Article by guest contributor, Jade Attwood of The Caravan and Camping Club
Gone are the days that caravanning was deemed cringeworthy. No longer are we bound to net curtains, retro furnishings, and frankly useless features (who has ever successfully used a fold down ironing board?). Nowadays, caravanning has got a whole lot cooler. From the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, to Billie Piper, to Jamie Oliver, to national treasure Helen Mirren, many celebrities are choosing to cosy up in a caravan over flocking to plush overseas resorts.
But why? I may hear you ask. Now, with so many models, modifications, and creative ways to make your caravan your own, you can really create your very own DIY caravan. What’s more, a caravan holiday is only restricted by the road ahead: the freedom is in your hands. So if you fancy an entirely different holiday this year why not join the celebrity caravan club? Here’s some top tips and inspirational caravan restoration ideas which will introduce you to the ‘cool’ caravanning crew.
Making it yours
One of the coolest aspects of having your own caravan, is how customizable it is. Think of it as your space, a blank canvas to really make into your own. There are a multitude of routes you can go with this: from simple caravan decoration, to adding features which are customized to your passions.
To really create a unique caravan interior, pick a theme and colour scheme. ‘Vintage’ caravan styling with polka dots, bunting and quaint tea sets is one such theme which has really taken off over recent years.
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Perhaps you would like to channel a nautical look, upholstering your furniture with bold stripes, surrounding you windows with old rope, and even adding a ship’s bell will give you a look that will stay afloat for years to come.
Even though you may be in a quiet caravan park, maybe you would like to sample a taste of the exotic on your caravanning holiday. Adorning your caravan interior with decadent sequinned throws and saris in rich jewel tones will give hint of Bollywood glamour.
Lighting makes all the difference in an enclosed space too. Fairy lights are not restricted to Christmas, but could make your caravan sparkle with little expense or hassle. Similarly adding lanterns and lamps can change the whole mood of the room, so carefully consider the kind of ambience you would like to create.
And why stop with the inside? You can make your caravan eye catching on the road, and express your individuality with a bold exterior. From leopard print, to rainbow stripes, to racer style pin-striping, the opportunities are endless when it comes to how you choose to decorate your caravan.
Admittedly many caravans (especially the retro caravans) can be compact and cramped, but there are plenty of clever tricks and gadgets that can help you make the most of your space.
Maybe you’re a foodie, who likes to get creative in the kitchen? Now you can match your home life, with touch screen kitchens and built in wine chillers: to really make sure everything is perfect for a cosy evening in.
Perhaps you’re a gamer? Many caravanners are now adding multiple swivel screen and surround sound systems to make their space into a gaming heaven.
For those who are more keen on all things natural, you can tailor your caravan tech to suit your needs. Whether that be adding solar panels, an electric composter, or even a fold out gas BBQ, there are plenty of ways to use your caravan as nature intended.
If you’re looking for caravan storage solutions, there’s no need to compromise on style. Invest in stackable storage tubs, in your required colour scheme, to carry all for your holiday essentials. For smaller items ‘dangling jars’ have resolved the problem of trinkets getting lost when travelling or going awry in transit. Simply screw lids of jars to your caravans ceiling, and fill each jar with your most important possessions: a nifty and interesting way to make sure you’re never searching for your keys or phone again.
Keeping up appearances
When you’ve invested so much time and effort into your caravan restoration, you want to keep it in tip top condition right? Of course, travelling causes natural wear and tear but there are a few ways you can keep your cool wherever your caravanning adventure may take you.
Get a good coat of varnish to finish off your paint job, to ensure that your creation stays in tact. Carry spare paint and a brush with you, just in case you do get in any knocks or scrapes.
Keeping your caravan warm needn’t be a case of simply installing an electric heater. To prevent damp, use colorful blankets to fend off any door drafts and give character to your caravan.
When travelling in a caravan, it’s essential that everything is safely secure: no one wants a cracked flatscreen now do they? Also be mindful of the fact that you will be moving with your caravan, so although decadent decorations give your caravan interior a personal edge, too many loose objects could leave your caravan looking more crumbled than cool. Before setting off make sure that nothing is vulnerable to swift acceleration or a crafty corner.
Once you’ve made your caravan your own, all that is left to do is show it off. Whether that be touring around America, taking to Europe’s diverse capitals, or even escaping to the country in the UK, you can be sure that your DIY caravan will get some attention.
So why don’t you give it a go? Rather than spend thousands on a luxury getaway, create your heaven on earth (in caravan form).
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