blog

Transform Your Airbnb or Vacation Rental Into a Bookings Magnet

With this Boutique Hotel Formula

 

GET THE FREE LIST OF SHORT-TERM RENTAL ESSENTIAL ITEMS

THE 31 MUST-HAVE ESSENTIALS THAT GUARANTEE GUSHING GUEST REVIEWS

On the house!
100% Privacy Guaranteed
FEATURED ON
November 13, 2014
Hollywood Roosevelt's Marilyn's Suite

Let me ask you a question.

How many of you Airbnb or vacation rental owners follow boutique hotel trends?

Do you pay attention to boutique hotel openings? Browse their websites looking at gorgeous rooms, lobbies, and restaurants?

Do you google “boutique hotel” and study the images? Boutique hotels open all the time and get lots of media buzz so there are thousands of photos on the web. Have you stayed the weekend in a boutique hotel, soaking up all its hospitality tricks?

If you do, congratulations! You are already ahead of 95% of Airbnb and vacation rental owners!

If you don’t, good news! You are about to learn a bookings augmentation formula.

Hollywood Roosevelt's Marilyn's Suite

The Marilyn Suite in the Hollywood Roosevelt, a Los Angeles boutique hotel, exudes both Old Hollywood elegance and excitement.

But first, why is it important to pay attention to boutique hotels?

Boutique hotels and short-term rentals have a lot in common. They’re intimate, individualistic, small, personal and define themselves strongly by their physical location. Both attract guests who are looking to get away from cookie-cutter, generic hotels.

Paying attention to boutique hotels is important because they are really good (I mean really good) at persuading people to stay in them.

And you are also in the business of persuading people to stay in your lovely Airbnb or vacation rental. Get where I’m going with this?

And how do they persuade? Interior design.

Excellent, drool-worthy, unforgettable interior design.

Boutique hotels are selling “the designed life” in spades. It’s their job to stay in the epicenter of the design zeitgeist because their very existence depends on it, where decor and client experience are everything.

In essence, boutique hotels are barometers of the latest design trends.

Lounge and Bar in the Hotel Cecilia

Hotel Saint Cecilia’s design capitalizes on the hipster, artistic vibe of Austin, Texas.

And believe me, boutique hotels do their research. They study the style profiles of typical guests coming to their location and then hire sought-after celebrity architects and designers to create jaw-dropping interiors that will get those same people drooling.

Paying close attention to boutique hotel decor – color schemes, furniture, lighting, upholstery, textiles, art, and accessories – gives you the unique opportunity to emulate winning style in your own Airbnb. After all, the hotels have done the market research behind every design detail, down to the book cover colors, and so it pays to take note.

And it’s free. They paid for the research and the designers. You didn’t.

You get to emulate. They paved the way.

Making your short-term rental as beguiling as the boutique hotel down the street will attract a lot more looks. And more looks translates into more bookings.

Hotel Hezen

Hezen Cave Hotel, a uniquely designed boutique hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey, uses both super modern, cutting edge furniture, along with traditional elements. The result is a dynamic and compelling room that gets people to click “Book It.”

Before you object and say you don’t have the money to “boutique hotel-ify” your vacation rental, hold on.

I’m not telling you to be a boutique hotel. I don’t want you to be the next Kelly Wearstler. Different business model, folks.

What I want you to consider however is incorporating certain “boutique” touches in your property. Doing so will get you more eyeballs.

The fact of the matter is if your Airbnb or vacation rental is au courant, it possesses both panache and design clout, making it stand out, turn heads, and suddenly be “the place to rent.”

Which means more bookings. Yah!

Winning.

South Beach Tides Hotel

The Tides, a South Beach boutique hotel designed by Kelly Wearstler, has gotten more media attention than all other hotels in the area combined. Design pays off.

So what boutique touches do I mean?

Specifically: lighting, bedding, accessories, upholstery, and art. These are the features that, although small, are hugely impactful. And they usually don’t cost a bucketful either.

Let’s address each category and find some examples.

Lighting

Hip, contemporary lighting is one of the single most impactful features that make your vacation rental design relevant. It puts you on the style map. Instantly.

