How To Decorate a Small Space

Thrifting, Foraging and DIY Decor for Your RV
Hallway and living area inside the JC & BÄRBEL BARRINGER family's 2018 KZ Durango Gold fifth wheel

My RV allows me to explore nature during the day and return to the comforts of my home on wheels at the end of each adventure. However, there is one question that used to nag me since the start of my RV journey five years ago—How am I to make my small space feel like home?

Here's how I turned our fifth-wheel into our perfect nest and the five tips that made it possible

  1. Thrift Like a Pro

    My journey toward creating a peaceful RV began with thrifting. To me, thrifting is like a treasure hunt and I am filled with excitement every time I stop by a local second-hand store. I learned that these hidden gems offer a world of possibilities—from vintage housewares to one-of-a-kind decor pieces.

    I encourage you to get creative with your thrift finds. That $1 accordion-style hat rack I found at a thrift store is now placed near our front door and doubles as a practical solution for organizing our bicycle helmets and market bags filled with fresh produce from the farmer's market. Find items that are multifunctional to keep clutter at bay and use your space efficiently. 

    The entryway inside the JC & BÄRBEL BARRINGER family's 2018 KZ Durango Gold fifth wheel

    Thrifting is an art, and timing plays a crucial role. I find that visiting thrift stores about a month before the change in seasons yields the best selections, both in terms of decorations and clothing.

    Vintage housewares can often be found at the Habitat for Humanity ReStores and smaller, locally-owned thrift stores. I love purchasing from them because they usually support the local community and offer better pricing for vintage finds. However, larger chain thrift stores are ideal for toys, bedding, blankets, and name-brand clothing.

  2. Stick to Your Personal Style

    It is easy to fall into the trap of impulse buying or grabbing items simply because they're one-of-a-kind. However, I learned to resist this temptation. My RV should be a reflection of who I am, and every piece of decor should make me feel at home.

    I have found that if I'm not one hundred percent sure about buying an item, then I should sleep on it. If it was meant to be, it would still be there the next day.

    The master bedroom inside the JC & BÄRBEL BARRINGER family's 2018 KZ Durango Gold fifth wheel

  3. Bring the Outside In

    One of the most transformative aspects of RV living is the opportunity to connect with nature in profound ways. During the holiday season, I bring a touch of the outdoors inside by finding natural elements and using them as home decor. Pine cones, pumpkins and vibrant fallen autumn leaves become my go-to decorations in the fall season.

    Foraging not only adds a budget-friendly charm to my RV but also allows me to feel connected to the changing seasons. These treasures, picked up from campground trails or purchased at local farmers markets, are compostable and, in some cases, even edible during the holidays.

    One personal touch I absolutely adore is incorporating local leaves into my decor. Whenever I'm out and about, I pick up fallen leaves, press them in books for a week, and then hang them on the windows throughout my RV.

    The living room inside the JC & BÄRBEL BARRINGER family's 2018 KZ Durango Gold fifth wheel

  4. Get Personal

    Even before RVing, I enjoyed crafting my own decorations. Not only could I personalize decor to my exact liking, but it created traditions with my children during the holiday season. 

    One small-space decorating hack that works wonders is mounting instruments like guitars or ukuleles on the wall. Not only does it save space, but it also makes it easy for spontaneous jam sessions around the campfire.

    The master bedroom of the JC & BÄRBEL BARRINGER family's 2018 KZ Durango Gold fifth wheel

    Among my favorite decor pieces is our Grace Painting by Emerson accompanied by a festive holiday gnome from Germany that my grandmother sent me. These items bring me joy year-round and remind me to be always grateful for what I already have.

  5. Stay Practical

    While I enjoy decorating, it is essential to keep practicality in mind as well. RVs have weight limitations and adding too many decorations can push those limits. To avoid this, I choose lightweight materials for frames and opt for short nails or the ever-trusty command strips for secure and damage-free hanging.

    The bunkbeds inside the JC & BÄRBEL BARRINGER family's 2018 KZ Durango Gold fifth wheel

As someone who cherishes the RV lifestyle, I've come to realize that it's not only about the places I visit but the comfort and coziness I get to create inside my own four walls. The scenery outside our windows might change, but inside it will always feel like home.

Fifth Wheels

Popular among extended travel RVers, fifth wheels are designed for easier, more stable towing. Living space is maximized with additional over-cab space. This camping trailer—affectionately nicknamed a "fiver"—is a favorite of many, especially those taking extended trips or traveling full time in their RV. The prominent overhang resting above the tow truck bed is frequently employed as a bedroom suite, a living room, even a kitchen.

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Whether you're new to the world of RVing or you're ready to narrow your search, we're here to help you sort through it all and find the RV that's right for you. Explore RVs based off of your lifestyle and the features important to you.

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