The humble caravan is staging a major comeback. Have you ever gone down the rabbit hole that is the hashtag #vanlife? There’s currently 2.2 million Instagram posts tagged! And #vanlife is not just an aesthetic or even a mentality, it’s come to encapsulate a movement; a one-word, enviable lifestyle that is free of the traditional nine-to-five. Now, thanks to social media, many want to jump in a caravan and drive into the unknown!
So it comes as little surprise that self-confessed caravan geeks and Block alumni, Michael and Carlene Duffy, jumped at the opportunity to renovate a vintage Viscount van. The finished product, Vonnie the Van, sleeps two adults and two kids, making it perfect for overnight visits from friends, owners looking to up their Stayz revenue and of course, those wanting to hit the wide, open road and explore the country.
Taking inspiration from the stunning coastal bushland around their family home in Queensland’s Tallebudgera, Michael and Carlene chose a colour palette of varying shades of green, offset by brass and gold fixtures. Wanting to create a soft, relaxed, natural vibe; they opted for White Knight’s Sussex (a muted green) paired with Crisp White as the two hero colours. Vonnie has ended up a fresh, calm, Palm Springs-inspired version of her retro roots, with just a touch of glam!
Vintage vans can be picked up quite cheaply, but most are in dire need of renovation, refurbishment and modernisation, which is where Michael and Carlene came to the rescue. “Vonnie the Van had good bones but needed a lot of work,” explains Michael. “The metal exterior was on the verge of rusting, the interior laminate cupboards and kitchen-tops were straight out of the 60s and the old girl badly needed some new furniture.”
Applying all their home renovation skills to Vonnie’s makeover, they upcyled old furniture using acrylic enamel spray paint; modernised the benches and cupboards with laminate paint and brought her exterior and chassis back to life with White Knight’s Rust Guard.
With the right products, some TLC and hard yakka, Vonnie is now ready to cruise the coastline for many more years to come.