RVs and travel trailers are the epitome of compact living. Unfortunately, what they sometimes aren’t the epitome of, is tasteful and stylish decor.
We’re not talking about the ones that have been renovated – there’s some gorgeous examples of trailer and RV decorating on Pinterest! But honestly, where the heck did all the RV manufacturers get the idea that everybody loves brown and tan? Sure it hides dirt, but come on…it’s blahsville.
If you’re tired of your boring trailer interior, here’s some RV decorating tips to help you turn it from drab to fab!
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1. Add some color!
Pick two or three accent colors and use them consistently around your RV, just like you would in your home. A throw blanket, some accent pillows, a rug or two to warm up the floor, all of these small touches make a big difference in the look of your space.
Not only will your traveling home look more stylish, it will feel more warm and inviting as well.
2. When RV decorating, show your personality.
Think of your RV or travel trailer as a blank canvas upon which you can splatter your charm. If you collect things, bring a few of your collectibles and display them. If you love vintage, then deck your rig out retro style. Pinterest is full of adorable vintage themed travel trailers for inspiration.
If you’re into sports, Hollywood glam, cowboys, whatever…show it off in your home away from home by adding some elements that demonstrate who you are.
3. Change the curtains.
The stock valance/curtain combo seen in the “before” pictures of most trailer and RV decorating photos screams “cheap motel room”. Dress up your windows with some curtains in a print or solid that features your accent colors.
If you don’t want to buy curtains, or can’t find any you like, look for fabric that strikes your fancy. Then use hemming tape to make a “seam” on the sides and bottom, and attach the fabric with clip style curtain rings.
Or here’s a video tutorial for how to make some no-sew grommet curtains:
4. Paint the walls and cabinets.
If you’re up for some small scale renovations, paint the walls and cabinets of your home on wheels to brighten up the usually dark interior. When it comes to RV decorating, paint is probably the cheapest, but most dramatic change you can make to your interior.
If the wallpaper isn’t peeling, you can paint right over it if you prime it with an oil-based primer. Watch the video tutorial below for more details.
Below is a short, Larry-The-Cable-Guy style video that explains how to paint RV cabinets.
5. Use maps on the walls.
We love this idea. What better way to adorn the walls of your journey maker than with maps? Even if you added one in just a small area, it’s a fun and whimsical touch.
In researching the best way to apply the maps to the wall (since they are thinner than traditional wallpaper), some DIYers said regular wallpaper glue worked fine while others said the maps started coming off the wall in humid weather. So you could also hang maps as artwork rather then wallpaper, and get a similar effect.
Which brings us to our tip #6 below.
6. Put up artwork.
Artwork not only adds character to your motorhome, but it also expresses your style and personality. Whether it’s prints, signs, paintings, antlers, whatever floats your boat – display them proudly. And don’t forget about family pictures as well, so it feels like your loved ones are adventuring with you.
Nails and screws aren’t recommended for use in RV or trailer walls because you can’t be sure what’s on the other side and don’t want to damage anything. Use double sided velcro, Command strips, 3M wire hooks, or Quakehold Museum Putty to keep your pictures and art in place.
Wall decals are another fun item to use in your RV decorating. You can change them out periodically to mix things up a bit and they take up very little storage space.
7. Add a backsplash.
A peel and stick backsplash is an easy way to update your rig’s kitchen or bathroom. They can be applied to any smooth surface, even over wallpaper, although you could use a little epoxy if you have doubts they will stick. They make a huge difference and really add a modern look.
8. Give your counters a makeover.
The nice thing about RV renovations is that since the area is small, the cost for materials usually is too. You can get a new countertop from a home improvement store without putting too much of a dent in your wallet.
And here’s an RV decorating tip for – if your laminate counters are still in good shape, with no chips or peeling, you can paint right over them. Now that’s a cheap, quick and easy decor fix!
If you’re really feeling ambitious, buy a faux kit and paint the counters to look like granite. It’s surprisingly easy. Watch this video to see how.
9. Use regular furniture.
When it comes to RV decorating, many people first think about changing the upholstery. But professionally reupholstering existing RV furniture is usually more expensive than replacing it. You could do the work yourself, but you might consider just replacing the built-in furniture with regular pieces.
Take careful measurements, but you may find that a loveseat fits perfectly in the nook of your slide out, anchoring it in place when you’re on the road. If not, simple metal brackets can be used to secure the furniture to the floor.
You can also replace the booth style dining area with a regular table and chairs. Tables with fold out leaves are great space savers. Keep the loose pieces secure when travelling with floor rings and straps if they don’t fit in your slide out area snugly enough.
Using regular furniture makes your trailer look and feel much more like home.
10. Try open shelving.
To make the interior feel more open, consider taking out one row of upper cabinets and using open shelving instead. Use baskets or pretty boxes to store things that you would normally hide in cabinets. Then display some decorative items on the shelves, once you’re at your destination.
If you do try open shelving, use a tension rod to keep things secure when you’re on the road, or take the items down when you’re traveling and put them back when you’re settled. The latter is the safer option if you have an RV rather than a trailer. A decorative doodad can be a flying missile if you get in an accident or have to slam on the brakes.
We hope these trailer and RV decorating tips inspire you to decorate your traveling abode so it truly feels like home.
As for space saving tips, many storage and organization ideas for a regular kitchen and bathroom can be applied in an RV or trailer as well. Using the side of cabinets for storage, magnetic spice and knife racks, cabinet organizers – all of these ideas work wonders to save space in any type of home.
See more ideas like these in our 22 Big Space Saving Ideas for Small Kitchens article and our 30 Decorating and Storage Ideas for Small Bathrooms.
And for more RV and travel trailer inspiration, follow our Pinterest board!