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How To Create A Stunning Campervan Interior

These 5 simple steps help you to create a beautiful campervan interior design!

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How To Create A Stunning Camper Van Interior

Converting a campervan isn’t simply about woodworking and electric wiring. Because of the very limited space inside a van, thinking about campervan interior design is a lot more important than most average homes. 

Ever wondered how you can design your campervan interior? You may be surprised but it’s not as difficult as you might think! 

5 Steps to design your campervan interior

1. Get Inspiration from Pinterest

The most important first step is research.

 Like many of you, I had never designed a campervan interior before and wasn’t sure what styles I liked and didn’t like. Luckily, the Internet is a great place to start.

So I started with Pinterest and created a mood board of beautiful interiors that appealed to me. But there is so much information on Pinterest, it can be confusing to know how to start.

Below, I talk about my Pinterest search strategy.

Step 1: Search With general keywords

Pinterest Searching With Interior Design Keywords
Pinterest search with "Interior design"

Use broad search keywords like  “Interior Design”. What is great about Pinterest is that it is easy to explore and navigate all the different categories.

Here you can have a look and see which design styles most appeal to you. Perhaps you’re most attracted to a ‘farmhouse’ style, or ‘rustic’, or even ‘Scandinavian’.

If you have no idea where to start, this is a good place to begin. Just have fun and pin any design you love to your board. It helps you to get great inspirations and narrow down the direction of the design you like.

Step 2: Select A Style And Search For Specific Room Examples

Rustic Urban Kitchen Pinterest Mood Board For Van Interior Design
Pinterest Search With "Rustic Urban Kitchen"

Now that you have a general idea of what types of styles appeal to you, you can begin to narrow your search criteria.

Select a style that appealed to you from step 1. Next, search that style in conjunction with more specific keywords, like specific parts of a house. For example,

  • “Scandinavian kitchen design”
  • “Rustic style cabinets”

Delving deeper into a specific interior design style will help you get better ideas as to the type of materials you’ll need and the color scheme when it comes time to build your own campervan.

Step 3: Search Using Your Specific Van Type

Pinterest search with specific keywords for campervan interior
Pinterest Search With "Sprinter Campervan Interior"

By now you should have a good idea of what types of interior designs appeal to you.

Now you can search for interior design ideas search for both your desired design style AND the type of van you have (or want). For example:

  • “Sprinter campervan interior”
  • “Ford Transit rustic interior”

At this stage, you may not get a large number of helpful results, but you can get an idea of how other people design their campervan interiors. And hopefully what you find on Pinterest can help inspire you to design  your own van.

Want to build a camper van? Check out our
DIY Camper Van Build Guide

2. Design Your Van's Interior Layout

Van Interior With Convertible Bed

Now that you have selected a design style for your van’s interior, you can begin to decide your van’s layout.

Decide Your Priorities

Unfortunately, campervans aren’t like traditional houses. Interior space is much more limited and you often cannot get everything you want into your van.

So it helps to plan ahead and prioritize your needs. Then you can plan your van’s interior build based on your priorities.

Planning Tip: The easiest place to start is to plan your bed space, which is likely the largest area of your van's interior. Check out our post on fixed vs convertible beds for more info.

Questions To Ask Yourself

When planning your interior layout, it can also be helpful to ask yourself the following questions.

You might create a workspace with a large enough table and a comfortable seating area.

You may want to prioritize building a permanent bed fixture in your van, as opposed to a convertible bed.

You might want to plan for larger battery & solar panel system, and larger fresh water tanks.

Building a van kitchen with a larger counter top area may be important to you.

Our Campervan Layout

Van Interior - Working Space
Working in our living space (converts to bed at night)

As for me, I work as a graphic designer and need a large table with comfortable seating area during the day. Because of this requirement, we chose to build a convertible bed for space efficiency.

Knowing your needs and requirements before planning your build will help you get that first step going in the right direction.

Van Conversion Floor Plan Guide: Create Your Own Layout

Campervan is essentially your home on wheels. Everyone has different life styles, needs and requirements for our homes are all different. Designing the best possible campervan layout to fit your needs is extremely important.

