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10 Kick-Ass RV Interior Design Renovations8 min read

Bringing home a recreational vehicle is one of the biggest, most exciting purchases you will make in life. But whether you’re in the market for a new or used vehicle, it can be hard to overlook the cabin’s bland to a downright who-would-live-in-this-pile-of-tin interior. You’d probably kick yourself if you knew how easy it is to swap out most factory features, or even raze an old cabin, and create a dream rig on wheels. Check out these 10 kick-ass RV interior design renovations for some fun ideas. What is so great about renovating your vehicle is that there are no rules. Whether your style is modern or country, shabby chic or urban, the only thing holding you back is your imagination.

1. A Teenaged Makeover

Who would have guessed this is a snapshot from inside a 1994 Safari Continental? The owners purchased this teenager knowing they were going to give it a bit of a makeover – especially after they uncovered a mold infestation. Now, they could tear out everything and start from scratch. What did it take to make their boring, turn-of-the-century RV interior into a modern, chill space? New cabinets, a bold paint job, attractive tiles, and handmade touches like funky door pulls and reclaimed painted wood headboard in the bedroom.
RV Interior Design Renovations -1

2. Paint Can RV Interior Renovation

Resurfacing unsightly particleboard kitchen cupboards is not as difficult as you may think. With just a few sheets of sandpaper, a gallon of paint and primer-sealer, you, too, can bring your kitchen into the 21st century.

RV Cabinet RenovationsHow to: After cleaning the surfaces and insides, using a sheet of 30 to 60 or 100 to 150-grit sandpaper and sand all surfaces until they’re rough to the touch. Then smooth it down with a fine, 220-grit paper. The idea is to create a surface the paint will adhere to. You can even apply a base primer if the surface is still smooth and has some shine. Use a semi-gloss paint. You won’t need more than two coats.

Tip: Websites like This Old House and have great step-by-step instructions for painting kitchen cabinets.

3. Tile in Style

A fresh coat of paint is a fine solution for breathing a breath of fresh air into any trailer. But installing a backsplash of white French-inspired subway tile in the kitchen is a small touch that can up your RV’s chic-factor infinitesimally. Kitchen tile comes in hundreds of styles and colors, it’s affordable, and extraordinarily easy to self-install.

4. Dress for Success

There’s nothing like a unique cabinet pull to give your cupboards new life. But knobs aren’t just for kitchen cabinets, you can put them on dressers and desk drawers, closet doors, storage spaces, use them as hooks for hand towels and coats. They’re an accent with unlimited versatility. Home Depot has a selection of perfectly fine cabinet hardware, but for something special, check out Anthropologie’s amazing selection of knobs.

Simmered glass door pulls, $10 each, Anthropologie
Simmered glass door pulls, $10 each, Anthropologie
All Ears Knob, $12, Anthropologie
All Ears Knob, $12, Anthropologie

5. Air Dreamy

In the mid-90s, RV’s were commonly outfitted with faux-marble square tiles. The look is about as subtle as a mirrored ceiling and satin sheets on a waterbed (not that there’s anything wrong with it – if that’s your idea of style). 

Check out these ideas from RV and Airstream-owning visionaries who replaced their factory installed floors with attractive, trendy vinyl planks and classic wood laminates.

RV Interior Design Floors

Smooth acacia wood flooring gives this playful, mixed-decade design a grounded ambiance.  

RV Remodel Floor

A jasper hardwood laminate floor, or dark vinyl planks with modern cabinets and butcher-block countertops, make staying inside just as pleasing as stepping out to explore nature.

6. These Rugs Burn

The one good thing about a tile floor in your RV interior is that it’s not carpet. It doesn’t matter how nice that rug looked the day you brought home your brand spanking new rig. After just six months on the road, your cut pile Berber carpet will be a stained, flat, sticky, knotted mess. The best way to outfit your cabin with carpet is to go with something you can easily clean, like a 2 x 3 or 4 x 6 area rug.

Cut pile carpet RV
New cut pile Berber rug sample.







7. Mix and Match

This Airstream has the best of both worlds: blond hardwood floors with an area cut pile rug that you can bury your toes in at the end of a long day. And the sunshine reflecting off the wood floor will help keep your space bright during the day.

Area rugs are a great way to add a touch of color or to give your space a little edge, without going overboard.
Area rugs are a great way to add a touch of color or to give your space a little edge, without going overboard.
In this part retro, part punk rock Airstream, a hand-woven shag rug –primarily red and black with blue, white, and yellow accents – provide an exciting jolt of color.
In this part retro, part punk rock Airstream, a hand-woven shag rug –primarily red and black with blue, white, and yellow accents – provide an exciting jolt of color.

8. Thinking Outside of the Box

Whoever said an area rug must go on the floor? Certainly not the style gurus that envisioned this white sheepskin shag concealing the bench sofa, with matching pillows. Not only is it a primo nap spot for your chi-Yorkie, but it’s also a great way to camouflage the uninspired, pre-installed seating. By not removing built-in pieces, you’ll save a ton of dough, which you can use to design shape-shifting kitchenette counters like these.


9. Camouflage is Key

So you spent everything you had on your RV interior and you don’t have a dime to spare to scrap the 90s tile and bench seats. It’s not the end of the world. What have you learned so far?

  •      I can renovate my entire camper with just one can of paint!
  •      I can hide anything under a $20 throw rug!
  •      Adorable door pulls are the best things ever!

In other words, you can camouflage nearly anything with paint, a throw rug and a new door pull. Imagine how much more you can improve your space with a funky light fixture and a new color pallet? In the example below notice how the brushed metal and neon lime walls and ceiling paint highlight this cabin’s unique accents and shapes.


10. Work & Roll

Do you know what’s more depressing than brown tile floors? Sitting in a cube-farm from 9 to 5 every week day. Fortunately, we’re living in a time when working remotely is becoming more and more common.

The owners of the Airstream pictured above installed a spacious work desk and built blond wood cabinets to stash supplies. When the workday is over, the wall mounted desk doubles as a dining table with a view.

When you’re shopping for a used RV, don’t let a blasé interior get you down. Instead, remember this list of genius design hacks you can accomplish with a can of paint and throw rugs.

What are your favorite RV interior design renovation hacks? Leave a comment and share! 

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