Mum uses DIY hacks to transform dull caravan into stylish space for just £520

There is a big trend around for renovating caravan or minivans amid the UK staycation boom.

But many people are often put off but the cost of doing it.

However, one savvy family has proven you really don’t need to spend a fortune to completely overhaul a space.

Cerys Hopkins, 42, from South Wales, has revealed how she transformed a dull caravan into a classy and stylish space using DIY hacks and budget materials such as sticky vinyl and flooring offcuts.

The mum-of-four, along with her husband and son, totally renovated the space in three months.

Talking about the project, Welsh government worker Cerys told money-saving community "My husband and I loved holidays at our grandparents' caravans as children, and we always dreamed of having our own so our children could experience it too.

"One came up for sale locally and we jumped at the chance.

"I had seen caravan transformations before and just wanted to put our own stamp on a van.

"Older vans, in my opinion, have very dated interiors and the van we bought is from 2002."

Cerys said she built up screenshots of ideas she loved and then 'went from there'.

She added: "My husband, eldest son, aged 17, and I completed the transformation over three months in between jobs, school and parenting.

“To prepare, we took all the doors off, sugar soaped and cleaned everywhere, stripped flooring and removed all soft furnishings.

"Anything that could be taken out was stored in our garage so we had more space.

"Our garage and dining room got taken over!"

The mum said they used Frenchic Alfresco paint for all cupboards, walls and ceilings and sticky vinyl to cover all worktops and tabletops.

Meanwhile, they used wood strips to create the feature wall in the dining area and tropical wallpaper in the bathroom "to make a statement".

"I changed the sockets to ones with USB ports and changed the dated wall lights to something a bit more modern and in keeping with the design.

“The flooring cost £60 from a local carpet shop, the stick on tiles cost £40 from Amazon, the new handles cost £50 from ebay, the paint cost £150 from a local stockist, the upholstery material cost £70, the curtain material and cushions cost £30, the wallpaper cost £15 from I Love Wallpaper, the electric fire cost £50 from Amazon, the wood strips cost £20 from B&Q, the lights cost £20 from Amazon and the sticky vinyl cost £15 from B&M.”

Cerys said she's thrilled with the finished look of her caravan and says there are plenty of ways to keep costs down and get some freebies along the way.

"It really has been hard work, however we cannot wait to use it next year,” she adds.

"We have secured a seasonal pitch in Pembrokeshire and can use it from March. We can’t wait to make memories with our children.

"I took up sewing in lockdown and bought my first machine so I took on the challenge to make the 14 settee cushions and all the curtains myself. I’m really pleased with how they turned out.

“I estimate that we spent around £520.

“Luckily, between us all, we had the skills to do everything ourselves.

"It was part of the fun putting our own stamp on the van and we are extremely proud of what we have achieved.

"We have had loads of compliments and people saying ‘I wish I could do that' and I always tell them just go for it, life is too short and you have to enjoy it now.

“My tips would be to screenshot ideas creating a virtual vision or idea board.

"For flooring, visit local carpet shops and ask for offcuts as the area is so small. It works out much cheaper.

"Search for discount codes or sign up to newsletters to get a new customer discount.

"Join loyalty schemes with local businesses – we did with the local Frenchic stockist and got a tin of free paint.

“Get everything checked by a qualified gas engineer and electrician.

"Have lots of patience, too!”

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