This article is brought to you by The Home Depot.

Heading into the high season for travel, it's a great time for vacation rental owners to consider the possibilities for a mini makeover of your property. Not only does it give you a chance for fresh photos and marketing, it could help one-time guests become regulars.

New paint is one of the most affordable and accessible makeovers, and has the added benefit of being an extremely satisfying project. Once you decide what kind of ambiance you want to create in your vacation rental, it's just a matter of picking a color palette. Check out our choices to make the most of your makeover.


1. Cozy Up That Cabin

People looking for a cabin rental are usually looking for a rustic retreat that doesn't feel too rustic. Wrap guests in warmth with the right color and texture. You'll be looking at darker palettes, but the trick is to think more in terms of rich and warm than cool and dark colors. Chocolate browns, sage greens, and rusty reds are great colors that bring warmth to your space.

You don't have to replace the furniture or flooring—start with the paint and add area rugs, new bedding, and throw pillows for the sofa. Look for classic prints like tartan plaids, paisleys—even patterns from the Old West. For the most impact, keep focal points like the fireplace dark and dramatic, while contrasting trim and moldings in shades of white.

Ralph Lauren Moroccan Red Antique Leather Specialty Finish Interior Paint

2. Beach Rental Bliss

Welcome guests to your seaside home with a light, natural color palette. Soft, ocean-inspired tones of greens and blues—aqua is an especially popular color this year—will open up the space.

Since white is not the most practical color in a rental, consider bringing it in for the trim and in accents like curtains and frames. Incorporate shelves, coffee and side tables with a natural wood finish to round out the look. For an organic yet more daring approach, hang sea-green colored framed artwork on blue walls. As long as the tones are similar, unexpected color pairings will succeed.

BEHR Premium Plus Eastern Breeze Zero VOC Satin Enamel Interior Paint

3. Bring the Countryside Inside

If your property features a valley or garden view, take full advantage of it! Blur the boundary between inside and out to expand the sense of space and to remind guests of exactly what makes your rental so special. Depending on its location, we suggest soft yellows and beiges or light greens. Choose colors inspired by the surrounding countryside like greens and blues to decorate the space and feature local artwork if possible. So not to block the view, it is best to choose simple window treatments.

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BEHR Premium Plus Ultra Sunday Afternoon Eggshell Enamel Interior Paint

4. Get Creative in a Condo

Once you determine the design you're going for, your main focus for a condo or apartment vacation rental is giving your guests a greater sense of space. Lighter colors always make a space look larger, so consider beige, gray or "greige," a taupe-like shade that works with almost any design style. If it's a seaside condo, bring in those light blues and greens. Using cooler colors will make the walls appear to recede. If you want to go darker, stick to the same color throughout to create a solid backdrop for tables and artwork.

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Jeff Lewis Gravel Quarter-Gloss Ultra-Low VOC Interior Paint

5. Make Your Home Homier

If you're renting out a private home, you'll maximize its appeal to potential guests by maximizing the style and history of its architecture. We tend to see cozy, traditional Victorians or cool, mid-century moderns on the most popular vacation rental websites.

Mid-century and modern style is popular these days for its clean lines, as well as its fun and funky throwback aesthetic. The best palettes for these homes are bright colors reminiscent of the 1950s or the more earthy and neutral shades of the 1960s.

Aqua and tangerine are trending big right now, and fit right into this look. Depending on how much color you want in your space, you can paint all walls, one accent wall, or even just the furniture to achieve this look. If these bright colors are too bold, use neutral colors on the wall like gray and add in bright colors using pillows.

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Glidden DUO Fresh Tangerines Eggshell Interior Paint with Primer

In a more traditional home, the same palette actually works very well. Paint cool neutrals on the walls to enlarge the space and give it an updated feel. Keep the trim a bright, clean white to harken back to its traditional roots, but use those same pops of color throughout for a vibrant feel, perfect for a vacation rental retreat that still feels like a home.

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Glidden DUO French Grey Eggshell Interior Paint with Primer


What color palettes have worked well in your vacation rentals?

Color-and-palette aficionado Kerrie Kelly is an award-winning interior designer who writes on home decor for Home Depot. The author of the color-filled book Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide, Kerrie provides guidance to homeowners on matching paint colors with the elements of a room. A wide assortment of Home Depot paint choices, including trim colors, can be found on the HD website.