RV Color Design: Where Did My Artistic Mojo Go?

Color schemes and material lists play a big role in the early stages of the cargo van conversion. All further changes to the RV have to conform to those choices.

While waiting for the production and delivery of the new van, it’s time to make some final decisions and prepare for actual delivery. Design and layout are at the top of my list.


Layout of the vehicle refers mostly to the use as an RV and some major choices still have to be made. Today I’m researching and rethinking the general design, in particular colors and materials.
In recent years I’ve been experimenting with some natural hardwoods, such as Cherry, Walnut and Mahogany. These woods are easily manipulated in my workshop and give beautiful results, when prepared and finished correctly.
rolf bostedtIt is the safe route to go, as many of the nation’s RV’s have a wood interior, though of a much lower quality. In my perception, they all look alike and as a risk-averse person, my first train of thoughts has been to build and improve on the currently available interior designs.

One of my undisclosed goals for this cargo van conversion was the pursuit of a one-of-a-kind, thought provoking creation, that would rejuvenate RV design. Such hefty goals are fine, yet hardly achievable. It did set me to think and research for an alternate color scheme.

color scheme redI have a real fondness for Modern Design, yet have always struggled with the coolness factor (and I mean “cold”), that affects many designs. This photo has long been a good representation of my favorite color scheme: a predominance of white with glossy red and aluminum accents. I still like it, but it has grown old and not as fashionable.

For more youthful, vibrant and current color schemes, Pantone is the place to go. It’s the predominant forecaster of new fashionable colors, expected to be used in fashion and design.

With a plethora of greens, yellows, oranges and many more colors to choose from, my eyes were drawn to the purples. A highly unlikely color for my taste, but interestingly teasing my deeply buried artistic feelings.

color scheme purpleIn the same fashion as my previous red color scheme, a glossy bright purple in a basic white interior in ford transitcombination with charcoal gray accents (to match the charcoal cloth seats) would make for an unconventional, eye-provoking interior RV design, contrasting the very conventional, standard van exterior.


To accomplish such a design, the practical application of materials would leave me with two approaches.

  1. Use plain, but stable wood, finished with high quality glossy paints.
  2. Or use Formica in most areas of the van.

The latter is my preferred choice as it is much more durable despite its glossy properties. It is also fairly easy to work with, which is something I look for as I’m not a professional woodworker, constantly paring the perceived work on the van, to my abilities in the workshop.

purple curtain liningAn early decision on the color scheme would help me during this waiting period until delivery of the van. To have an early start, this time frame allows me to make my first purchases of Mods and materials, such as an insulated curtain, installed between the cabin and the living area. Knowing the final color scheme, allows me to search for the right lining, thus adding the right flair to the interior.

Yes, I know there’s a lot of purple going around, but like in the red color scheme, a predominantly white interior and a splash of purple with some gray and aluminum accents is the final goal.

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  1. I like the idea of picking warm neutrals; i.e. – cream, beige and maybe a light warm taupe or butter. Keeping all the colors monochromatic will make the space seem larger and lighter. One can always put in pops of color with artwork, pillows, etc.

    Just my opinion as everyone sees space and color differently. I tend to get claustrophobic easily.

    1. As you say, color choice is very personal and normally I am on the safe side. I like modern and white, but am hesitant to apply it to my home, as it quickly feels sterile. Those properties may work well in a small RV, where, as you say, lighter colors make the space seem larger.

      Van Williams

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