How To Make a Small Camper Van Feel Bigger

Living in a van requires a considerable lifestyle shift, significantly downsizing your living area. However, this doesn’t mean you must compromise comfort and style! There are ways to optimize the camper van’s interior space to make it feel larger, more open, and comfortable.

In this post, we give you five simple yet effective tips to transform the interior of your camper van,  techniques that can help maximize your living space while minimizing feelings of claustrophobia.

Following these tips can create a more spacious and inviting environment within your camper van. 

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1. Choose Lighter Colors for Your Walls

Transform your camper van into a brighter, more spacious living space with a simple paint job. You can open up your internal living space and make it feel larger by choosing lighter colors, like white and yellow.

For our camper van, we opted for a warm, off-white paint color for our walls and cabinets. This has resulted in a brighter, more spacious interior that feels bigger and more open.

It’s important to note that selecting bright or intense colors for your walls, such as red or green, can lead to claustrophobia and cause your eyes to feel tired, which is why it’s best to stick with lighter shades.

Related Article:  Are White Walls A Good Idea For Camper Van Interior?

Painting campervan walls white
Painting our campervan walls with a warm white paint

2. Plan A Color Scheme

Planning ahead and creating an intelligent interior color scheme can also help your small camper feel bigger. Though colors can be appealing, the colors you select should be displayed in a minimal and precise manner. This is especially true when space is limited, like in most camper vans.

Before you start filling every inch of your camper van with bright colors, you can begin by implementing a simple color scheme that consists of only three colors; a primary color, a secondary color, and an accent color.

Applying natural colors like warm white, light gray, and brown as the primary and secondary colors on larger surfaces such as walls, ceilings, and floors helps constricted areas feel more spacious than they are.

This is why our selected warm white is the predominant color in our camper van.

Also Read: How To Create A Color Scheme For Camper Van Interior

Woman in sitting in a camper van
Can you spot the 4 colors in our campervan?

3. Focus On An Open Floor Plan

When designing your camper van layout, it’s important to remember the phrase ‘less is more.’ Adding too many elements, especially wall partitions, to your van can result in a lack of airspace and a cramped, claustrophobic environment. 

An open floorplan makes a van interior feel more spacious

To make your camper van interior feel larger and more spacious, focus on maximizing airspace inside the van. These three tips below will ensure that your camper van has a spacious and roomy feel, even with limited square footage.

  • Avoid partitioning the van with floor-to-ceiling constructions.
  • Allow sufficient space between overhead cabinets, counters, & bed.
  • Simplify furniture construction for a more streamlined look.

When creating an open floor plan for your camper van, consider what is essential for your lifestyle, and don’t be afraid to let go of the excess.

In our own experience, we opted out of a bathroom and floor-to-ceiling closet to maintain the open and spacious feel we were after. While these installations could have been nice, they were not priorities for our travel lifestyle. We recommend being intentional in your decisions regarding the interior of your van and considering what will be most practical and functional for your travels.

4. Clear the clutter And Be Organized

Though color and design are crucial in unlocking the potential of your small camper van’s interior space, keeping your van clean and organized is just as important to making your tiny camper feel larger.

Cleaning A Camper Van - Starting Van Life
Sweeping: Our van life morning ritual

Here are some of our best tips and tricks to keep your van clean and tidy:

  • Declutter and remove items that are no longer needed.
  • Sweep & vacuum the floors daily.
  • Clean the kitchen area, including the sink, stove, and fridge.
  • Open all windows and doors regularly to promote airflow.
  • Shoes OFF! Encourage guests to take off their shoes when entering the van.

Creating a habit of van cleaning might seem challenging, but it is an essential step to making your van’s interior feel open and clear. Keeping your van tidy and organized ensures a comfortable space to live in and creates a peaceful and mindful routine. You can start your day with positivity and clarity as you clean your van, setting the tone for the rest of your day.

Also Read: How To Keep A Camper Van Clean

5. Be selective & minimalistic about interior decoration

Interior decoration is a fantastic opportunity to express your personality and turn your camper into a unique space that reflects who you are. The possibilities are endless, and bringing all of your favorite pieces from home into your van can be tempting. But remember, less is more!

My Top Interior Pick
Modern & Luxurious Throw Pillow Covers (4 Pack)

Thoughtfully designed throw pillows are some of the best ways to decorate the inside of a camper van. We like that the colors of these pillows are more muted and delicate, which helps to simplify the interior design.

Buy on Amazon
We earn a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Selectivity is vital in making your camper van feel spacious and welcoming. Choose items that bring warmth and coziness, such as organic shapes and fabrics like floor rugs, pillows, and throws. By doing this, you can create a beautiful contrast that will bring your camper van to life. 

Related Article: How To Decorate A Camper Van

Final Thoughts About Creating A Spacious Camper Van Interior

Initially, you might think creating a spacious campervan interior is not easy. But with proper layout planning and minimal thinking, you can build your own open and cozy time home on wheels.

Please let us know in the comments below if you have any questions.

Happy designing!

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