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The 5 Most Extraordinary Vacation Rentals I Discovered in 2014 (and what you can learn from them)

 

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December 31, 2014
Courtyard at India House

On the last day of 2014, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share with you some of the most extraordinary vacation rentals I discovered this year. These rentals all go above and beyond the ordinary vacation rental, delivering what I consider, on a scale of 1-10, to be a perfect 10.

In other words, they don’t really get better than this.

You see, one of the ways I spend my day is specifically looking for awesome vacation rentals. I click through Home Away, VRBO, Airbnb, Dwellable, One Fine Stay, and assorted other listing sites, as well as private websites to not only look for properties to feature on the 1 Chic Retreat blog, but to learn how to be a better vacation rental interior designer.

There is no way to feature every kick-ass rental I’ve come across because my bookmarked list is closer to a hundred (I usually discover one every few days or so, not to mention the many gorgeous rentals owned by 1 Chic Retreat subscribers) so it was really hard to narrow the list down to five properties. But narrow it I did, and my criteria left the confines of pure decor and encompassed a much fuller definition.

I looked for properties with an extraordinary ‘designed experience.’

What do I mean by this?

The ‘designed experience’ is the carefully crafted series of sensorial impressions a guest goes through starting at the point when they first look upon a vacation rental’s photos, continuing through the actual stay and ending with the final act of writing a review.

You see, design is much, much more than eye candy. Extraordinarily designed vacation rentals nurture the senses – eyes, ears, smell, taste and touch – and the emotions, allowing the people staying within them to experience more pleasure than in their ordinary lives. The ideal vacation rental gracefully invites its guests to spend quality time with lovers, friends and family within its walls and promises to enhance all of life’s most essential experiences, so:

  • Conversation is more meaningful.
  • Food is more delicious.
  • Play is more playful.
  • Laughter is freer.
  • Sleep is deeper.
  • Sex is better.

And this nourishment begins before, during and after the stay.

Before, during and after.

When a vacation rental is designed for meaningful experiences, it should be obvious to a potential guest the first time they look at its website – the video and/or photos should tell a story of what is to come – and then, when the actual stay begins, it should 100% deliver or over-deliver on the promise. And when the guests leave, they will want to leave a review, especially after the owner has reached out again, thanking them for their stay, politely asking them for a recommendation and giving them an incentive to stay again.

Wow! Sounds like a lot of work, right?

Well, it is a lot of work, but look at the results of the following 5 rentals. Every one has created an extraordinary ‘designed experience’ for guests. Their owners get it. And their bookings reflect it.

They know who they are, they know what they’ve set out to do and they’re crushing it.

Let’s learn from them….

1. Los Cuatro Tulipanes

Los Cuatro Tulipanes Monjas 1A

All the apartments of Los Cuatro Tulipanes are crushing it in chic design.

If you have not heard of Matt Landau, founder of The Vacation Rental Marketing Blog, you should check out his site, wherein he will teach you how to supercharge your vacation rental marketing. Kirby Winfield, CEO of Dwellable, refers to Matt as ‘probably the single most respected marketing guru in the vacation rental industry, he’s as prolific as he is thoughtful, and anything he tweets from his blog is pure gold.’

I am an avid fan of Matt’s blog, but I’m not here to talk up his vacation rental marketing skills; rather I’m going to boast about the design of his Panama City rentals, Los Cuatro Tulipanes. Weirdly, Matt seldom mentions how gorgeous his rentals are, so I am officially shouting out that they are jaw-dropping. Enough with the modesty already. ;)

The Casa Mallet, the penthouse suite on the top floor of Cuatro Tulipanes, for instance is designed purely for guest happiness. The layout makes it easy to both enjoy time inside – open floor plan, luxuriously comfortable beds, ample dining space and a well stocked kitchen – and outside – rooftop deck and lots of balconies with great views of the old city.

The Penthouse at Casa Mallet

Owner Matt Landau’s Casa Mallet Penthouse, in the historic neighborhood of Panama City, is as chic as they come. The penthouse is designed for comfortable gatherings – the modern, clean and well-stocked kitchen leads seamlessly into the dining room, where a large hardwood table provides ample space for dining. The dining room, in turn leads seamlessly into the living area, which is perfectly set up for lounging around. See that big rug besides the sofa? Time to sit down and do some yoga while chatting with sofa clad friends.

