Remember we once did a DIY caravan renovation? Took an ugly little beige van and turned her into something lovely? Well, last month, I mentioned that we’d traded our beloved caravan — Dolly 1 — in for a ‘new,’ larger model.
I use the term ‘new’ very loosely. The new van may have preceded her chronologically but certainly not in any other areas.
If Dolly needed a bit of updating when we first bought her, this new van needed an entire facelift.
Pretty she aint.
Another caravan makeover was definitely in order!
**grim interiors warning — the following shots are not for the faint-hearted**
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Caravan Renovation Project: Before Pictures
As you can see, pre-renovation, she wasn’t a pretty sight.
A sea of horrible red carpet (this was changed in favour of laminate flooring). Orange-coloured wood everywhere (painting the caravan cupboards got rid of a good proportion of this!). But the cabinetry wasn’t the only thing to get a coat of paint.
We painted the walls and ceilings — and it created a real feeling of spaciousness.
Caravan Renovation Project: During Pictures
I have got LOTS more ‘before’ photographs that I could show you.
But I’ve always tried to maintain my blog as a happy place; a collection of beautiful things.
The pre-makeover photographs set my teeth on edge (and make me feel a little bit queasy) so I think I’ll leave it there.
Little by little over the summer months — with the help of some lovely paper from Wallpaper Direct — my boy and I transformed the
very ugly little tin box, you see in the snaps above, into something rather lovely.
No mean feat when you have twin toddlers in tow, I can tell you ;)
We wanted something a little different from our first van, which was a vision in Cath Kidston.
For her successor, we wanted something bright and fresh and a little more graphic.
Wallpaper Direct has literally got the best choice.
Whatever your taste — or style — they’ve definitely got something to suit.
For the living quarters of the van, we chose ‘Daisy Chain Small’, a gorgeous yellow and white graphic print with a retro edge.
We’ve also chosen a coordinating print for the bathroom/toilet area but I’ll keep that under my hat until we’ve finished those renovations! One thing at a time — that may be a job for the spring ;)
We’ve no curtains, blinds or proper cushions in the lounge area — those things aside — this little van is well on the way to becoming a perfect little home from home.
Caravan Renovation Project: After Pictures
It looks like a totally different caravan now. We recycled and repurposed where we could. For example, we painted the light fittings and the vintage door handles rather than buying new ones.
Simple things like that make a world of difference to the final look. The devil’s in the detail, as they say!
We didn’t change the work bench top in the kitchen at the back of the van either, but giving the cupboards and sink a fresh look with paint has made it look brand new.
Little tricks like that will save you money and time. There’s no point ripping everything out if you can reuse it.
Vintage Caravan Renovation
It just goes to show that wallpaper is so versatile.
It really shouldn’t just be restricted to the walls of a house — it can be used on furniture, ceilings — even an ugly little caravan can benefit from a little bit of pattern and colour!
There’s still a LOT to do.
Lots more finishing off inside — plus I have some very ambitious plans for the outside of this funny little box on wheels. I’d like to paint the caravan exterior and add some vinyl decals. Bear with me, as I can foresee there may be a fair few ‘caravan related’ posts coming up over the next few months ;)
For anyone wondering what we’ve christened this little van?
Well, initially she was Lionel (don’t ask).
Then she was Wendy (Wendy-House — on wheels).
But for two little boys — who have only ever understood that a caravan is called ‘Dolly’ — it was very, very difficult to persuade them that this new van had any other name.
So everyone, please be upstanding for…
PS — ‘too’ is not a spelling mistake. It’s a play on words!
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Originally published 20 October 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.