Check out the room in the 404 Hotel in Nashville below. See those swiveling bedside lamps? Those are all the rage. Reason? People like to have good (really good!) bedside lighting because they lounge in bed with their tablets, iPhones, laptops, and books, and need to see. Especially the over-40 crowd. Easy to maneuver lamps are convenient and look really cool.

Hotel 404

Swiveling bedside lights are trending big time. Why? People like to lounge in bed with their electronics and books and need task lights that are easy to use. Tolomeo Classic Swing Arm Wall Lamps by Artemide. Hotel 404 in Nashville.

Putting some swing arm lamps on both sides of the bed in your Airbnb and vacation rental bedroom will give the room an instant update, whether your vacay home is traditional or contemporary. These lamps are hip in all kinds of settings.

Tolomeo Swing Arm Lamp by Artemide

The Artemide Tolomeo Classic Wall Lamp with Arms comes in white, black and natural steel, with or without the hanging cord option. $325 from Stardust.

 Bedding

Bedding is one of the “bread and butter” components of your Airbnb or vacation rental. By “bread and butter,” I mean it’s an item that directly and powerfully affects guest satisfaction. Comfortable beds are among the most cited comments in 5-star reviews, so bedding must not only be beguiling, but supremely soft.

Boutique hotels crush it in bedding because they know it affects their bottom line.

They source top quality linens because they know that guests lie on top of beds as well as inside them; linens must deliver on both counts.

White sheets are de rigueur (and read this article to find out why) with either a bedspread or duvet. Four-bed pillows are common (two on each side) accompanied by decorative shams and smaller pillows. To top it off, a folded blanket or throw is usually found at the bottom of the bed.

Are your bed linens drab or out of date or simply boring? If so, look at some boutique hotel bedrooms and copy what they’re doing. Want an example?

Take a look at Babington House’s stunning bed……

Hotel Babington House

Babington House’s bedrooms are known for their gorgeously simple bed linens – white sheets, duvet and pillows, two European decorative shams, and three small decorative pillows, topped by a folded blanket at the bottom of the bed. Love it? Copy it; it’s not hard to do.

……and copy it if you fancy. Get some heavenly white sheets…

vacation rental sheets

My hands-down favorite Airbnb and vacation rental sheets are Centium Satin from Standard Textiles. Their 300-thread count surface feels heavenly against the skin, tempting guests to turn in early and sleep in late. Winning! Centium Satin in 1 Chic Retreat Marketplace

a blue fringed blanket (such as this one from Kaufmann),

These blankets are made with 100% cotton fibers from a South Carolina farm and loomed in Iowa. $69 from Kaufmann Mercantile.

These blankets are made with 100% cotton fibers from a South Carolina farm and loomed in Iowa. $69 from Kaufmann Mercantile.

and then add this decorative pillow in the mix:

Coyuchi Decorative Pillow

The Endless Embroidered decorative pillow from Coyuchi is so eye-catching that it can stand alone against white pillow cases and look stunning. Can you say bookings magnet?

Accessories

Displaying interesting accessories is a really easy way to amplify the hipness of your vacation rental. In fact, the trend in Airbnb and vacation rental photography is to include a shot of eclectic, character-enhancing accessories.

Here’s an example of something eye-catching found at the Ham Yard Hotel in London – clear glass domes with tchotchkes inside. Look how they add whimsy to an otherwise traditional library table?

London's Ham Yard Hotel

Tchotchkes under clear glass domes are displayed prominently in the Ham Yard Hotel’s library. Weirdly, the addition of a simple glass lid transforms an ordinary, rather kitsch object into a work of art.

To make your own, find an existing tchotchke – preferably something eye-catching and colorful – and put a dome on top. Like so….

Domed Tchochke

My otherwise tacky gilded bird is elevated to a glamorous object of curiosity with the simple addition of a glass dome.

Domes can be bought all over the web. Here’s one on Amazon:

Glass Dome

Glass dome found on Amazon for $15.25.

Upholstery

Upholstery trends change with the wind which is why I generally favor solid colors on big pieces like sofas and loveseats; the smaller pieces, however, can be jazzed up every few years. Armchair, ottoman and pillow fabric, for example, is easy to change and delivers big, brilliant style, in keeping with current trends.

