Hotel Paradise
Our ‘Beach Style’ Motorhome Remodel

remodel rv with a coastal decor

Living Smaller to Live Larger

Here’s a teeny-tiny “sneak peak” at the remodel job we’re doing on our “new to us” 1996 Thor Manor motorhome.   My sister, Karen, and I have recently made a BIG life decision. We’re soon to be fulltime RV’ers. What does that really mean? It means we’ll be “living smaller to live larger“.   Our vision of a larger life is ‘less things and more experiences‘.  We want to travel full time and experience every coastal town in America!  Fun, right? We think so… and we’ll hope to make lots of friends along the way!!

The Beginning of the Project

remodel motorhome with a beach decor (1)

Every project has a beginning and wouldn’t you know I forgot to take a ‘before’ picture of the dining room. This is almost the beginning. You can see the 1996 wallpaper that we’re preparing to paint over and you can see the ‘lovely’ original upholstery on the banquet seats. Also on the back counter is my “Hotel Paradise” inspiration sign.  By the way, you can click on any image to enlarge it.

The Original “Hotel Paradise”

indian rocks beach, florida

coastal guest room decor

As many of you know, when you live at the beach, half the fun is entertaining those you love and sometimes our home felt like a bit of a hotel {wink}.   This was the guest room in ‘Hotel Paradise‘ where we were honored to have so many friends and family stay with us.  Painting this bed was my very first furniture re-do project!

The New Hotel Paradise

The Hotel Paradise sign you can see better in the image below is one of my favorite remnants of my previous beach life in Florida.  It used to hang outside my front door as a tongue in cheek welcome to my guests.

When we moved from Florida to Oregon, I left most of my beach decor behind since Oregon’s beach decor doesn’t lean towards the tropical.  This sign was tucked into my suitcase as a reminder of five fabulous years living on Indian Rocks Beach and it was the inspiration for the decor in our new home on wheels.

remodel motorhome with a beach decor (3)

Above you can see the beginning of the changes we’re making. We’ve already painted all the walls Cottonfield by Dutch Boy (a pale sandy yellow color) and recovered the banquet seating in a pale yellow upholstery fabric that I got on sale at JoAnn’s fabric for just $5.99 a yard!!  Score!

The big project here is the artwork on the table.  For my RV bedroom (to be revealed later), I purchased my Red Coral bedroom linens at Pottery Barn and they were the inspiration for the table artwork.  A motorhome is a very small space, so it’s important to me to tie all the design ideas from one end of the coach to the other.  You can see the linen below and then below that you’ll see the artwork for the tabletop.

beach decorating red coral pottery barn linens

remodel motorhome with a beach decor (2)

The tabletop is a semi-subway style art piece that includes a few of the values Karen and I decided were important on our new adventure.  We want balance, relaxation, and time to breathe. We want to create a sense of serenity and a retreat. And most of all, we want to live with gratitude and to view this new adventure as an ongoing vacation and an opportunity to discover the paradise in each place we visit.

Oh, and FREEDOM! We want lots and lots of FREEDOM!  We believe that the more things you own, the more you’re owned by your things.  We want the freedom to be free of things and to experience life fully.

The Making of the Table

I made the table design on my computer using Microsoft Digital Image. I don’t have any fancy photo processing programs, but Microsoft worked perfectly fine.  I copied the finished artwork onto a disk and took it to Staples to be printed. They have a printer that can print up to two feet wide , which is exactly the width I needed, and they can make it as long as you want it to be.  My image was about 44 inches long.

Once the image was printed, I let it sit for 24 hours just to make sure the ink was completely dry, then I sprayed it with a clear coat protector so that the ink wouldn’t run and I let that dry.

While everything was drying, I painted the edges a turquoise blue using a toned down version of the turquoise paint I used on the entertainment credenza (to be revealed later).

From there, I painted Mod Podge onto the table top and added the printed image.  My sister helped me lay it out so we could keep it straight and smooth. We did get a few bubbles as it dried, but I simply popped them with a pin and smoothed them out. When everything was dry, I sprayed two coats of a lacquer finish on it to protect it.  I’m still wasn’t sure it had enough protection, so I had a piece of glass cut to fit the tabletop and protect the artwork.

