Club Jupiter is a Margate-based “caravan revival” project in the UK that was developed during lockdown for the summer staycation boom. Jenny Southan reports
The visionary trio came up with the idea of transforming a caravan into a trendy hideaway for millennial holidaymakers in autumn 2020, “out of a shared love of midcentury design and concern about the shortage of UK holiday accommodation as a result of the coronavirus crisis and Brexit travel restrictions,” they said in a statement.
They also rightly observed that caravan holidays are booming in popularity this year, with the motorhome rental community Camplify reporting a combined 240 per cent increase in owner sign-ups in February and March compared with January 2021.
Humorously described as “Pontins meets Palm Springs”, the 1970s-inspired Club Jupiter is intended to “put caravans back on the map as an aspirational yet achievable holiday option for a whole new generation of travellers”.The caravan is like no other you have seen – inside is a stylish open-plan lounge, kitchen and dining area with two-tone tiled flooring, a bamboo ceiling and a six-seater crescent sofa upholstered in Poodle & Blonde velvet. In addition there are three themed bedrooms. Designed by Hart, the Jungle Room combines bamboo, rattan, tiki fabrics and bronze mirror panelling; while Williams’ Lonely Heart Saloon is a ranch-style hideout with pink cowgirl wallpaper, a double bed and a light-studded heart-shaped mirror. Palin’s Space Disco room features sequin walls, a mirrored ceiling and neon sign. Williams (pictured below), who is currently filming her forthcoming BBC3 renovation show Flat Out Fabulous, says: “We’ve upcycled as much as possible, sourcing vintage fabrics from our favourite junk stores around Margate, scouring eBay and Facebook marketplace, and we even found our brass kitchen sink in a skip.“We wanted to deliver a Palm Springs desert modern aesthetic, but we’ve tried to DIY things as much as possible to show people that anyone can bring Hollywood vibes into even the smallest of spaces.”
There are also two bathrooms, each with a “lovingly sourced” retro bathroom suite. The main bathroom has a shower, while the cloakroom toilet has cork walls, terrazzo flooring and “fabulous retro orange vibes”.Guests will also be able to bring pets, there is free wifi, a TV, fridge, kitchen appliances for cooking meals, a hairdryer, free parking and a garden.
Palin (picturd below) says: “Renovating our pre-loved 2010 Willerby BK Bluebird has been the perfect winter lockdown project. We wanted to find a more unloved, older model and show people how this humble caravan can be thoughtfully transformed into a glamorous holiday home. Willerby are a heritage British brand, celebrating their 75th anniversary this year, so this Bluebird was the perfect fit.Proving there is appetite for the concept, since launching an Instagram account in late October, @ClubJupiterUK gained over 2,500 followers in 24 hours; the follower count is now nearly 10,000.
The company says: “This is an engaged and influential social media following of design bloggers, fashion influencers, magazine editors, interior designers and retail decision makers, all engaged with caravan content, behind the scenes snippets, design ideas and weekly renovation videos from Anna, Emma and Whinnie.”
Club Jupiter is located in Birchington Vale holiday park, which has facilities including an indoor swimming pool, crazy golf, restaurant and bar.
Hart (pictured below) says: “We all have nostalgic memories of caravan holidays as children, and now we’ve put our wildest Palm Springs desert modern design aspirations into a beige and slightly battered caravan at our local caravan park.“British caravan holidays are long overdue a revival – they offer an achievable form of adventure and escapism. Caravans are also a relatively sustainable and community-minded option, because they don’t remove a property from the rental market, as holiday home rental sites do.”