Michael and I have been long time campers, way back from when we were kids but the pace of our lives has been gaining speed in recent years, making it more and more difficult to find the time to prepare for camping trips. You know what I mean, all the packing, all the unpacking! A caravan was the answer. We can keep it stocked, locked and loaded and ready to roll on out of town for short or long getaways.
Last year, we renovated our first vintage caravan, Millie, a 60 year old Millard Florida in need of some serious TLC. Millie set our hearts a racing. She was super cute, practical and her transformation was hugely satisfying, inspiring us to give it another crack, which brings me to the meaning of this post………Meet Vonnie, our beautiful, renovated, vintage Viscount.
Unlike Millie, where we nearly all but gutted the interior (leaving only dining area and wardrobe), with Vonnie we reworked what was there, leaving 85% of the cabinetry and simply painting inside and out using the White Knight speciality paint range.
For the exterior, we used White Knight Rust Guard, which, as its name implies, is ideal for painting metal surfaces and protecting them from rust.
Inside, there was a whole lot of laminate, not only on the cabinetry but on ALL walls, benches and on the table top. We chose to paint all the laminate cabinetry and walls with White Knight Laminate Paint and although we could have painted the bench and table top too, visually we wanted to break up the painted surfaces with some pattern, thereby replacing the benches with a marble-look laminate and a marble mosaic tile on our table top. To add some texture and break up the flat surfaces we installed VJ panelling on the ceiling which we had custom made from MDF and on the floor we laid vinyl plank flooring from Decorug for its light weight and durability, an ideal flooring for caravans.
Millie’s colour palette was Nautical-inspired blues and whites and paid homage to the Australian coastline in an overt way. And like Millie, I wanted Vonnie’s colour palette to be tonal but more of an interpretation of where the coast meets the Aussie bush/rainforest.
The muted green of the exterior and interior cladding, to me, says vintage coastal (cemented when I found this pic of an old EH Holden, snapped by Kara Rosenlund) and paired with the richer, forest green of the upholstery inside, it absolutely hits my brief.
We learnt from Millie how no caravan is complete without a decal. It’s like putting the icing on the cake or the cushions on the sofa or the bedside lamps on the bedside table (you get it) and it’s hard to go past a fine stripe and a name in cursive font. I’m contemplating whether or not on our next van renovation, we mix it up or if this be our signature look.
I selected the font from Dafont and worked with Advanced Signworks who measured up and superimposed the design on an image of the van so that I could see exactly what it would look like before signing off. These guys also came up with the super cute ‘V’ on the door which I LOVE LOVE LOVE and is so in keeping with the scheme.
Inside, we love that in addition to the dining area, bed, kitchen and wardrobe that this caravan came with the sweetest little nook. It was different from any van we’d previously seen and we loved the idea that it could be used however we wanted; breakfast nook, study nook, dressing table nook…….
The stool for the nook is a $20 stool that I found at an opp shop and I up cycled it by spraying the frame in Satin Gold with White Knight Squirts (the same product that we used to paint the dining table frame) and we covered the top with fabric we had at home.
Well that’s Vonnie in a nutshell but keep following us to see our ‘How To’ videos and we’ll show you how we used White Knight Squirts; Rust Guard; and Laminate Paint to bring this vintage belle back to life. I know so many of you are renovating your own vintage caravans, which makes these videos well worth the watch. I’ll also be posting a more detailed breakdown of the renovation in the coming weeks.