The smaller Monjas 1A, a one bedroom split-level apartment with typical Panamanian tile mosaic floors, old brick walls and courtyard views, is equally compelling.

Casco Viejo's Monjas 1A

Monjas 1A, the one bedroom unit in Casco Viejas features streamlined , contemporary furnishings along with the tropical colors of Panama. The bed is said to give “profound sleep” according to one reviewer.

Los Cuatro Tulipanes’s website features fantastic professional photos, but he’s also made a great promotional video, telling potential guests about the neighborhood, a bit about himself, and the building’s history. It’s fascinating.

Genius footage, right? If I wanted to go to Panama City anytime soon, I’d line up to book one of Matt’s homes. He has brilliantly illustrated – with street scenes, home shots, dialogue – the experience of staying in his apartments. I have a narrative. I have a distinct feel for the place and what it’s like to stay there.

Matt understands how important the little details are. For instance, kitchens come well stocked and equipped, there are complimentary drinks available, super fast wi-fi, unlimited local calls, a hair dryer, iron, and ironing board, iPod dock, television with cable, daily maid service (sweet!!), free coffee, tea, cream and sugar, and a breakfast option of $5/person per day.

Ultimately, he’s making his guests very happy. Check out Scubalover 11’s review:

I LOVED this place. Great location in the heart of Casco, with a great vibe and friendly staff. I was surprised at the spaciousness of the suite, and every room!.. there were so many decks facing every view too! The hotel and suite were clean and the beds were extremely comfortable, had a fantastic sleep. My favourite part of my stay was enjoying some great Panamanian coffee on the top floor deck, overlooking old Casco city and architecture. Would stay here many times over! 

Or this one from Fred B in the Netherlands:

The apartment was fully equipped and the service from the staff was really superb. Manager Ivana and her team are doing a wonderful job. The airco system worked perfectly (a must for us Northern Europeans) and all the information we found in the apartment (by owner Matt Landau) was very helpful. The recommended taxi driver (Blas Gonzalez) was always there whenever we needed him. He was always on time, always friendly and helpful. We did not know anything about the country at all; let alone about Casco Viejo. As Casco Viejo has been developed rather quickly the last say eight years because of its Unesco World Heritage status, it is a very safe area to shop and walk round. Next time we are in Panama – and we certainly will – Las Monjas will be our refuge. So if you need a place to stay in this beautiful part of Panama City, don’t hesitate to give Matt Landau and his team a ring. You certainly won’t be disappointed.

2. The Cottage at Where Water Falls

Where Water Falls Cottage

Super chic Cottage at Where Water Walls scores a perfect 10 in designing a memorable experience – the home nurtures its guests with numerous simple past times, like pingpong, reading on the patio, dining al fresco, BBQing on the grill, horseshoe games, wine tasting. The list is long.

Amy Blomquist, the owner of the Cottage at Where Water Falls, a glorious property in Loma Mar, California, is definitely in the top 1% of vacation rental owners who understand how to design a vacation rental to make guests happy.

The house, located in a small village south of San Francisco, is designed to please potential guests from the very first moment they lay eyes on her website. Scrolling through the photos, you see scenes of your future vacation in this lovely part of the world – relaxing with wine and cheese on the uber private patio, snoozing in the hammock among the redwoods, reading by the fire with a good book, eating inside with chic ceramic dinnerware on a winter day. It’s easy to see why Amy is almost fully booked year-round.

the Cottage where water falls

The porch swing on the back patio is not described as such; rather, it’s “a great place for your morning coffee.” Amy knows how to tell a story.

What I love most about Amy’s cottage is her straight-forward design vision. The home is unified in a slightly retro, charming cottage style with a relaxing, neutral color palette with bursts of occasional retro hues and natural wood. Her furnishings are clean, simple, elegant, and above all, welcoming.

Cottage at where water falls kitchen

The high table and bar stools deliberately look out on the garden, a scene that is bound to relax any coffee sipping guest.

And what do her guests say? Jennifer in Sacramento, CA says,

Nothing was overlooked by the Blomquist’s putting this place together – from the landscaping, to the hot tub, the deck, the kitchen – everything. If I could give it more than 5 stars I would.

And Ellen and Terry gush:

The most wonderful experience we have ever had with a rental property. Although the pictures are beautiful, they do not fully represent the peace and tranquility you feel from the moment you walk through the gate. No detail has been overlooked in providing a comfortable, affordable, stress free retreat.

