The Inspiration Behind Winnebago Design Studio’s Updated Interiors
The Inspiration Behind Winnebago Design Studio’s Updated Interiors
Kim Mann shares the thought behind the 2022 Journey interiors and other recent models.
By: GoLife Staff
While the views outside your window can certainly make or break an RV vacation, the comfort and styling inside your motorhome or travel trailer has become just as important – if not more so. RV owners want a living space similar to a residential home, but designed in a way that functions well when that home needs to move on to the next amazing destination.
That’s where Kim Mann and her team come in.
Meet Kim Mann, Winnebago’s Senior Manager of Interior Design
Throughout her career, Kim has been passionate about making the most of small spaces. After getting her degree, she worked in small space design in Japan and L.A. with a focus on finding inventive ways to maximize space in hotel rooms and residential homes. Her decades-long obsession with optimizing small spaces eventually led her to become fascinated with RV design. Kim even renovated her own RV before ever becoming a member of the Winnebago Design Studio team!
In her current role as Winnebago’s Senior Manager of Interior Design, her goal is to offer timeless, quality, beautiful RV interiors that you can make your own.
“One of the reasons that I came to Winnebago - and that I so much enjoy what I do - is that what I saw a lack of in RV interiors was that timeless, classic backdrop that could be personalized and that made sense today. I’m here to bring the luxury, classic feeling, and flexibility to Winnebago.”
In this article, we’re sharing some of Kim’s insights into how the Design Studio is meeting that goal - including what inspires the team’s designs, a look at some of the behind-the-scenes processes that go into designing Winnebago interiors, and examples that showcase their most recent interiors.
What is the Winnebago Design Studio?
The Winnebago Design Studio is set up as a ‘think tank’ with an open office space meant to encourage brainstorming and interaction with other departments.
The team is highly focused on the innovation of Winnebago’s interior designs and uses multiple resources to gather and test ideas, including:
- Field research on what customers want - through attending events and speaking with owners.
- Collaborating with other Winnebago teams, including product planners and engineers.
- Testing functionality of design ideas by using wooden mock-ups or 3D-rendering.
Kim and her team are excited to pursue creative ways to update RV interiors to align with the design trends popular in residential homes. While this has not historically been the ‘norm’ for the RV industry, the Design Studio team is working hard to make sure updated, timeless interiors are something you can expect from Winnebago.
What is Transitional Styling? (And Why RVers Love it!)
When discussing her designs, Kim often refers to ‘transitional styling.’ Because this style creates a timeless design that you can personalize to suit your taste, Kim has identified it as an ideal option for an RV. This style takes into account the many different personal preferences of RVers and allows them to have a quality, classic base to use as a canvas for showcasing their own style.
Learn more in this video series that shares how the transitional style concept influenced the Forza.
While transitional style is a popular option in many residential homes, it has been historically difficult to find in RV interior design. That’s why it is so exciting to see transitional styling being used in Winnebago RVs, and why the Design Studio team is passionately focused on continuing interior design innovation to offer more options that allow for personalization.
Example of transitional styling in the Winnebago Forza.
The great thing about transitional style is that it “doesn’t marry you to anything,” Kim explains. RVers could even change their styling seasonally or when they visit a new destination.
For those who may not be as style-focused and need some ideas, Kim has put together some décor packages on Amazon that reflect the various personas the Design Studio team outlined as inspiration to their styling. This is a perfect place to start gathering ideas!
Check out Winnebago’s curated décor lists:
According to Kim, “a good interior should inspire you to be the best you that you can be.” With Winnebago’s updated designs, you can be inspired to create the lifestyle you want and reflect that throughout your RV!
What Interior Features Are Most Important to RVers?
Through voice of customer research, owner interviews, and just observing reactions at RV industry and design trade shows, Kim and her team have been able to identify certain features that will help RVers enjoy their rolling home even more.
Lounge area for entertaining in the all-new Journey.
Here are some of the top interior features RVers have requested (and the Design Studio is delivering):
- Big, unobstructed windows.
- Modern residential amenities and conveniences.
- Kitchen as the center of the home.
- High-quality appliances, craftmanship, and finishes.
- Ergonomic floorplan that keeps functionality in mind.
- And, of course, an overall classic, timeless, current interior that can be personalized.
Kim hopes to “give someone an environment where what’s important to them is encouraged by the environment and fulfilled by the environment.” Winnebago’s updated interior designs are keeping the customer top of mind and making sure the styling is refined, yet still functional.
How is this Design Inspiration Shown in the 2022 Journey and Other Recent Models?
For many years, Winnebago has prioritized in-depth voice of customer research in order to better design RVs for the people who are actually using them. From the long-awaited lighter interiors (on towable models, too!) and exciting features like a gear garage and functional work stations, Winnebago has made some exciting updates in recent years.
However, the all-new Journey really showcases the interior design input Winnebago has received from owners – with an elegant, timeless, ergonomic design that includes all the luxuries you would expect from a vacation home.
As Kim excitedly shares: “This is not your grandma’s motorhome!”
Why the Interior of the 2022 Journey Stands Out
Winnebago’s all-new Journey is a shining example of the interior design team’s hard work. It is filled with thoughtful details and smart design elements that will delight travelers.
This motorhome was designed with all the luxuries you would expect in a vacation home with high-quality materials and expert craftmanship.
Kim also shared that the Journey was the first series in which she was able to take the idea of different consumer tastes and provide different interior personas – down to the stitching matching the idea of the backsplash tiles and molding.
Some of the highlights of the 2022 Journey interior design:
- Blinds pull down from inside the cabinet to not block the window.
- Residential-style refrigerator and other high-end appliances.
- Prep sink that can be used as large sink or double sink.
- Task lighting for reading or working.
- ‘Dine and glide’ table for multi-functional use as workstation or dinette.
- Real hardwood walnut used throughout, as well as other quality craftmanship.
- Lighted mirror in bathroom and shower with rain showerhead as well as removable wand.
- Modular closet in bedroom with personalization options.
- King-sized bed with room on each side to walk around and CPAP storage in the bed-side table.
- And, of course, classic, timeless styling to offer a canvas for your personalization!
For a more in-depth look at the interior styling of the 2022 Journey and additional insights from Kim, check out Winnebago’s recent virtual product launch.