How to Decorate Your Vacation Rental

A vacation rental requires an entirely different kind of decorating than for your personal home. You need to think of not only what style appeals to you, but also what vacationers might enjoy.

Start With a Blank Canvas

When creating an aesthetic that feels home-y, it's tempting to bring in photos of your friends and family. This is a big no-no when decorating a rental. You want your guests to feel like the place is just for them, so avoid hanging your own precious pictures on the walls. Instead, display art that goes with the general feel of your rental.

Another rookie mistake for rental owners is to keep personalized and monogrammed items in the rental home. Anything with your name or initials on it is going to alienate vacationers. Instead, keep the place clutter-free and clean of any personalization. Give the space a fresh start.

Use Classic Decor

A blue and white living room with a coffee table and chairs.

When there are so many adorable trends in home decor, it can be easy to get caught in the trap of updating frequently. Right now, cacti and flamingos may be all the rage—but probably not for the next decade. You should be thinking long-term. What will make your place look dated in five years? What trends are going to fade soon? You should make the place memorable, without having to make expensive upgrades every few years.

Use Your Location As Inspiration

A bedroom decorated in a classic cabin style with plaid curtains and wood walls.

Guests at vacation homes expect some level of a theme or ambiance in the place they're staying. They will want to experience the culture of the destination when they arrive. You don't want to get hung up on the trends, but you will still want to decorate according to your location.

If you are renting out a beach house, use that as your inspiration. You can choose a beach-y color palette of tan and turquoise, or go with brighter, more tropical colors. Your furniture should be durable enough to accommodate wet swimsuits and sandy toes.

By contrast, a cabin retreat requires cozier design. You may consider decorations in warmer colors and woodland creatures. You might also choose buffalo plaid or rich grays and browns.

A farmhouse rental gives you the opportunity to decorate with natural colors like tans, grays, and greens. You can also incorporate farm animals or farming tools into your decor.

If you don't want to go with a cut-and-dried theme, you can always take pride in the area itself. Use state or city map prints to give them a glimpse of what the area is like. Highlight some of your favorite spots with photos of them on the walls.

Think Like a Techie

An outlet with connected smart devices

The guests staying at your place will be creating lots of memories, which usually means they will want their phones and cameras charged up at all times. Make sure they have plenty of plugs handy, with extension cords if necessary.

Vacationers may want to use Wi-Fi to upload those precious moments right away. You will need a stable Wi-Fi connection and the password readily available to keep them happy. Try displaying the Wi-Fi password in a frame or on a refrigerator. You should stage the password somewhere where it will be easily seen.