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Couple renovate a rundown 1963 caravan into a dream hair salon

Couple renovate a rundown 1963 caravan into their dream hair salon – as they share their tips for upgrading a small space fast

  • Alicia and Ben Birch transformed a rundown 1963 caravan into a hair salon 
  • Mum-of-two Alicia, 34, was looking for work from home roles in early 2020  
  • The DIY project took ten months to complete and cost $20,000 
  • The transformation would’ve cost a lot more if they hired tradesmen 
  • Alicia is overjoyed with the result and now works four days a week  

An Australian couple with a knack for DIY projects have transformed a 1963 Viscount valiant caravan into a stunning hair salon.

Mum-of-two Alicia Birch, 34, from South Australia, has been a hairdresser for close to 20 years and was seeking a suitable part-time work from home role. 

After thoughtful consideration, her husband Ben, 36, suggested renovating a secondhand caravan to start her own business – which they then purchased in March 2020 for $2,500.

‘The caravan was very rundown and needed to be stripped and decked out with new material,’ Alicia told FEMAIL.

Today the caravan sits on their property and Alicia works four days a week with an ongoing rotation of customers.  

Australian couple Alicia and Ben Birch transformed the rundown caravan into a stylish hairdresser salon on wheels (pictured)

The caravan was originally rundown from years of neglect by previous owners

As the caravan is more than 50 years old and has a circular outer shell, everything had to be custom made

The caravan was originally rundown from years of neglect by previous owners and needed to undergo a complete transformation 

Today the caravan sits on their property and Alicia works four days a week with an ongoing rotation of customers

Today the caravan sits on their property and Alicia works four days a week with an ongoing rotation of customers

The pair completed the entire renovation themselves on weekends as Ben is a full-time cabinet maker and Alicia has a keen eye for interior design.

The caravan was originally rundown from years of neglect by previous owners and needed to undergo a complete transformation.

The DIY project took ten months to complete and came to a rough total of $20,000.

‘The project would’ve cost a lot more if we paid for labour and tradesmen, so I feel very lucky,’ she said.

The DIY project took ten months to complete and came to a rough total of $20,000 (Alicia pictured)

The DIY project took ten months to complete and came to a rough total of $20,000 (Alicia pictured)

The interior has a couch, two hairdresser chairs, a basin, benchtop, cupboard space and potted plants

The interior has a couch, two hairdresser chairs, a basin, benchtop, cupboard space and potted plants

'The project would've cost a lot more if we paid for labour and tradesmen, so I feel very lucky,' she said

‘The project would’ve cost a lot more if we paid for labour and tradesmen, so I feel very lucky,’ she said

As the caravan is more than 50 years old and has a circular outer shell, everything had to be custom made.

‘It was definitely a challenge ensuring everything fit, but we’re really happy with the end result,’ she said.

The caravan now has a refined exterior with baby blue horizontal stripe feature on a white canvas background with a wooden front door.

The interior has a couch, two hairdresser chairs, a basin, benchtop, cupboard space and potted plants.

As guests wait for their appointment they can enjoy a coffee or tea, and Alicia also has enough storage room for her tools and products. 

The caravan also has a sunlight to welcome natural light into the small space – which was part of the original design. 

The caravan also has a sunlight to welcome natural light into the small space - which was part of the original design

The caravan also has a sunlight to welcome natural light into the small space – which was part of the original design

On April 9 Alicia also shared images of the transformation to the Caravan Renovations Facebook group where she received praise from thousands

On April 9 Alicia also shared images of the transformation to the Caravan Renovations Facebook group where she received praise from thousands

On April 9 Alicia also shared images of the transformation to the Caravan Renovations Facebook group where she received praise from thousands.

‘Love this, looks gorgeous! I’m doing a similar reno to my 72 Viscount Royal,’ one woman said.

‘I have just started renovating mine to make into a mobile massage clinic,’ another said.

Others dubbed the idea as ‘amazing’, ‘awesome’ and ‘so clever’. 

ALICIA’S RENOVATION TIPS 

Always do your research before deciding on a set design 

Look for the best price if you’re hiring tradesmen 

Set a budget in place 

Make sure you have a plan if you’re working with a small space

Consider what will likely be challenging to complete and if there’s an alternative solution 

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