Welcome to 1 Chic Retreat!

Thanks for stopping by!

1 Chic Retreat teaches vacation rental owners and managers how to increase their rates and bookings using the power of interior design.

In a big way.

If you have you ever wondered…

  •  How do I get more bookings for my vacation rental?
  •  How can I increase my rates?
  •  How can I make my vacation rental stand out from the competition?
  •  How do I create a gorgeous short-term rental and not spend a cartload of money?
  •  Where can I find design advice and resources geared for vacation rentals?
  •  How do I make my rental as “boutique” as the “boutique hotel” down the street?
  •  How do I get more favorable reviews from my guests without having to bribe or remind them?
  •  How do I generate more repeat guests?

You’ve come to the right place!

Smart vacation rental owners and managers wanting to succeed in the increasingly competitive short-term rental market MUST create extraordinary vacation “retreats” for their guests, and 1 Chic Retreat can show you how.

Chic vacation rentals reign supreme over mediocre ones on the big sites like VRBO, Airbnb, Booking, and HomeAway, begetting more bookings and securing higher rates, as well as fabulous reviews from happy guests. Excellent reviews, in turn, generate more bookings and repeat clients and so on.

Creating another boring, generic vacation flophouse won’t cut it. There are plenty of uninspiring rentals already launched not getting many clicks. To build thriving guest bookings and earn a terrific return on your vacation rental investment, you have to create an exceptional experience for your guests.

1 Chic Retreat’s monthly posts will teach you how, in great detail, how to create jaw-dropping homes that people wait in line to book, by

  •  Featuring real vacation rentals whose owners know how to design and are therefore killing it in bookings. I deconstruct their homes and tell you exactly – detail by detail – WHY they work and HOW to replicate it. Here’s an example.
  •  Revealing powerful design secrets that get people to notice your listing, some that you would never expect. Yowzaa!
  •  Curating products (like bed linens, for instance) with both a reasonable price tag AND design mojo. This is KEY in your industry, where amenities need to look and feel glamorous but can’t break the bank.
  •  Giving design suggestions truly vetted for vacation rentals. Let’s face it: 99% of interior design blogs and magazines are geared for private residences whose owners have very different needs and budgets, most of which are inappropriate for vacation rentals.  In other words, I’m not going to tell you to put a Venetian glass vase on a cocktail table, because in your world, that stuff gets broken! I AM going to tell you the secret to buying high end designer stuff for cheap though.
  •  Showing you design strategies (like this one) that make people happy, all based on hard research. Creating happy interiors creates happy guests, and happy guests leave glowing reviews, which lead to – you got it! – more bookings!

So instead of digging through hundreds of design magazines or scanning design blogs trying to figure out how to decorate your vacation rental, all while running a full-time business, subscribe to 1 Chic Retreat (it’s free) and you’ll get PROVEN tactics and strategies from interior designers who know how to transform ho-hum vacation rentals into bookings magnets.

It’s a no-brainer.

Who is Mercedes Brennan?

1 chic retreat mercedes brennan

Mercedes Brennan is the founder of 1 Chic Retreat. She has a Masters in Interior Architecture from UCLA/Cal Poly, wherein she focused on both residential and hospitality design. After graduation, she worked for the renowned interior designer, Windsor Smith, with whom she worked on the exciting and glamorous House of Windsor with Veranda Magazine. In 2012, she left Windsor Smith Home to pursue her own design career designing vacation rentals and Airbnb homes.

In 2014, Mercedes launched 1 Chic Retreat with the mission of creating the best design resource for both beginning and veteran vacation rental owners and managers, as well as the go-to expert for design services.

Who is Karen Campbell?

karen campbell

Karen Campbell is an interior designer and former television producer who developed and produced the show New Spaces for HGTV. Working closely with architects, contractors, designers and property owners, she learned the in’s and out’s of design and project management. She joined 1 Chic Retreat in 2015.

Creativity is a defining element of what makes Karen a visionary when it comes to vacation properties. Her ability to understand a space’s potential for greatest book ability and then convert it into something eye-catching, hardy and functional has made her indispensable to 1 Chic Retreat client projects.

Mercedes and Karen create and remodel vacation rentals and home exchanges, both digitally and on site. With Karen’s Chicago-influenced design style and Mercedes coastal aesthetic, they make a unique design team.






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