3. Indulgence Divine

First of all, don’t you just love the name Indulgence Divine? Divine Indulgence! Who doesn’t need a little of that on vacation?

Malta's Indulgence Divine

Described by Flair Magazine as “like having a boutique hotel all to yourself,” Indulgence Divine takes design and guest experience to a whole new level. It’s one of the most compelling vacation rentals on the planet.

Indulgence Divine is a 16th century townhouse in Vittoriosa, Malta redone by London art director Gattaldo (also a subscriber of mine), who owns the home with partner Mike Livingstone. They bought Indulgence Divine because they fell in love with the property, located in the historic maritime section of town. They intended to rent it out from the beginning, with the intention of enhancing everyday life. In an interview on Welcome Beyond, Gattaldo says

 You know, when my partner and I travel, we always look for properties that somehow enhance the way we experience a place. We wanted to create an accommodation that would do the same for others, starting with what we look for in a property. For example, the location we chose was one in the hub of local life, what one would call a popular area. Not popular with tourists, that is, but with the locals. Not an upmarket part of town where everything is uniform and tediously co-ordinated, but a place with colour and character.”

malta indulgence divine townhouse

The alternating bursts of wake-up color juxtaposed against the soothing neutral colors of the 16th century stone walls is stunning. Most of the furniture is bespoke, made by local craftsman. The phone is handy for making local reservations at restaurants and tours.

Uncluttered and contemporary, the interior pays homage to the rich history of Malta.  The exposed pale, 16th century limestone walls stand starkly against deeply hued pink, blue and torquoise fabrics and glasswork. The result is stunning. Most of the furniture is bespoke, made by excellent local craftsmen, but some was picked up second-hand, such as the bed.

Malta's Indulgence Divine Townhouse

The rooftop is beautifully crafted for dining en plein aire, enjoying the sights of the city and sipping wine. Perfect for a honeymoon or couple’s retreat.

From the get-go, it’s obvious the house is designed for couples seeking a romantic retreat. “I wanted the place to have the right kind of atmosphere. The average holiday rental tends to be kind of a romance killer,” said Galtatto in an interview with Flair Magazine. The bedroom is located in its own alcove, a rooftop terrace invites quiet connection and the double person shower is pure sensuality. “The double shower was a bit of a fetish of mine because the whole rational behind the property is that it’s a romantic place to stay, a place for a couple to indulge. It’s very important for their experience to be… well, romantic. That’s the whole thing.”

Indulgence Divine in Malta

The bathroom’s open door beckons the viewer inside and foreshadows the sensuousness of the double shower inside. Damn, those open doors shots are effective, aren’t they?

Winning!

Indulgence Divine’s website is as beautiful and engaging as its townhouse, and my favorite aspect is the promotional video, which is hands-down the best vacation rental video I’ve ever seen. Clever text is superimposed over gorgeous room images, highlighting things to do in the area – beaches, museums, restaurants, farmer’s markets and festivals – all with how far away they are in walking minutes.

Sensorially, I love how I can hear the shower water, am mesmerized by stair-stepped flickering candles and feel my mouth water looking at the fresh fruit on the kitchen counter. I’m sold less than half way through. It’s ingenious:

Indulgence Divine has received a ton of press coverage – Lonely Planet, Brigitte, Flair, Top Sante, We Heart and the Irish Independent – but it’s the guest reviews that impressed me most:

From Vivienne and Ken –

Our 3rd visit to Indulgence Divine, which is becoming a home from home for us! Thanks again to Ray for the warm welcome and the welcome treats. We were fortunate to be able to meet Aldo for a coffee during our stay and told us it was Ray’s last month – we will miss him. Thoroughly enjoyed our stay as always – here for all of Birgu Fest this time. The town is so very pretty in the candlelight.

And Marcus and Althea –

Enchanted by this wonderful apartment! Made an inspiring base for a busy 5 days in which we had the added bonus of enjoying Birgu during the weekend of the feast of St. Dominic! Thanks for all the little touches of artwork and information that made our short stay all the more pleasurable. Will recommend I.D. and would love to return some day.

 4. India House

The first thing you notice about India House is the cobalt blue door. Funnily enough, the door came before the house itself. Owner Caroline Swanson found it in a warehouse full of imported Indian goods and decided on the spot it would be the front door of her future vacation rental in the Bastiaanskloof Valley, South Africa. Hence, the name India House.

