If you hadn’t noticed, trailers have been making a comeback in the past few years. High-end designers have been reappropriating the typically “trashy” trailer and making it chic. But no amount of cosmetic enhancement can truly disassociate a product from its name. Which is why the UK has the upper hand in this arena. In England, a trailer is called a “caravan”. In fact, the British have an undeniable linguistic grace. For example, “holiday” sounds so much more romantic than vacation. The very word can change the whole experience.


This is only the beginning of a long list of reasons why the Retreat Holiday Caravan from Buckley Gray Yeoman Architects in London is the most elegant and stylish “mobile home” you can find. It comes in a range of sizes, from studio to 3-bedrooms with an en suite bath. The design is clean and contemporary, with floor-to-ceiling windows and Bosch kitchen appliances. And we were particularly thrilled about the optional Habitat furnishings, and all-timber hot tub.

As if all of this weren’t enough, the Retreat House is constructed with primarily sustainable and renewable materials. For all models, timber is sourced from suppliers associated with the Forest Stewardship Council; the large windows reduce the need for electric lighting, and there is minimal use of plastic and other manmade material. For the environmental purist, the special Sustainable-Model is available, with standard features that include dual flush toilets, moss sedum (green) roofs, photovoltaic roof panels and solar water heating.

This is a truly modern dwelling: compact, environmentally friendly and mobile. It can be set it up in a public caravan area (no doubt you’d be the talk of the trailer park) or in a residential backyard. No matter where it sits, the Retreat exudes an elegant charm. Just remember, if anyone asks, be sure to answer languidly: “I’m on holiday.”