Typically, when we think of caravans we picture weekends away in dingy caravan parks with soggy socks and wet, windy weather conditions. It’s never glamourous, chic or pretty – that’s for sure.
However, if you happen to have a caravan sitting forlornly in the garden, festering and forgotten, there are a few simple things you can do to transform that musty old van into a completely new, appealing space. As house prices continue to rise week on week, and with extensions becoming ever more expensive, caravans provide the perfect way to get some extra needed space in your home on the cheap.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to glam up your van – it can be as simple as adding a few cushions, photo frames and homely accessories to make your new garden palace the envy of your neighbours. Take a look at these tips for renovating your caravan into a fresh and stylish new addition to your home:
Whether you work from home or just like to pretend to, having a tranquil escape away from the hustle and bustle of family life is not so much a luxury as a necessity. The easiest way to change your dining space into a homely office is by building a desk on top of the dining chairs. Or if it’s a complete overhaul you fancy, you can rip out the entire dining area, and build in a sleek, curved desk. Plus points: you’ll get views of the great outdoors from the window, and it’ll come with its own office kitchen already installed. Minus points: your wifi might not extend into the garden so you may need to invest in a dongle. Once that’s sorted, all you need to do after that is sit back and look busy. Voila – garden/home office complete. Even Google uses caravans as mini office meeting rooms.
This is by far the easiest transformation as everything is already in place, simply awaiting the magic touch of a little interior creativity. Cover your old, scratchy seat cushions with something funky and new (which you can do laboriously by sewing machine, or speedily just by tucking the edges of the fabric underneath), and then make or find some mini curtains to match. If you add some fresh flowers and candles you’ve got the perfect indoor/outdoor dining retreat for dinner parties, or an alternative ‘eating out’ location for two.
There are occasions when we are all desperate to get away but often time, and budget, restricts us. It doesn’t take much, however, to turn your caravan into a snuggly, garden-based getaway. Get some coloured fairy lights to create a soft mood, add some cosy, patterned throws and rugs, and most important of all, keep the fridge well stocked with wine. If you really want that hotel experience, buy things in miniature – soaps, shampoos, even little bottles of alcohol, as this will add an extra touch of luxury for when you need a break. This cubbyhole can also double up as a sleepover spot for teens, or an indoor/outdoor space for entertaining guests; perfect for when you’ve just cleaned the kitchen and don’t want those grubby prints all over your sparkling floors.
This one is a little more extravagant, and for those who are always on the go. Turning a motorhome into a mobile food-van, a roaming library, or even a temporary café is the stuff of daydreams for those who long to be their own boss. You don’t necessarily need the most high tech van, either. The experts at caravan dealership Salop Leisure suggest: “You needn’t invest in a food-specific van. If you simply attach an awning, you can set up vending tables outside and use the inside of the van for refrigeration and storage purposes.” This is a great option for budding bakers and cupcakes lovers wanting to test the waters with self-employment; simply bake at home and sell your wares at car boot sales, festivals and other local events at the weekend.
All literary fiends have dreamed of having their own in-house library, but most of us don’t have the space or the money to afford one. Lining the walls of your caravan with funky shelves and bringing those beloved books out of storage is a great way to make use of your caravan, and also to get the family reading. Make sure you don’t load the walls down too much by strategically scattering the shelves and having some stand-alone bookshelves in place.
Do you have any other creative ideas about how to transform your caravan into an additional space for your home? Let us know!