‘Pontins meets Palm Springs’ – Willerby backs upcycling venture making caravans cool

Emma Jane Palin, Whinnie Williams and Anna Hart inside the caravan as the renovation gets underway. They are documenting their self-styled design ideas, inspirations and progress on Instagram

Imagine a pre-loved static caravan upcycled into a modern holiday home, complete with a seventies vintage twist and a large dose of retro.

That’s the unique vision of Club Jupiter, a caravan renovation project launched by interior design, style and travel-loving friends Anna Hart, Emma Jane Palin and Whinnie Williams and backed by UK holiday homes market leader Willerby.

Setting their sights on championing UK holidays and short breaks and making caravans cool, the friends bought a three bedroom 2010-model BK Bluebird holiday home at Birchington Vale Holiday Park in Kent and have set to work on a complete makeover.

The BK Bluebird is part of the Willerby family and Hull-based Willerby has joined with Club Jupiter in a partnership to promote a fashionable new image for the great British staycation.

Anna, Emma and Whinnie are documenting their self-styled design ideas, inspirations and progress on Instagram, with the ambition to put caravan holidays and experiences on the agenda for a new generation.

The friends all live in nearby Margate and have impressive interior design, travel, style and writing experience. Anna is a travel journalist, Emma an interiors writer and stylist, and Whinnie an interior designer, and they have a combined social media audience of more than 100,000 followers.

They all have fond childhood memories of family caravan holidays and Whinnie used to stay at Birchington Vale, or Two Chimneys as it was previously known, even keeping a park brochure from the time, which will inspire one of the caravan’s bathrooms.

Fuelled by a shared love of travel and interior design, Club Jupiter was born as a direct result of the COVID pandemic and lockdown.

Emma said: “We were looking for something different to do and a challenge during lockdown. We’ve all grown up enjoying caravan holidays, so this is very nostalgic for all of us and really close to our hearts.

“We absolutely love our BK Bluebird, Willerby is a brand with a fantastic heritage and we feel we’ve become part of the Willerby family. They reached out to us and we connected via Instagram, so we love how it has happened so naturally and we’ve formed a fantastic partnership.”

The friends are aiming to complete the caravan renovation by 17th May when the domestic tourism and hospitality industries are due to re-open fully.

For now, they don’t want to give too much of the full, final design away and are keeping some of the rooms under wraps. But the living and bathroom areas are inspired by Palm Springs, Americana, fifties and sixties vibes, and the friends have each designed their own bedroom reflecting their individual personalities and tastes.

Whinnie said: “We have dreams of running a hotel or a B&B in the future, so this is the first step. As we have such nostalgic memories of caravan holidays, we thought it would be great to make caravans cool and introduce them to a younger market.

“We’ve had so much interest already. Our primary target audiences are groups of women, such as hen parties, couples and young friends, but anyone can book the caravan and it will be available to hire for photoshoots. We can’t wait for people to see it.”

Anna said: “This is the perfect time for Club Jupiter, as many people don’t feel comfortable going abroad just yet, plus people have discovered the UK is a great place to have a holiday.

“We wanted to put our memories from our childhoods and our style inspirations into a pre-loved caravan, to encourage people our age to experience caravan holidays.

“The theme is a modern update on a traditional caravan holiday. We’re describing it as Pontins meets Palm Springs – you’ve still got the British seaside heritage and everything that comes with it, as well as really cool interiors and experiential accommodation.”

Club Jupiter has already appeared in a feature in The Sunday Times Style magazine on caravan mini-breaks, when it was highlighted in the “Hot List”.

Chloe Lidster, head of marketing at Willerby, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary year, said: “We absolutely love Club Jupiter and the amazing makeover Anna, Emma and Whinnie are creating.

“We’re proud of our heritage and the part we have played in making holiday memories for generations and we’re excited by how Club Jupiter is combining past and present to bring a new twist to the holiday home.

“Our partnership with Club Jupiter is an innovative way of promoting the great British staycation at a time when millions of people are discovering or re-discovering the joys of holidays in the UK.”

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