If you’re interested in bringing a serene atmosphere to your RV, you should consider redecorating with a minimalist theme.
Not only will the decor and colors encourage peaceful travels and campground stays, but it also helps keep RV clutter down and makes small interiors feel more spacious and airy.
I detail all the tips and tricks to help guide you through the minimalist RV decorating process to transform your camper’s walls, floors, furniture, and more into a comfortable and tranquil haven.
With a minimalist RV, everything will have a hiding place, and your interior will look sleek and calming, so come along to find out more!
What Is Minimalist Interior Design?
Minimalist design is closely related to modern design. It uses fewer furniture and decor pieces and relies on a dramatic item to draw attention to a space, such as a large abstract painting or unique chair shape.
The goal of minimalism is to achieve a simple space free of clutter. The clean lines of unadorned furniture and cabinetry enhance the look, while a monochromatic color palette soothes the senses.
The minimalist design isn’t only about removing or hiding clutter from view. Instead, the style should emanate a softness that combines the colors and decor to make an impact.
Steps to Achieve a Minimalist RV Design
The best start when planning your RV minimalist theme is to break the project into these manageable steps.
Step 1. Formulate the Plan
First, you’ll want to draw out some floorplans of your existing RV and how you hope to change the layout of furniture to streamline the space.
Note specific issues you have, such as not enough storage in the RV bathroom or an uncomfortable dinette, so you can focus on fixing them in the redecorating process.
Browse magazines or websites with minimalist designs to gather color and decor inspiration.
The good news is you can easily redecorate any size travel trailer, fifth wheel, teardrop, or motorhome with a minimalist theme if this style is something you love.
Step 2. Clear Your RV of Unnecessary Clutter
If you’ve been using your RV regularly, you may have accumulated an array of extra items you probably don’t need for enjoyable camping trips.
Start by clearing out all your RV storage compartments, closets, and cabinets so you can start fresh once you finish the remodeling and redecorating.
Weed out all the items you don’t use and made a list of things you do need or think would help make the space more efficient.
The minimalist style keeps spaces clean and sparse, so incorporating sleek cabinetry or hidden nooks for must-have camping supplies will take clever planning in such limited quarters.
Step 3. Build Your Minimalist Color Scheme
Once you inventory what items you want to keep in your recreational vehicle, it’s time to focus on the more fun task of choosing wall, cabinet, flooring, and decor colors.
While all-white interiors are typical in minimalist decorating, you can opt for other color tones. You want the space to convey your personality and vision, so don’t expect to follow strict guidelines to achieve a minimalist look.
Do consider the exterior colors on your recreational vehicle before you begin. Then, see if you can use similar tones on the interior to form a cohesive look, so your design looks more intentional.
Great color mixes for minimalist decorating include these shades:
- Greys, white, and black
- Greys, lilac, and pink
- Grey-greens, blues, and browns
- Teals, orange, and grey
- Dark to light brown tones with grey undertones
- Golden yellow, light grey, medium and light grey-blues
What is surprising to many who choose to decorate in a minimalist theme is that you can select quite an array of colors in your palette, as long as they all have a monochromatic tone.
Grey undertones are prevalent, as it softens the brightness of colors and is easy on the eyes. Check out this color palette of prints neutral wall art on Amazon that illustrates many earthy shades common in minimalist decorating.
Most designers choose three to five colors, for example, burgundy, grey-rose, pink, beige, and rosy brown, and then take each color and lighten it one or two more shades for a complete range of tones from which to choose.
Using a wide range of minimalist color tones adds depth and character to a space while maintaining clean lines and an airy feel.
Inside an RV, feel free to use a single color in various shade intensities for walls, flooring, and cabinetry and use another group or two for accessories.
Changing the color in the bedroom and bathroom will liven up the look without it becoming busy, as long as you stick to your main minimalist color palette.
Step 4. Curate Your Minimalist RV Remodeling Ideas
If you feel ambitious, you can remove, reorient, or replace RV furniture pieces to make the traffic flow more pleasing and provide more hidden storage.
