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

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If you think that designing a camper van interior from scratch is challenging, then you aren’t alone. But in fact, designing a space that is only ~8 square meters isn’t as difficult as you might think. Because a van interior is a small space, there are limits and the design rules are very simple.

In this post, you will learn seven simple steps that will help you to start designing the gorgeous camper van interior that you’ve dreamed of.

Table of Contents
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    1. Get Interior Design Inspiration

    Getting inspiration is the first key to success when designing a stunning camper van interior. How do you want your van interior look like? Look though social media accounts, interior design blogs, magazines, and/or books; anything you can get a hold of to be inspired. Creating a mood board is also a great idea to organize and narrow down your preferences and help you decide the rest of process of designing your camper’s interior.

    2. Make A list of Design & Layout priorities

    Moving into a small campervan from a house (or even an apartment) is a challenge. For a successful transition, you will need to prioritize, compromise, and sacrifice.

    Think for a second about your life you have now and write it down on a piece of paper. How many family members do you have? Are you bringing pets?  These are definite things that never change even if you move into a camper van. Making a list of priorities of what you really need is a good start to help you mapping out the ideas and layout of your van interior.

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

    3. Create an Interior floor plan

    Now that you have some design ideas and a list of priorities, you’re ready to start drawing a layout plan for your future camper van. You can do this with a pen & paper, or use any computer graphic software.

    The most critical thing is that your drawings are as accurate and to-scale as possible. This will make the process of building the interior much easier and straight forward.

    Complete camper van floor plan diagram (Birds eye view)
    Complete camper van floor plan diagram (birds eye view)

    Start the layout design process by drawing the largest items first. This usually includes beds, cabinets, counters, and toilet & shower room.

    Once you have placed the big pieces in, you can start fitting in bulky items like fridges, batteries and sink/water tanks.

    4. Create A Color Palette

    Selecting the colors for your camper’s interior can feel overwhelming. It’s not like you’re using Photoshop and can just “Command Z” to go back if you made a mistake. Based on the inspirations you collected in step #1, 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)

    The easiest first step is to pick the color of the walls since the walls likely cover the largest surface area in your van.

    Then you can pick the colors for you ceiling, floor, and furniture. It is good idea to add another color (or two) to create contrast and depth in the space, rather than keeping the same color as the 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. Focus On Quality Interior Lighting

    Lighting is another important factor for creating a stunning camper van interior design. And different types of lighting can create completely different moods inside your van. When thinking about lighting, consider the following three areas.

    Color Temperature

    If you want to create a space that is comfortable and cozy at night, it is best to choose a warmer yellow tone light rather than a pale white light.

    Light Sources

    There are countless products on the market today that bring light into your van. Some of the most popular are LED puck lights, reading lights and fairy lights

    And you don’t have to select just one type of light source. You can implement all three of the above examples to create different lighting moods.

    Light Locations

    Think about which parts of the van you will spend your time and what activities you will be doing there.

    For example, you may want stronger, more direct light in the kitchen area where you’ll be doing your cooking. But in contrast, you might want to have more soft and dimmer lighting around your bed space, where you relax at the end of the day.

    Read more: Campervan Lighting Ideas For Setting The Right Mood

    6. Interior Decoration

    Interior decoration is where you can add your personal touches into the space.

    Do not over decorate with small things. Instead, display what you really love the most that can tell the stories you want.

    It is also a good idea to display some organic materials that give contrast to the geometric shapes of the furniture. Some ideas include plants, fabrics, and/or wicker baskets. These items add warmth and softness to your van’s 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. Keep Van Interior Decluttered & Clean

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

    Every day that you are out using your van it’s important to maintain your van’s interior by keeping it clean and tidy.

    You can do this by:

    • Eliminating items that you don’t need
    • Folding clothes neatly
    • Sweeping the floors
    • De-dusting pillows & blankets
    • Wiping counters and table tops
    Overhead cabinets in a camper van
    Keeping clothes folded nicely in our overhead cabinets

    Enjoyed reading? Check out our “Campervan Interior Design” category page for more similar content.

    Final Thoughts About Building Your Own Beautiful Campervan Interior

    What we’ve learned during our own van conversion process is that you don’t have to be a certified professional to create a gorgeous van interior. If you do your research and plan well, you too can design a beautiful camper van with  your own two hands.

    Just remember not to overdo. Less is better. And it is never wrong to add your own unique touches to your tiny home.

    Bring into your van only what is most valuable to you and think twice when you purchase new items. For it is not about what your home should look like, but about creating the most comfortable tiny home for yourself.

    Happy building!

    Go back: DIY Van Conversion Guide

    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!

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