Lisa Mora is the editor and creator of Vintage Caravan Magazine, and has renovated numerous vintage caravans herself. With summer almost here and the trend for ‘glamping’ still on the rise, what better time to think about taking on a vintage caravan? We asked Lisa about vintage style, her magazine, and her new book, Vintage Caravan Style…
When did you create Vintage Caravan Magazine and why?
“I created Vintage Caravan Magazine in 2011 but I had the idea for a couple of years before that. There were plenty of magazines around about vintage trucks, vintage tractors, and vintage and classic cars, but not one magazine in the world about vintage caravans! I knew that there were a lot of other people out there who shared my obsession and I thought it would be cool to create a magazine that showcased the hard work and dedication that others like me had put into their caravan restoration projects.”
Why do you think that ‘glamping’ has become so popular?
“I think that the idea of camping being glamourous has come about as more and more women have got into caravanning. I mean, car restoring, hot rodding and the like have generally been male domains, but with caravanning, I’d say it is more popular with women. Hitching up a trailer that you have restored and decorated yourself and hitting the road is such a liberating feeling, and the formation of groups of women that get together to enjoy camping in their cute decorated campers has given “glampers” a community that celebrates freedom of expression, a sense of adventure and sisterhood.”
What do you love about vintage style?
“I love everything about vintage styling! I love the almost-lost arts and skills that went into crafting and producing items that were feminine, unique and long-lasting like the clothes! I love the shapes and the roundness of the hairstyles and the fashion. To me as a woman, reliving the vintage era is about taking time to make sure that I present what is best about being a woman, my curves, my shape, my femininity. Having grown up during the women’s liberation movement we were always told that we were all equal and that “women could do anything” and, of course, we all know we can and I don’t think that we have to prove that anymore. But now that we have achieved that I think it’s a good time to go back to celebrating what makes women unique. It’s time to go back to embracing our femininity.”
Do you have a favourite era or theme?
“Oh it has to be the fifties and early sixties for sure! That moment in time just before androgyny and modernism took over, I love the full long skirts, the music was all about being happy and dancing, I am totally in love with the lovely curves of the cars of that era, and the caravans were so rounded and beautiful too!”
What are your top tips for adding a touch of vintage style to a small living space?
“I love ‘treasure hunting’ in second-hand shops and garage sales for quirky retro items to display on the shelves and counter tops to add a touch of vintage charm to any space. The use of pale, pastel colours gives that faded patina look that epitomises the vintage style of the 1930s to 1950s, and they can also be mixed and matched really well together for a great effect.”
Is there one essential item for decorating a caravan?
“There is a such a huge array of choices and styles when it comes to decorating a vintage caravan and each one is a reflection of their owners’ unique personalities so there are no hard and fast rules at all, and that is what I love most about this hobby.”
What’s your favourite vintage accessory that you own?
“That is a hard one, I love them all! But I’d have to say my most treasured possessions are the collection of vintage travel pennants that I have accumulated over the years. I display them in my caravan because I used to collect them when I was a kid and my dad gave me the ones he had collected when he was a kid too. I think it’s a shame that they don’t make them any more, as they were the best souvenirs of the places we had been and the things we had seen on our epic road trips, and they look right at home in a vintage trailer.”
Have you ever made anything for your caravan?
“Gosh, yes! I always make my own curtains and cushions, and I even re-upholstered the lounges in both of the caravans I currently use in faux fur fabrics. I also love to crochet – granny square blankets are so fun and easy to make and are a great way to bring all of the colours that you have used together.”
What’s the best way to decorate the outside of a caravan?
“A great paint job is always a good start and I recommend getting a professional auto painter to do that for you if you can afford it. Finish it all off with a nice outdoor setting: window boxes, garden gnomes, pink flamingos and, my favourite, colour co-ordinated bunting!”
How many caravans have you owned?
“I have owned eight caravans in total. I still have three of them now, including two that I have fully restored; Vicky the 1965 Viscount, Betty Page-Turner the 1964 Sunliner, and a 1949 Crown called ‘Rosie’ that I plan to do up this year.”
You’ve lived in a lot of different places! Where did you enjoy staying the most?
“My family have always travelled and I guess I’ve continued that tradition! The best part about being a traveller is your ability to feel at home almost anywhere you go. I always say the road is my true home, so I don’t know if I could pick a favourite place. My home town of Maleny in Queensland, Australia, has kept me in one place for the longest, so that makes it pretty special, and those rolling green hills, the abundant waterfalls and the views over the spectacular Glasshouse Mountains make my heart soar every time I drive back up the hill.”
What’s the best way to get involved with the vintage vanning community?
“Don’t be shy and just come along to any of the rallies or events that you see advertised. In a community that celebrates individuality, you will always be made to feel welcome and you will find that vintage caravanners are all a lot of fun! After you have attended a few events you will have made lifelong friends and come to look forward to each event on the calendar.”
Get your copy of Lisa’s new book, Vintage Caravan Style, or the PDF eBook, to be inspired! Inside, you’ll find loads of tips and advice on buying, restoring, decorating and styling your perfect vintage caravan. To find out more about Lisa, visit the Vintage Caravan Magazine website.
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