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A long road

This is not your usual coloured home project!

70's inspired caravan
A deep vivid blue and silver were chosen as the exterior colours

Cameron decided he needed a project. It was either that or a mid-life crisis and wife Sandra preferred the caravan option. So, one day a very rough looking 1970s 17ft lightweight caravan appeared on the driveway – much to their teenager’s horror. It had come from a West Auckland school where it had been used as a youth hangout, so came complete with the obligatory tagging, smashed windows, dents, grime and an interior that had been squirted all over with cooking oil. It also came with some cool hand painted murals (which sadly were unsalvageable) but overall was not a pretty sight!

Fast forward three years and after many, many hours of sanding, grinding, stripping, sanding, smashing, bogging, sanding, riveting and more than a few 'what have I taken on' moments, the caravan was finally ready to be kitted out.

Old caravan
Caravan before renovation

First, they had to carefully plan for all the electrical needs and wire up to be self-sufficient on solar power. Then came the sheets and sheets of ply and trying to cut them to fit – not easy with an old misshapen aluminium framed shell and a roof curved in two different directions. The old adage of measure twice, cut once was slightly revised to measure five times, cut once then tweak and tweak again. But things took shape pretty quickly.

When deciding on the colours, both wanted to keep a tie to the 70s, while keeping it 'man-ly' (Cameron's sole piece of design advice). After toying with many options, inspiration was finally taken from Cameron's deodorant container, of all things, and a deep vivid blue and silver were chosen as the exterior colours. This job was handed over to the professionals and in the meantime, both readied themselves to transform the interior.

Caravan dining room
Dining set

First off was speed brushing all the interior panelling with Resene Aquaclear Satin with Resene Colorwood Enhance White. Not the easiest of jobs due to all the curves and angles and both working in a tight space. They soon discovered this was best done in the cool early morning and evening hours of the day, even though it was officially autumn, to keep a suitable wet edge – lesson learnt the hard way. Then it was on to the cabinetry, which links in with the exterior colour, being Resene Silver Chalice overlaid with Resene Silver Aluminium metallic. This has really lifted the interior by giving a subtle sparkle to otherwise plain fixtures.

Although the caravan is a very small space, it needed a distinction between the living area and the bedroom area so again the outside came in by using Resene Surfs Up, overcoated with Resene Aquaclear Satin for extra durability, for a deeper 'night-time' feel for the bed base and bathroom area. But they still needed to allude to the 1970s – and what says the 70's more than orange? The cupboards, drawers and table were duly painted in Resene Trinidad, again overcoated with Resene Aquaclear Satin. While they were a little worried that this might be too much in such close confines, both are really happy with the bright and cheerful look.

Sticking with a 70s theme, they rescued some old cork tiles from their parents’ shed, laid these, and coated them with Resene Aquaclear Satin with Resene Colorwood Enhance Black for an easy clean finish. To complete the space, Resene Super Gloss Black was painted onto the kitchen bench top, shelves and the inside of the caravan door to protect against the elements. Again, the shine really adds to the look and it is a very easy finish to clean. Every other surface, such as the cupboard shelves and the interior of the storage compartments, was coated in Resene Aquaclear Satin for extra water resistance and ease of cleaning.

It has been a long road to this point, but the real fun part of the journey starts now as the caravan can be hooked up ready to embark on NZ adventures.


Thanks to Cameron and Sandra.

Decorating inspiration gallery 2020


Decorating inspiration gallery
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