We are so tired! It’s amazing how much work such a small space requires. But like when you’re mid-renovation project, we’ve hit that mega low point where you don’t think it could look any worse, but we’re through the other side and it’s finally starting to come together.
It’s really hard to get decent progress shots as there just never seems time to clear the decks enough to take any, but you can check out @youngvanadventures‘ Stories on IG for plenty of snapshots and videos behind the scenes on the build.
For now, I’m just going to list off the things we’ve done (quickly, as it’s stupid o’clock in the morning and I’m up early to do some painting before I head into the office), and will post in greater detail in a couple of weeks.
Kitchen cabinetry is mainly in. We felt we were overdoing it with the ply, so we swapped some of it for timber planks, which Ben has used as framing around the units and as cladding on the bench seat. He’s made drawers for the cabinets, which will be fitted once all the paint has dried, and I’ve made leather pulls for them out of an old leather basket strap (following Katy’s tutorial).
Kitchen splash back is fitted. After playing around with lots of ideas for this (I wanted tin ceiling tiles), we’ve kept it simple with blackboard paint for now, which we’re looking forward to customising! This may be something we look at updating in the future.
Worktop is fixed. This is an old iroko lab bench from Eton College which we picked up at a local reclamation yard. Ben cut a curve so it would fit the bench seat, and we’ve cut out a hole for the sink. A section at the end will pull off to access the hob which is set underneath (as we didn’t want to lose all that worktop space).
Plumbing is done. The sink (an old vintage jelly mould I’ve had for years) has been installed. It has a waste pipe which leads to a waste container. There’s also a tap we can access on the side of the kitchen units (for the kids to help themselves to water easily during the day). Eventually we will also have a tap (or something similar) by the sink, but this is going to have to wait for now.
Fridge is fitted. I’ll post more about this later, but it’s fitted underneath our bench seat, which will be hinged for access.
Curtains are made. I’ve made most of the curtains now. One pair is in place, the others will go in in time for our trip this weekend. I used a linen sheet which I lined with black-out fabric, and then hung from curtain wire.
Painting is underway. This is the main thing we totally underestimated in terms of time. We need all the paintwork to be super-durable, so it’s all getting two coats of primer, and two coats of eggshell (we’ve gone for Little Greene’s Intelligent Eggshell in Hicks Blue).
Cedar wall panelling is up. Or at least some of it is! This smells and looks amazing, but isn’t an essential for our trip away, so it’s just getting done when we need to fill some time between other jobs.
The list of jobs still to do is enormous, but we’ve made so much progress we have to focus on what we’ve achieved, not what we haven’t managed to get to. We’ve accepted that our trip away next week won’t be in a finished van, and that’s fine.
I’m not sure I’ll have a chance to post another update before we go away, but hopefully when we’re feeling nice and chilled in a sunny field in Dorset next week I can get lots of shots of the van to share with you here.
Wish us luck with the final push this week!