House India

The blue Indian door from Gujurat, India became the design inspiration for the entire house, which sits on a private estate within a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Bastiaanskloof Valley, South Africa.

Swanson’s goal for India House was to make guests want to kick off their shoes and relax, unplug from technology and enjoy complete isolation in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. She markets to the “want to get away from it all” crowd, who want to unplug in casual luxury. “Feels like the middle of nowhere and everyday is Sunday,” the promotional video says.

South Africa's India House

All bedrooms in India House have white sheets and bedspreads with contrasting decorative pillows. Simple antiques with clean lines make up the furniture. The metal lined alcove to the side of the bed is specifically for candles, so guests can enjoy the romance of a flickering flame without worrying about burning down the house.

Isolated vacation rentals have challenges that citified rentals do not and that’s providing guests with enough to do, so Swanson designed India House so guests could entertain. The living, dining and kitchen areas are open-plan, there’s an enchanting lantern-lit courtyard where people can gather and BBQ. The kitchen has two ovens, a Gagganau coffee machine, high-end appliances, Le Creuset cast iron crockery, an excellent collection of cookbooks and is well stocked with oils, spices, coffee and tea. Guests can even walk outside to the herb garden and pick whatever they need for that day’s meal.

Courtyard at India House

The courtyard at India House seamlessly blends in with the indoor space so that guests can walk in and out and feel the two spaces are one.

Enjoying the simple pleasures of life – cooking, dining, sitting around the hearth-like fireplace, reading in bed, lounging on sofas both inside and out, taking a long outdoor shower, sleeping in, making a fancy espresso in the middle of the afternoon, jumping in the swimming pool after a long morning of hiking – is India House’s end goal. It’s all about seclusion, rest and rejuvenation.

India House in South Africa

An outdoor shower with a view like this is an activity in itself.

The interiors are an eclectic mix of antiques and modern pieces. White screed floors, high sash windows and views of the mountains from every room set a peaceful tone to the property. There is a unity between the outside environment and the inside – same tones and woods. One ingenious design element, that I have never seen before, are the dozens of metal lined candle holders built into the house’s walls. Guests can enjoy the romantic flickering of candle flames without worrying they’ll burn down the house.

Living Room in India House

White walls, modern furnishing mixed in with simple antiques, and hip white pendant lights make up the living area’s design.

India House’s website features a very memorable (and cheeky!) video that I can only imagine gets imbedded into people’s minds big time and induces them to book. Be sure to watch it until the very end and you’ll see what I mean….

India House’s testimonials are extra enthusiastic and go on and on but I’ll limit it to two, like I have for everybody else. From Vanessa Raphaely:

Just a quick note to tell you how much we all loved, loved, loved India House! It is even better than it looked in H&L. I loved the details, from the quirky clasps on the shutters to the grills on the vents. Everyone loved the outdoor showers! It is wonderful that there was such a huge lawn for the kids to kick balls upon (mine are obsessed with football). I loved that every window had such a thoughtful and considered view.

And from Francois du Toit:

Most beautiful place I have ever stayed!!! India House is pure bliss!!!

 5. Hopetown on the Green

Rosemary Beach Hopetown on the Green

Hopetown on the Green is a family friendly vacation rental in Rosemary Beach, Florida.

This post would not be complete without a kid-friendly vacation rental. I’m biased because I have kids and even though they’re now teenagers, I vividly remember seeking home stays I could share with other parents whose young children were friends with mine. The idea of my children playing with my friends’ children while we parents hung out all day was pure bliss and I scoured the earth to find kid-friendly vacation rentals.

Enter Hopetown on the Green. I also call it “the vacation rental that got away,” because I didn’t discover it when my kids were little and therefore missed out on a magnificent experience. In fact, when I look at this image below, I am actually envious of those parents making cocktails in the kitchen while their kids read books in the armchair. What!? That’s not fair! Give me some of that. ;)

Hopetown on the Green

This is every parent’s dream: while kids entertain themselves, parents make dinner (and cocktails) in the kitchen. This house is soooo styling!

Hopetown on the Green, is one of several jaw dropping rentals managed by Anthology, a boutique vacation rental management company. Anthology’s website states their vision is

a group of people reminiscing on the best vacation or retreat they’ve ever had… really. If you ask them why their vacation was so great, they say it was about untangling the complexity of life for a few days to get back to what is really important. They connected to special people or they reconnected to something inside of themselves that had gotten lost. Authentic-elegance. Simplicity. Connecting. The bigger picture for us is to simply impact. Everyone that comes in contact with Anthology gets connected to something that impacts them in a great way.

