when the music — and mud — became a little too much.
Tourer Caravan Makeover Part Two
When we bought her, my boy and I were a little unit; just the two of us. We never — in our wildest dreams — expected that there would be two more little bodies joining us on our travels!
Needless to say, we’ve managed for the last couple of years but as the twins are now growing boys — and will soon be out of their travel pods — we needed more space than Dolly’s two-berth capacity could offer.
So we waved her off with her new family and bought a new van. Time for tourer caravan makeover number two!
Another vision in brown. And actually — if at all possible — much (much) worse than Dolly was when we first bought her.
I’m SO looking forward to sharing the new caravan makeover on the blog.
Fingers crossed, over the course of the next year, she’ll be turned from ugly duckling to beautiful swan.
A new home-on-wheels in the making — and many, many more adventures to come :)
Editors note — More Makeover Caravan Interior Ideas
It’s been a few years since I wrote this original post, and, since then, we’ve updated another caravan — Dolly 2 — you can see the second caravan makeover blog here.
I’ve also created a totally separate caravan makeover post, on how to update a caravan interior.
You can go and read the first part here, which outlines how I wallpapered and painted the interior of both vans.
Some More Posts on How To Decorate a Caravan
Originally published September 15 2015
Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.