IKEA used in surprising ways in duo’s van conversion

van conversion

Items from the Blue and Yellow store takes centerstage in 60sq. ft. van conversion.

This shows IKEA can help you make a home out of anything.

Grace and Marlon Aquino spent $1,000 at IKEA (and a few other stores) to turn their 2017 Ram Promaster Cargo Van into a tiny home on wheels.

van life

Grace in their van, nicknamed Flippie

When they first bought the van their immediate thought was to hire professionals to build it, as they had little experience in building anything. But it turned out more expensive than they could afford.

So they turned to IKEA. They figured it was not only inexpensive but also easy to build and mount.

It’s the first time the duo has done anything like this — a van conversion for a nomadic lifestyle. Despite being newbies at this, they’ve effectively leveraged on IKEA’s options for versatility and small space living.

They have moved in since April this year. Prior to #Vanlife, they have been living minimally out of their backpacks for over a year. So, having a tiny space of their own may actually be a luxury.

This is the van before conversion

before the build

It’s a 2017 Ram Promster 1500 Cargo Van with a 60 sq.ft. interior. The roof is low but comfortable enough for both Grace and her husband to stand in.

The first thing they did (besides insulation) was to set the floor plan. Nevertheless, they still wanted it open-ended. Meaning … everything can be easily taken apart and switched around if necessary.

The bedroom

The couple decided on placing the bed behind the cockpit because they didn’t want to have to build a platform. As it turned out, this made the van seem more spacious with the kitchen the rear.

Their bed of choice is the BALKARP Sleeper Bed, which can be converted into a couch.

BALKARP sleeper bed for camper van

Marlon mounted LIXHULT cabinets above the bed to take advantage of the vertical space.

bed in camper van

The kitchen

rear view of build

The IKEA SUNNERSTA mini kitchen was perfect for their purposes. On the walls, they hit up 10 SKÅDIS pegboards and covered every inch with it. This proved useful in keeping cooking utensils, chopping boards and kitchen necessities in place, especially in a moving vehicle.

IKEA skadis pegboard for van conversion

A RASKOG cart (without caster wheels) stands as the pantry.

IKEA SUNNERSTA for van conversion

The Dining

Grace did the same thing on the wall opposite the kitchen.

They mounted a BESTÅ BURS Desk, which serves as a place to eat and work.


TRONES shoe boxes were installed above the desk for more overhead storage.

van life, van conversion

What do you think of their mobile home? Can you live in one for the long haul?


The full documentation of their camper van conversion and vanlife is on Grace’s blog, The Sweet Savory Life.

Photos courtesy of The Sweet Savory Life.

Jules Yap