February 23, 2021
A vacation rental should feel like home, and often times, that is either lost or found in the details. Be sure to pay attention to them.
Owning a beach home on the Outer Banks, what an accomplishment! Seriously, thousands dream of becoming a homeowner in such a beautiful community. Making the decision to rent it out is an excellent financial decision. So many folks from all over the country will be making memories in your beloved beach home. Tourists are the lifeblood of the Outer Banks and it’s important that we keep them satisfied and coming back year after year. Gaining repeat renters in your rental should be something all homeowners strive for. With that being said, it’s essential to keep your space competitive. I couldn’t even begin to start counting just how many rentals there are on the Carolina coast. This means that it is vital homes stay up-to-date, appealing, functional and convenient to ensure renters are not lost to the competition. Guests are paying a great deal of money to go on vacation, put their money to use by making small updates throughout the home to cultivate a more luxurious experience for them.
“Renters won’t give outdated spaces a second look, so if a property seems sad and worn, it’s definitely time to upgrade,” VRM Intel pros point out.
Beach home design doesn’t have to be overtly “beachy” to exude a coastal feel. By this, I mean, not everything in a vacation rental has to be riddled in seashell and mermaid prints. Sometimes less is more, and that’s becoming increasingly prevalent in interior design. Coastal style is embracing accents and natural elements to afford a fresher and tidier-looking atmosphere. Southern Shores Realty is happy to share what’s trending in beach home decor.
A Blank Canvas
Nowadays, when one searches for beach home decor online, the photos that populate are majority white. It comes to no surprise that white is one of the biggest trends in coastal interiors. A fresh, cottony interior provides the best blank canvas for design. This not only makes a room brighter, but it also amplifies pops of color and texture.
Since the trend used to be wood paneling, which darkens rooms and zaps natural lighting, it can be shocking to see just how different rooms look once the paneling has been painted over. Instant illumination. This simple backdrop allows for tasteful layering of elements without making a space feel overwhelming.
This is a safe update that doesn’t appear to be going out of style any time soon. I mean, let’s be honest, when it comes to a rental property, clean and bright can never go out of style.
It’s very important to note that this doesn’t mean the space has to be devoid of fun colors. Add life to your interior with an accent wall — which will pop even more in a brighter room. Great accent walls can be a playful color, tasteful wallpaper, raw wooden planks, and more. What’s more, these accent walls can easily be updated every few years to reflect any changes made in the interior. Got a new couch in a different color? No problem! Having an accent wall means you’ll only have to paint a single wall instead of having to repaint the entire room.
Great lighting is timeless.
Natural light is always trending – especially in a beach home. Play with light sheer curtains. If there are trees or bushes blocking the light from coming in your windows, cut them away. Allowing natural light gives the home a fresh and airy feel. By embracing natural light, guests will be less likely to use to the big overhead lights, which reduces your energy bill all while elevating the atmosphere.
Pro Tip: Make small spaces feel larger by hanging the curtains as high as possible. They don’t have to be at window height, which will, in fact, shrink a room’s size and dampen natural lighting.
Don’t forget the trim! Another way to add color and to amp up the natural lighting is by painting your windows trim.
Designer Anne Maxwell Foster says painting trim something eye catching is so important, because it’s “like putting a picture frame around your view.”
You don’t need an oceanfront home to embrace your view. Elevate your windows by giving it a gorgeous frame and drawing eyes to where it matters: the beauty that is the Carolina coast.
When the sun goes down it’s important the guests have an equally as welcoming light source. Big overhead lights are harsh and off-putting. Having multiple light sources creates dimension and ambiance.
Nautical lighting is a great way to add a coastal touch. An investment in a great nautical light, lamp, or chandelier will reap the benefits. It makes a home instantly feel more expensive.
Designer Christopher Spitzmiller offers great advice on this, “The basic rule for making nautical lighting work is the same one that applies to so many other aspects of decorating— don’t do too much of it at once. Include it sparingly to increase its impact.”
A Place to Gather
Undoubtedly, the most important room in the house. Did you know that an upgrade in your kitchen will dramatically improve your homes value? Show your kitchen (and your guests) a little love and start making updates here. The obvious upgrade include appliances. Retro appliances are trending (like always) they add a quirky nostalgia that guests will never forget. But not every upgrade has to be as costly as getting all new appliances. There other components in the kitchen to embrace as well.
Character is key. Geometric graphic tile can add sleek and stylish character. If your property has a breakfast nook, embrace the coziness of this area by adding rustic accents. The rustic vibe will invite your guests over for their cup of coffee, maximizing the space that’s being used.
