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Step Inside our Airbnb Renovations : The Caravan of Love

I’ve been busy dreaming up plans for the caravan, it’s coming to Airbnb this summer! After the initial weeks of ripping out, rewiring and recladding, decision making suddenly ramped up. It’s been two solid weeks of pretty much full time ordering, chasing orders, collecting things I have no comprehension of in builder’s merchants and wood yards, leaving our fantastic joiner and jack of all trades more time to hammer, saw, paint, stick and plane to perfection.

My spreadsheet of orders currently runs to 5 pages.

But it’s getting to the fun bit now, time to plan and order the furniture, accessories, soft furnishings…

I’m so exited to be working with Harvey Maria again on the gorgeous flooring. A self catering caravan is the perfect place to try out three of their stunning luxury vinyl plank and tile designs. They are easy to clean, waterproof and incredibly resistant to wear and tear. But beautiful and homely too.

Second time around


We became Airbnb superhosts in April for our barn on Airbnb – 100% 5 star reviews. Our visitor’s book is full of compliments about the cosy, homely feel of the place. I feel like my interior design skills have been proved, I’ve found a style I am happy with and guests love too.

I like things to have stories, so love rummaging in charity shops and second hand furniture shops, taking loved but no longer needed things off friends and family, the odd impulse splurge, a bit of upcycling. But I can’t stand chintz in holiday cottages, so I made sure all the soft furnishings are more modern in style, with a nature/Scandi feel to make it feel clean and cosy.

I’m taking the confidence gained from the barn into this project and really enjoying it.  Having worked with our joiner/jack of all trades on the barn already, it’s easy to work together, the banter and jokes flow.  He knows I struggle with visualising things in space and draws it out for me in pencil on the floor.

Today’s post is a bit of fun. Do what I have been doing for months and squint and try and imagine the place with furnishings and flooring!

Hare Brained Schemes

The views are amazing and the wildlife plentiful, plus Dad lent us some money to get this off the ground and he loves hares and taught me all I know about nature, so I’m falling fast down a hare warren of hare-themed interiors. The ones I’ve included pics of are today from Dunelm. The rabbit is my photo, from my last rabbit themed moving to the country update.

Bringing the outside in

Squint your eyes hard! Imagine the rubbish gone, wildflowers round the door, a new coat of Land Rover green paint and some lovely nature themed touches to welcome you. Stunning views of the Peak District from a 6ft wide window – we’re replacing that three frame window with a single pane of reinforced glass and we’ve cut down and removed a tree blocking the view. The caravan has the best views of all.


At one with nature

It didn’t take me long to choose the flooring, having previously used Harvey Maria’s Church Pine Luxury Vinyl Premium Wood planks in my office makeover in my old house I knew it would be the perfect choice in the caravan. Sussex Oak had a lovely warm natural feel to it.

I loved the idea of green so decided to be more ambitious and also try out Dee Hardwicke, the gorgeous floral patterned tiles, to create a zone in the kitchen. And Apple Green Little Bricks rectangular tiles in the bathroom. It all coordinates beautifully and helps to create a sense of different rooms in a small space.

I was skiving in town sunglasses shopping as the dog chewed mine. When I came back the walls had had their final coat of paint and the floor was partly down.

No squinting needed here, isn’t it gorgeous! Can’t wait to see the finished look. It even matches my shoes, an impulse buy with the sunnies.

The Kitchen

We’ve chosen an off the shelf kitchen from a DIY store. I’ve picked a black Belling oven and vintage style Swan fridge as a little nod to the caravan’s 1961 vintage. I want to keep some vintage features, but not to overwhelm guests with it. Bunting and polka dots everywhere are not everyone’s bag, although I’m not saying we won’t have any!

Sweet dreams

I think we’ve finally cracked how to have a space that works for families with 3 kids without compromising on the layout for child free couples. Stick the kids in a tent outside (just jesting). We’ve looked at day beds and trundle beds and fold up, pull down beds, but having seen the amazing joinery skills going into the new doors and window frame, we’re going back to the idea of something bespoke.

The Exterior

It was a happy day when our joiner managed to secure the paint for the exterior from a friend for a steal. It’s going to be Landrover Green. Our fastest delivery yet, he turned up with the paint 10 minutes after we ordered and we had a good old chat about how to build shepherd’s huts from scratch for under £2000, not that I’m quite ready for another project just yet.

Dad joked we should leave the outside as it is, let the weeds overgrow it and then let people be totally wowed by the interior which I definitely have mulled this week as a unique selling point!

We spent Friday chain sawing the tree we had to take down and transporting logs to the shed and branches to the bonfire using the lawn tractor trailer. I never got to do stuff like that before we moved and it feels good, until about lunchtime 😉

Now there is space for a deck, so we’ll be looking at ideas for that next.

Photo credits: All photos of the caravan Penny Alexander, sunset Mark Anthony Eden, Soft Furnishings Dunelm, Flooring – Harvey Maria, Decking and worktop B&Q, Appliances AO.com.



  1. 23/05/2018 / 10:45 pm

    It’s looking AMAZING

  2. 24/05/2018 / 7:45 am

    It looks amazing Penny!

  3. 24/05/2018 / 11:18 am

    It looks perfect Penny. I would love to do this one day. I can’t wait to see it finished. xx

  4. 09/06/2018 / 7:33 pm

    It’s bigger than I imagined! Love those green tiles – they’re absolutely gorgeous. Fab choice! It must be so exciting seeing it all start to take shape. Can’t wait to see the finished result.

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