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How To Design A Stunning Camper Van Interior – 7 Simple Steps

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Camper van interior design is actually more simple process than regular home, because all you need to think about is the space of approximately 8 square meters or less; and despite constraints posed by a limited space, there are numerous design possibilities available to you.

By following 7 simple steps that we have outlined in this post, you’ll be on your way to creating the stunning camper van interior you’ve always envisioned.

1. Prioritizing Your Needs

Making the switch from a spacious home or apartment into a compact camper van can be quite a daunting challenge. It requires prioritizing your essentials, finding common ground through compromise, and at times, making certain sacrifices.

Consider taking a moment to contemplate your current lifestyle and write it down on paper. 

How many family members will be in your camper van? Are you bringing pets? These factors will remain constant despite the change in living situation and help you to make decision on general layout of your van.

Consider your lifestyle and interests when making decisions which appliances to install in your van.  

The easiest is to start with the biggest items, for instance in my case, RV fridge and sink.  Then next, I prioritize having an instant pot and blender, as they make cooking a breeze.

This process helps you when you create a floor plan in next step; the size of kitchen counter, drawer and cabinet size. 

When designing your camper van’s layout, consider the space needed for toilets and showers. Depending on the size of your vehicle, you may need to make adjustments to counter or bed size.

It is important to carefully consider the space requirements of these elements to ensure that your layout is functional and efficient. 

2. Create A Floor Plan

Now that you are clear with the priorities of thing you want to bring into a camper van, time to start creating a floor plan. While 3D modeling software can be helpful, it’s not necessarily required. You can still create an effective floor plan using whatever software or tools you have access to, or even simply sketching out the plan on paper.

Learn More: Camper Van Floor Plan Creator: Design Your Own Layout FREE!

Complete camper van floor plan diagram (Birds eye view)

First thing to do is choosing which bed type you prefer, which will help you determine the appropriate size of your kitchen counter and other storage spaces.

Fixed / Permanent Bed

A fixed bed allows for ample storage space at the back and is ideal for those with a lot of outdoor equipment. However, it may come at the cost of reducing your living space.

Compatible / Foldable bed

On the other hand, a compatible or folding bed provides more living space and a larger table surface, which would be more practical for working or dining with family and friends. Please note that compatible beds do come with the downside of limited storage space underneath the benches.

3. Get Inspiration

Now it’s time to get your hands on your creativity. Finding what appeals to you and creating mood board helps you to organize your preference of design and style.

Social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and Houzz, offer thousands of images with various styles, themes, and colors. Reading interior design blogs can also help generate creative ideas. 

You can also furniture stores or art galleries to see how professional interior designers put together different pieces of furniture and color schemes.

Learn More: How To Use Pinterest For Camper Van Interior Design Inspiration

4. Create A Color Palette

Color decision is a significant aspect of interior design that sets the mood and tone of a space. Choosing the right color palette can significantly impact the look and feel of a room, affecting the entire atmosphere.

Based on the inspirations you collected in step #3, start thinking about colors for each of the below van interior sections:

  1. Wall
  2. Ceiling
  3. Floor
  4. Furniture
  5. Accent (pillows, rug, etc)

Selecting the color for the walls is an important initial step as it covers the largest surface area of your van.

Then you may then proceed to choose colors for the ceiling, floor, and furniture. It is good idea to add another color (or two) to create contrast and depth in the space, rather than adhering to the identical color scheme as your walls.

Woman in Van Interior
Can you spot the 4 colors in our campervan?
4 colors that make up our van interior color scheme

5. Choose Correct Lighting

Lighting can significantly influence the comfort and ambiance of the camper van interior. The optimal lighting plan should incorporate various lighting options to produce a diverse range of moods and effects.

When choosing the ideal lighting scheme for your camper van, it’s crucial to give attention to three essential areas.

It is important to consider the purpose of the room when selecting the lighting colors to ensure to create the desired ambiance you want.

For example, warm hues of lighting such as orange or yellow can create an inviting and cozy atmosphere, leading to calm and relaxation in the space. Neutral or white lighting hues can make rooms appear larger and can be used to increase concentration or productivity in a workspace.

The most popular light source for camper van are LED puck lights , which are normally installed on ceilings for stronger and more direct lighting to achieve optimal visibility. Reading lights and fairy lights, softer and dimmer lighting to crate a relaxing ambient in bed area.

It is important to consider the various areas where you will be spending time and the activities you will engage in. By considering your lighting needs, you can create a comfortable and inviting living space in your van.

For instance, a general lighting fixture on the ceiling can cover the entire space while an additional fixture above the kitchen counter can provide focused illumination. Adding a light source around the bed area can create a dimmer light for a more relaxing atmosphere. 

Read more: Campervan Lighting Ideas For Setting The Right Mood

6. Interior Decoration

Interior decoration is an opportunity to infuse your personal style into your living space.

Instead of overloading the space with small decor items, prioritize displaying pieces that hold deep value or meaning and reflect your unique narrative instead.

Incorporating organic materials; natural elements like plants, fabrics, or wicker baskets etc to balance out the geometric shapes of the furniture and add more warmth & welcoming feeling into your van interior. 

Wood figures decorating our campervan interior
Wood figures purchased in Mexico

Building a camper van? Download our free e-Books with intuitive electrical, solar, and plumbing diagrams.

7. Declutter & Downsize

Even after you are done designing, building, and decorating your camper van, the work to maintaining a beautiful interior is never finished.

Overhead cabinets in a camper van

Ensuring sufficient room in your van can create the illusion of greater space and reduce any sensations of confinement. Downsizing and reducing personal belongings is necessary given the limited storage capacity of a camper van compared to a more standard living space.

Maintaining a regular habit of cleaning and organizing the interior of your van is essential to create a welcoming and spacious environment.

Building a camper van? Download our free e-Books with intuitive electrical, solar, and plumbing diagrams.

Thank You For Reading!

We’re Yuko and Eric! We both grew up in Asia ( Japan & Hong Kong ), we left our jobs and homes in 2018 and started traveling full time from Canada to Argentina in our self-converted camper van since end of May 2019. “Asobo” means “Let’s play” in Japanese. We named our site “Asobolife” because the life is always uncertain and we live only once so it’s important to always keep positive, playful mind and enjoy the moment you are in the present. We also want to use this website to share our road trip and van building experiences to inspire our readers. We hope you enjoy!

© 2022 Asobolife. Design by Asobolife

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