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Tips for Decorating Resort Rental Property

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Beachfront income properties have their own particular set of concerns when it comes to interior design.  Condo packages may meet budget goals, but often contain inferior quality pieces that don’t last.   Vacation renters inflict heavy use; they track in sand, walk on carpets dripping wet, sit on furniture in wet bathing suits, and set drinks everywhere. Sofa cushions fade quickly from pool chlorine and dining chairs are spotted and stained; and it seems like the kids use the curtain rods for monkey bars! The sensible owner will make planned purchases annually to ensure the unit’s interior will continue to be fresh and properly functioning.  The following Resort Rental Design ideas can help ensure that your beach house or condo investment will remain desirable and profitable.

 LIVING AREAS

Be sure to have enough seats to accommodate the number of people sleeping in the beds. A sleeper sofa may not be used often, but it adds to the bed count, and thus to the rental price. Some of the better manufacturers offer upgraded sleeper units that are quite comfortable, perfect if you have a small condo.

A larger living room may even have room for two sofas, instead of a sofa and loveseat.  The cost is nearly the same.  If the room is small, ask about townhouse sofas, which are about 6” shorter than a normal sofa and can be used as a pair for more seating.

A good fabric for a poolside rental is outdoor acrylic, such as Sunbrella or Outdura brand.  If you purchase your furniture from a shop that specializes in resort rental interiors, outdoor fabrics should be part of the selection.  They are resistant to chlorine, repel stains, and come in bright, vacation-friendly colors.  These fabrics cost a bit more, but continue to look good for years longer than a cotton fabric.  In more upscale rentals such as private homes, washable heavy cotton slipcovers are often used, combining an elegant look with ease of care.  While slipcovered sofas are more expensive in the initially, a replacement slipcover is half the price of a new sofa, so they are much more cost effective over time.

Plan on recovering or replacing sofas and chairs every 5-7 years.

End tables and coffee tables need to be able to take a beating; painted surfaces may chip, so be prepared to touch up.  Tabletops in antique pine that is already distressed or glass tops that can be washed work very well.

DINING AREAS

Again, match the number of seats to the number of beds.  If the dining area is small, barstools along the counter offer more dining space; just pay attention to the traffic paths, because crowding makes it hard to get in and out from the table.  You need at least two feet to push out your chair and get up.  Ordering an extra-narrow dining table can be a space saver;  a 32” wide table is perfect for dining, but eliminates food being served in the center.

Choose sturdy chairs – with minimal ornamentation. Carved details or grooved designs will catch food and dirt, and the chairs will end up sticky and dirty.  If you have an older unit and the dining set is looking tired, try painting the chairs a coastal cottage color like sky blue, yellow or light green.   Outdoor acrylic fabrics are excellent for chair seats, as they stand up to chlorine and can be easily cleaned.

BEDROOMS

Resort rental bedrooms are best when sparsely furnished – nowadays guests like to live out of their luggage. Each room needs one chest, preferably tall and narrow to save floor space.  We recommend a bench also, for laying out an open suitcase, and a peg rack on the wall near the door for hanging beach gear and extra towels.  Benches designed for an entry, with cubbies below, are perfect for luggage, personal gear and shoes in a resort bedroom.

Make sure bedside tables are sturdy and have a pair of good, tall lamps with heavy bases, so vacationers can read in bed.  Lamps designed for hospitality use can be bolted down if breakage has been a problem.

Bedding needs can vary according to the type of property. Some management companies require bedspreads for ease of housekeeping. Custom bedspreads can be expensive, but they are significantly more sturdy than store-bought.  Inexpensive “bed-in-a-bag” ensembles are often flimsy fabrics, and ill-fitting as well.  Make a good impression with a custom bedskirt that matches the curtains, combined with a store-bought quilt or mattelasse’ coverlet.

Be sure to provide flexibility with bed sizes; a pair of twin beds can become a king bed with a “swing king” mechanism.  Provide a second set of sheets and coverlet so the bed can be made up either way – this is excellent for golfers, as two friends can share a room with twin beds, and it can be made up as a king for a couple.

WINDOW TREATMENTS

Quality window coverings are a must in a resort rental.  Guests are on vacation, and will expect at least the comfort level of a hotel suite.  This means room-darkening coverings, in all bedrooms, especially on the ocean.  Custom curtains with blackout lining and a commercial grade rod are the best choice.  Commercial grade curtain rods can’t be purchased at a hardware store – they should be ordered from a specialist, but they needn’t be very expensive.

