How to add a touch of patriotism to your campervan

We’ve been neglecting the campervan a bit of late; the last few months have flown in an endless flurry of jubilee street parties and Olympic fever (not really, but it does explain the rest of the story).

One of the final jobs left in the campervan was to paint the inside back door in the bathroom white. But on our return from the UK a couple of weeks ago, where we’d been surrounded by a sea of patriotic memorabilia, this dull, wooden panel suddenly became a canvas of possibility. What are we doing painting it white?! Surely it is crying out for a union flag!

And while I’ve probably missed the boat in terms of celebrating this year’s fantastic Great British events, it still seemed a timely opportunity to add a little (more) red, white and blue to our now very colourful campervan.

Paul painted a couple of white undercoats on first, and we went to Bunnings to colour match the blue with that of the curtains, so it didn’t clash too much.

Union flag campervan

I marked out the flag with what Bunnings promised was the best painter’s masking tape available, copying the original from Wikipedia. It’s a pattern that often features in my meeting doodles but I’ve clearly never looked at it closely before because I didn’t even realise it’s not symmetrical. So it was a bit fiddlier than I thought, making sure the wide and narrow bits were in the right place. (n.b. the hole in the middle is deliberate – it’s where the door handle goes.)

Then it was just a case of painting the red and blue in the right spots, and praying that the masking tape would survive three coats of paint.

Union flag campervan

It didn’t… quite. I waited until everything had dried and pulled the tape off very gingerly, but it had bled through on most of the lines. Still, we think it can pass for a vintage look, and when you stand back in the van, it’s not too obvious.

Union flag campervan

Union flag campervan

Union flag campervan

Union flag campervan

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Decisions, decisions – a guide to campervan interior design

I am starting to have concerns about my project manager’s taste in interior design. We’d always planned to keep the colours inside the campervan quite calm and neutral – white tops, chocolate seating and splashes of coffee or beige if we were feeling adventurous. But Paul has recently expressed an interest in a fairly alarming combination of sunbeam yellow and peacock blue. Clearly the campervan’s not large enough to accommodate nicely spaced feature walls, so I fear this could be a little overbearing. Maybe a bit too cheerful. I have to say though, choosing exact colours is quite a tricky business. The ceiling and very tops of the interior sides are covered in an attractive grey carpet, which has to stay, but we still need to choose colours for the bathroom wall, cabinets, work surfaces and floors.

Last weekend, we spent a morning trawling round a few kitchen showrooms to get an idea of different materials and colours. I LOVE kitchen showrooms and before I knew it, I heard myself explaining to the sales lady (or ‘hostess’ as she was called) that we were renovating our kitchen and how much are these lovely white stone cabinets with self-closing drawers and glass mosaic tiles? That was all very nice, but it made it a bit awkward to then try and steer round to the racks of cheap laminate samples to get a more realistic idea for the campervan. Sadly our budget and weight limit in the van preclude anything with granite or stone in the name, but at least there’s a massive choice available. We finally left two hours later with a handbag full of samples and a $20,000 quote for our own kitchen (maybe next year).

Back home, we narrowed it down to these, and spent the afternoon lining them up inside the van:

So it’s a fairly neutral and calming colour palette (like we’d planned), but maybe just a little… dull. We both like the idea of including something a bit bolder and brighter, something that will make you smile when you open the door. After all, that’s the whole idea of taking off in a campervan. So Paul’s started experimenting with different colours using Google’s SketchUp (a great program where we’ve got a 3-D model of the campervan), and it does seem to suit something more exuberant. Perhaps not quite as exuberant as peacocks and sunbeams, but some glossy red or (the ubiquitous) aqua could make an appearance. So the jury’s still out on that one for the moment. We have, however, chosen the floor – update in the next post!