The Sir Albert Hotel*, for instance, sports brown leather chairs and sofas but their cowhide ottomans give the whole room an edgy vibe.

(* Note: the Sir Albert has an awesome promotional video on their homepage by the way. The music and images are so compelling that it’s hard not to book!)

Sir Albert Hotel

The Sir Albert Hotel’s stunning cocktail lounge sports cowhide ottomans throughout, giving the room a down to earth and contemporary flair.

Like the look? Ikea has some ready-made:

Ikea Stockholm Footstool

The Stockholm Footstool looks great in both traditional and contemporary vacation rentals and is only $279 from Ikea.

Art

This is a category to pay attention to because boutique hotels have the same concerns about the artwork as short-term rentals, namely that art must look thoughtful, “curated,” and sophisticated, yet not be expensive (valuable art can be stolen).

Boutique hotels are masters at this. Somehow their pieces always look cutting edge and original, yet they’re not spending a fortune.

How do they do it?

First of all, they’re great at sourcing local artists who are keen on getting their name out. As a vacation rental owner, you can do the same thing. Local artists may even give you a discount because you are in effect promoting them. Think about it, one of your guests might like a piece so much, she’ll go to the artist’s gallery and buy something (can you say commission?)

Secondly, boutique hotels buy high-quality prints that don’t look mass-produced. The key to high-quality prints is not buying them “ready-made” (meaning framed already) from big frame, craft or “decor” shops; rather find some web sources with a more original flair. Etsy is an excellent resource, as well as West Elm, Cb2 and Roger and Chris.

FSA OWI ARCHIVE PRINTS

FSA/OWI prints from the World War II era are available from Roger and Chris for $29 each. Buy several, put them in black frames and cluster them on the wall. Instant “boutique” look.

Lastly, boutique hotels frame their art tastefully and (this is key!) hang it dynamically. Look at the gallery wall in the High Road House’s club room (below) to see what I mean. See how the pieces all have a thin black frame and are clustered together? You can see how just one or two of those pieces would be ho-hum, but all together? Impactful.

Kinda makes that corner, right?

Cocktail, anyone?

Lobby High Road House

High Road House, a member’s only boutique hotel in West London hangs works by British artists in a “gallery wall” formation.

Don’t forget the luggage rack!

Airbnb luggage rack

Look for a well-made luggage rack like this one found in our marketplace. It’s American made and will last 20 years. 1 Chic Retreat Marketplace

Boutique hotels (actually all nice hotels for that matter) always supply a luggage rack for their guests, knowing that some people only partially unpack or don’t unpack at all, and find them convenient. Likewise, hotels know if guests don’t see a luggage rack, they will put their dirty suitcases and carry-ons directly on the bed, dirtying the bed linens. Yuck!

Your bedding will last a lot longer if you supply a luggage rack in each of your bedrooms and guests will instantly trust that you have high hospitality standards.

Let’s Wrap it Up

I hope incorporating some boutique hotel touches in your Airbnb or vacation rental appeals to you. As you can see, it’s not hard to do. Stealing some ideas here and there pays off in a big way. After all, the point is to get people to notice you, right?

Boutique hotels are really good at that and by copying some of what they do will transform your short-term rental into a head turner.

And head turners get lots and lots of attention.

And bookings. :)

As usual, I want to hear from you guys. Post a room in your vacation rental in the comment section below that needs a boutique hotel “touch” and I’ll give you a suggestion. Game anyone?

  • This is my smallest bedroom and it needs a bit more of a boutique hotel feel. Thanks in advance
    Monia

    • Suzie Sunshine

      I really think this is a cute bedroom. A rug of some kind might be nice to step onto when getting out of the bed.

    • Hi Monia, thanks for posting your bedroom. I love the view out the window from that bed. Gorgeous! I think the bedspread is working, but I would fold it down and show the white sheets (if you don’t have them, I recommend you get some). Then put some new shams on the bed (people need to be able to lean into some bigger cushions there), maybe something solid that goes with the bedspread. Restoration Hardware has some gorgeous linen Euro shams that would go nicely (http://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod2060011&categoryId=cat90093). The curtains are not married to the bedding well. I would either put the curtains in another room or put some in that match the color scheme of the bedding – maybe white or off white. Lamps are great but I would go with a white shade. Also a rug would be nice, maybe a sheepskin or hide rug (that’s light in color). The shelf above the bed is begging for some artwork. You can attach it to the wall, but make it look like it’s resting on the shelf. The color scheme is working, as well as the furniture. Oh, one more thing: I can see some orange in that room, maybe a decorative pillow or orange in the artwork. The green walls look great with orange.

