This article is brought to you by The Home Depot.
It's tough to get your vacation home noticed among a sea of homes and rental websites. Renters are looking for a special and memorable place to spend their down time, so it's worth a little time and effort to freshen up the look of your rental once every year or two. Best of all, it's surprisingly easy and affordable to take your space from fun to fabulous.
Check out our six great tips to get you started, no matter the size or location of your rental.
First things first—dimmer switches in every room. Vacationers are usually looking for several experiences in one place. You'll need plenty of light for cooking and game night and something cozy and relaxing for movie marathons or a night by the fire. Dimmers allow renters to create any mood, any time.
Remember that good lighting design consists of three layers: ambient, task and accent. After your ambient and task lighting are taken care of, add some accent lighting to highlight the art or architectural elements that make your space special. Be sure to swap out those switch plates when they begin to get worn and dingy.
Obviously, a fresh coat of paint goes a long way toward making your rental feel clean and cared for. But take it one step further and go beyond those plain, white walls to bring in some color and set your space apart. We really recommend finding softer tones of one color that works for the whole space; at the very least, keep the colors similar. This gives the home a more finished and polished feel. Lighter colors make spaces feel roomier and tend to be more soothing, which is what we're all looking for in a vacation rental.
3. Window Treatments
Since you've kept your color palette more muted, window treatments are a great way to add an additional layer of texture and interest. Look for colors and patterns that complement the local scenery and highlights. White, blue and green are a great places to start in a seaside setting, while cozier textures and earthier tones work well in the woods. Roman shades are a great solution for their simplicity and clean lines, which keep the space looking roomier and tidy. You may want to consider two layers in your window treatments. If you're thinking curtains, consider a gauzy panel beneath the fabric in order to maximize privacy while allowing in natural light.
4. Area Rugs
Rugs are another great way to bring in some color and texture. Patterns and bolder colors are great at hiding wear and are much more rental-friendly than carpet. They can also help with your space planning because they bring boundaries to a more open space. Convert that little nook that isn't quite the dining room and isn't quite the living room into a game room by defining the space with an area rug.
5. Photo wall
These days we can take great photos with nothing more than a smartphone. Indulge the artist within you and spend a weekend taking photos of the highlights of the area, then take advantage of holiday sales on photo frames to create a fun and inexpensive photo wall that reminds your renters why your home is so special. Take it to the next level by adding some accent lighting to keep that message in focus.
6. Outdoor Furniture
The appeal of most vacation rentals is, at least partially, about the outdoor space. Though it may not be available all year long, a really special outdoor living room will really set your rental apart and add the perception of more square footage. Since most vacation rentals are also in areas known for weather, you certainly want to choose materials that will survive and have a solid protection plan for the down season. Move beyond the old, plastic white armchairs and glass-top table, and consider an outdoor sofa sectional and arm chairs around a fire pit. The options here have come a long way in terms of pricing and durability, and you'll be surprised how affordable it is to bring the indoors out!
Have any tips of your own about sprucing up a vacation rental? We'd love to hear them!
Interior designer Kerrie Kelly is a lighting expert and aficionado who writes on décor and for Home Depot. Kerrie blends her award-winning design sense with a practical and sharp eye for what can work to dress up your vacation rental. To view an online collection of indoor lighting options you can visit Home Depot's website.