3. Creating Your Van's Interior Color Scheme

Van Interior Design

Now that you have BOTH a set design style and layout for your van’s interior, you can form a basic color scheme.

A color scheme is a planned combination of colors that typically go well together.

This is how I created my color scheme,.

Start With 3 basic colors

Based on my Pinterest mood board, I selected three complimentary colors for my van’s color scheme; a primary, secondary, and an accent color.

The primary color should be used for the largest area of your interior. In our case, the largest areas were our walls, counters, and upper cabinets.

We picked a warm white as our primary color.

The secondary color should be used for the second largest areas in your van. In our case, this was the ceiling, kitchen counter top, and table top.

We picked a walnut brown as our secondary color.

An accent color is a third color you can add to your color scheme to compliment your primary and secondary colors. This color can be added to your kitchen’s back splash, cushion colors, and any other areas that take up a relatively smaller amount of space.

In our van, we picked light blue for our accent color.

Helpful Color Picker Tool

A great tool that allows you to play around with color palettes is Benjamin Moore’s personal color viewer. If you are unsure which colors to select for your van’s interior color scheme, give this color picker a try.

You can choose the type of the room and style from their photo gallery and virtually paint the wall with the color of your choice using their color palette.

Benjamin Moore Color Palette Picker
Personal Color Viewer From Benjamin Moore

Important Color Scheme Tip

After many years of working as a graphic designer, I cannot say enough of it:

“The less, the better!”

It is a good idea to limit your color scheme to a maximum of three colors. Having too many different colors in one space makes the design not only unsophisticated and cheap looking, but also noisy and stressful. 

Creating A Color Scheme For Your Camper Van Interior

Designing the campervan interior can be different than from a normal house since the interior area space of the van is limited. The arrangement of your colors in your campervan can have a greater affect on the atmosphere of your living space.

Are White Walls A Good Idea For A Camper Van Interior?

Living in a van can be much more claustrophobic than living in a house. In this article, we share from our 2 year of experience living in a van why white wall has been working great for our campervan.

4. Campervan Lighting

Lighting is so ubiquitous and ordinary in our lives that we don’t really realize how lighting affects our day-to-day activities and mood. And in a small campervan interior space, the impact of good (or bad!) lighting is amplified.

How Smart Interior Lighting Can Help

Thoughtful campervan lighting can help quickly change the mood and atmosphere of a campervan’s interior from active, to calm and relaxing, to fun & social.

To learn more, check out our post below.

Campervan Lighting Ideas For Setting The Right Mood

When designing and building a campervan interior, campervan lighting design often gets neglected.  We see lots of vans with general lighting without specific purpose.

5. Interior Decoration For Campervan

Van Life For Women - Campervan Interior Backdoor

You’ve selected your colors, painted, and finished your campervan build. And now you’re ready to move in.

But we would say your interior design work has just begun! In our opinion, decorating your van interior is the most fun part of your van interior design.

It is time to put some character into your home!

Add Your favorite items

Oaxaca Handicrafts - Shopping In Mexico

Everyone’s taste is different, some people like to keep it simple, but I am all about “being colorful”. I was planning to buy lots of colorful arts and crafts when we traveled to Mexico in our campervan and this was one of the reasons why I kept the colors of our walls, ceiling, and furniture simple and consistent. That way bringing in colorful accents into the van will stand out, without being too noisy for your eyes.

7 Must Have Items For A Photogenic Campervan

We will show you our 7 must have items not only helped our tiny home look beautiful, but they have also been really practical during our van life adventure.

Recommended Accent Items

Backsplash Sticker

Mexican Wool Rug

Final Thoughts: Good campervan interior design enhances your van life experience

Design not only exists as a beautiful presentation, but it is another form of communication. It makes information easier for people to process and understand. It gives people inspiration, energy, and ideas. It also provides a safe and comfortable space for people where we can truly rest; physically and mentally.

I hope this post helped you to get inspiration and ideas for designing your own stunning  campervan interior. 

Thank you for reading!

Read our van build series!

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