Elevate Your Vacation Rental Style: Expert Advice from an Interior Designer

Oct 22, 2023 | Short-Term Rental

When it comes to attracting guests to your vacation rental, style matters. A well-designed and thoughtfully decorated space not only enhances the guest experience but can also lead to more bookings and positive reviews. In this article, we’ll explore how to evaluate your vacation rental style and offer valuable advice from an interior designer on how to make your property more appealing to potential guests.

  • Define Your Aesthetic

Defining the aesthetic of your vacation rental is a crucial first step in creating a memorable and appealing space for your guests. This decision sets the tone for the entire design process and can significantly influence the guest experience. Start by considering your property’s location – does it sit by the beach, nestle in the woods, or overlook a bustling cityscape? The surroundings often offer valuable inspiration for your aesthetic, helping you harmonize your rental with its environment.

Next, think about your target audience. Is your property geared towards families, couples seeking a romantic getaway, or adventure-seekers? Understanding your typical guests’ preferences is pivotal in crafting an ambiance that resonates with them. Lastly, explore the vibe you want to convey. Do you aim for a coastal retreat with a light and airy feel, a rustic cabin with natural elements and warmth, a modern urban oasis with sleek lines, or an eclectic mix of styles for a unique, vibrant experience? The aesthetics define the color schemes, materials, and decor choices, so having a clear vision will guide you through the design process, ensuring a cohesive and captivating rental space that leaves a lasting impression on your guests.

Expert Tip: Interior designer, Sarah Smith, suggests, “Think about the location and the type of guests you want to attract. If you’re near the beach, a coastal theme with bright colors and nautical accents may be ideal. If you’re in a city, a sleek and contemporary style might be more appealing.

  • Assess Your Current Decor

Assessing your current decor is the crucial first step in transforming your vacation rental into a stunning and inviting space. Start by taking a thorough inventory of your existing furnishings and decor. Identify what elements are working harmoniously and what aspects require attention and improvement. This could involve inspecting your furniture for any signs of wear and tear, ensuring that everything is in good condition, and addressing any damages promptly. Evaluate the overall style and aesthetics of your decor. Look for signs of outdated or mismatched pieces that could potentially diminish the appeal of your rental property.

This assessment will serve as the foundation for your redecoration efforts, allowing you to create a comprehensive plan that focuses on areas that need enhancement while preserving and enhancing elements that already contribute positively to your property’s ambiance. By conducting this initial decor evaluation, you set the stage for a successful and satisfying makeover, ensuring that your vacation rental welcomes guests with a fresh and inviting atmosphere. This proactive approach not only enhances your property’s appeal but also contributes to the overall guest experience, potentially leading to positive reviews and repeat bookings.

Expert Tip: Sarah Smith advises, “Consider the condition of your furniture and decor. If anything looks tired or dated, it’s worth investing in some upgrades. You don’t need to break the bank, but a fresh coat of paint, new linens, or updated lighting can make a big difference.

  • Enhance the Guest Experience

Enhancing the guest experience is at the heart of successful vacation rentals, and it begins with creating a space where guests feel comfortable and cared for. Interior designers play a crucial role in achieving this goal by focusing on various aspects of the rental property. To start, comfort is paramount. This involves selecting comfortable mattresses and quality bedding that promote a good night’s sleep, making guests feel rested and rejuvenated during their stay. Adequate storage is also vital, ensuring that guests have ample room to unpack and settle in, reducing clutter, and enhancing the overall atmosphere.

A fully functional kitchen with quality appliances further improves the guest experience, as it allows them to prepare meals and feel at home. To go the extra mile, consider adding thoughtful touches, like a welcome basket filled with local treats, or create a guest guidebook filled with local recommendations and essential information about the rental. These personal touches convey a sense of hospitality and show that you genuinely care about your guests’ comfort and enjoyment, ultimately leading to positive reviews and returning visitors. By investing in these details, you create a welcoming and memorable environment that can set your vacation rental apart in a competitive market.

Expert Tip: Sarah Smith recommends, “Invest in quality bedding and mattresses. A good night’s sleep is crucial for guests, and comfortable bedding can lead to positive reviews and repeat bookings.

