There are lots of different styles when it comes to renovating spaces. There’s the clean, industrial look of stainless steel and the mixture of textures with shabby chic. There are also the playful colors of coastal interior design and the juxtaposition of traditional and contemporary elements in transitional interiors. Mid-century modern is one of the most popular styles for creating an RV with a modern interior. RV owners love the simplicity and functionality of this style because of the minimalist life they embrace.
Let’s look at five renovations you’ll love, and perhaps they’ll inspire you to start working on your own creative expression!
What Is Considered Mid-Century Modern?
The mid-century modern style emerged during the middle of the 20th Century and is rooted in simplicity and functionality. This style avoids the frilly, ornate decor for a cleaner, simpler look. Bright accent colors liven up spaces. Teak, rosewood, and oak furniture pieces make living spaces cozy and functional. Rooms appear modern without the industrial sterility of post-modern design.
What Shapes Are Mid-Century Modern?
Curved lines, as well as geometric shapes, define mid-century modern aesthetics. Coffee tables with odd shapes or reclining chairs with rounded edges are common accents. Long and low couches and backsplashes with geometric designs are often in mid-century modern renovations, especially in RVs. Whatever the shape, though, clean lines are most important.
Pro Tip: Find out all you need to know about traveling in your RV with plants.
Is It Hard to Renovate a Camper?
Renovating a camper can be as hard or easy as you want. It also depends on what condition the camper is to begin with. Vintage campers are popular to renovate and can take a lot of work to update them to like-new condition. However, if you have a relatively new RV, there are some easy renovation ideas you can try that we’ll share.
For a mid-century modern look in your RV, you may simply update some wall art and furniture. However, for a comprehensive look, you may have to do more. Large RV manufacturers do not make RVs in this style, so if you want something other than the factory wallpaper and faux-stone countertops, you might need to get out the elbow grease.
However, in our experience, renovating an RV can be extremely rewarding in more ways than one. While it can be very hard work, the satisfaction and knowledge you earn are priceless. First, you create a space that is uniquely yours and brings you joy whenever you’re in it. Secondly, you become very familiar with your camper and its inner workings. There’s no better RV education than a full-blown renovation!
5 Mid-Century Modern RV Interior Renovations You’ll Love
If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further than these mid-century modern RV renovations. Perhaps you’ll find a peel-and-stick wallpaper that speaks to you or a functional piece of furniture that will also work in your kitchen. Let’s take a look!
1. The Ramblr RV Renovation
About: RV owners Leah and Brennan of The Ramblr RV live in a 35-foot 1989 Holiday Rambler Imperial. The renovations took about five months. Leah and Brennan did the entire reno themselves with the help of family and friends. It’s the perfect mix of Bohemian and mid-century modern with clean, modern edges and geometric shapes.
The dinette table and countertops are straight-edged, while the cushions are rounded with a Bohemian fabric. The subway tile backsplash makes the kitchen look sleek and clean, while the geometric wallpaper in the bathroom adds color and fun design.
Our Favorite Features: The Bohemian wall accents really liven up the living space. It’s not just straight lines and simple shapes, but it’s also personality and color. The addition of the fold-down counter extension is great for increased prep space while cooking. And the white paint brightens up the entire RV. It feels open and spacious even though there are no slides.
2. 1962 Airstream Mid-Century Style Renovation
About: This unique 1962 40-foot Airstream was originally for Western Pacific Railroad Company workers. The family that purchased it at an auction asked Timeless Travel Trailers to renovate the iconic trailer and turn it into a mid-century modern RV. The aluminum remained, but the family added the mid-century modern style of wood accents with a bamboo floor and walnut veneer cabinetry.
Our Favorite Features: All of the furniture features straight edges and functionality. Coffee tables and end tables are also bookcases and shelves. The wooden theme runs from one end to the other and adds warmth to what could be a sterile frame. The color accents of orange and green in the kitchen bring this area to life, and the rear accent wall is a beautiful red.
3. The Joshua Tree Suite
About: This 1970 trailer underwent a complete renovation by Jed and Katie Wiley of Stagecoach Detail and Design. When you walk in, you immediately feel the brightness of the space with the white walls, white furniture, and light wood countertops. Simple round decorative art graces the walls, and pops of reds and oranges in the pillows, towels, and artwork capture the desert-inspired theme.
Our Favorite Features: The sliding door that leads into the rear bathroom is a beautiful wood with white geometric designs. It stands out against the mostly white interior to make a bold yet simple statement. The pops of reds and oranges and the beautiful Aztec comforter on the bed bring the whole space together for a cozy mid-century modern feel with Southwest flavor.
