RV Interior Design and Decor: PLANNING

Every project in design and decorating needs a good plan, no matter how large or small. Just like writing a book or painting a portrait, start with an outline or plan is key. The same principle lies in RV interior design.


So, you’ve decided you want to remodel the inside of your RV. Currently, its dark and cavelike. You want to brighten or lighten it up. But, where do you start?

Today, most DIY’ers get their ideas from television shows, Pinterest and other search engines, social media DIY blogs and websites, magazines and catalogs. Some know exactly what they want and know exactly what needs to be done.

However, others may not even know how to even begin or just simply don’t have the knack of color coordinating, textile selections and finding the perfect decor finishings, you may need to hire a consultant (you can email us for more information).

First, a consultant is different than a contractor.

A consultant’s role is to evaluate a client’s needs and provide expert advice and opinion on what needs to be done. The client then takes those recommendations, purchases all of the supplies and does all of the labor themselves (or hires someone separately). Oftentimes, a consultant will go with the client to stores to pick out paint colors, textiles and fabrics and decor. They may be compensated either by the hour or by the project.

A contractor’s role is generally to evaluate the client’s needs and actually perform the work. You agree to terms that they will complete the project in a specified period of time for an agreed amount of money. Usually, though, a contractor will leave the color, textile and fabric decision making to the client. Typically, a contractor is compensated by the project.

So, if you’re going to decide to get professional advice and help, you’ll know where to start.

Psssssst, you can hire me as your consultant!

Now, onto your design and decor project…


When deciding to remodel your RV’s interior, the very first thing you should do is procure a PROJECT FOLDER. I chose a bright color two-pocket folder so it was easy to distinguish amongst some of my other organizational folders.

Your project folder will help to keep you organized. This is where you’re going to put all of your paint chips, fabric swatches, photographs, printed media of ideas from catalogs or pamphlets.

Its also keep all of your receipts. This way, should you need to return anything to stores, you won’t be looking through shopping bags or accidentally have thrown them away. They’re all in one place right in your project folder.

You will want to take your project folder EVERYWHERE with you in the upcoming days, weeks or even months. This will help you match and coordinate every element you will use in your design and decor.

In addition to your PROJECT FOLDER, I recommend carrying a TAPE MEASURE everywhere you go; whether its to the fabric store, furniture shopping or finding your accessories.


Again, you may get your ideas from an online source, television shows, or periodicals. Some know exactly what they want and know exactly what needs to be done.

The first thing in deciding on your colors is knowing the basic color wheel, types of color schemes and color dimensions.


Once you understand how to coordinate your colors, you’re ready to proceed. However, before you actually go picking out your actual paint colors, we recommend one very important factor that we mentioned in Our RV Interior Makeover is this:

“It’s easier to match paint color to fabric
than it is to match fabric to paint color.”
So, before we go picking out our paint colors, you’ll need to go pick out and purchase your fabrics and textiles first.


The fabrics you choose will, by default, be much of the basis of your design.  Once you have figured out how much fabric you need for your window treatments, pillow or cushion covers, etc., always add 10-20%. You may want to make small additions later or replace damaged pieces down the road.
Don’t forget to clip fabric swatches to keep in your project folder. Make certain your fabric pattern swatches include all colors in the pattern.


When you head to the paint store or the paint section of a home improvement store, you’ll want to match OR coordinate your paint color(s) to the fabric swatches you’ve put in your project folder.

You don’t necessarily have to pick out the exact colors in your fabric. You can select lighter or darker shades. If you’re working with a fabric pattern, perhaps picking out the least used color in the pattern for a bold impression.

My recommendation is get as close to what you’re vying for. Grab lots of paint chips. They’re free. Then, place all of your paint chips in your project folder.

Once you get them back to your RV, stick them everywhere on the walls. You’ll want to see what they look like under natural light throughout the day as well as artificial light(s). You’ll find that the color paint chips you picked out will look vastly different than what they did in the store. Take your time in selecting the exact colors. If you’re looking for a more open and airy effect, you’ll want to look at lighter colors. If you’re vying for a more dramatic effect, brighter or darker shades will accomplish your objective.

An important note, if you don’t see the exact color you want in the paint manufacturer brand that you will be using, you CAN select another brand’s paint chip. Most paint stores or paint mixing specialists can color match whether its from another brand paint manufacturer or fabric swatch, pillow, bedding, towel, a cushion or an item that you just love the color.

