25 Great Mobile Home Decorating Tips

25 mobile home decorating ideas

Even though 20 million people live in factory-built housing in the US, mainstream home decor magazines won’t recognize them in many articles and don’t share many mobile home decorating tips.

Finding helpful mobile home decorating tips and ideas is not the easiest thing to do online but this article is changing that. We’ll take a look at some gorgeous rooms in mobile homes and learn a few decorating tips along the way.

Mobile Home Decorating Obstacles

While our mobile homes are amazingly affordable, they aren’t perfect. Common mobile home decorating obstacles are low ceiling heights, narrow rooms, little natural light, and odd traffic flow. We’re going to show you how to tackle all of them.

Mobile home living rooms are typically small and usually have an odd traffic flow, or pathway, from one room to the next. This is especially true for single wides.

In the single wide floor plan below you can see the hallway is on the opposite wall as the front door and kitchen entry. This creates a diagonal traffic flow and restricts furniture placement.

single wide mobile home floor plan

Our Favorite Mobile Home Room Ideas, Tips, and Tricks

These 25 awesome mobile home decorating tips and room ideas are organized by room. For each room, we share gorgeous photos and tips from real interior designers that will help you decorate your home like a pro.

mobile home decorating ideas and room ideas

These two mobile home kitchen remodels, along with all the images in this article, were done on the TV show Mobile Home Disaster. Each kitchen had dark countertops, new flooring, stainless steel appliances, and wood stained cabinets installed.

The most noticeable differences in the two kitchens are in the flooring and the backsplash. In the kitchen above, the flooring is light and the backsplash is dark. The kitchen below shows the opposite, with dark flooring and a lighter backsplash.

Both follow best practices for kitchen design. Appliance placement, storage, and lighting are vital to a great kitchen.

mobile home decorating ideas - kitchen tips

Use the Kitchen Triangle Smartly

The placement of the three most used appliances, the sink, stove, and refrigerator should create a clear triangle. That’s not always the case in mobile homes. Of the three points, the sink is the busiest so there should be easy access to it.

Ideally, you want all the lines or pathways of your kitchen triangle to equal at least 10 feet but no more than 25 feet triangle. For example, the line from fridge to sink could be 3 feet, fridge to stove 4 feet, and stove to sink 3 feet (together they add up to 10 feet).

The mobile home kitchen above uses the kitchen triangle layout in a smart way.

Make your Cabinets Reach for the Sky

If you are doing a complete kitchen remodel (lucky!), think about placing the cabinets all the way to the ceiling. That gets rid of that standard manufactured home gap like the one below (but if you like having a cute place for decor you may want to keep that gap).

Backsplashes are Affordable Kitchen Updates

Installing a new backsplash is an affordable way to give your mobile home kitchen a whole new look. There is a material and color for every style and you can install a new backsplash in a weekend. It’s a great DIY project.

25 Great Mobile Home Decorating Tips 1

Tin backsplash tiles are more affordable than you’d think. You can buy an 18″ x 24″ panel for $19.95 on Amazon.

Have 4 Light Sources in Each Room

A professional interior designer at a home show in Charlotte told me that there should be 4-5 different light sources in every room and rooms painted in darker colors, like my living room in vintage teal, needed even more. She went on to name 10 different types of lighting: ceiling, task, floor lamps, recessed, pendant, table lamps, walls sconces, uplighting, spotlights, and track lighting. Come to find out, I already had 3 types.

For kitchens, ceiling mounted lighting, recessed, pendant, and task lighting are the most important. They are all especially helpful when there isn’t a lot of windows or natural light.

kitchen ideas for mobile homes

Use Color to Your Advantage in a Small Room

Color influences our lives in several ways. Studies have proven that the wall color in a restaurant can improve customer’s appetites which in turn increases revenue.

Professional interior designers use color and tone to make a room appear to be larger or taller. In fact, this trickery with color is one of the most used in interior design and home decor.

Light cool colors are ideal for pulling in the eye and bouncing color around. In our mobile home decorating hacks article we learned that darker paint absorbs light and that’s not what we always want for small spaces.