Anthology markets Hopetown on the Green- brilliantly – as a kid-friendly rental. It targets parents with young children in its design and outreach. Every photo paints a worry-free, family-friendly holiday in a casually elegant environment.

Hopetown on the Green's open plan living room sports huge, comfy, slipcovered armchairs that are perfect for reading to children in.

Hopetown on the Green’s open plan foor plan makes keeping an eye on children easy. Furthermore, the huge, comfy, slipcovered armchairs are perfect for reading to children. And after the kiddies go to bed, the parents get to hang out in them late into the night. Yippee!

While most vacation rental photos do not feature people, Hopetown does it dashingly. Not only do you see people, you see exactly what they’re doing to have fun. There’s no promotional video on the website but honestly, I don’t think it’s needed. They have so many achingly good photos, they have parents hooked in the first 5 seconds.

Hopetown on the Green

L-shaped bunkbeds are fantastic for getting kids excited about bedtime. And look at those fluffy white sheets! Can it get any better than that??!!

As for the general decor, when I posted Hopetown’s website on my Facebook page last summer, I got the most amount of Likes I have ever received on my page outside of my own posts, so you can assume the design appeals to a wide swath of humans. In other words, it works. Really, really well.

Hopetown on the green

Every photo not only shows off the beauty of the house but tells a story. Here’s you, looking out at the sea, as you wake up from your afternoon nap.

The color palette is neutral with lots of painted wood, Pottery Barn-ish furniture, wicker baskets and original artwork. What I love most are the big comfy white slipcovered sofa and armchairs in the living room, the built-in cabinetry and the natural wood juxtaposed against white walls. Rush matting gives the house a casual elegance, much like the country cottages of England. The house’s design blends wonderfully into the beach setting.

It’s perfect.

My only (only) criticism is there are no testimonials on the Anthology website. I would like to see what past guests have said.

Wrapping it Up for the New Year Ahead

Well folks, that’s it for the 5 Most Extraordinary Vacation Rentals of 2014. Like I said before, it’s sort of ridiculous to narrow it down to only 5 homes because there are so many more that are equal to the above properties in “designed experiences.”

But I’m not a superhuman so I have to stop now and get out and celebrate the New Year ahead.

Do me a favor though, if you’d like to share a vacation rental – including your own! – that I did not include here, please do the community a favor and share it below. We’d love to know about it!

Happy New Year everyone! May 2015 be your most booked up year yet! :)

  • I almost spilled my coffee reading this! I cannot believe our cottage is listed as
    one among these STUNNING properties! Wow Mercedes, we are very honored. It’s good to
    hear that all the nuggets I find in your (much anticipated) blogs are paying
    off! I can’t wait to integrate more ‘design for the senses’ in
    the coming year from you. :) :) :) Happy New Year!

    • Your cottage is such a great win, Amy! The community can learn a lot from you. Happy New Year!!

    • Hi Amy, it felt so right to find your home listed in Mercedes article as one of the most extraordinary vacation rentals. Congrats!

  • Mr Gattaldo

    Well, what truly wonderful properties! It got me dreaming of Panama and South Africa (it doesn’t matter that I was slightly disappointed to deduce that the handsome man is probably not included). Inspirational stuff. I am glad our house in Malta is amongst your 5 favourites. With it in such great company, 2015 sure looks like it will be all we aspired to. Happy new year!

  • What a fantastic post! I am now super motivated to produce a video of my vacation rental cottage, The Bird’s Nest, in the beautiful ski resort of Big Bear Lake, California. You have given me a plethora of wonderful ideas. Thank you!

    • I agree, Celia. The videos add a whole new dimension to getting a feel for a place. Good luck!

  • jaki white

    This has given me a push to think through my potrayal of our property; number21ibiza. I am a great believer that decor is important to bookings…it is the main critria for me along with location.

  • What a fantastic post Mercedes. Very inspirational and totally in tune with our philosophy. I’ll never get tired of stressing out how good interior design makes a real difference between ok VRs and stunning ones and how it doesn’t necessarily take a fortune or some kind of magic to turn an ordinary property into an extraordinary Vacation Rental.

