Camper van decor is all about transforming a van into a comfortable, functional, and visually pleasing home on wheels that reflects your personal style and enhances your travel experience. In such a small space, little changes can make a big impact. That’s one of the greatest things about decorating your van; you can change it often just by switching out a few elements.
I’ll share how I’ve decorated and styled my camper van (several times over!) as well as other ideas to inspire your creativity as you build or remodel your rig.
Color Scheme and Theme
A good place to start is by choosing a color palette and theme that resonates with you. Do you feel drawn to natural elements and earth tone colors? Do you want a fun and funky vibe with lots of patterns and bright colors? You can be an original or traditional as you want here. Coordinate your decor elements, such as cushions, curtains, wall art, and upholstery, to match your chosen theme.
Tip: An all white van photographs great and makes all the social media posts look dreamy, but in reality, white cabinets, walls, and bedding can get very dirty very quickly, especially if you have a pet! Keep that in mind if you choose a light color scheme!
Aesthetic refers to the overall visual style and atmosphere created within the interior and exterior of a camper van. This aesthetic can vary widely based on personal preferences and design trends. Here are a few popular camper van aesthetics if you’re looking for inspo:
Featuring vibrant colors, eclectic patterns, and a mix of textures, think colorful throw pillows, tapestries, hanging plants, and a cozy, laid-back vibe. Earthy tones and natural materials like rattan or macramé can enhance this look.
Clean lines, a neutral color palette, and functional design characterize the modern minimalist camper van aesthetic. This style emphasizes simplicity and organization, with a focus on efficient use of space and clutter-free surroundings.
Channel a cabin-like ambiance with wood accents, vintage-inspired textiles, and earthy colors. Rustic camper van decor might include reclaimed wood paneling, plaid fabrics, and lantern-style lighting.
Think beachside getaway. Use light and airy colors, natural materials like wicker and seagrass, and nautical accents such as ropes, shells, and marine-inspired artwork.
Incorporate retro vibes with iconic mid-century pieces, bold patterns, and pops of color. Tapered legs on furniture, geometric shapes, and vintage accessories can evoke this aesthetic.
Create an urban loft feel by incorporating raw materials like metal, concrete, and exposed wood. Utilitarian fixtures, factory-style lighting, and an overall utilitarian vibe characterize this aesthetic.
Tip: This DIY swivel table is a great way to incorporate metal pipes into the functionality of your campervan decor!
Embrace the history of camper vans by decorating with a vintage touch. Think retro appliances, classic upholstery fabrics, and old vintage signs.
Draw inspiration from the outdoors with earthy colors, botanical prints, and natural textures. Wood elements, leafy patterns, and plants (duh) are key in this design.
If you prefer a modern, high-tech aesthetic, focus on sleek lines, minimalist design, and the integration of advanced technology. Remote-controlled LED lighting and other touch-screen controls can enhance this look.
A cozy, countryside-inspired atmosphere with floral patterns, pastel hues, and vintage-style furniture. Cottagecore camper van decor evokes a sense of nostalgia and simplicity.
Ultimately, the camper van aesthetic you choose should reflect your personality, preferences, and the kind of travel experiences you want to have. You can mix and match elements from different aesthetics to create a unique style that feels comfortable and inviting in your camper van.
A camper van floor needs to be durable, first and foremost, but it can look and feel good, too! Vinyl and laminate flooring are strong and easy to clean. Rugs are a simple, washable way to add comfort and pull a design scheme together.
My original van flooring was teak wood. It’s common on sailboats and was installed by the original owner. While sturdy and nice looking, my (messy) cooking hobby caused it to stain pretty badly. I chose to put vinyl plank flooring down over it, which really brightened up the space and wipes clean easily.
Eric and Ashley loves sheet vinyl flooring for its durability and classic look. They had it in their first van and are installing it in their new box truck build, too! This pic of their adventure pup, Joni, means it’s great for pets, too!
Tip: Put anti-fatigue mats under your rugs to add comfort and softness to your space. I stand and work a lot in my campervan and it’s nice to take some of the stress off!
Little things like cabinet pulls or trim molding add a touch of flair and a homey ambiance to a campervan. If you want a subtle change, but can’t commit to a full makeover, try switching out your hardware!
Cushions and Upholstery
Cushions and upholstery play a big role in both comfort and decor. Choose durable, easy-to-clean fabrics in colors that complement your theme. Mix and match patterns and textures to add visual interest. I decided on a neutral gray cover so that any time I change my decor, it will likely still match.
Tip: You can get affordable, custom cushion covers made in indoor/outdoor fabric that is easy to clean from Covers & All. Just enter your measurements and they’ll do the rest. I have these and can personally recommend them!
Curtains and blinds add privacy, control natural light, and regulate temperature. But they can add to your design, too!
Shiplap is probably the most common wall covering I’ve seen in DIY campervans. I have it in mine. But if you’re looking for alternatives to shiplap for the interior walls of your camper van, there are plenty of creative options to consider.
Alternatives to Shiplap Walls
Each of these has its own unique look and feel, so you can choose the one that best suits your design preferences and the overall aesthetic you’re aiming for. Don’t feel like you have to adhere to a
- Beadboard: Beadboard panels feature rows of evenly spaced grooves that add texture and visual interest to the walls. They can create a charming and cottage-like atmosphere in your camper van.
