Well what a month it’s been! Many of you will already know about my exciting new venture but if you don’t and you’ve been wondering why I’ve been M.I.A, then let me share some very exciting news! I’ve opened a travelling homewares store, and online boutique called Scouted Design and it’s based out of my renovated vintage caravan.
It’s an absolute dream come true which began bubbling away last September. There’s been lots of bumps in the road and whole lot of hard work but I would do it all again in a second because I’m so happy with how it has all turned out.
Since you last saw my little vintage caravan she’s been adorned with my logo and filled to the brim with a gorgeous collection of homewares, home decor and lifestyle products from my favourite Australian and international designers. From Cushions and scented candles to kitchen ware, table decor, wall art, rugs, throws and garlands, I have a beautiful range of contemporary Australian and Scandinavian inspired wares.
Well the long awaited final chapter of my little vintage caravan’s makeover is here! Her biggest transformation yet! Painting the Exterior. As I mentioned previously, I’d planned to have a professional take care of her external paint job but the quotes were way above my budget, in excess of $3500 would you believe! I’m sure it would have been a great job but that was way more than I could afford. So I took on the job myself, and managed to get it done for just a bit less than $300. This included buying the spray gun and paint as well as tape, paint thinner, protective gear and drop sheets.
The paint I used was Dulux Metal Shield Epoxy Enamel in Mat Black. It was a big risk making such a dramatic change but I think you’ll agree she looks pretty fantastic! Before painting I taped up all the windows and door which I kept white. I also taped up the indicators, lights and number plate. It’s also a good idea to cover you wheels and draw bar or they’ll get overspray which can look pretty tacky. Here’s a couple of before pics of her, taped up and ready for painting.
She was a little cutie in white, but now I think she’s a head turner. Check out that mat black paint. I was advised by lots of people to not paint her black because it would show up all her imperfections, but honestly I think she looks so much better, don’t you? Sure she’s got a few dimples here and there, but hey, show me a forty seven year old that doesn’t have cellulite! It’s character building isn’t it?
I’m so happy with how she turned out, I’ve really grown to love my little vintage caravan.
I’m so happy to report that my vintage caravan makeover is back on track! A couple of weeks ago I picked up my little caravan from the repair shop and brought her home on a brand new Chassis. As you can see from the pics below it was a pretty big job!
Whilst she was in the workshop she also had a new A frame (draw bar) installed, new springs, new stayz and a service on her bearings. She’s also had some repairs to her timber frame, and some resealing around her trims. The only parts underneath that are original now are her wheels and axel! Everything else is brand spanking new!
Since she’s returned I’ve done a few touch ups to the floor, touched up the paint work inside, replaced all the seals on the windows and door and lined the inside of the door with ply. All that’s left to do now is paint the exterior! I was hoping to have this done professionally, but…after getting back the quotes, I’ve decided to spray paint her myself. There’s just not enough money left . So time to roll up my sleeves and learn how to spray paint!
My vintage caravan makeover is moving along faster than I can post so to bring you up to speed I’m going to share all the latest updates. Since building the bench seat I’ve laid a beautiful new vinyl plank floor, made some upholstered cushions for the chairs and bench seat, installed some lovely new lighting and electrical switches, and made my own leather cabinet pulls and handles.
Lets start by talking about those floors. I chose these vinyl adhesive planks from Bunnings. They were lightweight and very easy to lay. Cutting around corners was probably the trickiest part, so if your tackling a similar project be sure to buy more than you need to allow for mistakes and off cuts. Before I started I watched this video which was so helpful. Before you start laying your vinyl planks make sure your floor is really clean then give it a coat of bondcrete which needs to dry for 24 hours before you begin.
For the upholstered seats I bought a combination of medium and high density foam from Clark Rubber when it was on sale and they cut it all down to size for me which was a great time saver. The front cushion seats are 100mm high density foam and the back rests and bench seat are 750mm medium density foam. Before I made removable covers I lined each cushion with calico for longevity and to disguise the colour of the foam from peeping through the cushion covers. I used a heavy durable cotton fabric from IKEA to make the cushion covers and added these zips from spotlight so that the covers could be removed and washed.
As for the lighting and electrical, I bought replacement architrave light switches and power points from Bunnings and had my electrician install them. I also bought the exterior bunker light from Bunnings and my beautiful concrete pendants and pretty globes are from Freedom. I’ve strung them across and secured them to the ceiling with white pendant hooks from Beacon. Whenever the caravan is mobile I just wrap them in bubble wrap and secure them in the overhead cupboard .
I love the look of my leather cabinet pulls! I’ve wanted to try making leather cabinet handles and pulls for a little while so I was excited to be able to use them in the caravan. They’re really simple to make, all you need is leather cowhide strips (mine were 1 inch wide), a leather punch, Stanley knife, screws and bolts. I found this DIY video really helpful (although they use a full hide and paint the hide before cutting it down) and I also read this step by step tutorial before I began. I used the existing hols in the cabinet doors and drilled new holes for the handles on the bench seat.
I’m so happy to have the interior almost complete. I just need to give the window frames a good clean, replace the adhesive dust seals, and do a little touch up painting. Then the most fun part, accessorising. Oh and I forgot to mention that I’ve also replaced all the broken glass and dodgy scratched and discoloured perspex in the windows. Don’t they look so much better. I went with 4mm clear toughened glass, it won’t discolour and is considerably stronger than regular glass.
Unfortunately my vintage caravan makeover is now on hold for a few weeks. Before I can begin any more changes, my little caravan is headed back to the workshop. Sadly her chassis has cracked and caused some of my framework to break, and my floor to bow. This is a bit devastating to my budget and my morale. I was on such a roll. Apparently the chassis is beyond repair, so after lots of consideration and chatting to repairers and metal fabricators, she’ll be getting a whole new chassis. This is quite a difficult and expensive procedure so I’m leaving it up to the experts. Fingers crossed her body stays in one piece and she’ll be back soon, stronger and safer than ever.
The last of the big interior building tasks for my caravan renovation was to build a bench seat with storage. And gosh what a difference it has made. I’m so happy with how it turned out! Remember what the old bench seat looked like before?
My goal was to keep the bench seat as light as possible (because we’d already added quite a lot of weight with the new bifold window and cabinetry) but still strong enough to sit or lay on. The original framework for the old bench seat/bed was in good condition so we kept that and started by lining the inside of the bench seat with 4mm ply.
I then overlayed the existing ply on the front of the bench seat with vj panelling and secured it in place with liquid nails.
For the top of the bench seat I used 7mm Marine grade ply. After it was cut to size we screwed it to three horizontal supports (which would lay across the existing framework) and attached it to the fixed ply at the back with two long hinges.
To finish off I gave the bench seat a couple of coats of fresh white paint, and then added some leather handles and a strip of 19mm pine quad trim. All it needs now is a comfy upholstered cushion. Oh and in case your wondering about the floor (isn’t it lovely?) I’ll be sharing all the flooring details plus my DIY leather handles soon.
If your new to my blog and interested in seeing more of my caravan renovation, you can start here to see all the pics of how my caravan looked when I first brought her home.