Personal experience: how an old van was turned into a cozy home.

This article will appeal to anyone who dreams of a small house on wheels in which they can go anywhere in the world. Sometimes it’s even better than a summer house.

Michael and Carlene Duffy know all about coziness. The guys have their own design bureau, Cedar & Suede, and in their free time they buy old vans and turn them into cozy homes on wheels. The family already has Millie, Vonnie, Dolly and Bumblebee, who will soon go to auction.

Dolly is the biggest van the guys have. It took a lot of time to renovate it and is not finished yet.

Vonnie. The guys repainted an old van from the 60s to give it a second life. An ideal option for relaxing in the forest.

Bumblebee. Its length is only 3.6 meters, but inside there is a gas stove, sleeping places and storage systems.

Millie is associated with the sea and relaxation. For the guys, this van became a country home.

How to buy a good van?

“Be attentive to detail,” warns Carlin. — We purchased all of our vans in good condition; they did not require additional painting or replacement of surfaces. There is often a build-up on the bodies of older vans that you can’t remove yourself.”

The guys believe that you need to immediately imagine what the van will look like after repair and estimate how much you are willing to pay for it. An important point: there should be no rust on the frame, and the wheel bearings should be in good condition.

Where to look for inspiration?

“On Pinterest and Instagram,” the guys answer in unison. — You can make a moodboard (mood board) and sketch collages for yourself. First of all, think about the sleeping areas – there is not much space in the van, but the rest should be comfortable. The couple installed bunk beds for their children Paddy and Stella – they take up less space.”

When you think about the content, choose a general color scheme for the interior. Based on this, decide on the materials. For example, Carlin is a fan of white glossy tiles and wood floors. She is sure: materials should be inexpensive and practical.

How to organize a tiny space?

Carlin and Michael are sure that the space should not be cluttered. If there is no room for standard beds, make them to order along with mattresses. And make sure everything matches the scale of the van – even the refrigerator.

Cabinets and drawers should not look bulky. Each door must have special locks to prevent the doors from opening while driving. For the same reasons, it is better not to make open shelves – things may fall during a sharp turn.

Do I need to change the entire “filling”?

“Some interior items can be left to add a vintage feel to the decor,” the guys say. For example, if your cabinet doors are in good condition, you can upgrade them by adding brass mesh. Or reupholster the bench seat in the kitchen. The only thing the guys always recommend changing is the plumbing.

What can you save on?

On jobs that you can do yourself: paint walls, lay laminate flooring, install cabinets. You can sew your own curtains and decorate the frame with bright colors. The main thing is to create an environment in which you feel comfortable.

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