For curtains, we recommend a simple fabric with one or two colors, such as a stripe or small repetitive design.  A new sofa or bedspread can be added more easily if the curtain pattern is easy to coordinate.  If properly made and lined, curtains can last fifteen years or more, so it is best to plan for other things in the room to be replaced during the life of the curtains and keep the fabric simple.

Living areas can have wide-slat blinds with a valance for color.  Keep in mind privacy if there is a sleeper sofa in the room. The wide-slat style allows for a good view out, so they are never raised up and down and hence rarely are broken. Vertical blinds, which are popular because they are so inexpensive, can be a big mistake – they quickly jam and break, costing much more to repair than their initial price.

AREA RUGS

Area rugs are now available in outdoor fibers that are washable and long-lasting for use indoors.  Natural fibers can perform beautifully if the right ones are chosen and they are properly sealed.  We usually recommend seagrass, which is elegant and affordable.  Ordering carpet that can be bound into a custom sized area rug is great for adding color and fun textures or patterns.  It’s soft under foot and another affordable option.  The carpet should be low pile and preferably a nylon fiber for cleanability.   Carpet designed for heavy-traffic or family rooms in a low sisal weave is an excellent option.

Copyright 2011 Posh Living, LLC.  May not be reproduced without permission.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandra McCarthy September 14, 2011 at 10:51 am

I’m looking for window ideas for my home in Myrtile Beach. We jsut moved in and I have no idea what I want to do in the bedroom which has a bay window and the living room which has two windows. I will be there from te 30th of September thru the 9th of October and wondered if I brought in the pillow from the couch that maybe we could match something up for the living room windows. Please let me know what information you may need. Thank you

Sandra McCarthy

webmaster September 14, 2011 at 11:15 am

Thanks for your inquiry. We can certainly help with the color selection and style. We always like to discuss your needs as far as privacy and light control, as well as the budget. If you want to measure your windows (from top to floor and the width) and bring the measurements with you it is helpful, but we always measure in person too. You can also email photos of the windows so we can see the style.

Thanks!
Kerry Ann

Christian March 8, 2012 at 1:33 am

I would like to use your writing in my thesis. Thank you.

carolynn March 22, 2012 at 6:10 pm

We just recently built and moved into our coastal home in Texas. A wonder gal at Comfort of Home suggested a great idea using tablecloths. I purchased three very bold multi-colored tablecloths. Using curtain ring clips I have a beautiful window treatment in my great room that looks fabulous. My accent pillows are colors pulled from the window treatments.

chris leonetti October 17, 2013 at 8:37 pm

We are remodeling a home (not living in it) for an upscale vacation rental in a golf resort community. My husband said all of the realtors who rent insist that all of the bedding be white and all of the towels be white. No colors are to be used. I have checked my area of rentals in this community and other high end rental communities and I see no bedrooms done in all white. It does not make sense to me due to dirt, spills, suitcases, etc. My husband says people want this.. and if that is the case, why can t I find anyone with all white comforters and bedding in some of these exclusive properties. Thanks can anyone point me in the right direction when renting out a very nice home?
Chris

webmaster October 18, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Hi Chris,
We’re finding that using all white bedding in upscale rentals is the new requirement, but it can take years to change out all of the existing properties. The all-white look comes from high end resorts and nicer hotels, who go with white for a clean look. When a guest arrives and sees the white they know the bedding is clean, and not hiding stains or dirt in a busy print. One way to keep the bedding clean is to use a bed runner in a colorful fabric at the foot of the bed, or fold a quilt at the foot. This will keep the bedding clean if people sit there dirty feet or put a bag down.
We use white mattelasse coverlets with a tailored bedskirt. A platform bed with no skirt is nice. We’ll be adding hotel-grade mattelasse’ to our website soon to meet the demand – they are heavier cotton designed to stand up to repeated washing. If you want a comforter, use a white duvet cover that can be washed.
I hope this helps! Please give us a call or email customerservice@poshsurfside.com if you’d like more information on our mattelasse’s.
Regards,
Kerry Ann

Joanie Keating January 27, 2014 at 11:54 am

I just recently purchased a 42 ft yacht .I love marine colors and beige colors.I don’t know how to blend all my colors with the colors outside,like bottom paint canvases etc. Can you help I love some of these ideas on rental properties

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