    Very happy I read your post and even happier to see how I came across 3 out of 5 of your chosen homes earlier, namely Matt’s (who doesn’t know his awesome properties after all?), Amy’s and Mr. Gattaldo’s Indulgence Divine.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Antonio, thank you so much! So true that you don’t need to spend a fortune on design. In fact, the truth is: it costs the same amount of money to furnish a mediocre rental as it does a brilliant one.

      • Absolutely, Mercedes! Our property (https://casateulada.com) is the perfect example of furnishing on a budget.

        • Ok, so I am officially declaring that Antonio’s homes are on the above list. We’ve got #6 right here, folks! I love all the details, Antonio. You are an expert at “the designed experience;” in other words, you are tapping into what people are seeking on vacation. Amazing!

          • Aha! Didn’t expect the endorsement Mercedes, but thanks! When my wife and I started out Casa Teulada we turned a necessity into a creativity game: sat down, threw in contests among the 3 of us (me, my wife and our 9 year old daughter at the time, who by the way won the living room layout contest of our Casa Teulada 2) and started drawing the layout of each room in the house we were renovating, crafted objects to adorn space, conceived most of the furniture as a ‘built in’ accessory of the house (beds, sofas, wardrobes and a few more things were all embedded in the structure of the house, that is they were all made of stone! Very cost effective) and played with colors along with rethinking the use of old, charming things (like the ladders you see in each apartment). The end result was quite awesome and not at all expensive. And guests loooove that!

          • It sounds to me like the three of you sat down and brainstormed a design concept, a subject I am relentless on. Having a design concept is like having a company business plan and vision and is essential in vacation rentals. It definitely paid off in spades!

          • We did, yes! We had a powerful Vision…a very strong determination to succeed and a clear idea of where we wanted to be ten years from then :) It definitely paid off in spades!

          • I second that!

        • Claudia DuPreez

          You are so descriptive in your writing – I also looked at your website – Stunning!!

          • Yes, it is a gorgeous website! One of the best I’ve seen. Great job, Antonio

          • I’m really glad our website made an impact on you Claudia. The redesign process has been the core of our latest improvements, it’s actually proving to work amazingly well with prospects and most likely it’s the topic I’m going to delve into at this year’s edition of the Vacation Rental World Summit. Hope you join us there, if you didn’t watch last year’s edition.

  • Great information, love the pictures and soooo great to have these examples of our friends! I’m inspired (once again) to get moving on my planned changes. One question, Mercedes – isn’t it important to keep the level of design in keeping with the house? Although our vacation home has an amazing view, it started life as a manufactured home, which will always be evident in its structure. I feel like it is pretty important to keep the furnishings simple. What do you think?

    • I absolutely agree Debi. In fact, if you haven’t read this article – http://1chicretreat.com/2014/08/15/how-to-evolve-your-vacation-rental-from-one-powerful-blueprint/ – it explains exactly how to design with a concept or “blueprint.” Part of figuring out your overall design blueprint is keeping your vacation rental’s architecture in mind. To answer your question, yes, I think a simple cottage style would work beautifully in a manufactured home. (Just so you know, I am a fan of manufactured housing and in fact, am an investor in a manufactured home community). Furthermore, if you have amazing views, try to set up your furniture so that people can enjoy them as often as possible. Thanks for contributing, Debi!

  • I love this round up – you’ve found some top notch places, looking forward to sharing your blog post on how to achieve these sorts of results in your holiday home on the podcast!

    • Great podcast chat with you this morning, Elaine! You are a natural!

      • So excited to share the episode today, it’s live in iTunes!

  • Thank to make us traveling in all there incredible places and towns that we didn’t know and where we will maybe stay. It is always a pleasure to read you.

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  • JanStevensDesign

    Again, your are an inspiration, Mercedes. Thank you so much for taking your time to sort through the BEST!!! While you were writing this post we were renovating our property on Bowen Island. I have to admit, this time we didn’t spend nickles and dimes but our goal was to make it better inside and out…….with BETTER space planning, replacing the 37 old kitchen and decks all around the house for more waterfront outdoor living. Other than the new deck railings that “money shot” didn’t change. In fact, that gorgeous view is now revealed before entering the house through the full light entry door. It is a WOW moment. We are hoping to attract the vacationing chef or two……By the way, we completed the smaller guest closet inspired by you!!! http://www.LazyBowenHideaway.com.

    • Wow, Jan! Gorgeous! Look out for a coming post, everyone for more on Jan’s rental! You are so talented!

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