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  7. Dreamy Bedroom on a Budget
Décor & Design
from the issue

Dreamy Bedroom on a Budget

A Full-time RVing Couple with Five Kids Transforms Their Personal Space into a Relaxing Haven

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It’s no big secret that our surroundings can shape our moods and productivity. With this in mind, my husband and I have made it a priority to transform our home on wheels into a rolling retreat for our family of seven and a space that inspires harmony.

Making simple changes like we did can completely transform your living space and bring in elements like comfort, peace, and personality. Since our family has been living full-time on the road since December 2018 this is especially essential for us.

When we picked up our 2018 Keystone Cougar, I immediately pictured how I could make it feel like our cozy home. Changing or adding paint color, rugs, throw pillows, wall décor, and furniture can convert an RV into a happy, healthy, and tranquil place you can withdraw to.

The first project we tackled was our master bedroom. Keeping our limited budget in mind, I started with a list of the changes I wanted to make, and then crossed off a couple in favor of leaving them how they were. Our bedroom transformation was pretty simple and took us only a weekend to complete.

World of Color

We started by removing the valance hardware and dark window coverings, replacing them with drapery rods and sheer white curtains. What an impact that made!

Even though we kept the brown blinds to keep the room dark for when getting some shut-eye, that simple alteration added much-needed natural light and brightened up the bedroom.

Since the idea was to transform the bedroom into a calm and relaxing haven, we pulled in rich, warm tones paired with neutrals for wall art, a rug, a comforter, and throw pillows in white, burgundy, deep-blue and gold tones as a decorating anchor around which to style the room. I started with throw pillows, and once I found some that captured my interest, the rest of the plan began to take shape.

Choosing the comforter next, we replaced the stock one with a comforter in our color scheme. Because several of the throw pillows were patterned, we stuck with a solid-color comforter.

Mixing a few patterns can work but trying to blend too many bold patterns together in a small space can make the room feel chaotic. Find your balance by choosing a few things you want to pop out to keep it tasteful and not overwhelming.

While I chose throw pillows as the décor anchor, the same could be done with other design elements. Choosing one anchor piece simply makes your job of decorating easier.

Goodbye Dresser, Hello Desk

Lane Bedroom Drop-Down Desk

A wall-mounted drop-down desk is both functional and practical for an RV (Image from Lindsay Lane)

A wall-mounted drop-down desk is both functional and practical for an RV (Image from Lindsay Lane)

Our next project in the bedroom was to remove the dresser. My husband works a traditional 9-5, and as we prepared to hit the road back in 2018 we knew he would need a designated workspace. Allowing him a work setup in the master bedroom gives him a quiet place to work, with a door that closes, and keeps him tucked away from the rest of us.

After giving the dresser the boot, we replaced it with a white wall-mounted drop-down desk that can be set up for work hours and then folded down against the wall when the clock strikes five.

This does two things: opens up more walking space at the foot of the bed and makes the room feel larger without the dark dresser. My husband created the desk himself, but if you aren’t handy in the building department, basic drop-down desks can be found at various places online.

Without a dresser, we had to get creative to make room for clothes that would usually be stowed in it. We purchased individual baskets that fit perfectly on the shelf above the hanging-clothes rod inside the closet. And, many RVs have underbed storage so that space can be utilized for bulky clothing as well.

Fit and Trim

Since we switched to a brighter and lighter tone, we replaced the dark-stained-wood trim around the bed in the slideout with a white trim. This good bang-for-your-buck modification can be done around the other slides in the RV as well.

Removing the old trim is simple, and you can get cut-to-size boards at home-improvement stores if you don’t want to saw them yourself. We painted the boards and used wood glue and a nail gun to attach them around the slide. Instant gratification achieved!

On the Wall

The next decision was whether or not to paint the shared bathroom wall that I wanted to function as the accent wall. I love the option of peel-and-stick wallpaper because it can be changed to fit what can sometimes be awkward wall spaces and sizes.

When we couldn’t find a wallpaper we liked, we opted to paint the wall one of the deep colors from a throw pillow. This bold color provided a big change in the space.

We have found that adding a few wall elements has contributed even more to the homey feel. When choosing what will go on the wall, be sure to keep weight, and how far it will stick out from the wall, in mind.

We have a lightweight bamboo-framed mirror on the accent wall that we just love. In our case, we don’t want to remove items from the wall with every move when we bring the slide in, so we kept that in mind during the design. And, of course, it’s securely attached for travel.

Tie It All Together

Lindsay Lane Bedroom Redecorated - Before and After

Before and After – a few pillows, paint, décor, and new comforter make a big difference. (Image from Lindsay Lane)

The last change we made was adding a rug runner at the end of the bed, bringing more color into the room. Because almost every space element in an RV is unique, finding a runner that was the right size wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I ended up finding a two-by-five-foot runner in the kitchen section at Target, and it has worked out perfectly!

You’ll be surprised what you’ll come across when checking out places and store sections you wouldn’t normally visit. And,  always get creative and think outside the box!

We are so happy with our stunning bedroom transformation and can’t wait to tackle the rest of the trailer to make our house on wheels a home on wheels. With a keen eye and a plan for your own personal tastes, the perfect RV living space is well within your reach.

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