  • Focus on Versatile Design

To create an inviting and versatile Airbnb rental space that resonates with a wide range of guests, focusing on versatile design is paramount. A versatile design involves carefully chosen elements that transcend personal preferences and style boundaries. One of the key aspects is selecting neutral color palettes for the walls, furnishings, and decor. Neutrals like soft whites, warm grays, or muted earth tones serve as a timeless canvas that provides a sense of serenity and offers a backdrop for almost any style. These colors can create a calming and comfortable atmosphere that is universally appealing.

Investing in timeless furniture pieces with clean lines and classic shapes ensures your rental remains adaptable over time. Pieces such as a sleek sectional sofa, a simple yet elegant dining table, or versatile storage solutions can seamlessly accommodate various design aesthetics. This versatile approach allows your guests to personalize the space during their stay, making them feel more at home. Moreover, it guarantees your rental property retains its charm and allure, drawing in a broader spectrum of guests, whether they prefer contemporary, traditional, or eclectic interior styles. By adopting versatile design choices, you create a welcoming environment that not only accommodates different tastes but also fosters a sense of belonging for every guest who walks through the door.

Expert Tip: Sarah Smith explains, “Neutral color schemes are always a safe bet. You can add pops of color with accessories like throw pillows, artwork, or decorative items. This way, you can easily update the look of your vacation rental without a major overhaul.

  • Embrace Local Flair

Creating an unforgettable experience for your guests involves more than just providing a comfortable place to stay. It’s about immersing them in the local culture and heritage, allowing them to truly connect with the destination. One effective approach is to incorporate local art and craftsmanship into your rental’s decor. Seek out the talents of local artisans and artists who can provide unique pieces that capture the essence of the region. Whether it’s a beautifully handcrafted piece of furniture, a striking painting, or exquisite pottery, these items serve as more than just decorations; they are windows into the soul of the community, sparking conversations and creating a distinctive, welcoming atmosphere.

Don’t overlook the power of cultural elements that celebrate the local heritage. Think about adorning your rental with traditional textiles, regional artifacts, or even a gallery of photographs that tell the story of the area’s history. These touches infuse your space with a sense of belonging, connecting your guests with the roots of the destination they’ve come to explore. By embracing local flair in your vacation rental, you’re not just providing a place to stay but a gateway to an authentic and unforgettable experience. It’s these personalized and immersive elements that make guests feel like they’re part of the community, ensuring their visit is a genuinely enriching one.

Expert Tip: Sarah Smith suggests, “Support local artists and artisans by featuring their work in your vacation rental. It adds authenticity and provides guests with a sense of place.

  • Optimize Layout and Space

Optimizing the layout and space in your vacation rental is a critical aspect of creating an attractive and functional living environment for your guests, particularly in smaller properties. Enlisting the expertise of an interior designer can be a game-changer in this regard. These professionals possess a keen eye for design and can help you make the most out of every square foot available. They’ll work with you to arrange furniture in a way that maximizes space and flow. This not only makes your rental feel more open and welcoming but also ensures that guests can move around comfortably. By eliminating clutter and creating well-defined living areas, your interior designer can give your rental a more spacious and airy feel, enhancing the overall guest experience.

Incorporating a professional’s touch can involve choosing the right furniture pieces that are not only stylish but also space-efficient. They can help you select a harmonious color scheme that makes your rental appear more extensive and optimize the use of natural light to brighten up the space. By investing in thoughtful design, you not only improve the aesthetics of your vacation rental but also enhance its functionality. This attention to detail can translate into more positive reviews and repeat bookings, as guests appreciate the comfortable and open layout that contributes to their overall satisfaction during their stay.

Expert Tip: Sarah Smith advises, “Consider multifunctional furniture pieces like sleeper sofas or dining tables that can double as workspaces. This flexibility can make your vacation rental more appealing to a wider range of guests.


Evaluating and enhancing your vacation rental’s style is a valuable investment that can lead to increased bookings and guest satisfaction. By defining your aesthetic, assessing and upgrading your decor, focusing on guest comfort, embracing versatile design, infusing local flair, and optimizing space utilization, you can create a welcoming and visually appealing environment that attracts more guests. Expert advice from an interior designer, like Sarah Smith, can be instrumental in elevating your vacation rental’s style and ensuring that it stands out in a competitive market. Remember that a well-designed vacation rental not only enhances the guest experience but can also lead to glowing reviews and repeat bookings, ultimately driving the success of your rental business.


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