Monday, 12 January 2015

Shabby Chic Motorhome

Recently, I have been burdened by a hankering to go on a slightly different style of holiday. While jetting off to some exotic beach is still a great mental picture, 50% of the time something happens to ruin that dream. Busy beaches, tourists, weather. When sun is all you want, when it isn’t easy to enjoy it, the holiday is ruined. Equally annoying is being confined to one area, unable to “chase the sun” from town to town.

But no more! Too many Majorca washouts have led me and a couple of friends to decide that not only are we not leaving the country, but we will become the masters of our own destiny! We decided we would indeed chase the ever elusive UK sun by buying a motorhome between the three of us, with a plan to sell it on once we’re finished with it. Obviously, our budget isn’t going to stretch to one of these -

But we should be able to get something reasonable and do it up. To make sure we have everything sorted we are going to use this checklist, but as we are all in love in interior design, there was  a joint decision to aim squarely for the “shabby chic” look, as not only will it make us nostalgic for those caravan holidays we went on as a kid (in hopes of improving on those usually tragic vacations), but also because it will suit our meager budget.  Here are the criteria we intend to meet -

Volkswagen Camper Van

On this point, there is no room for maneuver. Somebody I used to date had parents who converted a Transit van into a motorhome, and while it was very nice and spacious, I could never shake the feeling that it felt like something a builder would go on his jollies in.

If we’re doing “shabby chic”, we’re doing it right. And you can’t do that without a VW. Not only is it the quintessential motorhome, it harkens back to the originators of “shabby chic” - 70s hippies. It’s also perfectly suited for the holiday we presume we’re gonna have. We don’t need some cathedral on wheels to move us about, as we’ll be on the beach or walking around town most of the time. It just needs to be big enough so sleep the three of us, and contain a few creature comforts.

Bare Essential Equipment

To further the retro feel, we’re gonna keep equipment to a minimum. We won’t need a TV, so there won’t be one. We’ll be eating out most of the time, so a fridge won’t be necessary (though I may insist on a cooler). And Sat Nav seems like cheating.

This is being done for both budgetary and aesthetical reasons. Anybody looking to buy a rustic camper van will hardly appreciate a screwed in TV stand and a dozen plug sockets. It also takes a load off when it comes to security (nothing expensive to steal) and petrol (less weight)! A win all around.

Fixtures and Fittings

Now for the nitty gritty. Firstly, wood will be a prominent feature in the motor home. Cheaper than metal and more charming, it’s ideal. Wooden cabinets along the ceiling will be all we need for storage, and will make things easier when it comes time to apply paint. The general consensus seems to be going for a white base coat, covered in hand drawn floral patterns. I’m no artist, but fortunately both of my travel companions are quite handy with a brush. Lucky, because otherwise we’d spend our time surround by my badly drawn stick men.

Furthermore, we’ll outfit the van with cushions and blankets straight out of 1979. Crazy, bold patterns, and big old lumpy duvets. Heaven. They are sure to help set the tone for a free and easy summer!

And that’s what we’ve got so far. It actually sounds amazing now I’ve committed it to words. I can picture it now - the open road, breeze in our hair as we wind our way down to the coast, other assorted movie cliches . . . immense! Plus should the idyllic scene turn into something more akin to a usual British summer (e.g. a torrential downpour), we can simply jump in the van (HAVE to give it a name), and chase the sun. Then we simply return home, sell it on, and bask in the memories of our summer spent tootling around Britain whilst saving money.

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