Coastal Vacation Rental Furniture and Home Decor
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Share decorating solutions that have been successful in your coastal vacation rental property with other homeowners. Send us your suggestions and we'll add the best to our Vacation Rental Decorating Tips!

Vacation Rental Decorating Tips

Furnishing a vacation rental property is very different from furnishing a home. Your property is basically the equivalent of a hotel room - you need to utilize furniture and decor items that will best stand up to the wear and tear of weekly rental guests. Spending wisely the on appropriate products will get you the most of your money spent.

Take a moment to picture your rental unit. Would you bring your family there and happily pay the asking price? Are you providing your renters with a place they will want to return to?

We have compiled the following list of guidelines based on our many years of experience furnishing coastal vacation rental properties as well as feedback from other property owners. If you would like to share a decorating or condo tip that has been successful for you, please contact us.
Protect your investment. While any furnishing updates have an initial expense, spending your budget wisely on long-lasting refurbishments will get you the most of your money spent. When you make the decision to rent your condo, you must start thinking of it as a business. Every decision must focus on what will be meaningful to your guests' stays and keep them coming back.
Vacationers want a colorful interior. Remember, they are usually only here for a week, so give them a unique coastal look they would never choose for their own inland homes. Make them feel like they are much further away from home than they really are. What if guests happen to come during a rainy week? Your condo decor should make them feel happy in spite of this.
Accessories and paint can really change the look of a neglected unit. Don’t be afraid to put some color on those walls! With the right accessories, you can create your own beachy look and your unit will not look like just another ‘cookie cutter’ condo. A large piece of artwork or a mirror often can replace several small things on a wall to make a better statement.
Guests prefer carefree, hard surfaces on tables and dressers, like glass tops. These are easy to clean and will not leave stains or condensation rings. They also do not chip or show noticeable wear like solid wood or colored painted furniture pieces.
Don't wait until your upholstered furniture is visibly dirty to clean it. Be sure to have furniture professionally cleaned at least once a year after the rental season and re-apply any stain protectant, like Scotch Guard at that time only. Make this upkeep a part of your routine when you come to the beach to check on your unit.

Have tile floors in all the living areas. Nothing is worse than walking into a condo with stained carpet. The initial cost is worth the easy maintenance of not having to deal with continual cleaning and visible wear that comes with carpeting. Invest in tile and use a dark colored grout. We suggest Grand Strand Floors here in Myrtle Beach.

High-quality, high-gloss paint lasts longer in the high traffic of condo rentals and will not show scuffs or other wear marks as easily.
"Audition" a new paint color. Many stores offer smaller sample cans for just a few dollars that you can take and try before committing to a whole gallon of a new color.

Homeowner Tip: Try out a new wall color by painting a poster board and setting it next to different furnishings throughout the room to get an idea of what it will look like.

Use clear corner guards on your walls. You can get them at Home Depot or Lowes.
Avoid using wallpaper in oceanfront properties. Coastal locations are areas of high humidity, which can lead to moisture being trapped indoors and spur the growth of mold and mildew and do significant damage to your property.

Use solid color draperies. It is much easier to match new furniture or decorative accents to a single color than to a busy print. Patterns also tend to become quickly outdated.

Avoid solid color bedspreads. Teens especially will come in from the beach with suntan oil on and plop on a bed. Use a print design with a lot of color & pattern to age gracefully and not show suntan oil spots.
Lightweight throw style bedspreads are best for a rental condo, as they go all the way to the floor & require no dust ruffles. The bed in a bag concept does not work well in a rental environment because ruffles and shams are difficult for housekeepers to keep up with.
Do not use vertical blinds, especially on oceanfront windows. Blinds fade quickly against the direct sun exposure and the bright sunlight will be uncomfortable for guests wishing to sleep late. They are also oftentimes difficult to maintain in a vacation rental environment.

Have easy-to-recover dining chairs. Dining chairs with removable and recoverable seats work great for wearability. As the fabric or vinyl gets worn the seats can easily be made to look new again, recovered with a new fabric that coordinates with the rest of your decor. Avoid the totally fabric covered "Parsons" chair, which will be more prone to soaking up every stain & showing dirt.

Choose a sleeper with a commercial mechanism that is designed to be opened and closed every day of the rental season. Sleeper sofas like you would purchase for home use are designed to be be pulled out only a few times a year. Sleeper sofas and other upholstered furniture in rental units should have a sleeper sofa with a 6” innerspring mattress and high-density flame retardant seat foam.
Select heavy-weight upholstery fabrics with random, all-over patterns. These fabrics wear well and hide stains from inevitable accidents. Polyester blends or olefin materials can better withstand the elements of a rental condo than that of a polished cotton. Polished cottons, microfibers, and other lightweight upholstery fabrics are not durable enough to withstand the daily wear of sunlight, chlorine, sunscreen, and guest usage.
Make certain that you have enough seating for the number of people your unit can sleep. Extra barstools tucked in a corner of the dining room or a side chair on casters that can be easily moved into the main living space if needed are easy ways to accomplish this without crowding your unit with furniture.
Choose the right scale of furniture for your plan. Rooms in condos are usually much smaller than those in a house. Pieces that are too large will constrict traffic flow and make it difficult for guests to move about. Choosing correct proportions of one item to another achieves better visual balance.

You don't need to start from scratch to update condo furnishings - affordably refresh your condo decor by working with existing furnishings that are still in good condition. A variety of good-quality spray paints are available to easily refresh table and bedroom furniture finishes. On quality rattan use a furniture marker, Old English, or Goo Gone to get rid of scuffs. New upholstery, bedspreads, and draperies, are the easiest way to breathe new life into a vacation rental condo's decor.

When working on property updates, put yourself in your guests' shoes. Think about what you expect when you go on vacation and what some of the small things are that make a big difference to those stays. While it is impossible to be all things to all people, the most important thing is to provide your guests a welcoming, clean, and enjoyable place to spend their vacation.

Show your vacation rental property at its best with well-composted pictures. Whether you market and manage your rentals yourself or would simply like to show off your property to friends and family, taking the right kind of pictures makes a big difference.

  • Take a picture from the balcony looking back into your unit to give a good overall look at the main living area.
  • Angles and room sizes on condos can be a challenge. Show more of a room by standing on a chair or holding the camera slightly overhead.
  • Pay attention to the most appealing focal point in a room. For example, in a small bedroom that does not easily fit into the frame a picture of a nice bedspread means more than a dresser next to the doorway.
  • Look out for mirrors - they can show both the camera flash and your reflection in the background!
  • Present a good balance of interior and exterior photos. The beach is your main attraction, so include whatever shows the best - whether it's your balcony, the view down the beach, or your close proximity to the ocean's waves.
  • Focus on your condo's strong points. All rooms may not be as spacious as you would like or have brand new furniture everywhere, but showing the best elements of a well-maintained condo will let your guests fill in the rest in a positive light.

Introduce your guests to some of your favorite things at the beach. Compile a 3-ring binder with to-go menus, attraction brochures, or shopping center information in clear page protector sleeves. Besides the beach, guests are often looking for suggestions on other enjoyable places to explore during their stay. You also will find that future guests will add menus and information to the notebook and some will make little notes about their experiences at a certain restaurant.

A Summer Home
720 Main Street Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Local: (843) 444-0061 Toll Free: 866-444-2717 Fax: (843) 448-4389

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