Upcoming Changes to the Dining Room

I made the little valances you see in the image above, but it turns out I didn’t end up liking them.  I think they’re too busy for a small space.  I plan to remake them and I’m thinking of using a drop cloth.

I want to paint the faux wood paneling and the cabinet behind the banquet and the base of the banquet, white.  I’m thinking of using the beadboard wallpaper that so many have written about, and then painting the wallpaper white.

I need to change out the paper towel holder, when I find something I like.  I also need to clean up the countertop and figure out what to do with the few appliances that are back there.  Motorhomes have very little space and a girl needs her kitchen appliances, so this will be a challenge, but I’m trying to figure it out.

So What’s Next?

Well, I hope you’ll stick around to find out ;)  I’ll be posting about my other projects as I complete bits and pieces.

So what do you think? Do you like the direction I’m going with the RV project?  Do you have any suggestions for me?  Have you ever spent a significant amount of time in an RV?

Peace, Love, and Embracing the Beauty Around Us,

beautifully coastal design blog

This post shared with some of my favorite blogs & bloggers, see the list here, including Savvy Southern Style, Between Naps on the Porch and My {Re} Purposed Life.

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P.S. Please make sure to follow me on Beautifully Coastal Pinterest.  Follow along as I fill up my design boards with some of my favorite bits of coastal inspiration! Lots of images, ideas and inspiration that you’ll never see on the blog!


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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Maya @ Completely Coastal February 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm

This sounds like a great adventure. I’m not much of a “things” person either…, and would love to move around and explore all the coastal towns. Would make a great blog by itself… “RV Sisters” , or something like that. Love the table top!!


Lesli February 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm

RV Sisters… now there’s a thought! Thanks Maya ;) Happy Presidents Day!

Lesli :)


Linda February 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Lesli, you will love it! congrats on your new adventure! We have a 30 ft coachman we bought brand new in 2010, we call it our beach house on wheels. We have loved it so much we are buying a fifth wheel! The table top is adorable !


Lesli February 20, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Hi Linda, I’m so excited to see that you love your RV so much. My parents have been fulltiming for about six years and they love it too!!! They have a Holiday Rambler Presidential 5th wheel and it’s absolutely gorgeous! You may want to take a look at that model. With three slides, it feels really spacious. Our motorhome is 35′ long and it doesn’t have any of those “pesky slides” (as I say to my dad to hide my otherwise obvious jealousy, LOL.)

On another note, may I just say I adore your blog! I’m so glad to see it in my inbox everyday. You are an inspiration to me, as I’m a blogging newbie.

Lesli :)


Dee@ Small House Life February 23, 2012 at 11:12 am

Quite frankly I can’t comment on the direction you’re going with your RV renovating, while I’m still stunned by landing on this site to find you and your sister embarking on this absolutely fabulous, fantastic, fun, crazy, cool adventure!!

Can’t wait to hop on for the ride.. Dee :)
p.s. It helps to have a ‘best friend’ sister, doesn’t it? I don’t know what I’d do w/o mine.


Lesli February 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Hi Dee! Welcome to Beautifully Coastal, I’m so glad you stopped by :) I popped on over to your site and didn’t see a way to leave you a comment on any of your posts, but I did enjoy many of the small homes you had posted.


Dee@ Small House Life February 29, 2012 at 11:13 pm

I know! …I have considered opening up for conversations via commenting but thus far I do all my chatting at!/smallhouselife.

Your site resonates for me because I absolutely LOVE the coast. CoastalLiving mag is the only magazine I read cover to cover! LOL

Can’t wait to live vicariously thru you as you (and sis) journey in ‘Paradise”!



Lesli March 1, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Well Dee, welcome aboard! We’re happy to have you live vicariously through us and we hope we do you proud!

I’m not on Twitter much, but I’ve started following you.

Lesli :)


Julie March 3, 2012 at 8:02 pm
Lesli March 4, 2012 at 12:28 am

Thanks Julie, I appreciate it.

Lesli :)


Cindy March 4, 2012 at 6:44 pm

What a creative idea and way to get a custom look. I would never have thought of using fabric on a table. I can hardly wait to see the finished look.