Using darker colors on the lower half of a room and lighter on the upper half will make the room feel taller. It grounds the space and lets the eye wander up – that vertical wandering is what makes the room feel taller.

Related: Awesome, but Affordable Mobile Home Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

Open Floor Plans and Blurred Boundaries

Mobile home designers and architects have been using open floor plans for decades and homeowners love them. It’s a perfect layout for families with small children or anyone that just likes spaciousness.

Most professional designers recommend that you keep the same color scheme throughout the open floor plan, or even the whole home, to maintain balance and heighten the look of spaciousness.

Open floor plans have a major drawback, though. It’s hard to define one space from another – where does the dining room end and the living room begin?

Fortunately, there are a couple of tricks to fix these blurred boundaries. Basically, you need to define and separate each zone while still keeping everything cohesive.

The image below is a great example of separating the living zone from the dining zone while still keeping everything flowing and cohesive.

The area rug separates the living area from the dining area.

Another way to differentiate zones in an open floor plan is with patterns.

Accent Walls Work

The wall behind the sofa in the image above has been treated as an accent wall while still using the same colors and tone as the rest of the room. This differentiates the space with a pattern, not color.

We’ve written an article about accent walls in mobile homes here.

Symmetry is Special

The bookcase above has symmetry and task lighting. There’s also another often used decorating tip being used. Notice how the art on the left wall is positioned at about the same height as the top of the bookcase? The designer is creating balance. If we had an image of the other side of the room I bet there would be an equally sized piece of furniture.

Balance and symmetry are vital in home design. If you have something tall on one side of the room you should have something tall on the other side.

Create a Conversation Area

Furniture placement is important. Living room furniture in mobile homes need to be laid out to allow for easy conversation while keeping traffic lanes open. This sectional below does that though a sofa and 2 small chairs would work even better, you don’t want to over-furnish your rooms.

Ideally, you want 18-24″ between your furniture in a living room but that’s hard to do in smaller mobile homes. If you have a large sectional like the one below, a smaller round coffee table would probably work better.

Shining Light on Lamp Facts

The living room above uses lamp height and symmetry well. Notice how the top of the floor lamp and the top of the table lamp are about the same height? That’s lamp height harmony and symmetry.

Since lamps are such an important part of mobile home living (because a lot of our homes don’t have overhead lighting for some reason), I thought I’d share some professional mobile home decorating tips about lamps:

  • A table lamp should be no more than 1.5 times the height of the table and and the shade should never be wider than the table.
  • If you use a table lamp for reading, place it 20″ to the left or right of the center of the book. That puts the base of the lamp slightly in front of you, not directly beside you.
  • Be careful of narrow-topped lampshades because they withhold heat. Don’t go too narrow.

Related: 5 Great Living Room Mobile Home Makeover Ideas.

I knew measurements were important but I had no idea math was used so much in home decorating and design.

For example, we’ve all heard that wall decor should always be at eye level but there’s another rule: art should never be more than 8-10″ above a sofa or table.

mobile home room ideas - dining room

White Ceilings are Perfect for Mobile Homes

We’ve mentioned the importance of clean bright ceilings in a mobile home several times because it’s one of the most useful, and affordable, updates you can make in a home. Get mobile home decorating ideas for every room here.

mobile home room ideas - dining room

Balance is Beautiful

The mobile home above is gorgeous! There are several different types of lighting, eat-in breakfast bar takes advantage of every inch, and the bookcase in the dining room creates balance for the kitchen. It also acts as a focal point and is perfect for storage.

Chandelier Sizing

A little known mobile home decorating tip is how to choose the right chandelier for your room. There’s a little known formula that professional lighting designers use:
Measure your room in feet diagonally, convert that number to inches to choose your chandelier size.

For example, a dining room that measures 12′ diagonally (from corner to opposite corner) should have a chandelier no larger than 12″ wide. If you like Hollywood glam you may want to go a little larger.

dining room ideas for mobile homes
dining room ideas for mobile homes

Mirrors are Magical

Mirrors are a mobile home’s best friend. They bounce light around and create the illusion of space. Place them everywhere you possibly can!

