Four Tips for Revitalizing Your Vacation Rental

As more travelers look to vacation rentals as unique and convenient alternatives to hotels, we in the industry have to step up our hospitality game. As an interior designer and early employee at Vacasa, I’ve seen firsthand how designing an attractive, practical vacation rental enhances the guest experience — earning higher reviews, more bookings and a better ROI. Here are my top four tips for creating a stylish, welcoming space for your guests.
Tune up the bedroom.
Your vacation home provides a long-awaited escape for guests, so creating a luxurious bedroom environment is essential.

Fresh bedding goes a long way toward ensuring guest satisfaction. Plan on replacing bedding — including pillows — annually. Spend a little more on firm, high-quality pillows, and pile them on! A bed with more pillows photographs better, and a beautifully made bed will catch the eye as guests scroll through your listing. I suggest two standard pillows per person: four for most beds, and two for twins; one or two decorative pillows completes the look.

Pillow top mattresses tend to wear out quickly, so steer clear of these. I also recommend against bed-in-a-bag options, no matter how tempting they may seem. They look contrived, and they become dated very quickly. Instead, opt for a basic duvet/sham set with an understated pattern and add character with decorative pillows in varying colors and textures. Swapping out pillows is a cheap, easy way to freshen the look of a room.

Don’t forget nightstands and lamps. Hotels always offer guests a place to set their glasses, books, and other bedside necessities — your home should be no different.

Finally, don’t leave your walls bare! Add some color and character to your bedroom by hanging artwork.
Choose amenities that will add value for your guests.
Investing in the little things sets your home apart from the competition. Think small-scale amenities that allow friends and families to relax together, like hot tubs, fire pits and ping pong tables. If you’re on a tight budget, even items like books, board games, bicycles and Frisbees can make a big difference.
Many people choose vacation rentals over hotels because they want to bring their furry friends along. Making your rental pet-friendly will help you attract more business. It’s also smart to include some kid- and pet-friendly dishes — like plastic plates, cups and bowls — alongside your fancier flatware.
Don’t turn your vacation rental into a secondhand store.
Resist the temptation to turn your vacation rental into a repository for furniture, linens and rugs that have seen better days. Many people use worn-out mattresses, tattered furniture and stained or frayed linens in their vacation rentals because they want to keep the best pieces in their own homes. But think about the last time you stayed in a good hotel — the linens were crisp and free of stains; the furniture was pristine; and everything looked new. Giving your guests the same experience makes them feel taken care of and justifies higher nightly rates. It’s particularly important that your most-used items — like beds, couches and dining room tables — be in excellent shape.
Establish a reasonable budget.
Your furniture, textiles, dishes and décor don’t have to be fancy, but it’s a good idea to invest in pieces that you won’t have to replace constantly when they break or wear out. I recommend mid-range stores like West Elm and Crate & Barrel. Online stores in the Wayfair family, including Birch Lane, Joss & Main and AllModern also offer great variety for reasonable prices. Don’t forget local furniture companies!
There’s a range of quality at mid-range stores like these, so read the reviews and note durability. Don’t skimp on big pieces that will see a lot of use. Instead, hunt for bargains on décor and accessories. A great vintage lamp saves you money and adds unique character to your home.
People love vacation rentals because they offer local character, homey surroundings and plenty of room for everyone. But they also crave the high-end touches they’ve come to expect from hotels and resorts. With these tips, you can give your vacation home the best of both worlds.

by Kimberly White, Interior Designer & Senior Director of Operations, Vacasa
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