- Plywood Panels: Plywood panels can be cut to size and easily attached to the walls. You can leave them as they are for a minimalist look or paint/stain them to match your desired aesthetic.
- Tongue and Groove Paneling: Tongue and groove panels interlock, creating a seamless and visually appealing surface. This option works well for a variety of aesthetics, from rustic to modern.
- Fabric Panels: Consider covering your walls with fabric panels. This option adds warmth and texture, and you can change out the fabric to refresh the look as desired.
- Corkboard: Corkboard panels are not only functional for pinning up notes and pictures but can also add a unique and natural texture to the interior.
- Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper: There are many peel-and-stick wallpaper options available, ranging from subtle textures to bold patterns. This is a quick and easy way to transform the appearance of your van’s interior.
- Tile or Stone Veneer: For a more upscale look, you could use tile or stone veneer on specific accent walls. This can create a sleek and modern feel.
- Metal Sheeting: Using metal sheets can add an industrial or futuristic vibe to your camper van’s interior. Consider using corrugated or brushed metal for a unique look.
- Textured Paint: Choose a textured paint finish to add depth and interest to your walls. You can experiment with different colors and paint techniques to achieve the desired effect. Roman clay walls are becoming more common, and @courtandnate shared a how-to video on Instagram if you want to try this style!
- Bamboo Panels: Bamboo panels provide a natural and eco-friendly option that can bring a touch of the outdoors inside your camper van.
- Vinyl or Fabric Wall Coverings: Similar to wallpaper, vinyl or fabric wall coverings come in various patterns and textures. They are durable and easy to clean, making them suitable for a mobile environment.
- Chalkboard Paint: Create a fun and interactive wall by using chalkboard paint. You can leave notes, draw, and change the design whenever you want.
Consider factors such as weight, durability, ease of installation, and maintenance when choosing an alternative to shiplap for your camper van interior. It’s also a good idea to test a small area first to make sure you’re happy with the chosen material before committing to covering all the walls in it.
Personalize your camper van by adding wall art, decals, or hanging plants. Just be mindful of the weight and how you secure items to the walls to ensure safety while driving. These cute wall-mounted plant holders are cheap and such a fun way to make sure your plants stay put while the campervan is in motion.
If you have a fixed bed in your campervan like I do, make your sleeping area comfortable and inviting with quality bedding. Layer blankets and throw pillows to add depth and coziness. I have a great comforter and just switch out the duvet cover when I want a design change! The pictures below show how I can switch from a dinosaur theme to a chic modern look in just a few minutes!
Tip: Pillowcases, duvet covers, and window treatments are some of the easiest ways to completely overhaul your camper decor without spending much or adding clutter.
Incorporate decorative accessories such as peel and stick wall tiles, throw rugs, cushions, and decorative baskets to add texture and personality to your space.
Photos of friends and family, souvenir magnets or patches, stickers, and personal artwork all make a campervan feel like home.
Bring a touch of nature inside with small potted plants or hanging planters. Just ensure they won’t spill soil all over your home while you’re on the move. Or, opt for an easy-to-care-for fake plant option like Brenda does!
Tip: Keep in mind that you can’t take live plants across land borders in North America, so you’ll need to find a plant-sitter or go with faux foliage if you have international travel plans!
Cute and Creative Lighting Options
Hang string lights or fairy lights around the perimeter of your camper van for a fun and functional look. I love how cozy it feels to put on my fairy lights and watch a movie. Even if I’m parked on a city street, I feel like I’m tucked away in my own little cabin!
Puck light sconces are so adorable! Instead of putting a lightbulb in them, affix a battery operated and remote controlled puck light inside. They look like traditional wall sconces, but you can control the LED puck lights with the push of a button – genius!
Unique Details to Set Your Tiny Home on Wheels Apart
Crafting a special ceiling can add so much personality to your camper van! Most people use wood planks to make their ceilings, but I opted to wrap insulation boards in decorative fabric and I love it! It also makes my van feel taller inside because I’m not taking up an extra inch or more with wood!
Intricate details such as carvings, live edge counters, and the Japanese art of Shou sugi ban – burning wood to give it a rustic and weathered design are all ways to use wood in your campervan decor.
@RecycleInn on Instagram makes campervans out of reclaimed wood and they are stunning and unique!
Set your cabinets apart by choosing to paint or adding materials like burlap or rattan to the faces. Check out the cool cabinets Destiny and Elizabeth have in their quick van tour below.
Tables and counters
Add a funky pattern or personal artwork to the table and/or counter in your camper van for a truly unique look. Check out this “vintage jungle fairytale” van by @travelwildtobefree!
If you want to add some character to the outside of your campervan, vinyl decals, creative murals, or striking paint colors add pizazz for all to see.
Tip: Thrift store finds are an affordable and one-of-a-kind way to add personality to your camper van decor. I love stopping into small town thrift stores and treasure hunting across the country!
Final Thoughts About Campervan Decor
Remember that camper van decor should not only be aesthetically pleasing but also functional and suited to your travel lifestyle. Prioritize comfort, convenience, and safety as you design your camper van’s interior. And of course, have fun with it!