When Joe and Beth Edwards got married in 2017, they wanted to spend their honeymoon traveling around Europe. (Who doesn't, right?) But the newlyweds, who live in southwestern England, wanted to do their traveling on the open road, so they opted for a camper van. After exploring a whopping 11 countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Croatia, the pair decided they loved the lifestyle, but not the generic, character-less camper. "I much prefer a more homey feel and love any little quirks," Joe says. So they sold it and bought a smaller one that they could customize, putting in everything they wanted, exactly as they wanted it. Now, Joe, a musician, and Beth, a medical-response professional, can extend their honeymoon indefinitely—and in definite style!—in this adorable .
Joe did all the work, including the carpentry, upholstery, and even the wiring, in about three months—"I love a project," he says—and the interior is jam-packed with smart storage ideas and deft design touches. In the living space, shelf seating along one side pulls out to become a bed, with the cushions nestled side-by-side to create a comfy mattress. (He had the dynamic zigzag-patterned fabric shipped from the U.S. when he couldn't find a U.K. company that carried the cheery turquoise color.) The curtains have thermal and blackout linings to keep things toasty and private for sleeping, and they can be tied back or removed altogether when not needed; the skylight has a screen to let in fresh air while keeping bugs away.
The ceiling is lined in light-colored pine slats for "a beach-house kind of vibe," ending in a storage shelf above the driver and passenger seats that contains the cutest feature of all: cutouts that become little flickering-campfire nightlights when battery-powered tea-light candles are placed behind them. "They were a bit of an afterthought," Joe says. "It needed two wood panels there, so I thought, why not cut something into them to make them look a little more interesting? Campfires seemed to fit the bill for a camper van."
The kitchen space has its own ingenious charms. The Mexican tiles behind the stove add a fun splash of color ("I particularly like the laid-back guy up against the cactus," Joe says). The burners are powered by a propane tank meant for camping that's secured underneath, so the pair can cook while they're on the road—"it's great for curries!"—and they even made Christmas dinner on it last year when their stove at home broke. The sink is a smartly repurposed copper pot; beneath it hide two big jugs, one with fresh water to pump out and one for collecting the wastewater.
The counter space can be extended in both directions: inside with a drop-down table that flips up into place, revealing tiny built-in pantry shelves, and outside with an adjustable table that can also be used for dining. The table's wood-inlay pattern echoes the zigzag of the cushion fabric: "I love Aztec designs and felt it gave a bit of character to something that is normally quite plain," Joe says. Stashed underneath the seating is a mini fridge, for milk and other basics, along with storage crates that lock into place when in transit.
On the outside, a custom roof rack of well-varnished pine—so it looks stylish but won't be hurt by a little rain—has lots of attachment points for bungee cords and awnings to hook up to. "Being able to extend outward can really give you more room on nice days," Joe says. "I tried to make things multifunctional and not let any room go to waste. Every inch counts." And in this brilliant conversion, every inch is put to excellent—and adorable—use.
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