Mirrors work especially well opposite of windows and in areas with little natural light.

dining room ideas for a mobile home

Create a Strong Vertical for Low Ceilings

Mobile home bedrooms can be super small and the 7 or 8 foot ceiling height doesn’t help any.

Luckily, bedrooms are pretty easy to decorate while keeping it functional. Besides the lighting techniques mentioned above, you want to use symmetry and strong verticals to counteract the low horizontal plane of the bed.

To add height to a low ceiling you want to create a strong vertical that attracts the eye. This can be in the form of art, curtains, wallpaper, or like the bedroom below, palm leaves.

Hang Art at Eye Level

It doesn’t matter which room, you should always hang your artwork and wall decor at eye level.

Symmetry Really is Beautiful

As we mentioned above, symmetry is beautiful. In bedrooms, it’s especially easy to create symmetry. It doesn’t have to be a perfect match with the same nightstands and lamps but they should be similar.

You don’t want a skinny lamp on one side and a large bulky lamp on the other side the bed.

Related: Update Your Mobile Home Bedroom With 4 Pinterest Ideas We Love.

Decorators often recommend that you choose one style such as contemporary, cottage shabby chic, or a rustic cabin for your entire home but sometimes, that just isn’t possible.

What if you love rustic cabin decor but the rest of the family loathes it? Let it shine in your personal spaces: your bedroom and bathroom.

You can see some creative kids bedroom ideas from the Mobile Home Disaster crew here.

Mobile Home Bathroom Decorating Ideas

Don’t treat your bathroom differently from the rest of the home when it comes to decorating – it needs love, too.

Frame your Mirror

Adding a frame around a mirror makes it look highend so put it on the top of your todo list!

Choose the Right Lighting

There are over 10 different types of interior home lighting. There’s local or task lighting, downlights, track lighting, recessed, uplights, valance lighting, floor lamps, pendants, wall sconces, chandeliers, and more!

Needless to say, there is a light for every situation and it’s important that you choose the right one for your needs.
For example, task lighting is a good idea for bathrooms. However, bathrooms are like kitchens, and should have at least 3 different light sources – more is even better.

Bathrooms need to have a lighting source for the whole room, whether recessed or ceiling mounted, as well as local lighting around the mirror. A nightlight or even those cool new toilet lights isn’t a terrible idea for the late night visits.

Vertical Storage

Vertical storage above the toilet does two things: it adds storage, of course, but it also adds a vertical pull for the eye which makes the ceiling feel taller.

New Hardware

Replacing or just painting your cabinet hardware in your bathroom and kitchen (or anywhere) is an instant makeover. You’d be amazed at the difference such a small update makes.

mobile home bathroom ideas - mobile home room ideas

Mobile Home Decorating Tips Can Transform a Home Quickly

Most of the 25 mobile home decorating tips above doesn’t cost a thing. They are just suggestions that you can do with the furniture and decor you already have. We are all about saving money here on Mobile Home Living!

I found all 25 of these gorgeous mobile home room ideas from the Mobile Home Disaster show at CMT.com. The show selected deserving mobile homeowners and remodeled their homes. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay on the air very long.

Do you have a mobile home decorating tip or trick? We’d love to hear it in the comments below!

As always, thank you for Mobile Home Living!

Updated on December 20, 2018. Originally Published on November 10, 2013.



39 thoughts on “25 Great Mobile Home Decorating Tips”

  1. Can some one please address the wasted space in both lower and upper kitchen Cabernets in U shape kitchens. The corners you can’t get to and stings go to die there. WHAT CAN WE DO WITH THOSE SPACES????

    1. Hi Linda!
      Good point! I’ve seen those lazy susans put to good use in the corners of the cabinets. Shelves that pull out are also pretty handy. I guess they leave those spaces open so the homeowner can create the layout that suits their lifestyles? I dunno.