      Hope that helps!

      • Wow wonderful advised. Thank you so much for taking the time to give me suggestions. As it’s a very small bedroom, with your suggestions it will really feel more like a spacial place like boutique hotels. You are very generous , thank you again.

  • Hi Mercedes, great and inspiring article as usual! What about outdoor spaces in boutique vacation rentals? my dilemma is the awning. I need to replace mine in the terrace with sea view and I wonder if a sort of a canopy would be more appropriate. The idea is to”dress” the outside space making it more cozy and more boutique like. I hope I am using the right words. With canopy I mean something with a bit more structure, hang in one wall and sliding into two lateral beans with poles holding it. The alternative is the current one which you see from the picture. Please note that my VR is small, in a beach town near Barcelona, Spain with a micro-climate and LOTs of sunny days. And this terrace is virtually a room where people spend most of their time 10 months a year and also enjoy sun. so I need it both beautiful and functional. Thanks much!! here is my website http://www.casitasitges.com

    • Wow! Your apartment is already very ’boutique’ Paola! Gorgeous! And the photography shows it off too! Concerning your outdoor area, I would suggest a more permanent structure with some wooden pillars and a canopy overhead. I could also see some climbing vines. You could hang some lanterns from it and make it feel like the outdoor room in your VR. Hope that helps. :)

  • Amanda Burrup

    Hi Mercedes, I would love a suggestion from you to boutiquify this bedroom! Thanks in advance, Amanda

    • Hi Amanda, can you give me a URL of your VR? I can’t really see this image too well. :)

  • Mercedes, I never thought of following boutique hotels – what a great idea! I did a quick search on Pinterest for ’boutique hotels’ and hit a gold mine. Question – what do you think of slipcovered furniture? I have a sofa in one of my rentals that needs to be replaced, but I would like to upgrade it while I’m looking for the perfect replacement.

    • Debi, I love slipcovered furniture! It’s perfect for vacation rentals because you can keep the cover really clean. As long as the existing sofa is comfortable, a slipcover might be a perfect solution. I recommend having someone do a custom slipcover though so it looks professional. :)

  • Ashley Katz De Jong

    I love your posts Mercedes!! I have one room that needs work. It’s a trundle bed almost always used as a King vs. Twin. I’m having trouble posting the right picture but here is the link to the AirBnB photos. It’s Bedroom 4 with the hot pink suzani. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1126920. Thank you! (And the St. Cecelia here in Austin is stunning) the ZaZa hotels are also very sexy boutique hotels.

    • Ashley, your home is very nicely staged, it is beautifully decorated and your pictures are pro, congrats!

      • Ashley Katz De Jong

        Thank you Paola!!

    • Ashley, how funny: you are on my list of properties to feature in my Chrome tab. Small world. I love what you have done with your Austin home! You have a great sense of color and style and are very in sync with the Austin vibe.

      So your trundle room:
      1. I would put a table beside the bed. People need a place to put things. Also a good reading lamp there is needed.
      2. The art above the bed needs arranging. I would do a cluster formation personally and use the stuff you already have there. Like the artwork.
      3. The mirror besides the desk is too small for the space. I would either put a mirror in there that takes up the whole wall, or put the mirror above the bed and have it be a part of the “gallery wall.” Another idea would be to wallpaper the entire wall (with the bookshelf) with something hip and eye-catching. Because it’s a small wall, you could get away with something pretty busy and it would not overwhelm.
      4. The bookshelf needs a bit of arranging. How about stacking the books in places and adding a tshochke there as well?

      Thanks for the posting Ashley. Love, love your rental!

      • Ashley Katz De Jong

        Wow Mercedes, you made my day! Thank you so much. All of your suggestions are dead on and easy to implement. Many, many thanks!

  • Hi Mercedes, Great post! One of my owners has a house full of rooms like this…ideas?

