Design on Holiday

The tourism season is ramping up in the BVI, and people from all over the world will be visiting this beautiful part of the globe. From honeymooning couples to families travelling together, renting a vacation home is a popular way to stay in the Caribbean.

Vacation rental properties are often first and foremost, investments to create passive income. And rental property owners can make the most of their investment – and perhaps increase reservations – when they take interior design into consideration when updating or decorating their homes.

 

Comfort

It goes without saying that a renter on holiday is looking to step out of their normal and into something a little more comfortable. A great vacation rental feels softer, more sumptuous and more decadent than what one experiences every day. So it’s worth your time as an owner to make sure every inch of the property is just a little over the top. Think plush seating with plenty of pillows, clean and crisp bed linens and a tidy, well-stocked kitchen.

Comfort can also mean practical items like extra towels, fans that can be moved around the house or even large totes to carry gear to the beach. By making it easy for the guest to enjoy themselves, they will remember their experience forever (and maybe return year after year!).

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Details

The little things make the biggest difference and can actually change the course of someone’s holiday. By paying attention to small details, a guest can have a supremely enjoyable experience and come away with a “they’ve thought of everything” feeling. When designing a home, be mindful of where guests will store their items (as in closets or dressers) and how easily they can access linens, towels and extra pillows. 

Details are important when choosing decor as well. Mismatched furniture and art makes a rental property feel cheap and unfinished, while some modern furnishings can make a home feel cold and unwelcoming. A good balance is needed so a guest can feel at home but still pampered. 

Less personal, more personality

While it’s easy to want to put your own family photos around the home or decorate with your personal style, remember that holiday guests want to feel as if this rental home is their home for their stay. Choose a decor style that can accommodate many tastes, as well as one that contains both feminine and masculine elements.

Another way to make sure your property has some personality is to hang interesting art on the walls. Choose pieces that are unique to your region or that tell a deeper story about the Caribbean. A picture of a palm tree on a beach is nice, but it looks like a lot of other rentals. Guests will remember how a place made them feel, and you don’t want them to feel like they could have chosen better wall art.

Clear the Clutter

People have enough clutter in their day-to-day lives; they are renting a vacation property to “get away from it all”. “It all” includes clutter. Knick-knacks and decor accessories that collect dust fall into the clutter category. Find a place for everything and let guests explore and use the space as their own. This applies to children’s areas as well as outdoor toys and gear. Keep watersports items contained in a garage or outdoor storage space to minimise sand and water finding their way indoors. Use baskets or bins to keep toys, magazines or other small items contained.

A clean home is an absolute must for rental guests, so it’s worth your time and budget to design it well for optimal cleanliness, as well as investing in a cleaning company to turn the home over after each rental.

Invest in Quality

Less expensive furniture and decor may seem like a good idea when you have to furnish an entire home, but in the long run, it may come back to bite you. Durable, more expensive furniture will outlast rough treatment from repeated guests, and mean you won’t have to replace it as often. An often overlooked place to invest in quality items is the linen closet. A guest may not remember that a chair had a small scratch, but if the towels and sheets are thin, uncomfortable or simply look dingy, they will notice (and tell their friends). High-quality linens are a hallmark of luxury hotels around the world; make yours memorable and invest in luxe linens. If expensive items aren’t in the budget, don’t be afraid to save up and work them into the home over time.

Another quality item to invest in is professional photographs of your rental home. When someone is viewing the property online, cell phone snapshots just won’t make the sale like beautifully composed and edited photos by a professional. The photos will not only benefit your reservation numbers but be potentially helpful if and when the time to sell the property comes along.

 

Sara Sherman
Sara Sherman is a former St. Thomas resident and the editor of Virgin Islands Property & Yacht.
Sara Sherman

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