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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 Design Inspiration

    Getting inspiration is a first key to success designing a stunning campervan interior. How do you want your van interior look like? Go ahead look though social media, interior design blog, magazine or books, anything you can get inspired. Creating 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 interior.

    2. Make A list of 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 you have? Are you bringing pets?  These are definite things that never changes even if you move to a camper van. Making a list of priority 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 a floor plan For Your Campervan

    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 only important thing here 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

    Color selection can be an overwhelming step. It is not like you are painting in photoshop where you can just “commend Z” to start over again to change colors. Remember when it comes to interior design for small space, less is always better. Based on the inspiration of interior design you collected, start thinking about colors for each sections.

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

    Easiest first step is to pick wall colors. Since the color of walls affects heavily on the atmosphere of your van interior and small space tends to look darker, lighter tone is better to create a bright, open feel. Then you can pick the colors for ceilings, floor, and furniture. It is good idea to add another color to create contrast and depth in the space, rather than keeping the same color as 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 pale white.

    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 fairly 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 constrast, 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. It is also good idea to display some organic materials that gives a contrast from geometric shape of furniture; plants, fabrics or baskets that can add a warm and comfortable feeling to 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. Keep Van Interior Decluttered & Clean

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

    Every day that you are out traveling and using your campervan, 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 stunning van interior. If you do your research and plan well, you can absolutely design a beautiful campervan with  your own two hands.

    Just remember not to overdo or de-emphasize. 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

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