    • Hi Cooperstown Luxury, thanks for posting! This room has so much potential with the lovely floors, walls and ceilings. I think adding a bit of blue would make this room pop more.

      My suggestions:

      1. Add some blue. Yellow tones are dominant and blue will harmonize the room. Perhaps a blue throw at the bottom of the bed and some blue Euro shams toward the top of the bed. The bedding looks nice but I’d make it up in a more boutique hotel fashion.

      2. The lamps need to be updated. I would add some really good reading lamps. Either a swing arm sconce or larger table lamp would be perfect. Maybe something like this: http://www.highstreetmarket.com/collections/lighting/products/truman-table-lamp-turquoise

      3. The room needs some art. Perhaps some black and white photos of the house in the past or if the house is fairly new, some photos of the history of the area. Mix in some illustrations or drawings and hang in a cluster formation.

      4. Lastly, I suggest you put a rug in there. Guests like to have something soft to transition from bed to getting up and vice versa.

      Look at this boutique hotel in New England for some inspiration. I think it has the same look and feel: http://www.winvian.com/cottages/charter-oak/

      Hope that helps! :)

  • Aruna M.

    Just finish this small cottage on Cape Cod. Am I missing anything?

    • Wow! What a gorgeous room, Aruna! It’s stunning. Hmmmm. The only thing I’d add is just a tiny touch of red or orange, but only a bit. Maybe a throw pillow or a throw. Blue and orange always marry well and pop a room. This room is a bookings magnet, for sure. :)

    • Aruna M.

      Great advice! Thank you.

      • Hi Aruna, i also have ‘Cottage’ rentals here on Cape Cod. Perhaps we could ‘trade’ notes? I’m in south Yarmouth, and am originally from Cornwall, NY. Susan

  • Mercedes,

    As if I needed another excuse to “lose time” in my day! I spend hours in the evening languishing over Boutique Hotel images. Creating the balance of luxe, comfort and sustainability is a great challenge with our VR. I continually edit and update the composition of the collection and I’m always tweaking design elements to provide a “new” experience for returning guests.

    We have one hall which could be a gallery wall. IMO art is an underutilized element in many VRs. I am working with a couple of local artists to implement a rotating “gallery” and hope to implement the concept this spring when our weekly turn over season begins. Bringing local art directly to our guests :-) I will be incorporating the Arakawa Hanging System throughout the cottage to accommodate quick change out.

    I apologize for the quality of the photo, but I acquired two vintage camel saddles and placed them as foot stools in the gathering room of our cottage- last night. I’ve been searching for “just the right” thing for quite sometime. I like the concept of a curated collection in our cottage- something that happened over time and wasn’t purchased off the floor of a chain store. Boutique Hotels have mastered the concept- and I continue to work on it ;-)!

    Thank you for the continued inspiration!

    • Hi Julia, love the camel saddles! And where did you get that wonderful bird lamp? I love how much character this room has. The only suggestion I have is to add a rug. Rugs center and ground a room and invite guests in to relax. There are a lot of people who like to sit on the floor and a rug allows them to do so. If you have another octagonal table, I would suggest putting it beside the one you have so there is more volume in the center of the room. Other than that, no suggestions. The colors, layout and furniture are wonderful. Guests must love this room!

      • Ah! the area rug dilemma. Nope it’s been a constant back and forth. We are on the beach- rugs just don’t make much sense. We do have floor cushions with an indoor/outdoor fabric for the little ones to sit on. Also, there are are a couple of small “drink” tables to pull around for additional table space.
        The bird lamp is a favorite! :-) Yes, guests are very comfortable and happy here.

        • Just spend the weekend in a beach front rental in Oceanside, and noticed they had FLOR carpet tiles in their living room. Do you know FLOR? When tiles get too sandy/dirty, you take it up and replace it.

          • Very familiar with the FLOR product. It’a a great concept.

  • Guest

    Oops no pic :-(

  • Jamaicavilla

    Mercedes, This is our living room, need your help in making it more like a boutique space.

    • Jamaicavilla, This is a nice big inviting room so it has a ton of potential. Here are my suggestions:

      1. Your curtains are a bit fussy and old -fashioned. I would replace them with something simple that has some blue and green in it. Maybe something like this: http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/home-curtains/30134274.jsp#/

      2. I love the green walls but to make them even prettier and stand out more, paint your ceiling a brighter shade of white. Find the brightest white you can find. Deep saturated colors need to be contrasted against white.