    2. Hi Linda!

      That was my childhood hiding space! The only thing I’ve seen that would help those dead spaces are those chrome wire pullouts at Lowe’s. There’s one in an L-Shape that slides over whenever you pull the first section out. It’s over $200 dollars though.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Your site is such an inspiration to maximize manufactured home living. Since sharing photos of our home with you my wife and I continue making upgrades and improvements to our home. Thanks for all your delicious information.

  3. Hi Crystal. I own a 2000 double wide Liberty. I’ve taken on the task of remolding my kitchen then will be doing the guest bathroom. I’ll be doing the floors walls and cabinets in the kitchen. What Id like to do is show my before and after pictures so I can give those diy people more drive and hope that they too can achieve their hopes and dreams of doing diy jobs around their mobile homes. If this is possible please let me know. Thanks, Teresa

  4. Hi, Crystal, just love your site. I’ve had my single wide home for 8 years now and would like to clean the ceilings. They are textured and would probably make a mess if I scrubbed them. Would painting them be better and is that the only way?

    1. Hi Anita,

      I’m a big fan of painting ceilings every few years. The whiter the better in my opinion (it helps bounce light around). Most mobile home ceilings are usually made of gypsum and they can’t really handle water so cleaning them like we clean walls and such isn’t a great idea.

      Best of luck!

  5. Howdy y’all,
    I have a ’97 doublewide that we have remodeled everything but the kitchen. We are planning on hitting the kitchen this next month. I could use any advice or thoughts on a complete redo.

    1. Hi Elise!

      I would love to see your remodeled home! I’m always looking for homes to feature (doesn’t have to be complete home remodels, though). I’m in the process of tagging all the posts for easier organization. All the kitchen remodels will be under this link: https://mobilehomeliving.org/tag/kitchens/

      Just click and you’ll see them (I should be finished tagging all 650 articles by 2078..lol) Best of luck!

  6. These are all gorgeous!!
    The living room with the sectional and fireplace? That’s my style!
    Warm tones, but not too dark. Love this article.

  7. I have a 1997 16X72 Shultz in great condition, but in need of a major update. Walls, moldings, floors, windows, doors, kitchen, bathrooms, everything… Willing to spend some money. Not sure where to start. Any suggestions? Beautiful Basalt Colorado.

    1. Hi Laila,

      I would start with painting the walls and ceilings, then replacing the floors. Update your faucets and sinks (and bathtubs if possible) and then your appliances last. Doors and windows are always a smart upgrade, too! Find a home you really like on this site and mimic it – that’s what I’ve always done and the results are great (I’m no interior designer).

      Best of luck!

  8. I love your site. I only wish when pictures are shown of remodels you would mention wall colors. I need some ideas for my daughters single wide mobile home to make it more cozy. Love the color of the living room walls in picture. Do you have any idea what it is? Thanks ! Kathy C.

    1. I always want to know the name of the paint color, too, and that will give you a reference point, but keep in mind that (a) color in photos rarely reflect how they look in person; (b) lighting in the room, day, night, and compass direction, plays a key factor; and (c) variance as according to computer monitor. If it looks grey, go check out the dozens of grey. If it looks blue, check out the blues (but keep in mind it could be a grey with blue under tones, or vice versa.

      Paint displays in the stores come in 4 levels: pure hues, tint (white added), tone (grey added) and shade (black added).

  9. Glad I found your website. I would love to see a TV show about remodeling Mobile Homes. I watch all the diy and hgtv. I have a new double wide that I love. But my husband and I are putting a lot of work into to customize it to our taste.

  10. Crystal, my daughter owns a three bed two bath single wide and is a single Mom of three. She would like to overhaul, but really needs necessary stuff done to make it safe, I.e.floors, roof, bath fixtures, where can she find a contractor willing to work n a mobile home? She’s called a couple and they turn her down as soon as mobile hone is mentioned.

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      I’ve found that calling your local mobile home supply store is the best place to find contractors that work on mobile homes. The suppliers know who buys the parts! Google ‘mobile home parts store in your town’ and give them a call. I can almost guarantee you they will be able to give you some names!

      Best of luck!

