How To Design The Interior Of Your Van Build
With van life becoming so popular, more and more people are trying to figure out how they can make their van conversion look more like a studio apartment rather than a gear garage for outdoor activities.
When designing a van conversion, it’s important to consider how the inside is going to look. You not only want to carefully plan out the layout of your van, you also want to plan the interior design! Making sure your van has a beautiful interior will make it feel more cozy, like a home. If you’re going to be living in your van for an extended period of time, incorporating some of the comforts of home can make the transition to van life much easier.
Because I have a background in design I wanted to share a few of my favorite tips for planning the interior design of your van.
Choosing your colors
Most people who are converting a van, especially for the first time, choose white as their interior color. This is mainly because white does a great job of opening up the small space and making it seem larger.
Instead of using bright colored paint all over, consider using them as accents, like on your pillows, blankets, artwork, and backsplash, for example. For larger areas like the walls and cabinets, it’s a good idea to stick with something more minimal.
To bring your overall the design together, it’s important to think about a color palette.
For us, we wanted to incorporate our brand colors into the design so that when we take photos and share them on our Instagram feed or YouTube channel, it will match the rest of our content. Our favorite color palette tool is right here. You can find a color palette that you love and use it throughout your build. The key here is to stick with it ;)
Here’s an example of the color palette we’re using in our design:
Choosing a style
It’s good to go into the design process with a plan. Think about your personal style, or a style you enjoy. Do you like minimalistic style? Woodsy cabins? Joshua tree desert retreats? Modern bohemian? Traditional?
Once you choose a style, it will be much easier to decide on the type of decor or colors to use in your interior.
For our new van, we wanted to go with a modern bohemian style. This helped us when it came to creating a mood board, which I will talk about next.
When choosing decor, bedding, and pillows we will ask ourselves if it fits within the style and mood we have planned for the van. Just because you like something doesn’t mean it works in your design.
For a cohesive look, It’s good to stick with one style, but if you’re feeling adventurous, then by all means mix multiple styles together!
Creating a mood board
One of the most helpful ways to create a design for your van interior is to create a mood board.
A mood board is just a way to see if all of your ideas and styles work together. To create our mood board, we logged into Pinterest and typed “Bohemian Interiors” into the search bar.
We gathered a ton of images that we loved and pinned them all to a board so we could see how it all looked together. Once we had a style down and our colors chosen it was easy to find materials that worked together.
Mixing textures and patterns
Mixing different textures and patterns can be overwhelming if it’s not done right. The best way to find out if something looks good is to use Pinterest to lay it out. Find the style you like and see if it works side by side.
If you are choosing a busy pattern for your bed and cushion covers, try to even that out by using a more neutral floor and wall combination. Too much pattern and texture can create a stressful environment. It’s all about balance!
For example: in our new build we are thinking about creating a patterned tile floor texture instead of laminate wood. Because the pattern is so busy, we are sticking with minimal neutral colors throughout the rest of the van to balance it out. We’re also adding a soft faux sheepskin rug to the floor to break up the busy pattern.
Make it unique and fit your personality
It’s important to make your van’s interior design fit your personality. Don’t create a design based on someone else’s idea of what works well. Trust your instincts and your own personal sense of style.
When you think about what YOU love, you’ll be much happier with the end result. Try to add in artwork or blankets that reflect your personal style. If you’re artistic, paint a mural on your wall to add a beautiful one-of-a-kind personal touch.
Think about resale
I know not everyone who goes into a van build thinks about when they will sell it. We thought that we would never sell ours, but now here we are, building a new van. It’s important to design the interior to have a good resale.
What this means is it should be easy for someone to be able to make it their own by adding their own sense of style and personality to the van.
This is the main reason why we made our van so simple in our first build. We wanted to be able to easily change the style and add any type of decor or color we wanted.
If you enjoyed this post, you’ll love our new series about converting our sprinter van! We’ll be sharing videos twice a week on YouTube and documenting the entire process of our van build.