Embarking on a long-term road trip in a boho-style van allows you to embrace a nomadic lifestyle while enjoying the freedom of the open road at your own pace. To make the journey even more enjoyable, many individuals have embraced the boho camping lifestyle and transformed their vans into cosy, stylish 'havens on wheels'.
Setting yourself up properly for vanlife is also about creating a space that you actually want to spend time in, as the costs of travel add up and we find ourselves eating in more often and spending a lot of our time in this small space - it had better be an inviting and comfortable home away from home!
In this article, we will explore ten creative ways people have decked out their vans with a boho touch, creating a harmonious blend of comfort, functionality, and bohemian aesthetics for unforgettable camping and road trip experiences.
1. Macramé Magic
Add a touch of boho charm to your van by incorporating macramé accents. Macrame is created using knots rather than weaves and we recommend 100% cotton, as it's the most eco-friendly option over using nylon, ployester or even real feathers. Hang handmade macramé plant holders, dreamcatchers, curtains, or wall hangings to infuse a rustic and artistic eco camping vibe into your interior.
You can see a selection of dreamcatchers made from macrame here.
2. Nature's Touch
Bring the outdoors inside your van by incorporating natural elements into your boho camper or van. Use reclaimed wood for shelves or tables. Add dried flowers, small plants that don't need much watering, or hang air plants to provide fresh air and a calming atmosphere. Go a bit further and decorate with seashells or stones collected from your travels.
Here are a couple of ours:
The left rock was collected from under 2 feet of mud in Combo Waterhole in Queensland (the billabong inspiring Banjo Paterson's 'Waltzing Matilda'). The one on the right is a lovely one from a wonderful trip to Opalton in central Queensland.
3. Textile Extravaganza
Layer your van's seating areas with a variety of textured fabrics and cushions to achieve a bohemian look. Incorporate fabrics with different patterns, colours, and textures such as velvet, linen, and woven materials. Mix and match cushions in various sizes and designs for a cosy and inviting feel.
Think vibrant kilim rugs, embroidered cushions, and cosy throws that not only add visual interest but also create a comfortable, ‘lived in’ and inviting space.
4. Bohemian-Inspired Accessories
Might be the most obvious one here, bring the bohemian into your van by incorporating geometric patterned designs and accessories. Hang dreamcatchers, decorate with natural colour schemes in arrangements that overlap and combine, and look nature-inspired, tribal or mystical.
Using natural materials wherever you can, especially for things that aren't normally naturally derived, for example anything that's plastic! gives a value-driven bohemian vibe as well, and of course is better for the environment.These elements not only enhance the boho aesthetic but also create a super-calming and rejuvenating atmosphere for the eco camper.
5. Window Treatments
Enhance the boho aesthetic of your van by adorning the windows with flowing curtains or bamboo blinds. Opt for a heavier light-blocking outer layer, with a lightweight and airy inner layer of fabric like lace or sheer cotton to allow natural light to filter through while still maintaining privacy. There are also some options for insect screens for your windows too.
6. Creative Storage Solutions
Maximise the limited space in your van by incorporating clever storage solutions. Utilise woven baskets, vintage suitcases, or fabric pouches to organise and store your belongings. Everything should be easily stackable or compressible. We also use at least a couple of our cushion covers to store clothing or blankets we aren't likely to use outside of an emergency. This gets rid of unnecessary inserts and saves room. No matter what you use for storage, these items not only serve a practical purpose but also add a boho camping flair.
7. Vintage Accents
Scour flea markets and thrift stores for vintage accessories and décor. Look for retro-inspired kitchenware, old maps, antique mirrors, or vintage postcards to add character and nostalgia to your boho-style van. This also relates to the above point - old school hard baggage is great-looking and serves the dual purpose of also being good for storage.
8. DIY Artistic Touches
Personalise your van by showcasing your creative side. Paint murals or inspirational quotes on the interior walls, make your own dreamcatchers using cotton feathers and beads, or create a gallery wall with your favourite photographs, tapestries and artwork. Personalise your van with boho-inspired art and decor pieces that reflect your unique style. Incorporating meaningful artwork and personal touches will create a space that truly feels like home, no matter where your road trip takes you.
9. Outdoor Lounge Area
Extend your living space beyond the confines of your van by setting up a cosy outdoor lounge area. Invest in foldable chairs, a colourful rug that can be used outdoors, and a collapsible minimalist table. Complete the boho vibe with a portable fire pit for roasting marshmallows under the stars.
Good quality fairy lights bordering along the sides of a large rug, with blankets, cushions and seating, (which we have talked about in a previous article here) are perfect for the outdoor boho camp lounge. Finish it with a portable projector screen (affiliate) which you can shine straight onto a wall of your vehicle for an unforgettable plein-air cinema experience.
10. Fairy Lights, Flameless Candles and Lanterns
Create a whimsical and enchanting atmosphere in your van by adorning it with fairy lights and lanterns. Drape fairy lights along the ceiling or wrap them around curtains to cast a warm and magical glow. Lanterns can be hung both inside and outside the van during evening gatherings or placed strategically to provide soft and atmospheric lighting.
You can see a selection of great lights here.
Mouldable fairy lighting is easy to manipulate into fixed positions so that it stays put where you want it. We're eco-campers, so we use solar lighting for fairy lights as they hardly need any sunlight to recharge and can be set up to have the solar panel wherever you need it really easily.
Putting It All Together
Transforming your van into a boho-style haven for long-term camping and road trips are an opportunity to embrace freedom, creativity, and a deep connection with nature. By incorporating natural elements, cosy furnishings, vibrant textiles, and don't forget to add fairy lights, vintage accents, and DIY touches, infusing your space with character and creativity, you can create a natural, eco-friendly space that not only looks and feels great but also resonates with the bohemian spirit of adventure.
So, set off on your journey, immerse yourself in the beauty of the open road, and let your boho-camping style van be a reflection of your free-spirited soul.