What’s small on space can be big on style, and the proof is in Jacqueline Sarah’s 200 sq. ft. RV-turned-dream home.
Yes, you read that right. Fueled by a desire to live simply and a creative DIY spirit, she and her family completely renovated their wanderlust wagon, adding all the finishings that make a home, well, a home. Here, she let us take a peek inside and shared some tips for tackling a small space of your own.
What inspired you to want to “live simply” and do so in an RV(!)?
We decided to live more simply and to do so in an RV because to put it quite frankly, we were sick of being broke. After a big move to Raleigh, NC and a promised job offer that didn’t exactly come into fruition–which landed us back home to MA in my father’s house–we decided that this couldn’t be the life we’re meant to live. We checked out some apartment listings and none of them seemed worth it or made any sense. Every two bedroom apartment was upwards of $1,500. Why spend more than a monthly mortgage on something you’re never going to own? That’s when the RV idea popped into our heads. It was really my fiancé who sold me on it, but it was a total no brainer once we sat down and did the math.
How would you describe your decor style?
That’s a tough one. I feel like it’s sort of all over the place and constantly changing. If I would have to pinpoint it, I would say eclectic/boho chic with a touch of mid-century modern. I think it all depends on the room I’m styling. When we first moved into the RV I had NO clue which direction I was going to go in. After painting and getting our main pieces, like the couch and table, I sort of took it from there and just went with it!
Since space is limited, I’m sure you have to make every addition count. What are some tips you have for choosing the right artwork and decor for your space?
Yes! We definitely have to make every addition to our space count since we’re in a 200 sq foot home. The first tip I would have for picking pieces of artwork and decor for your space is to pay attention to colors. I have this little antique bookshelf/ hutch next to our kitchen table that I painted peachy-pink, I knew I wanted to go with art and decor that complimented this hutch, so I purposely picked out items that I loved with the same color palette! My second tip would be to look for versatile items. Think decor or art that can be moved around from room to room that you would still love in a different place! Here in the RV, it’s almost impossible to keep going out and buying the newest, trendiest items because of space, so whenever I do pick out something new, I make sure it’s something I would love throughout the RV! But my biggest tip of all is to pick things that scream “this is me!” You want your space to feel homey, and picking things that truly reflect you and your family is crucial.
Which area do you spend the most time in, and what do you love most about it?
The area I spend the most time in is definitely my kitchen. I have a five year old son and I swear every other word out of his mouth is, “hungry.” Believe it or not I actually cook more in our tiny kitchen than I ever have in any apartment! The thing I love most about it is how functional we made it. Everything you may need for cooking is close by and organized, so there’s no stressing out trying to locate certain things when cooking!
You’ve mentioned you love to mix the old and the new when it comes to your space. What’s your favorite thrift store find or DIY project you’ve done?
Mixing old pieces with new pieces is definitely one of my favorite styling techniques! One of my favorite finds and DIYs is our kitchen table! My fiancé found the table outside on a sidewalk with someone’s trash! I couldn’t believe it. We had been having a hard time finding a table for the space (especially because it’s on a raised side of the RV) and this little antique was a such a perfect fit! The stamp underneath said it was made in the 1930’s and it was still in such great shape! We did however, sand it down and stain it because it was a little weathered looking. We repurposed one of the leaves from the table and used it for the mantle of our fireplace!
What’s one thing to keep in mind when designing a small space?
One thing I keep in mind when designing a small space is, less is more. You really don’t need as much stuff as you think you do. Over cluttering a small space is a quick way to feel super overwhelmed. Simplicity is key! That doesn’t by any means mean you have to limit your creativity or have a space you don’t love! Finding a few key pieces you’re really into and working around those are what helps me when designing this small space.
Which area in your space would you like to tackle next?
The area in my space I’d like to tackle next is my sons bunk room. We took out the bottom bunk so that he could have a little space that was just his to play and keep his toys in. I’m adding some removable wallpaper and open shelves! All of our walls, besides the one with the fireplace attached, are white so I wanted to add a little fun and texture to his room to make it more his own!