According to Markets Insider, by 2021, vacation rentals are expected to be a $193 billion global market. That’s serious moolah guys! That $193 billion dollar price tag is, of course, going to be split between hundreds of thousands of property owners. Competition will be stiff, and these guests don’t just choose a rental based on price alone. We’ve put together 10 tips for styling your vacation rental so you can stand out amongst the crowd, increase your occupancy rate and get great reviews.
1. Style Your Home Based on the Type of Guest you Want to Attract
We can expect that a rental for a spare bedroom with mismatched sheets and one pillow at $40 per night is probably going to attract a certain type of person, right? But is that the kind of person you want to sleep 15 feet away from you at night? Whether you are renting out a spare bedroom, a guest house, or an entire home, there is one thing to keep in mind: Your vibe, attracts your tribe. So, think about the tribe you want to appeal to.
A single traveling nomad, families, large groups, couples - the look of the home could attract more of one over the other. High end decor and glass tables with sharp edges may make families traveling with small children skip to the next property, while attracting another type of guest.
A room filled with bunk beds vs a a single queen bed may attract larger groups. A game room or small putting green in the backyard may speak another groups language.
2. Design for Comfort
Plastic furniture may look pretty on the pages of Architectural Digest, but they sure aren’t practical for your guests to sit down in after a long day exploring. For rentals located in cooler temperatures, make sure to have plenty of blankets in the living areas and bedrooms, and dress any wooden floors or tiles up with a rug to keep everyone’s feet warm.
In dining areas, make sure to get comfortable seating. After all, guests don’t eat every single meal out while on vacation. For properties with a wood burning fireplace, make sure to have extra wood on hand for guests. One of the best parts of staying in a hotel is the luxury bedding you get to wake up in each day. So, in the bedrooms, go the extra mile and upgrade the bedding to down comforters and nice duvets from from shops like Parachute or Brooklinen. Another amazing feature to steal from hotels is the blackout shades that allow guests to get extra ZZZ’s. Your guests are on vacation after all. Sleeping in is a must.
3. Style Each Room with Durable Goods
Your home is about to become a high traffic area with potentially more wear and tear than you would like. Getting durable goods that can stand the test of time will be important so that you don’t have to replace on a regular basis.
Choose materials that are easy to clean, like a couch with a slipcover that can be easily removed or pillows with washable covers. Choose rugs that can be easily cleaned at home and don’t require professional cleaning, like Ruggable which has machine washable rugs.
4. Don’t Forget About the Smallest of Details
Make sure all closets have hangers for your guests to de-wrinkle their wardrobe once they arrive. And if you can go a the extra mile, give your guests a cute luggage rack like this one for them to get their luggage off the floor. Think about all of the extra things provided when to guests when they stay at a hotel. Miniature toiletries on a tray for the bathrooms are a great low cost option to add and make the guests feel special. Please, oh pretty please, purchase matching towels for each bathroom! Mixing and matching towels you’ve acquired from the last decade is a big no-no. Places like TJ Max or Home goods offer luxury towels are great prices!
If you have a large home that sleeps big groups, set up a shelf in the main living area and fill it with board games like Scattergories, Jenga, or Cards Against Humanity. Fresh flowers on the kitchen island or entryway table will bring a smile to any guests face. You can also opt for real plants scattered throughout the home if you don’t want to splurge on a bouquet each time you have a booking.
5. Remove All Personal Items
You may live in your vacation property at certain points of the year, but that doesn’t mean your guests want to see personal family photos when they visit. Make sure to put away all of your personal items, kids and pet toys or anything else that screams “someone else lives here.” Get those family photos of you on vacation off of your entry way table and fill it with other interesting accessories.
Get a large plastic bin from Home Depot or Target and place all personal items in it before putting it in the garage. You can also put in a locked closet for safe keeping if you plan to bring them out regularly in between guests throughout the year.
6. Eliminate Clutter
Clutter can be an eyesore, and make a home feel smaller than it really is. Don’t get rid of every single accessory in the house, but use your best judgement and don’t lay it on thick.
Mess causes stress and that’s the last thing you want guests to feel when they arrive at your home. Less knick knacks and things laying around on counters also means an easier time when it comes to cleaning and dusting between guests. Win-win!
7. Keep it Neutral, But Select a Few Unique Goods
You want your rental photos to stand out and have that ‘wow factor’ that stops potential guests from scrolling on by to the next listing. But, you also want to make sure your place appeals to a large number of people. Stay away from brightly colored walls or odd decor like coffee tables with tops made out of beer bottle caps. I hope that goes without saying though.
Keep walls neutral colors or opt for a bold wallpaper on a single wall if you plan to keep other decor simple. Selecting neutral colors for a large portion of the room allows you to add pops of color or unique goods in small doses, like this amazing wooden ceiling light shown here from an Etsy seller.
8. Create a Focal Point in Each Room
It can be hard to style every square inch of a vacation home, but using larger furniture, and less of it, helps to create a focal point in each room and serves double duty in getting rid of clutter. A focal point acts as the main attraction in the room and usually draws your guests attention right to it.
An oversized piece of art, a wall covered in a dramatic wallpaper, a gallery wall, or a patterned tile fireplace can all be considered a focal point.
9. Pick a Theme
Choosing a theme for your home can help you wrap your head around the endless choices of decor in front of you. Imagine showing up to a rental on the beach and having it decorated with white linen couches, blue walls, a coffee table made out of an old lobster cage, sea shells in a bowl on the table and a big sign that says “life’s better at the beach.” Sounds nice right!?
This type of theme creation can carry over into cabin and desert destinations too. And just because you don’t live in a geographically significant area, doesn’t mean you can’t do the same thing with the aesthetics of your space. You can go with rustic, industrial, classic, bold & bright, etc.
10. Create The Illusion of a Large Room
Whether or not you have a small space to work with, you can make any room feel larger with a few simple tricks. Adding mirrors to any room makes the room immediately feel larger even if it’s a reflection of the room you are standing in. Having floor to ceiling curtains also adds height to a room that may not be lacking height. Make sure to start the curtains higher than where the window inlet actually begins and allow the curtains to come just inches above the floor.
Adding furniture that has legs, like side tables, coffee tables and couches, makes a room feel larger than blocky furniture that has no space between it and the floor. And last but not least, considering mounting your TV on the wall and getting rid of the entertainment center or table it was on. It allows you to have one less large bulky thing in the room and could open up walking room in the area.
Hopefully we’ve given you some tips that you can take and implement before your next travelers arrive!
Thumbnail image via Pop & Scott