5 Simple Tricks to Spruce Up Your RV
Make Your RV Your Own With These DIY Ideas
When we first set eyes on our RV—a 1989 motorhome—it was a far cry from the bright, cheery home on wheels it is today. Traditionally, RV decor is “wood and wallpaper” and lacks those personal touches that make an RV feel like a home. We knew going into this adventure that we’d be remodeling the interior of our new-to-us motorhome, so we focused on shopping for a layout that worked for our lifestyle. Once we found the perfect motor-home layout, we rolled up our sleeves, opened the toolbox, got our creative juices flowing, and went to work creating the RV of our dreams.
Budgeting an RV Makeover
Our budget was tight, and we wanted to get the most bang for our buck during the remodel. Getting creative, we found ways to stay within our budget by doing the work ourselves and using a few simple tricks to spruce up our RV without going over budget. Small things like re-covering the old dinette cushions, using decorative throws and pillows, buying plants for the interior, adding a kitchen backsplash, and replacing the outdated hardware helped transform our vintage RV into a modern sanctuary that we couldn’t wait to live and travel in!
Whether you’re looking to do a full-blown remodel or just give your RV a quick update, these five simple hacks are budget friendly, easy-to-execute ways to spruce up your RV.
1. Replace the Hardware for a Quick Cabinet Refresh
One of the fastest ways to give your RV kitchen a face-lift is to replace the cabinet hardware. Simply swapping out the knobs and pulls can give the space an entirely different look. We chose brass, but there are so many options: Nickel for a modern feel, porcelain for a vintage vibe, or artistic glass knobs for a unique touch.
How To: Select knobs or pulls, or go for a combo of the two. We recommend using no more than two styles in a small space to keep it consistent and clean. Be mindful of the size of the existing hardware holes; get the same size hardware to cover them up. If you are painting the cabinets, you can choose a different size and the extra holes can be filled, sanded, and painted. We found our hardware online, in bulk, for a great price.
2. Cozy up the Couch with Throws + Pillows
The couch is often the centerpiece of the RV and provides a quick and easy opportunity to show off your personality with some fun pillows and a throw blanket (or two).
For pillows, decide on the color palette and find pillows that have similar or complementary colors. We went with a neutral palette of whites, cream, and leather. You’ll also want a mix of texture, patterns, and solids. Using different size pillows will also add interest and keep the eye intrigued. Don’t forget to shop for comfort as well.
We always have a few throw blankets stored in baskets under the couch for a movie night, a nap, or for some afternoon reading. Choose throw blankets that mesh with the pillows and follow the same guidelines. We usually leave a blanket or two draped on the couch for a touch of added decor (and for our pups to lounge on). Sprucing up the couch with throw pillows and blankets is an easy way to create a cozy, inviting space in your RV.
3. Create ambiance with plants
Just because your home is on wheels, doesn’t mean you have to skip the plants. Incorporating plants adds life, fills corners, and creates ambiance.
How To add Plants to an RV
Try adding a plant to a shelf, on the dinette, or by installing a hook for a hanging plant to fill an empty corner. Alternatively, snip a frond or branch and place it in a vase for an instant touch of green. If you have a “black thumb,” opt for faux plants. There are some really great faux options nowadays. Remember to choose plants that are right for your RV. Check the plant’s tag for sunlight requirements, as most RVs do not have full sun and low-light plants tend to fare better in them. And, remember to water! We’ve set a day (Sunday) for watering and pruning dead leaves. Keeping a schedule helps keep your plants happy and healthy!
4. Re-Cover Your Dinette Cushions
One of the most popular features in our RV is the dinette cushions. Everyone asks where we bought them and are always surprised to learn that we re-covered the old ones. I’ve been known to sew, but I knew that sewing new cushions was out of my wheelhouse. My sister had just re-covered her RV cushions and I asked her how she did it (sewing doesn’t run in the family). She let me in on this no-sew cushion hack that anyone can do with a staple gun!
How To Make No-Sew Dinette Cushions
Remove the old fabric and batting. Clean the cushions by spraying liberally with a mixture of half vinegar and half water and let them dry.
Next, lay the new fabric on a level surface and place the foam cushion on top of the fabric. Leave enough extra fabric to cover the edge of the foam and then leave an additional two inches to staple to the back of the underlayment board. Cut the fabric using scissors. Repeat the same steps for batting.
Home-improvement stores sell thin pieces of plywood underlayment, which will make the back of the cushion and give the staples something to hold onto. Using a jigsaw or utility knife, cut the underlayment a half-inch or so smaller than the cushion.
To assemble, lay the fabric pattern-side down and place the batting on top of the fabric. Center the cushion on the batting. Once the fabric, batting, and cushion are aligned, put the wood plank on top of the foam cushion.
Now pull the fabric and batting over the side of the cushion and onto the plywood. Make a hem by folding the cut edges under. Evenly staple the fabric and batting to the plywood on all sides. We stapled approximately every two inches. The corners are tricky, and you’ll need to fold them to create an attractive corner. We folded ours like a corner on a hospital bed sheet. Pop them back into the benches and you’ve got yourself a brand-new dinette seat!
5. Upgrade Your Kitchen with a Peel + Stick Backsplash
We love the look of real tile, but it’s not the best option for a home on the road. We chose a white subway tile peel-and-stick backsplash that adds brightness to the kitchen and also helps protect against splashes.
How To Apply Peel-and-Stick Backsplash
These “tiles” come as a sticker sheet and are very easy to install. You’ll want to make sure to remove any wallpaper borders and clean the area really well with a degreaser to remove any old residue. Cut the first sheet of tile to create a straight edge, peel off the backing, and press into place. The grout lines will act as a guide for the next sheet. We used a utility knife and a straightedge to make the cuts around the electrical socket and corners. With a quick online search, you’ll find several different colors, patterns, and shapes to suit any decor style. And the best part is, when you’re ready for a change, you just peel the tiles off and replace them with another style!
Creating a space that’s your own is one of the most rewarding parts of being an RV owner. Using these simple tricks to spruce up your RV will help create a space that will feel like home, no matter where your adventures may take you.