We will talk later in another blog about how to choose the correct primer and paint as well as application. We will also discuss how to figure out how much paint you’re going to need.


Dimensional wall coverings and tiles add definition, dimension and character in your room. Think about it. It would be boring if you or your designer kept all of the surfaces and textures the same throughout the space you’re wanting to remodel.

When we were remodeling the galley/kitchen in our RV, we wanted something different on the wall behind the cooktop. We wanted this area to be a focal point when we or guests stepped into our RV.

You’re going to want to take measurements of the area you want to cover plus 20%. Why plan an extra 20%? Because oftentimes, you may lose some product to correctly align or match patterns.


What is ‘hardware’ exactly? Hardware is your finishing elements that will pull the room together before adding your decor accessories. Examples of ‘hardware’ are cabinet knobs, drawer pulls, door knobs and hinges, etc.

Now that you have selected your fabric and paint color(s), you’re going take your project folder to a source that sells hardware pieces. Important to note; if you’re going to be shopping for drawer handle pulls, you will need to either take one of your existing handle pulls with you or take an exact measurement of the distance between the two holes where the handle is screwed into the drawer or cabinet.

After you’ve honed down your selection, I recommend purchasing one of each design.

When you get back to your RV, replace the old hardware with the new hardware and leave them up for a few days. Like your paint chips, you’ll want to see what they look like on your cabinetry in natural and artificial lighting. Once you’ve decided on which you like, either purchase them if they have quantity or place your order. Again, keep all orders and receipts in your project folder.


Simply said, some RV manufacturing design concepts have the most hideous flooring. Most are dark and in patterns that hide scuffs, marring, cuts, slices and damage.

If the flooring in your RV is not ideal to your the design you’re going for, it’s not an absurd idea to change. Be aware, the flooring you choose for your RV must withstand drastic temperature changes and extreme flexibility. You will also need to keep in mind of added weight to your RV so picking out marble, porcelain or ceramic tile simply isn’t going to happen. Nor are any hardwoods.

All of this said, it’s not a project for those who are not physically able to withstand hours on knees and getting up and down. Additionally, there will be a lot of measuring and cutting which may require strength. If you admit lacking in those, seeking a professional installer may be your resource.

We will discuss RV flooring solutions and installation guide, so please check back soon.


Once you’ve painted, hung your window coverings, replaced all of your hardware and installed your flooring, its time to go shop for your furniture. But first, before heading off to find the perfect pieces, you’re going to need to measure the spaces where your furniture pieces are going to go. I recommend writing your measurements down with descriptions and placing them in your project folder. Don’t forget to take your tape measure; you’re going to need it.

We will discuss how to select your furnishings in another blog soon. This is extremely important, so you’ll want to stay tuned!!


Again, correct measurements are going to be key. In finding that perfect wall art, you’re going to need to measure the wall space(s). Though you already may be aware, its good to be mindful of the weight of your accessories, wall art and how they will be secured in your RV.

I highly recommend not buying any accessories until you’ve completely finished any or all of your remodel project. What you may have purchased prior to even your planning may not work or look right once it’s finished.


Planning and organization is most important in your design project. I recommend taking your time with your decisions and research the products you will be using in all applications.

If you’re not comfortable or don’t even know where to begin with your design project, please email me alwaysonliberty@yahoo.com

My consultation fees are affordable to assist in how little or how large of a project you need. I can consult from a distance or if you’re where we may be located, I can consult in person.










2 Replies to “RV Interior Design and Decor: PLANNING”

  1. I love your ideas. I have just purchased a 2010 Montanna Moutineer. I love the wood,but I do not love the brown curtains and valances. I can live with the,walls because they are are a sandy color. I thought I would begin by adding color through new thermal drapes. I thought a turqouse blue would bring in a coastal flare. Really don’t want to go pure white. Changing the dark recliners for a sleeper love seat from Ikea. Would love input. How much do you charge for a consult?

    1. Nadine, from reading your post, it looks like you don’t need a consultant. You are well on your way to beautifying your RV. You’ve got great ideas and foundations to get started. Don’t forget to check out our other interior design and decorating blogs (i.e. flooring, backsplash, bathroom, painting, etc.). They are good step-by-step guides to get you rolling on your project.

      Might we also recommend checking out http://www.chickerystravels.com as I consulted for her on their interior decorating. She blogged and created youtube videos on the process. It looks like you know what you want, just GO FOR IT!

      – Lisa

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