If you search the Internet for RV makeovers, you will be astounded by what amazing renovations people can do on their recreational vehicle. Some of the RVs with more than just the essentials look better than most houses.
What if you don’t have the budget to makeover your RV to that scale? Can you still create a nice, comfortable, and functional space on a budget? Of course, everyone’s budget is different, and any renovation will take time and some money, but here are some design ideas that won’t break the bank.
Paint the Walls White
The first thing I would do when renovating an RV is to give all the walls a fresh coat of paint. I suggest painting your walls white because it allows you to have a blank canvas to start with.
If you want to personalize it a little more with an accent wall of some sort, you will be able to visualize it better with a white, blank canvas to start with.
Painting your walls white is also a great idea because it will make your space appear much larger than it actually is, which is desirable in an RV. White is also universally liked, or at least tolerated, and will be good for resale value if you are planning to sell in the future.
Another great way to upgrade your RV living space is to redo the upholstery. This project may seem a bit daunting at first, but if you know how to sew a straight line on a sewing machine, you can remake couch cushions. Just remember to be careful as you take the cushion apart and keep the fabric as a pattern.
If you want to save a little extra money on this project, you can find clearance upholstery fabric in the back of most fabric stores. These are usually in small pieces, so they can be perfect for an RV. If you can’t find fabric in a big enough piece you can consider mixing and matching patterns.
A great thing about RVs is that the square footage is very small, so whatever upgrades you plan on making, it won’t be as expensive as if you were doing an actual house. The generic flooring that comes with many RVs is nondescript.
Old RVs typically have very worn flooring, and if it’s carpeted, can keep the smell from past owners, which makes it feel perpetually dirty.
A great option for flooring is some of the newer laminate wood floorings. This type of flooring is cost-efficient, especially for that amount of space. It is also water resistant, which makes it an ideal flooring to use throughout the RV.
It is easier to clean than carpet or other types of flooring, and it looks much better than the laminate wood flooring from even five years ago. Like the walls, this can serve as another great blank canvas to add warm and inviting rugs.
If you have a very small budget and your RV is in pretty good shape, changing out your hardware can be just enough to elevate your space.
It is amazing what a difference changing out the hardware can do for your RV, and the nice thing is, if you aren’t doing anything else, you might be able to afford some really cutting edge looks.
If you like a certain look, but are too afraid to try it in your home kitchen because it might be too trendy, using it for your RV is a great option. You don’t have to buy so much, so you can see your real style in action with little investment.
You might consider trying different styles, metals, or shapes of faucets that you wouldn’t try in your own home. Adding stylish hardware will make your RV look less generic and more personalized even if you don’t do anything else.
Countertops And Tiles
Countertops and tiles are typically more expensive materials when you order them for your own home, but you can get some really surprising deals if you are buying for your small space.
Stone countertops come in slabs that have to be cut, and slab warehouses usually are left with several small pieces that they have no use for. If you are considering a really high-end look for your counters, visit a warehouse and see what they have available in the scraps. You will probably get a killer deal!
Custom tiles can be very expensive, but you can always opt for the less costly subway tiles for the kitchen and bath. If you want something with a little more character, then you can also go to a tile outlet and take advantage of the deals there. Many times customers may get a few broken tiles in a box and return the whole thing, so discounted boxes should be easy to find.
You can also opt for stick on tiles or stick on laminate countertops if you want something really cost effective. However, there are some drawbacks. It is difficult to stick these to countertops without getting some kind of bubbling, which is a dead giveaway that it’s not real.
At then end of the day, they are just stickers, so if you live in a humid area, it’s not uncommon for them to start peeling off the walls and counters.
It’s understandable if any of the above is still just out of your budget, but there is something that anyone can afford if they do a little research and budgeting, and that is plants.
Just like painting the walls white, plants breathe life into a space. They also add texture, color, and interest without putting much or any money into it.
Of course, when you browse your local garden store, you will notice that plants aren’t necessarily cheap, but you can get your hands on them cheaply. Many plants will regenerate or bud several baby sprouts that need to be thinned out over time.
So it is possible to find a friend who has plants already and could stand to thin theirs out. Some great plants that you can easily take from cuttings are:
- Christmas Cactus
- Jade Plant
- Chinese Evergreen
- Mother in Law’s Tongue
- Wandering Jew
- Most Succulents
Another cost that comes from plants is the pots to put them in. If you go to any regular store, there is a wide variety of pots that usually are more than you want to spend. However, if you are willing to be a bit creative, you can find the perfect pot that will work and express your style.
If you go to any second hand store, you will find loads of ceramic bowls, pots, teapots, pitchers, and mugs. You can make any of these into a pot. Though it is ideal to have some kind of drainage, you can get away with putting a thick layer of pebbles on the bottom of any pot and then filling with dirt, to avoid any kind of root rot.
If you have champagne taste on a beer budget, one way to elevate your RV without having to spend too much money is by making or collecting budget art pieces. It costs next to nothing to make some modern art Jackson Pollack style in the colors that fit your decor. If you sign up for craft store emails, then you can get huge discounts on any painting supplies.
If being creative isn’t something that comes easy for you, you can still find little things to make your RV have more personality. Consider spray painting dollar store plastic figurines to make bookends or just an accent piece somewhere.
You can also make many photographs, postcards, or even lyrics to a song look professional if you put them in a nice frame. Just make sure that if you are hanging any art pieces, you do it securely with command strips so it doesn’t move while you travel.
Your RV is the perfect place to display all of your photos and collections from your travels, so if you’re looking to add personality to your space, pick up one small thing at each stop you make.
If you still have a hard time justifying spending money on decorations, then put a little personality into your pieces that are also functional. Here are some great examples:
- Decorative Pillows or Throws
- Mug Display Rack
- Use Camera As Bookend
- Decorative Pencil/ Pen Jar
- Wood Cutting Boards
- Mail Holder/ Magazine Racks
- Fruit Basket
Anyone of these items can provide interest to space, while also serving a very useful function. The best way to add your personality to your RV is to be conscious of each small purchase you make. Consider if it fits into your style and the design style that you are attempting for your renovation.
What are some of your favorite RV remodels? Have you tried your hand at any of these? What is something that is holding you back from renovating your recreational vehicle?