When a couple needed a new workspace during lockdown, they decided to buy an old caravan and spruce it up.
Clare Francis, 41, lives with her husband Martin, 40, and three children, aged eight, 15 and 17, in West Sussex.
Clare is a sculptured cake specialist and runs a company called Scrumptious Cupcakes by Clare.
When the UK went into lockdown, Clare was keen to create a new workspace in which to make her amazing sculptured cakes, but with the prices of garden sheds and summer houses rising hugely over the pandemic, she had to find another way.
Instead, she and Martin bought a £1,100 caravan off eBay, and spent £800 making it into a stunning modern space, using supplies from Homebase, eBay and Amazon.
Clare told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: “We are a family of five and live in a three-bedroom house. I already had a summer house that we converted into a cake workshop.
“My teenage son wanted more space during the lockdown and decided that he liked my workshop that we’d already had insulated.
“So I started looking for another workshop similar to the one I already had, but during the lockdown, that’s what everyone seemed to be doing as the price had increased three times.
“My husband then decided to look at caravan options as they are already insulated and have electrics and plumbing.
“We started looking through eBay and won a three berth caravan for £1,100.
“We collected it and Martin began stripping it all out, taking out the bathroom and half the seating which wasn’t needed for the cake room.
“Martin laid the floor and added Floor Pops peel and stick floor tiles from Homebase. He used the self-adhesive Gothic range, which cost £15 a pack and we needed four.
“We then added the kitchen cupboards and worktop that we already had from my previous workshop. Martin adapted them to fit the caravan – he is very resourceful.
“He added under-seat lighting from Amazon for £25, new cupboard handles again from Amazon for £15 and painted straight on to the cupboards with leftover Farrow and Ball Hague Blue.
“We added the top coat with matt varnish and the white paint was Dulux wood paint.
“The wallpaper was from Homebase. It was from the Superfresco range and cost £20 a roll. We bought two.
“The sink was from Amazon at £30, the self-adhesive tiles at the back are from Amazon costing £50, the curtains were from eBay costing £30 and the nets were £10.
“We changed the seating to an L-shape so I could use the space better and added a small additional worktop for £50.
“I paid a lady to recover the seats which cost £150.”
Clare is delighted with the finish of her new workshop, and now has the perfect workspace to create her amazing cakes.
“My husband is currently still on furlough so it’s been good for him to do some jobs around the house,” she adds.
“This project has taken him four weeks from start to finish.
“I couldn’t justify spending £3,000 on a cabin plus putting foundations in, then insulation and electrics.
“It would have been closer to £5,000 once it was finished.
“The total cost of the caravan was £1,900, and I absolutely love the workspace now it’s so organised and compact.
“The caravan cost £1,100 and the decoration cost £800.
“I’m really happy with the amount of money we saved investing in the caravan so that we can have a lovely family holiday next year also, all being well.
“Cake-wise I have a much larger area to work in, one area to decorate the cakes and another for modelling cake toppers.
“It’s my own little den to escape the kids!”
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “As the lockdown came into effect and millions of us began working from home, the cost of home office equipment such as desks, chairs and of course more expensive garden office pods skyrocketed.
“Clare and Martin found an innovative and wallet-friendly solution by doing up a tired old caravan – and Clare now has the home workspace of dreams!”
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