interior design

Space Making Mastery

The RV is not big, 19 feet. Pretty much the smallest livable, full featured motorhome you can find. This means there isn’t much space for anything. It is meant to sleep about 6 people on a camping trip but living in it is something else completely. Everything I own is in this RV and most of what I own is art/photography supplies. I also have my dog, her things, my cameras, laptop, monitor, blankets, folding mattress, pillow top and clothes.. and that’s the bare minimum I can’t live without. Ross owns even less, way less actually. Even still, he’s not sharing the space yet and it is already crowded at times between me, Chena and my myriad of art and decorating projects.

One of the best solutions I could come up with to make a little space was to alter part of the RV design itself. It was quite possibly the most foolish design I can imagine them including in an RV- the unusably small bench like couch that turns into a “double bed”. When the bed is fully pulled out, it takes up the entire back part of the RV and completely blocks the door. The door may open outwards, meaning they haven’t exactly blocked a fire exit but really.. they have. In a panic who isn’t going to stumble and fall and flail in flames trying to clear a bed to get to the door?

The couch consists of 2 pillows. One very long “single bed” wide pillow and one completely idiotic folding in half foam piece of garbage for the back. Folded it was about 15 inches wide (good for setting plants in the window but bad for everything else). After several attempts at sleeping on it, in my search for the ideal sleeping situation, it was far too irritating to get out of the RV and I now use the front bed. If a person was anything but young and agile, it would be especially annoying – and with the 3 foot drop off waiting on the other side, dangerous too.

I realized through my sleep experiments  that when the pillow was still folded and next to the “single bed” width pillow it totaled about the size of a twin bed. Obvious option – cut the back folding pillow at its ugly useless fold and throw half of it away.What I didn’t realize would happen, in addition to a bed that doesn’t block a main emergency exit, was that an amazingly wide and comfortable couch would rear its much needed head. I expected something acceptable  to sit upon but what I got was a space saving miracle. This might not mean much to most of you but when you plan to share a home, smaller than most of your bedrooms, this is NICE. As the worthless bench it was before, I couldn’t get guests to sit on it for 3 minutes without feeling like they were visiting a kids tree house.

I think the main reason for the idiotic design of the back bed was so they could call the RV a 6 person model. They blocked an emergency exit to make a few bucks. I’m sure of it.

Now with the bed extended as a twin, you have may hit your knee on some wood once in a while, but at least wont burn to death.


After I painstakingly cut the foam devil in half, I reupholstered the bottom cushion with some couch cushion covers we bought in the “broke junk and stuff no one wants” section of Ikea (it’s by the front doors). We got enough covers to do all the bottom cushions of the RV couches for $30. All the covers are a high quality thick weaved upholstery in dark gray. Most of them didn’t need any modification. We got several sizes, small couch pillow (pillow on the left) , medium and large. I cut these ones (the other couch was made to fit), one end off each side then zipped up. The one in the middle had to be cut like a tube and slipped over.  They look fine for now and one day I’ll meet someone with a heavy duty sewing machine and do it up right.

Now that that dreadfully interesting segment is over (assuming you made it this far) – The Next space saving idea…

We bought a Cabin Tent.

It’s 12 feet x 9 feet x 7 feet tall and without being setup its 30lbs and 3.5 feet tall. It’s a monster and I don’t look forward to setting it up. but. When we are staying somewhere for more than a few days it will be an awesome area for more covered space, both for Chena to stay out of the sun but out of the stuffy RV (no we don’t have air conditioning) and for us to work when we want some air. I’m hoping for bean bags but Im not sure yet where we can store those.

I cant tell yet but I hope it’ll fit up pretty close to the front door and just become a porch-like attachment.

Here is a crappy photo till we actually set it up.

Also – perk- when me and Ross are about to kill each other, we can separate.

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