Elena Calabrese sees design in everything. As the newest Elite Designer for Decorist, she knows a thing or two about redecorating small spaces. This time, she’s used her skills to transform a truly unique area: the inside of a vintage Dodge van. Sound amazing? You’re in luck, because she took over the Decorist blog to let us in on her thought process while handling this endeavor.

Elena is a big fan of getting creative on a small budget. Pairing high-style pieces with low-budget items elevates any type of space, and Elena knows this well.

Keeping in line with the inherent theme of the van, Elena gave the Dodge a groovy makeover, remaining true to the ’70s-glam style we know and love. She took inspiration from the crisp lines on the outside and the clean, bold, linear black and white motif. The inside is black and white as well, plus some GOLD, of course.

She used layering and lots of chrome and gold to glam it up a bit — sort of reminiscent of the inside of a jewelry box. The furniture inside the van is very low and either round or square, perfect for lounging. She created a ’70s vibe, complete with luscious fur rugs, satiny pillows and comfy ottomans. Now isn’t this better than those dingy vans of yore?

To save a bit of money but still stick with the funky vibe, Elena used wallpaper instead of art on the walls, and the effect is everything. She made good use of the consignment marketplace site Chairish, finding reasonably priced vintage items. The chandelier is acrylic and fishing line, a vintage creation by Paul Secron. It’s a simple yet dramatic statement maker.

The more *ahem* pricey pieces like the pillows and end tables, came from 7 On Locust, a boutique in Mill Valley that offers eclectic art and home goods. Elena says, “just spend a bit more money on certain objects and voila! You have just elevated the look and feel of a luxurious space.”

Looking to redecorate? Elena offers some tips: Choose things that make the space functional and comfortable. Do not try and rush the makeover, as that can cause the space to feel artificial. Instead, take it piece by piece and let them speak to you and the space.

What do you think about the Dodge Van remodel? Leave your thoughts in our comments below.

(Photos via Decorist)