  11. Hi, my name is Kenneth McCaleb. I would love to talk to you about producing a television series. Presently I’m the senior staff member producer/director of UNTV. I’m going independent this coming May. I own everything needed to make a high def program about the beauty and virtues of mobile home living. Please visit my website to get an idea of my skills and and integrity toward this production. I’m based in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania and have a remote control room/RV that travels the country.

    1. Have you thought of a TV series that shows all the work mobile home movers go through? My husband is one and quite often our clients seem to not have a clue he has been in the industry for over 30 yrs and we are the company that does the hauls no one else will in British Columbia Canada. Have a great day.

      1. Hi Brandy!

        I would love to help get mobile homes on TV! Would your husband be willing to let me interview him? It would be great to share some tips about moving and setting up the homes – those are subjects we can all benefit from.

        Hope to hear from you! My email is [email protected] – send me an email if you’re willing to be interviewed! Thanks!

      2. My husband set up and broke? down trailers for years. It’s a hard, dirty job, and
        the people that do it need more appreciation!

    2. Hi Ken,

      It would be great if you did a show about mobile home living. I hated that title they gave the show, it just wasn’t very respectful of the hardworking Americans trying to stretch a buck living in a mobile home. And I didn’t like how they handled the whole show so I stopped watching. We are considering putting a mobile home on property and fixing it up. But waiting to save enough $$ to do all that. Really hope your show does happen. God bless. Cathy

  12. Hey! Me and a couple friends just moved into a trailer house, and when i looked at the bedroom i will be staying in, i was in shock. Carpet was ripped up, holes in ceiling and wall panels. I’m on a decent budget but would like to go all out. New surfaces on the whole room. Carpet, panels, ceiling, etc. The rest of the house is in good shape so we took it. But i am very interested in ANY ideas you might have. Im going tomorrow to see if local carpet store has any scrap 16×9 pieces i could buy. Have any advice?
    -Dustin

    1. Hi Dustin!

      Paint and new flooring is always a great place to start. Even with a small budget you can splurge on unique materials since it’s a small space. I’d paint the walls and ceiling before laying new floors. Check out some of the decorating ideas on here and copy the look you like – that’s what I always do!

      Best of luck!

    2. If the walls are bad may be replace with drywall and add additional insulation. Certainly would up your comfort level. Just a thought.

  13. My husband and I just bought a 1997 16×80 Singlewide that we are going to renovate. This site has helped us get some ideas on what we want to do to the home. We are both extremely excited to get started!

    1. Congratulations Cristina! That’s a huge home and I bet it’s gonna look great!

      Thanks so much for reading MHL – let us know when you get it finished, I’d love to see and share it!

  14. Hi Crystal I have been checking out your site for awhile now. I have a 78 12×60 mobile home in a park and am on a very tight budget. I have spent a lot of time but not a lot of money on my home. I noticed most of the featured homes are total remodels and are on their own land. I know there are a lot of people who do not have the money for either of these. I would like to see more info and pictures of people who work with what they have and maybe some landscaping ideas for people who live in parks. I must say I do enjoy your site and thanks for the information you provide. I would like to send pics of my home but I don’t have before pics and not sure where and how to send them.
    Thanks,
    Linda

    1. Hi Linda!

      I’ll definitely try to get some more relevant articles written. It’s always great to hear exactly what readers are looking for!

      There’s a few articles that you may like about landscaping (with examples of homes in parks). I’ll list them below:

      https://mobilehomeliving.org/landscaping-ideas-for-mobile-homes/
      https://mobilehomeliving.org/14-great-mobile-home-exterior-makeover-ideas-for-every-budget/

      Thanks again! I appreciate you reading MHL and taking the time to let me know how I can help you better!

  15. So glad I found this site!! I am remodeling my double wide and I have done lots of research on the projects that I have in mind and there’s been numerous trips to lowes. I have completed a few projects and still have a way to go but I am making progress and Ioving it. I didn’t want a mortgage either and One day Lord willing , I will get everything done and be able to just sit back and enjoy it. Thanks for posting.

    1. Great to hear from you Pamela! I’m always looking for homes to feature so please consider taking photos of your progress. One can never have enough inspiration!

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