5 Easy Ways to Begin Renovating & Personalizing Your RV Interior
5 Easy Ways to Begin Renovating & Personalizing Your RV Interior
Affordable ideas that won’t take you too far out of your DIY comfort zone.
By: Tera Wages
The thought of stepping out of our RV door and being surrounded by Redwoods absolutely thrilled me. I knew that from our front windshield the views would inspire me and make me feel alive.
But I also knew that I needed to be able to turn around to check on my kids and also have a view that felt like mine. It needed to feel like home.
So, when my husband, Wes, came to me with the idea to purchase our Class C Minnie Winnie, I agreed – but, on one term: we would create a budget to make it mine.
Luckily, I realized with such a small space that it doesn't take much effort to make a big change. Before you dive into any change, create your budget and then decide on your color palette. Find your inspiration from a wallpaper, throw pillow, or piece of art. By sticking to these colors, your entire space will feel cohesive and help your brain flow from one room to the next.
Here are five updates we made that were both easy and affordable.
1. Cabinet Pulls
With any renovation I do, spray paint becomes my best friend. With about $6 and an hour of active work, you can completely transform the entire look of your cabinets.
Once we removed the hardware, I lightly sanded the pulls, then used Rustoleum Metal in Matte Black and finished with a glossy protectant. Once the pulls were dry and screwed back in their place, I finished with a black paint pen on the screws.
2. Peel and Stick Everything!
I will admit, when I originally saw the peel and stick countertops, I felt a bit intimidated. When looking at photos, I didn't see any seams. How did they apply it without the seams showing? I am not very good at these things, so I doubted I would be able to do as good of a job. Well, I am happy to report that this solution is cost effective and makes a HUGE difference in the look of your kitchen and bathroom. To top it off, the least handy person (me!) can apply it all on their own. Yes, when I stare at my counters, I can find the seams, but at a simple glimpse it looks wonderful. Totally worth the two hours and $60 I spent.
I loved the look of this marble adhesive at only $23 per roll.
To raise the bar, and really personalize your space, grab some peel and stick wallpaper. This is a great way to add some character to small spaces. We chose two of our smaller areas for a bit of pop. I will say that this is one of the more expensive updates we did, but because we were doing small sections it was still very affordable. And I feel the wallpaper is the detail that makes the space unique to us.
The last element we added was an adhesive tile backdrop in both the kitchen and bathroom. In the kitchen, subway tile always feels classic, bright, and easy to clean. The kitchen took about 30 minutes and $40. For the bathroom, we went with a more expensive option because we wanted color and a pattern. I loved searching through all of the peel and stick tile options, everything from glass gems to pink subway tile to a white metal mosaic tile. We settled on this green subway tile because the color matched our palette perfectly.
I love the texture, and color that each of these options provides. A little bit changes everything!
(Not-so) pro tip: Keep an extra sharp blade on your box cutter. You want to be able to cut into your adhesive without ripping. Your blade should glide effortlessly.
Any renovation you do, whether at home or in an RV, curtains are one of the first things to become outdated and they are one of the easiest most dramatic changes. Curtains serve as room dividers and can also be one of the most affordable options when adding color and character to a room.
The first question to ask yourself is, what purpose the curtains will be serving? Are the purely decorative? Are they separating a bedroom, so you can have sound or light reduction? Knowing what your needs are first helps you narrow down the search. There are so many curtain options available that it can be overwhelming.
We knew we needed light and noise reduction for both our bedroom and the bunks, so when I began my search, I immediately filtered everything else out. This saved hours of scrolling time. Because our bunkhouse is in the center of the RV, I knew I wanted the curtains to also be decorative. I wanted our daughter to know this was the entrance to her space and also bring out colors we were using throughout the space. Because our curtains were right next to hers, we went with a simple black. Because I used black spray paint on the hardware, tying the color back in here made everything pop a little more.
For the living room, we cared more about aesthetic than a specific function. We chose to go bold in the kitchen, so the goal of the living room was to stay simple and modern. These customizable pull down shades from Lowes did just that. Plus, you take your measurements and they cut it right there in the store. This gives the perfect fit for any window size and no waiting on a delivery. Instant gratification! We used these for only two windows and paid a total of $50.
Then, lastly, there are the tiny windows inside our bunks where we want the kids to feel like it is their own little room. So, I wanted the curtains to reflect them while still being cohesive with the design of the RV. I found fun dishtowels that were both cute and functional!
I understand how nerve-wrecking it can be to screw into an RV not knowing what is behind it. So, for the walls, we used existing holes. And for the ceiling we were able to use a bendable mount that allowed us to hang curtains around bunks that weren't in a straight line. We could cut these down to fit the space perfectly.
4. Update Cushions & Bedding
Because we purchased an RV that was only three years old, the couch and dining cushions were still in great shape. We didn't feel right in completely replacing them, yet the colors didn't match the palette we were working with. For less than $20 per cushion, we were able to find washable covers that updated our entire living space. Plus, it is a win that we can strip them down to wash after four kids inevitably smear their PB&J hands across them.
Like many RVs, as you enter the front door, you can immediately see a bed. Bedding is such an easy upgrade that can add luxury and bring out the colors of your palette with a throw pillow or blanket.
5. Personalize with Decor
When I am trying to find inspiration for any room and I find a space I love, I immediately count how many plants are in the space. I have been amazed that the majority of spaces I am drawn to often have at least two or three plants in the room. Plants add color, texture, and life without costing very much money.
If you are a full-time RVer, you can easily go with a snake plant or aloe for an easy to manage option. But for those of us that don't want to keep up with any maintenance, never underestimate the power of a fake plant. I love having the look without any hassle. Four kids are enough for me to keep alive!
Finally, art and throw pillows are hands down the easiest updates you can make to any space. We keep our walls pretty simple with just one or two art pieces hung with command strips. It is easy for an RV to become cluttered, especially if you are going full-time. Keeping some of your walls clear helps the space feel bigger and breathable. And adding one or two throw pillows to bring out our colors on top of our neutral upholstery tied the entire space together.
I will say, if I was going to only do one thing to my RV, painting was it. I wanted a bright space filled with light, so having white walls made the space feel clean and open.
Here is the bottom line when it comes to paint - we often feel like we have to paint everything, but keep in mind, you don’t have to! Removing borders and adding paint to the walls would change the entire space without the extra effort of removing cabinet doors and sanding anything down. For only a few hundred dollars, we changed the entire feel of our interior ... plus an extra $10 to have magic erasers on hand. ;)
Because Winnebago has done such a great job creating a quality product that fits our larger-than-normal family, we were able to change our entire space without removing the foundations they laid. We took their design and made it our own. It was easy, affordable, and made the space feel like home. So now, whether I am looking in front of me or behind me, I am so happy to be in that seat.