Backsplash in the kitchen and bathrooms are small upgrades that pull the rooms together. Backsplash adds depth and elevates the room’s vibe, plus it’s easier to keep clean than painted walls. Add in your accent or pattern on the backsplash for a win-win-win!
Bring the Indoors Out
Get bolder with outdoor furniture. With newer technology, outdoor fabrics no longer have to have to be stiff, ugly, and uncomfortable. These new exterior fabrics feel like interior fabrics, as they’re much softer to the touch. Comfort isn’t just reserved for indoors, bring it outside!
Bold outdoor furniture is “in” and it increases curb appeal. So embrace sundecks, patios, and/or balconies. Double the outdoor comfort by getting behind another exterior trend (sure to never go out of style) the deep-seated patio furniture — so cozy, so functional!
Vacationers love to take any opportunity to get out into the fresh air, so make sure that space is welcoming. Lawn games, grills, and hammocks are excellent and fairly inexpensive upgrades to the exterior.
Add ambiance to the outdoors with lighting. String lights, solar lights or lanterns are very inviting. Major trend alert: Edison bulbs. String them up on the patio/sun room/deck.
Refreshing the exterior will draw vacationers outside of the home. For the longevity of your interior and for optimal experience for guests, it’s always a great idea to draw guests to outside spaces.
..And the Outdoors In!
Southern Living points out that upholstery is, “the design equivalent of a well-tailored suit.” This is so true! And now, looking sleek can be convenient, too. Take advantage of the advancement of all-weathered fabrics and bring it indoors. The new fun patterns and soft material is truly a godsend from the vacation rental heavens. Clean up is a breeze with weathered fabrics. Children coming off the beach in a damp swimsuit will no longer render the cushion out of commission for the next hour while it dries. These materials are quick drying, won’t absorb odors, can endure more cleanings, and won’t get that funky musty smell many beach homes develop.
Raising the Bar
Bars are really “raising the bar” in interior design (no pun intended). Maybe it was quarantine, but in-home bars have been topping the trending charts. They can come to life in a variety of ways: built-in bar with counter space, a chic bar cart, or a coffee bar. Adding this element will have your vacationers saying, “Wow!” Talk about amplifying your vacation rentals lux factor!
Regardless of the type of bar you chose, the decision will have the adults happy. Having a dedicated space for simple pleasures enhances the experience and takes some of the pressure off of adults. Whether it’s coffee or wine, this is an excuse to unwind and truly soak up every moment of vacation. What’s great about adding a bar is that this is where homeowner personality can really shine through! Add quirky, vintage, or elegant touches to the bar area.
Not So Neutral
Freshen up those neutrals! Southern Living Magazine points out that, “our eyes grow accustomed to the colors in our natural landscape, so the soft hues found along the shoreline—the light pinks that streak through evening sunsets, the earthy greens that light up the dune grass—are as fitting as foundation colors as they are as accents.” The recommended colors are :
The Neutral: Seashell Gold; The Paint: Peche by Behr
The Neutral: Agave Green; The Paint: Stone Blue by Farrow
The Color: Sea Urchin Purple; The Paint: Lavender Mist by Benjamin Moore
The Neutral: Sunset Pink; The Paint: Morning Glow by Valspar
It’s All in the Details
Accents of raw wood and bamboo are great ways to add an inexpensive coastal flair. Add this wherever: a headboard, end tables, framed mirrors, accent walls, the list goes on! The great thing about these naturals is that they pair well with any hue and they add texture. Adding texture instantly boosts design.
Signal flags add a phenomenal pop of color and a reminder of the Outer Banks lifestyle. Pair white walls with signal flags for the ultimate nautical look that doesn’t go overboard.
Bright rugs liven up a room and provide excellent camouflage for the sand guests will be tracking in. Even more, the trend now is to layer rugs. A large natural fiber rug looks wonderful under a smaller, colorful, patterned rug. The contrast of naturals and patterns bring the coastal vibe. Pro tip: ensure the smaller rug is smaller by about a foot on each side.
Use a customized sign with your house name Ensure your guests will never forget the name of where they made so many memories. This personal touch breathes life into any rental. Let your personality shine here and guests will truly feel welcomed.
Making these improvements can only help more weeks get rented, improve guest happiness, and have them coming back year after year. Invest in your home and invest in your guest. The rest will follow.
Posted by Kelly Knutson 02/23/2021