Have you stayed in a holiday house that you never wanted to leave? You know the ones with the amazing views, touches of home, and divine bedding you can sink into? On the flipside, what about the ones that you walked into and wish you never came to? Or the ones you liked, but then got frustrated when there were not enough utensils, no pots, or a dodgy sofa? The way that you decorate and style your holiday home or Air BnB, really matters, for lots of reasons. Here is how to style your holiday rental home with a sustainable touch.
Firstly, it is important that whatever you put into the holiday rental home is durable – right down from the floors, to the paint, to the soft furnishings. There are going to be all sorts of people staying there, and lots of people have no thoughts of the owners when they are in the carefree mode of being away from home. You want to consider things like hardwearing floors and benchtops, easy to clean furniture, and paint that can be wiped down easily.
Bear in mind what kind of cleaning regime will be happening, and take precautions such as protecting fabrics on sofas and chairs, or going for easy care materials like leather that can be cleaned more easily. Avoid fussy rugs and fabrics in cushions – look for natural materials such as sisal, wool and hemp. Look for vintage and secondhand items that are beautiful and create the look you want, but will be less of a loss if they are broken, or stolen.
Don’t put your most favourite family heirlooms in there! Likewise, bringing items to the holiday house that you no longer want or need, is a great way to reuse and repurpose, but don’t just throw any old rubbish in there – it will reflect on your business. There are plenty of ways to be sustainable in your holiday home decorating, including using vintage pieces, locally made, fairtrade and materials that are eco friendly such as those using FSC timbers and organic cotton.
Consider the way you want to present your brand and the vibe you want to create in the holiday rental home. This will depend on location, area and budget, as well as the clientele you want to attract, and the rates you want to charge. Obviously a higher end market will require higher end detailing. A seaside holiday home will benefit from a bit of a beachy or Hampton’s theme, and a house in the city may want an urban vibe – but there are really no rules here however.
Use art and other decor pieces well, and provide your guests with ideas of what they can do in the local area, brochures and maps – these small details make people feel valued and considered. Reviews of holiday homes often mention these special touches. Leave a blackboard in the kitchen with tips and a welcome note. If you are able to, leaving some special welcome packs with local produce or soaps and body care, can really make a difference.
Bedding is a big one, and having old or worn bedding, or beds that sink in the middle, really is a no-no! Go for eco friendly options such as organic cotton, linen or hemp, and keep your bedding fresh and in good condition. The same goes for towels and face-washers. Mostly you want to consider a range of guests and the location and house itself, rather than going with what you personally love. Think about when you will have highest occupancy also – for example lots of people love a cosy winter hills escape, so a holiday let in the mountains will need warmth and textures that encourage people to snuggle. A beachside house will need to account for wet bathers on the furniture, sand being tracked through the house, and light and bright decor. As well people will want good heating and cooling and a level of comfort, wherever they are. The holiday houses you return to are the ones that made you feel special, offered all you needed at hand, and were comfortable.
Consider Sustainable Design
Just as with your own home, considering the sustainable aspects of the design of your holiday let can make a big impact for your guests, and your pocket. People are not that likely to be considering costs like electricity and water use while they are on a break. Adding solar panels and rainwater can go a long way to helping you to save money, and offer the bonus of your property being promoted as an “eco retreat”. The window treatments – blinds, curtains etc, and the use of trees to shade your property, will also help with passive design and energy efficiency. Go for high energy efficient appliances and install ceiling fans if possible. Ask a designer to assist with this if needed, to get advice on making the property as energy efficient as possible.
Thinking about what it might be like to stay in your holiday home before you start letting others stay, doing research and getting some input from a designer or stylist, will go a long way to making sure your guests want to return time and time again.