Retro Caravan Love: Club Jupiter
Club Jupiter, the Margate-based caravan revival project founded by travel writer Anna Hart, interiors stylist Emma Jane Palin, and interior designer Whinnie Williams, has now launched in some style... And we think that they are absolutely fabulous!
The project was conceived in autumn 2020, out of a shared love of midcentury design and concern about the shortage of UK holiday accommodation as a result of the coronavirus crisis and Brexit travel restrictions. The trio bought a pre-loved 2010 Willerby BK Bluebird, housed at Birchington Vale Holiday Park, and have since collaborated with Willerby to highlight the positives of caravan ownership to a younger audience.
“Renovating our preloved Willerby BK Bluebird has been the perfect winter lockdown project,” says Emma, a multi-award winning design blogger and interior stylist. “We wanted
to find a more unloved, older model and show people how this humble caravan can be thoughtfully transformed into a glamorous holiday home. Willerby are a heritage British brand, celebrating their 75th anniversary this year, so this Bluebird was the perfect fit. That being said, we’re excited about the prospect of what can be done with a newer model and the business benefits of renting them out too”
The result of the caravan overhaul is what the trio are calling a “Pontins meets Palm Springs” holiday property pairing a high-end midcentury aesthetic with a classic British caravan holiday at the seaside. Caravan holidays are booming in popularity in 2021, with the motorhome rental community Camplify reporting a combined 240 percent increase in owner sign-ups in February and March compared with January 2021. Willerby has also reported a 70 percent increase in new holiday homes sales with particular demand from a younger generation.
As well as a unique design project by three design-obsessed friends, Club Jupiter is fuelled by a desire to put caravans back on the map as an aspirational yet achievable holiday option for a whole new generation of travellers. “We all have nostalgic memories of caravan holidays as children, and now we’ve put our wildest Palm Springs desert modern design aspirations into a beige and slightly battered caravan at our local caravan park,” says Anna. “British caravan holidays are long overdue a revival – they offer an achievable form of adventure and escapism. Caravans are also a relatively sustainable and community-minded option, because they don’t remove a property from the rental market, as holiday home rental sites do.”
“We’ve upcycled as much as possible, sourcing vintage fabrics from our favourite junk stores around Margate, scouring eBay and Facebook marketplace, and we even found our brass kitchen sink in a skip,” says Whinnie, who is currently filming her forth-coming BBC3 renovation show ‘Flat Out Fabulous’. “We wanted to deliver a Palm Springs desert modern aesthetic, but we’ve tried to DIY things as much as possible to show people that anyone can bring Hollywood vibes into even the smallest of spaces.”