Then, Mieke Lambermon came along and fell in love with the retro camper that brought back childhood memories. These caravans were an important part of the ’50s and ‘60s lifestyle in New Zealand and intimately linked to family beach vacations. Together, Paul and Mieke carefully restored Claris, and it was serious work. Only the original floors could be saved. The rest was in pretty bad shape.
Mieke made sure to keep Claris’ vintage allure intact, starting from the exterior (boasting a Technicolor coat in Tangerine, Trade Green, Solitaire, and a custom-made awning) to the cozy interior. The bespoke kitchen flaunts three original Bakelite dinner sets in different colors, as well as vintage striped glasses. Milk glass and chrome fittings were re-used for lighting.
The small caravan can now accommodate one or two guests – there’s a generous bed, plus a bespoke kitchen. Although stylish and modern in terms of comfort, Claris doesn’t have a bathroom, TV, or Wi-Fi. Instead, it’s perfect for an off-grid vacation in a beautiful location in Auckland.
When it was almost 50 years old, this camper was in the worst condition ever, but a twist of fate helped it become a unique glamping retreat that will hopefully thrive for many decades to come. Those who would like to find out more about Claris can check out Airbnb.