Before & After Ever since we dragged our vintage caravan, Mabel, home from her previous owners in September 2013, I’ve been coveting the idea of having her out of my backyard and behind, and part of a real “bricks and mortar” shop. Fast forward 2 years and I found a space at a perfect place. Next to a community neighbourhood house and 10 minutes away from each school my 3 sons were attending. (Perfect for the emergency “dash”) I think it was meant to be.  Here’s how we transformed it from an ex security office to the serene workspace that we love.
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
The exterior was transformed by a new front door, removal of window tint (oh! How I could do a whole blog post on the removal of window tint!!) And several coats of Solar guard exterior paint in Antique White USA. I loved painting outside, I did it super last minute (Thursday) before our Grand Opening (Saturday- Eek!) in late August 2015 on one of those freakily sunny days in late winter. The whole neighbourhood came by to chat, peek at the shop and introduce themselves. It’s nice having such great neighbours.
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
If you ever are in a position to paint about 65 sq.mt of walls, floor and ceiling I recommend a serious amount of swatching.  I personally believe there is no limit to swatches. After all, that is a lot of wall to look at if you end up regretting the colour. We strategically decided to go with Antique White USA EVERYWHERE. Walls, ceiling, kitchen, bathroom. We thought it would give the opportunity to let the stock we were showcasing, stand out and we also had no interior windows, so were using it to make the space look bigger. By far the biggest change in the studio space was removing the partition walls that were put up by the previous tenant. This is the middle “room” of the shop which is now our studio. Before:
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
We ripped out carpet, repainted walls, pulled down partitions and took a load of rubble to the tip.
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
And…after!
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
We were keen to do things on a “lean start up” for Our Little Biz. (More about that on another post) So, all the furniture and fittings you see are courtesy of eBay. This buffet in particular…is a WOW! Factor.   I love antiquing and re-purposing vintage furniture. Hayley, of Coast and Country Vintage looked high and low for a HUGE bookcase or library shelving unit to emphasize the 9 foot ceilings in our new shop. After weeks of searching, she finally found one in Melbourne, a long way away from her home on Phillip Island. It is an old pine cabinet and included leadlight windows, which although gorgeous, were not in fitting with our style.  It cost a grand total of $49 on eBay,
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
This piece is so heavy but fortunately it’s in two pieces. Hayley repainted it in Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint, Ironstone and Eulalie’s Sky (blue). http://coastandcountryvintage.com.au/blog/prettiful-pastel-miss-mustard-seeds-milk-paint/ You can attend the Miss Mustard Seed Milk Shop Paint Workshops at Our Little Caravan. Email info@ourlittlecaravan.com.au for details of the next workshop.   The next stage was “front reception”. As we’re leasing the shop, one of the conditions, was that we not remove the wall between front reception and the inner room. So, we had to come up with a suitable alternative…   Introducing brick wallpaper and a coat of blackboard paint on the doors! We’re delighted with the finished look. It’s like a REALLY big bay window!   Before…
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
And after!
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
We own tons of vintage typewriters and some are available for purchase (if you can convince Jac ;-) We also hand type all our cards for our delivery clients.  We get so many compliments on our cards and packaging.  Our typewriter is an Olivetti Valentine from the 60’s. (That’s the red one in the top left hand corner. Not For Sale!)
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
This buffet was another find from eBay.  It’s now our kitchen area.
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
Now we come to the back court yard. A big parking space of concrete, originally intended for up to 4 cars…We added some secure colour bond gates to protect our most precious asset (Mabel the vintage caravan of course!) And some faux grass. Planted a few flowers and voila! Before…
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
Even the boys helped. And after!
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops
Our Little Caravan - Vintage Handmade Crafts - Craft Workshops

I’m so proud of Our Little Caravan and the start-up crew. A HUGE thanks to Chris and Tracy. Brenden and Jan, Hannah, Marnie, Felicity, Lynette, Viveka, Jacinda, and Jac, and of course Anthony (SUCH a labour of love from Anthony!) for all their hard work and support. It is such an unbelievable experience to be doing a job that I love so much in a place that feels like home. I’m grateful every day that we have such an amazing space to create in. “After” photos by Hayley Justice