You don’t have the space inside an RV to forgo cabinets and storage to hide your personal belongings, but you can alter their location.
A great example of this idea is how I took down one bank of overhead cabinets in my RV renovation and moved it to the floor along the wall, where I took out the bulky dinette. I added short legs on the bottom and a thick cushion on top to work as extra seating.
I didn’t lose any storage by moving this single bank of cabinets but did transform the openness of the living area by freeing up headroom.
The goal of your final minimalist RV design should be a sleek sophistication with functional yet unique furniture selections.
Please don’t think you need to tear out and replace all your RV fixtures. Instead, reimagine them first to see if they will fit into your scheme.
A coat of paint over stained wood cabinetry may be just what you need to pull the minimalist look together. If the doors have too much detail, you can swap them for flat-panel versions or save money and cut thin panels of plywood or sections of grasscloth and attach them to the fronts before painting.
Once you decide what furniture and cabinet pieces in your RV can stay, you can fill in the gaps with functional and attractive items that fit the minimalist theme.
Step 5. Choose Your Minimalist Furniture
Minimalist and modern design are very similar, which means you want to consider removing RV booth seating and installing a round pedestal table with chairs to update the look.
Furniture with slim legs and clean lines is the goal. Heavy-looking or ornate pieces need to go if you can’t find a way to alter their appearance.
Removing a bulky sleeper sofa from the RV may not be practical, but you can change out the end table for one that fits the theme like this Wood Rectangle Side Table available through Amazon that will make a statement.
Do choose high-quality for new furniture to add to your RV renovation. Not only will the craftsmanship speak for itself and lend an authentic feel to your minimalist design, but with the abuse of RV travel, top-quality items will stand up against the bumps and vibrations that will destroy cheaply made pieces.
Always look for multi-purpose furniture, such as end tables or ottomans with storage, or thin mirror or decorative wall cabinets to hold jewelry or kitchen spices.
Every inch of space inside an RV is valuable. Use the floor and wall space wisely, but don’t clutter it up by jamming in more items than necessary.
For upholstered couches or chairs, look for solid colors in tones from your palette or recover existing items that have patterns to calm down the interior vibe.
A good example to update your RV is to swap out or DIY the headboard in your motorhome or travel trailer bedroom with something sleeker, such as this Christopher Knight Home Jezebel Fabric Headboard.
Consider furniture with less depth to open up more floor area. For example, a 12 or 16-inch deep table can be just as functional as a 24-inch version for setting down a book or cup of coffee.
A sofa only a few inches shorter in depth and height than the current one can significantly impact the feel of the living area.
Any furniture on thin raised legs will also make the area feel more open and airy. You can purchase affordable legs in various lengths and finishes to attach to existing pieces if you want to keep expenses down.
Knobs and drawer pulls on furniture and cabinets should be non-existent or very simple to not detract from the sparse, minimal design. Finger-pull hardware styles are a great option and are easy to install.
Step 6. Tackle Flooring and Paint Walls and Cabinetry
The key to a successful minimalist RV design is to form a base to showcase your special furniture or decor items.
Having the camper floors, walls, and cabinets in the same or very close color tone is best to make the minimalist theme pop. Use a lighter shade from your palette to increase the feeling of openness.
While you can leave the carpet in your RV if you prefer it over a solid surface, a new light-toned linoleum or wood plank flooring is ideal for the minimalist look and is easier to keep clean.
Painting over the walls, ceilings, and cabinets in an RV is much easier when you first use a high-quality bonding primer or paints specifically for varnished surfaces that don’t require you to sand them down, such as Beyond Paint’s All-in-One Refinishing products.
If your RV ceiling is fabric, don’t sweat it! You can still paint over the material if necessary to brighten the space.
If the ceiling is already white or a light color, consider painting over any vents, trim, or light fixtures in the same shade to have them blend in, so the eye isn’t drawn to them.