Lesli March 4, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Hi Cindy, thanks for stopping by Beautifully Coastal. The table isn’t actually covered with fabric, though I can see why you thought it was. It’s actually a piece of artwork I created, then I took to staples to have it enlarged, and I modpodged it onto the table.

Lesli :)


Robin Boyd Jackson March 4, 2012 at 10:38 pm

What a fantastic adventure! Thanks for sharing your table at my party.

~ robin


Lesli March 5, 2012 at 1:22 am

Thanks Robin, and thanks for hosting such a great party!

Lesli :)


Marie @ Sally Lee by the Sea, LLC March 5, 2012 at 7:55 pm

The table looks wonderful, as well as everything else. How are you liking Oregon compared to Florida…brrrrr…. lol!


Lesli March 5, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Hi Marie! Thanks for the compliment on the table. I still have lots of work to do to get everything done, but I’m getting there.

So far as Florida vs Oregon, there’s just no way to compare them. I L.O.V.E.D. everything about living on the beach in Florida. Having the gulf breeze, humidity wasn’t a problem. The view was amazing, the water was warm and soothing, the coastal towns were each charming in their own way. I wouldn’t have left had it not been for four hurricanes in one season, the last one having done some damage to our house, but even more damage to my spirit. To say I was skerred is to put it mildly.

Oregon is a completely different experience. The coastal towns are charming, but I wouldn’t get in the water for anything. Even on a hot summer day, it’s frigid, as you know. Beautiful, amazing weather — even the storms — and it’s where I grew up, so it’s home.

I’m most looking forward to our travel experience where we intend to spend time in every coastal town in the U.S. I think that will be the best of all worlds.

I’ll bet that was a much longer answer than you expected ;)



Jessica @ Stay at Home-ista March 7, 2012 at 9:47 pm

I’ve never spent a significant amount of time in an RV, but I love yur idea that it should all go together from one end to the other. And a beach theme seems appropriate for your upcoming adventure!


Lesli March 8, 2012 at 12:04 am

Hey Jessica, thanks for stopping by BC! I just visited your blog and it looks like you’re doing amazing things with your home. You’re quite the designer! I’ll look forward to getting to know you :)

Lesli @


Honey March 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Thank you for sharing at Potpourri Friday! I always appreciate your participation!


cassie March 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm

i love the fun colors in that table top! it’s so whimsical!


Lesli March 8, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Thanks Cassie, and I loved your reveal, BTW!

Lesli :)


Sarah@budgetfriendlydecorating March 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm

I love the way your RV is turning out!


Lesli March 9, 2012 at 11:18 am

Thanks Sarah! And thanks for popping by Beautifully Coastal. It’s nice to meet a new friend :)


Jill Coleman March 10, 2012 at 11:32 am

I hope to have a trailer some day and would love to have a counter like this in it. Who says you can’t take style with you!! Nicely done.


Lesli March 10, 2012 at 11:43 am

Ahhh, thanks Jill and thanks for stopping by. It’s always nice to make a new friend!


Robin Boyd Jackson March 11, 2012 at 10:19 am

Good Morning World Traveler!
You have been featured at it’s robin with an i.
Stop by and grab a button.

Light and Love, Robin


Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. March 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Oh wow, what a wonderful adventure! I have never even been in an RV. Can’t wait to read more!


Lesli March 11, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Hi Sharon! Welcome to BC, so nice to meet you and so glad to know you’re going to follow along with our adventure.

Lesli :)


Shannon Fox March 12, 2012 at 9:55 pm

WOW! That is a true adventure you are on. So true, Oregons beaches are far from tropical ;) I live in Orgeon on the coast.
Happy traveling to you!!


Lesli March 12, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Welcome to BC Shannon! So nice to see you here. I’ve been visiting your blog for a bit and I love it!


gail March 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm

The table looks great! What a fabulous experience you are taking on! :)

enjoy the journey


Elaine May 24, 2012 at 5:25 am

Hi Lesli,
So pleased I stumbled across your site. We pick up our ‘new to us’ motorhome on Saturday, and as it’s an oldie… there is much work to be done. You have given me me some incredible ideas. Thank you.


web site September 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm

It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this excellent blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking
and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this blog with my Facebook group.
Chat soon!


Bryn @ Away at Home Mom October 6, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Can’t wait to do some mods on our RV! Thanks for the inspiration.


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