Pro Tip: These 9 Cool Blast-From-the-Past Vintage Motorhomes will have you dreaming about buying a vintage RV.
4. Less Junk More Journey: Before and After RV MAKEOVER
About: Less Junk More Journey has been traveling the country for years in their Grand Design Solitude. They decided to eliminate the brown cabinetry and standard RV furniture that come standard from the factory and brighten up the space with light wood accents and white paint.
The subway tile backsplash creates soft, clean lines in the kitchen, and the wire baskets add more shape and color to the space. Plants bring in pops of green, and the two sofas bring in additional warmth to create a cozy lounge space.
Our Favorite Features: The simple task of replacing the handles on the cabinets really makes a difference in the overall look. The long, straight silver handles make the RV feel more modern without an ornate design. The beautiful round light fixture above the kitchen island makes a bold statement while keeping the mid-century modern theme of simple shapes.
Finally, the red-orange color of the sofas and their linear design make this RV feel like a mid-century modern RV with a modern interior.
5. EPIC MODERN RV REMODEL for Full-time Family of 4
About: This 2005 Thor Mandalay Presidio 39B renovation includes painted white walls with accents of color. The kids’ bedroom features a calm green on the walls of the slide-outs. The bathroom is modern yet simple, with straight lines and simple shapes, such as the raised rounded bowl and towel storage on the wall.
Finally, the white cabinetry contrasts well with the wood countertops in the kitchen, creating a warm, functional space.
Our Favorite Features: The barn doors in the kids’ bedroom are simple and functional, and the geometric lines capture a mid-century modern design. The storage space under the kids’ beds is also simple and functional, providing an easy location for them to retrieve toys and keep the space tidy.
The dark elegance of the cabinet handles creates a pop of color in the kitchen, where most of the decor is white. Finally, the benches at the dinette are great solutions to the RV storage problem. Simple design and color but super functional.
How Do I Modernize My RV?
So are you inspired to do your own renovating now? Creating an RV with a modern interior isn’t easy, but there are a few simple things you can do to create a mid-century modern RV. Think color, lines, and functionality.
Paint can do wonders for a space. If you noticed, the RV renovations above included white paint throughout the units. White paint brightens small spaces and makes RVs feel bigger than they are. Plus, it makes the RV look clean and elegant. Pops of color on walls or doors also bring in that mid-century modern design and add life to the overall look.
Pro Tip: Get inspired by these 5 Easy RV Interior Painting Ideas that can help to spruce up your camper.
Personalize With Modern Decor
Whether you like Bohemian decor or Southwestern decor, choose a style that brings your personality into the space. The Joshua Tree Suite had accents of geometric Aztec shapes and colors. Less Junk More Journey chose to use natural decor with plants to add pops of green and complement the natural wood tones of the space. Add modern decor to the walls and countertops to make your mid-century modern RV feel like home.
Upgrade Appliances and Fixtures
Like white paint, new light fixtures can completely change the look and feel of an RV. Play around the mid-century modern shapes and add round fixtures to your space. Replace door handles with leather straps or sleek metals. Upgrade your black appliances with stainless steel ones. Change out that standard bathroom sink for a raised bowl. All these changes create a mid-century modern RV with simplicity and functionality.
Furniture in an RV needs to be functional. If you need more storage space, consider how you can replace the existing furniture with pieces that will better serve your needs. Like the Thor Mandalay Presidio 39B, where the owners added storage benches to the dinette and raised the kids’ beds to include storage underneath, you, too, can create similar spaces that are simple and functional. Huge, ornate, decorative couches don’t work in an RV. So look for cozy couches with simple, straight lines that add a pop of color instead.
Update Window Treatments
To play on the wood theme of the mid-century modern design, add bamboo window shades and replace those standard valances. Or, to create more elegance, add wispy, sheer curtains that can be gathered to the side of the windows to let in plenty of natural light. Avoid heavy fabric and ornate curtain ties and create a simple yet homey space with updated window treatments.
Is a Mid-Century Modern RV Renovation Worth It?
Renovations are expensive and always cost more than anticipated. But simple changes can be less costly and quicker to complete. Changing out the hardware of the kitchen cabinets doesn’t require that much time or money. Replacing the light fixtures next to your bed doesn’t require much more than a trip to Lowe’s or Home Depot. So if you don’t want to tackle an entire renovation, make a few easy changes to create a mid-century modern RV with a modern interior.
What RV renovation will you do first? Tell us in the comments!
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