Many people have a vacation rental they use only part of the year, while others own rental property purely as an investment. If you haven’t already, you should consider sprucing up and renting your home to fellow vacationers.
The advantages of doing so include:
- Supplementing mortgage payments and other expenses. Renting your vacation home provides extra income for maintenance and utility costs, or simply to spend or invest.
- Protection for your otherwise vacant property. Empty vacation homes are open to break-ins and vandalism. Having your property occupied and managed by a local vacation rental management company keeps it secure.
- Allowing others to enjoy their vacation time as much as you and your family do yours. You know the convenience and comfort of a vacation home compared to a hotel, and sharing your vacation home provides that for others.
No matter what your reasons are for renting your property, taking the time to decorate can really pay off. Adding special touches helps provide an atmosphere that vacationers won’t soon forget.
It won’t be long until you’re able to rent your vacation home whenever you want; you’ll even have renters who return every year as tradition and recommend your property to their friends and family.
To decorate successfully, you want to have a basic strategy in mind. The overall goal is to achieve that “home away from home” feeling, which is why many people choose a rental over a hotel.
Start with a brainstorming session, write down any ideas you have, then use this comprehensive guide to get going.
Pick a Theme
Choosing a theme anchors your decorating process. Pick one that fits where the rental is located, and think about who you’ll be renting to — adults only, families with children, or both. Consider the following:
At the Beach
Use sandy beige paint and white, blue, and coral furniture and accessories. Use shell and fish designs for wall hangings, shower curtains, and throw pillows. A jar of seashells is a nice touch.
In the Big City
Go modern with metal furniture and accessories, track lighting, and bold colors like red, yellow, and black. Soften the impact with fake fur rugs and pillows.
In the Mountains
If your rental caters to those who like to hunt and fish, go with dark wood furniture and some mounted specimens. Green, red, and dark blue work well, as do plaid throws or pillows. For a family-friendly rental, try nature prints instead of mounted animals.
In the Desert
Create a cool feeling with pastel colors, such as light blue and green. Add some prints of cactus, and maybe even a few specimen plants — they need almost no care. Furniture should be light, without the addition of heavy fabrics. Tile floors and plenty of fans keep the interior cool.
As the seasons change, take a little time to adapt your rental. In the winter, add throws to furniture and make sure you have extra, themed blankets for the beds. Install ceiling fans and make sure to service the air conditioner before the hot summer months arrive.
Tip: Keep an inventory binder with a list of all of the furniture and accessories in the home.
Adorn Outdoor Spaces
Provide comfortable outdoor furniture on the porch or deck to watch sunsets, waves, or other scenic views. For warm weather rentals, include a grill with table and chairs. Fire pits work well for a winter vacation rental. For a beach rental, an umbrella and portable chairs are thoughtful additions.
Create Comfortable Living Areas
Comfort is key when decorating areas like the living room. Sectional sofas provide plenty of seating; consider a rocker if you’ll be renting to families with very young children. Provide plenty of pillows for floor sitting (great pillows can be found at many discount stores), and a cushy rug if the floor is hardwood. Add a large-screen TV, Blu-ray player, table games, jigsaw puzzles, and a few books or magazines.
Don’t forget to provide a folder with a map of the area, local restaurants, stores, and recreational opportunities.
Provide a Well-Stocked Kitchen
Purchase inexpensive items from discount stores. Provide bowls, cups, plates, and glasses, determining how many by the number of people your rental typically houses. Include salt, pepper, and a few basic seasonings. Add simple appliances such as a coffee pot, microwave, and toaster. Don’t forget basic cleaning supplies and kitchen linens.
It’s helpful to include instructions for use of the appliances, electronics and other useful information for your guests, such as dates for garbage pickup.
Maximize Sleeping Options
Consider using bunk beds, day beds, or inflatable air mattresses. Many vacation rental management companies provide free linen service: professionally laundered, high thread-count linens placed in your home at each cleaning.
Regardless of the number of tenants, make sure you provide adequate storage space in sleeping areas. Add open shelves or bins if dressers are small, and make sure there’s plenty of hangers. The addition of bedside tables with lamps, televisions, and inexpensive alarm clocks are all nice touches.
Remember, the underlying reasons for renting a vacation rental — financial investment, security, and providing a quality vacation experience for others — are all achieved easier if you provide a comfortable, home-like, memorable space.
Take your time, let your imagination run wild, and have some fun with it!