If painting all the walls and cabinets the same color bores you, think about going a tone deeper in color in some areas to add visual interest without being overwhelming.
Step 7. Install Minimalist Light Fixtures
Switching out your main light fixtures with ones that fit the minimal theme will modernize your RV instantly.
Please keep in mind that not all light fixtures will work when you go off-grid and need to rely on your 12-volt power supply, so choose the placement of 110-volt lights wisely.
All Modern has a great selection of sleek sconces and flush mount ceiling light options you can look at for inspiration.
Try to select new lights that are interesting but won’t jump out at first glance. You want to keep your RV interior as serene as possible.
White frosted glass is more soothing to the eye than clear, and a soft brushed metal finish is less jolting than a shiny surface.
The good news is that many modern light fixtures use LED bulbs, which are ideal in RVs to lower heat transmission and energy usage versus incandescent bulbs.
Step 8. Choose the Best Minimalist RV Window Treatments
Sheer drapes are the best way to treat your RV windows to stay on point with the minimalist theme. Removing the box valances found in most recreational vehicles will be the next thing on your to-do list.
You want to embrace as much natural light as possible, so going with sheer panels hung on rods over your RV windows is best. White is an excellent choice for the sheers, but any light tone will work.
Please don’t feel the need to go with the typical nylon material for the sheers, although these still look good and are very affordable. Instead, consider a breezy gauze-like fabric that looks more natural and has textural appeal.
Of course, privacy is a major concern when you visit RV parks and campgrounds, so you want to keep your day/night or roller shades hidden underneath the curtains.
If curtains don’t work in your situation due to pets or lack of space, adding slimmer trim across the top of the window and painting it to match the walls will hide any shade hardware without looking heavy.
Step 9. Add Your Minimalist RV Decor
Minimalism style can quickly look dull or cold, which is not going to make your RV an enjoyable place to hang out if you don’t combat it with the tricks professional decorators use.
The first trick is to use plenty of texture in upholstery and bedding items. For example, while you don’t want to use more than two throw pillows on a couch, go with a knitted or velvet fabric to rev up the design.
A fuzzy throw rug in the right color tone under a coffee table adds interest without being too distracting. Likewise, a plush blanket on the bed with quilted or tufted pillow shams will be inviting.
Pick one bold picture or decor item in each space as a focal point. By bold, I don’t mean bright colors that don’t fit in with your overall palette but don’t be afraid of using black against white surfaces or white against deeper colors.
Do choose an object that will bring you joy every time you see it, such as an art object you find on your RV travels.
Artwork should lean towards the abstract with soft, blended colors and textures that aren’t jarring to the eye.
Do keep in mind that less is definitely more in minimalist design. Once you add the decor you like into your RV, go back and remove some items if surfaces and walls look too busy.
Try to hide away the things you use daily, such as tucking the coffee maker, toothbrush holder, or books into a cabinet or drawer, so counters and tabletops aren’t cluttered most of the time.
Where to Find Minimalist Furniture and Decor
Minimalist and modern design elements are easy to find online through retailers like CB2, Allmodern, Amazon, or Ikea.
Target has a good selection of smaller decor items that will work with the minimalist theme.
But, my favorite source of one-of-a-kind items that will make your RV feel special is thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales.
Also, check out eBay and local online marketplaces through Facebook, Craigslist, or Nextdoor for items that will fit the theme.
The best minimalist RV interiors are bright and free of unnecessary decor yet are warm and inviting. Cleverly using storage solutions will hide the items you need but keep the interior fresh and uncluttered.
Just remember that it’s extra important for RV life to keep the premise of “one item in, one item out” at the top of your priority list to keep your camper’s minimalist theme on track.
I do hope you find the tips and tricks in this minimalist RV decorating guide helpful, and you transform your camper into a calm and comfortable getaway that brings you years of joy!
Join 712+ Passionate RVers
Van Tour | Minimal, Modern Open Concept Camper (Video)
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-- Andre Gide