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How to Design Your Home for Vacation Rentals

Oct 1, 2019

If you’d like your family home to function as a vacation rental or VRBO, what does its design need? How should it be different from your primary residence? What elements are going to help your rental make revenue and endure for years to come?

We recently completed this family home/VRBO for some clients, and I realized… you might be curious about this design “balancing act,” too.

If you have a property you’re interested in renting out, or maybe a new one you’d like to invest in, here’s what you need to know…


Family Home vs. VRBO: What’s Different about the Design?

Designing a family’s main residence is a very personalized process. During our initial design consultation, we talk about your goals for the home, how you use it on a daily basis, the lifestyle you’d like, and ways to make the home unique for you.

When it comes to designing your second home as a VRBO… it’s different.

While some personal touches can be nice (such as art you love!), you probably don’t want your family’s photos gracing every wall, smiling down on your vacationers. Sure, you can still design the home around your own daily functions (for the months you’ll be there), but it’s more important to design for the renters.

The biggest difference? Any second home that will be used for a rental needs to be durable, functional, and able to accommodate multiple families. 


What are the Best Materials for a Long-Lasting Vacation Home?

That durability, functionality, and multi-family accommodation I mentioned? There are a few tricks of the trade that can make this all possible.

Performance Fabrics

Using performance fabrics for your sofas, cushions, upholstery, and even window treatments will go a long way toward protecting your investment. These fabrics are stain-resistant, super durable, and are advanced enough these days to look fabulous! Try again, wine stains.

Flooring that Lasts

For flooring, we suggest LVP, which is Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring. It mimics the look of hardwood, is significantly cheaper, WATERPROOF, and very easy to maintain. Not to mention eco-friendly, if that’s your jam! 


Accessories that Won’t Break the Bank

As for accessories, you might be tempted to decorate with your favorite travel finds to inspire your renters, but… I don’t suggest this. Your guests are most likely to love hard on your home, and having inexpensive accessories is safer! Save the best stuff for your main residence. 😉

Which Home Features are Most Desirable in a VRBO Listing?

When we meet with clients who plan to design their home for living and for renting out, we always discuss what’s going to help make their home desirable. We want your vacation rental to succeed! The top features of a desirable vacation rental are…

Well-Planned Cohesive Layout

You’ll want a well-planned space with a cohesive, logical flow and the ability to host large groups of people. This could include open kitchen space, several bedrooms and bathrooms, a spacious or open concept living area, etc. 


Thoughtful Accommodations

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that beautiful, comfortable linens are always a hit. You can also add books, games and things your guest can use to stay entertained while staying in your home — for great reviews and repeat visits!


Crowd-Pleasing Style

When it comes to the look of your home, your best bet is to go with up-to-date, aesthetically pleasing, and above all… comfortable! An elegant home will entice vacationers, but I don’t know anyone who wants to relax in a museum. Comfy furniture and approachable design are sure to extend the right invitation.


There you have it — a few simple tips with big impact. And in the end, from the layout to the fluffy linens, why shouldn’t you enjoy the home just as much as your vacationers? You absolutely can.

I hope these tips have given you some valuable advice to run with, and if you need a helping hand, call us in for a consultation or full design! We would love to help you get the best of both worlds. 🙂

Stylishly yours,

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