Before and After: This Boho-Minimalist RV Bedroom Redo Is Packed with Small Space Ideas
It’s pretty much Small Space 101: Painting walls white will help a room look airier and larger, which is why it’s a go-to in tiny apartments and in other tiny homes like RVs.
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Tessa Terry’s (@alchemyrvrenovations) 2009 Forest River Flagstaff travel trailer redo — especially the small sleep space — definitely benefitted from some brightening white paint. “I’ve always cringed at how RVs are so brown and dark,” she says, so she painted the walls and built-ins in the dated-but-still-functional RV white (Farrow & Ball’s Wevet). That was a start, but Tessa also employed several other space-saving tricks in redoing her RV.
“I knew it had that potential,” she says of the trailer’s footprint. “It’s a tricky hill to climb when you’re trying to create tiny homes and keep them mobile, but I don’t let that limit my ideas.” The sleep space in the home-on-wheels did have some pretty cool features, like built-in cabinetry and well-preserved windows. Tessa’s DIYs took advantage of those while helping to modernize and maximize the space.
“I taught myself how to do everything, which was a challenge,” she says of her project. In addition to all-over white paint, Tessa added new trim (painted Pure White by Sherwin Williams) and custom features like a fold-down side table and a DIY headboard. (The bed features a queen-sized mattress and cozy bedding that’s white, too, which also helps to make the space feel lighter and airier.)
For the headboard, Tessa used 1×6 and 1×4 pine boards to create her frame. Once she painted that black (Sherwin-Williams’s Iron Ore), she added in cane webbing for a bit of natural texture. What you can’t see in the photos: The headboard’s attached to the wall so it can travel easily. Genius!
Tessa also swapped out the old sconces on the cabinetry for some sleek black ones to help her with nighttime reading.
In terms of decor and accessories, Tessa kept things simple and small. “Planning is so important,” she says — especially in a small space. Tessa shared on Instagram that one of her favorite DIYs is the set of custom wooden vases she built and attached to the wall near the foot of the bed — a perfect travel-friendly way to display some decor without fretting about breaks, spills, or falls.
And there’s more storage than meets the eye in this space, Tessa says: She built finished storage under the bed to make sure no square inch was wasted.
Lastly, Tessa painted the window frames black so they’d pop against the white walls and draw attention to the light. “The space now feels even larger and so bright and welcoming,” Tessa says. “Walking in is an experience, and it makes you feel like you’ve made it home, and I love that.”
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