Home > Life Transitions > How to Decorate Your Van: 17 Custom Van Design Ideas
Back of van trunk with string lights by the mountains.

How to Decorate Your Van: 17 Custom Van Design Ideas

Looking for van design ideas to up your van life game? Whether you’re doing sprinter van conversions, fixing up a skoolie, or simply decorating your camper van, there are lots of ways to create a van that caters to your lifestyle needs! Find  decor and design ideas for your van remodel with our guide below!

Dress Up the Walls

Putting plywood panels or shiplap on the walls is an easy van interior design idea to make your vehicle feel less like a mode of transportation and more like a home. You can even paint the panels with neutral tones like white, beige, and tan to help open the space and make your home on wheels feel larger!

Get Fancy with Flooring

Back of van with wood bed frame and white curtains. Photo by Instagram user @dannyfreediver

Photo via @dannyfreediver

Much like a house, flooring is a big part of van conversions. Some of the most popular van flooring ideas include vinyl planks or bamboo flooring, as they resemble real hardwood floors and are easy to clean when dirt or sand gets tracked inside your van. You can even put down a colorful rug to protect your floors and keep your space warm when traveling in areas with colder temperatures!

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Set Up Good Lighting

White twinkle lights in the back of van with bed and pillows

Photo via @campingquebec

Installing lighting is a great way to keep your van fun and functional at night when you don’t have natural light to help you out. While you can go big with things like back lighting and recessed lights, there are plenty of ways to keep van lighting simple, too. Simply hanging up strands of LED fairy lights or strip lights will both illuminate your space and make it feel cozy.

Put in a Skylight

Guy sitting in the back of a van reading. Photo by Instagram user @makervans

Photo via @makervans

Skylights are perfect for any van design because they will help bring in lots of natural light during the day, and they allow you to sleep under the stars at night without having to camp outside. Not to mention, a skylight will help open up your van so it doesn’t feel like space is so limited!

Invest in a Kitchen

Girl cooking outside with a portable kitchen. Photo by Instagram user @roamingwithrob

Photo via @roamingwithrob

Adding a kitchen to your van can help you save money while living on the road. You can go more upscale by adding a galley-type kitchen with granite counters, a sink and faucet, and a stovetop. Or you can build a pull-out kitchen equipped with a two-burner stove, counter space, and hidden storage!

Make a Dining & Work Area

Van dining area with white cabinets and brown counters.Photo by Instagram user @vanlifevirals

Photo via @vanlifevirals

If you’re planning to work on the road or are traveling with family, creating a multipurpose dining and work area could be fantastic to include in your van interior design. You can even use a removable or foldable table to transform the space into another sleeping area.

Include Space for a Shower

While living on the road, you might not always have the luxury of showering as often as you would if you were in house. That’s why custom van ideas like building a shower are excellent for those who are ready to live van life but aren’t ready to give up certain amenities. Try creating a mini home shower with a heated water tank, tile, retractable door, and drain. For simpler shower designs, just attach an extendable shower head and hose to a kitchen sink and use a solar-powered heating tank.

Get Creative with Tile

Tile is a fun camper decor idea to add some color, make cleaning messes easy, and give your van a more homey feel. Put some patterned tile in the kitchen for a backsplash, or place tile on the inside of a van door that can act as shower wall when you use a portable solar shower!

Opt for a Murphy Bed

Van decorating in all white with a murphy bed. Photo by Instagram user @bucksd

Photo via @bucksd

murphy bed is ideal for anyone who wants to create as much room in their van as possible without having to assemble their bed every time they get in it. During the day, the bed can go up in the wall so you have room to cook or work. And at night, you can pull it down and crawl in!

Build Bunk Beds

Dad and daughter sitting in van together. Photo by Instagram user @fitetravels

Photo via @fitetravels

Need van bed ideas to accommodate a family? Bunk beds are a must if you’re traveling with kids! Not only will it help save floor space for another sleeping area, but your children will have a place all their own where they can relax or play up and out of the way!

Design a Pullout Deck

Family sitting on a pullout deck on a van. Photo by Instagram user @fitetravels

Photo via @fitetravels

You don’t have to give up precious indoor space to have an area when you can enjoy dinner with family or friends! Installing a pullout deck at the back or on the side of your van allows everyone to gather for meals rather than finding room to sit inside your vehicle. Plus, you can also use this deck for extra counter space when preparing meals, as a desk while working on the road, or for lounging outdoors!

Incorporate a Swing

Girl sitting on a swing in the back of a van. Photo by Instagram user @repoweredram

Photo via @repoweredram

Bring the fun inside with a swing! This is a great addition for van lifers of any age. If you don’t want to build a swing or have the necessary materials to add one, hanging a hammock in the back of your van is an affordable alternative—plus, it’s easier to store when not in use!

Try a Wood Burner

Black wood burning stove in a van. Photo by Instagram user @trebventure

Photo via @trebventure

Give your sprinter van or skoolie a cabin-like feel by installing a wood-burning stove. This van design addition can be used to both cook meals or heat your van without using up any extra battery power.

Create Some Privacy

Blue curtains dividing up a van. Photo by Instagram user @daninhisvan

Photo via @daninhisvan

When you’re living in a van, there’s limited space for privacy. One stylish idea for dividing off space is hanging up decorative curtains or a tapestry in front of your bed or sitting area. That way, you and your van dweller partner or family can have some time alone without having to leave the van.

Decorate with Prints

Girl sitting on a couch with decorative print covers. Photo by Instagram user @peached_as

Photo via @peached_as

Van decoration ideas can be as easy as putting patterned pillows in the dining area or draping a colorful blanket on your bed. You don’t need to go overboard with decorating your van—since van life is a “less is more” lifestyle—but a few small home decor pieces can brighten up your living space!

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Hang Up Plants

Plants hanging in a van with a white bed. Photo by Instagram user @susicruzz

Photo via @susicruzz

Not only will plants liven up your camper decor with pops of color, but they can also serve as a mini herb garden to help you season and spice up your meals. Fasten some planters to the wall or hang them from the ceiling with a few command hooks near the window so they get optimal light.

Install a Projector

Girl watching TV with a projector and wall. Photo by Instagram user @repoweredram

Photo via @repoweredram

Pull up your favorite screening service or watch movies with a projector in your van. You can hook a computer or phone up to the projector and display it on a plain wall in your van or on a white sheet.

While there are tons of van design ideas for making your home on wheels a hip oasis, it’s important to think about things that are essential for you to live on the road first, then build your van around those needs. Want to know more about how to live on the road with your new, decked-out van? Check out this guide to the ins and outs of van life!


Can’t bring all of your belongings with you on the road? Store them while van dwelling! Extra Space Storage has self storage facilities throughout the U.S. that can help. Find a storage unit near you!

Van Conversion Ideas