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If you’ve recently bought a van to turn into a camper van perhaps you’re wondering how you’ll make your camper feel like home? When we first bought our van, Elvis, he was full of metal shelving and not much else. It was hard to imagine getting him into a place where we could live in him as we did for 5 months.However, once we’d got the insulation in (there was a lot of it!) and put in the walls and flooring he began to feel a bit more like a home. But, there was still something missing. Over the 3 months we spent travelling the USA we added a few things here and there to make him feel more like home.
If you’re looking for some accessories to make your campervan feel like home then check out these ideas. The saying “home is where you park it” will definitely ring true!
Posters & postcards
Towards the end of our 5 months of living in Elvis full time, we’d decorated his interior with some art.
We bought a mountainscape poster in Austin and picked up postcards from most of the states we travelled through. We also decorated our cupboards with a road map of the USA and marked out our route as we completed it. Together this helped give Elvis a bit more personality and he certainly felt like ours.
The poster is now by my desk and the postcards on our fridge in our Vancouver, BC apartment but the decorated cupboards still remain.
If you’re looking to get some art for your van then check out some of my favourite ideas below. Urban Outfitters has SO many great prints. You can buy them with the frame or without. If you’re putting them in your van I’d recommend getting them without and then just using some double sided sticky tape to attach them to your walls and/or cupboards in your van.
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Nothing quite says cosy like some fairy lights. We didn’t actually put any fairy lights in Elvis until our Christmas skiing road trip to Revelstoke at the end of 2017 but once they were up I knew they were never coming down.
I bought some battery powered ones that give off a beautiful soft light and stuck them around the van.
I prefer the more yellow tinted fairy lights to the cool blue ones as they’re a lot more cosy feeling.
A nice blanket
When you’re tucked up in your van watching a film or reading a book there’s nothing that’ll make you feel more at home than snuggling up under a blanket. We currently have this one.
And, if you’re living in your van during winter as we did then a blanket is not just a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity!
A rug and/or doormat
I found this perfect doormat in Winners in Vancouver. One side has an arrow saying “slopes” and the other says “sleep”. It couldn’t sum us up more during the winter since we tend to head up to Whistler in Elvis the night before we plan on skiing, wake up and then hit the slopes!
The rug we have is great for dusting off muddy boots after hiking and snowy ones after skiing or snowshoeing.
However, you could also get some more decorative ones to go at the foot of the bed in your campervan.
Rugs come in so many different styles that they’re great for adding some personality and making your conversion van feel like home.
Some cute mugs
Drinking your morning coffee or post-adventure tea out of a cute mug will help to make you feel at home. Plus, when they’re not being used they’ll look cute on a shelf or hanging up on a peg!
A little plant
Having a plant in your campervan can be tricky. You don’t want it to fall over and get soil everywhere. For that reason, a fake plant is probably your best bet. Plus, it’s not going to die if you forget to water it!
These little cacti and plants are a great way to add some greenery to your van and make it feel homey.
Add nice curtains or decorate your reflectix!
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You’ll want to shut out prying eyes when you’re chilling in your van in the day. There are a couple of ways you can do this but it depends on what climate you’re in.
If you’re somewhere that tends to be warm then you’ll be okay with just curtains. If you’re somewhere that’s colder and you need all the insulation you can get then you’ll probably already have reflectix for your window. If you do, you can cover this in a funky pattern so that when you’re inside your van you don’t just see the silvery bubble wrap that is reflectix!
Of course, you could also add some curtains as well as putting the reflectix in the windows for that extra bit of insulation!
We have a curtain that pulls across behind the driver and passenger seats and then refelctix with a fun pattern for the windows in the back.
Making curtains for your camper van
Don’t be put off by making your own camper van curtains, it can be very simple to do!
We bought a curtain from Walmart and then a pole to act as our curtain rod.
Then, I simply folded part of the curtain over the pole and sewed it so that the pole with fit through a loop in the curtain. No fancy curtain rings needed!
Modifying your reflectix
For the reflectix modification, we bought some black card from the local dollar store and some fabric from a fabric shop in Vancouver.
This means that when we put it in our windows the black card faces outwards looking like we’ve got blacked out windows, but we get some colour inside our van!
Adventure inspired cushions
You don’t want so many that it’ll be a pain to move them when you go to sleep, but it’s nice to have some to prop yourself up when you watch something or read.
If you don’t want ones with slogans then trying shopping at Ikea for some block colour cushion covers on a budget.
Add some colour
Finding a way to add some colour (even if that colour is white) is a great way to modify your campervan and making it feel more like you and your home.
You could do this in so many ways. Whether that’s by painting your walls, cupboards or shelves, getting coloured decor, adding curtains or updating your reflectix as above.
We also added some colour by upholstering the mattress for our bed. Our mattress is in two parts as the bed folds away into a sofa where one part is for your bum, and the other for your back.
A pop of colour here and then really transforms your van and takes it one step further from the old cargo van it may have been!
A proper bed
And one last way to make your campervan feel like home is to make sure you’ve got a proper bed!
The bed in Elvis is so comfortable. I always have the best nights sleep when we go out adventuring in him.
Having a full-size bed was pretty important (mostly for Thom, but I wasn’t complaining!). We bought a double size, foam mattress from Ikea and used the dimensions of that to create our bed.
Since our bed folds away into a sofa bed and then pulls out for sleeping we then cut the foam to match each part of the bed.
When you live in a van you’ll spend a lot of time on your sofa/bed so making it comfortable is pretty important. It’s one thing you won’t regret spending a bit of extra money on.