      3. Slipcover your sofas to lighter shades. The dark furniture looks like winter furniture and not tropical. A simple suggestion is to slipcover everything in white and wash it when it gets dirty. You can use oxiclean or bleach when stains happen. Here is an example: http://anthologydestination.com/property/hopetown-on-the-green-rosemary-beach/?utm_content=buffer118d0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

      4. Replace the ceiling lamp. I would get something really modern and whimsical. How about this? http://www.westelm.com/products/arc-mid-century-chandelier-12-light-w1155/?pkey=cchandeliers&cm_src=chandeliers||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_–_-

      5. The artwork is very pretty but is hung too high. Keep artwork centered at 59″. Also, painting the frames white would tie into the white ceiling and look great against the green walls.

      6. Get a larger rug in there. The one now is a bit too small. I recommend a lighter colored rug or a large sisal mat would work well too. Ikea has great rugs, as does Flor carpet tiles (which are great to switch out if a portion gets stained).

      7. Get a round coffee table instead of a square one. The room is square and needs some round elements.

      8. It looks like the view outside is beautiful. I would get rid of the gauzy white pre-curtains and allow your guests to see the garden.

      Hope that helps, Jamaicaville and thanks for posting! :)

      • Jamaicavilla

        Thank you for taking time to do this. I truly do appreciate it.

  • Love the article! And now I’m loving your followers as well. Fun to watch you work your magic with all different canvases.

  • Hello Mercedes and thanks for the great article. I’m really glad to have recently discovered you.

    Here’s a picture of a shower-room in a 19th century apartment we’ve just renovated in Istanbul. I try to keep the bathrooms very simple, clutter-free and mostly white to feel clean and as spacious as possible for guests. Also the balance of contemporary with a bit of vintage character feels important. I find it hard, however, to get beyond that and into design-wow! …any ideas would be really welcome.

    • I think putting encaustic cement tile would make the bathroom pop and would go with your modern Istanbul vibe. Perhaps just on one wall if not all. You can even mix the patterns up if you want a more modern look. Check out the bathroom below from Keyweek Luxury Holiday Homes for an example. Other than that, the bathroom is gorgeous. :)

      • Thanks Mercedes, that’s a really good idea and if there was white in the patterned tiles, like your example, it could still look fresh.

  • Inspired, yes! Love the article. I’m going to follow boutique hotels from now on.

  • Hi Mercedes, I’m always seeing bedroom pix with some sort of eyecatching… Cover? Throw? laying over the bed. What is this, and where can I get some? All the throws I see in stores are way too short to reach across the beds. Susan

    • Coyuchi is my go-to favorite, Susan, but very expensive so I wait for the sales. Kaufman Marcantile is a more affordable option. King beds are a bit trickier though. In those cases I recommend a simple blanket folded at the bottom.

  • Wait Mercedes! What IS it that I’m trying to purchase? I don’t know what this colorful piece of… material? is! Is it a blanket? An oversized throw? What?

    • Oh! Ok, gotcha. :) It’s usually a throw, but “throw” is tricky because some are designed for sofas and some are for beds. The measurements are what you need to look for. For example, I have a queen bed but the “throw” at the bottom is a Restoration Hardware TWIN bedspread that folds at the bottom. The throw is usually a bit smaller than a blanket because it looks good when you see the edges. If I had bought a queen bedspread for example, the edges would have been too long on the sides of the bed. If you scroll back up to the post and look carefully at the bedrooms, you will see that the edges of a throw are fairly close to the top of the bed. Is that clear? :)

  • Hi Mercedes, Thank You for helping me understand what I was seeing. It looks so pretty, but the throws I was looking at in stores were way too short, so I couldn’t figure it out! I’ll hit my Home Goods store, and see if they have something that will work and add that WOW! factor! Susan

  • (Or my Kohls!)

  • JanStevensDesign

    Mercedes you inspire me!!! We are in the middle of our major renovations at the Lazy Bowen Hideaway and the Lazy B Petite Suite and have the opportunity to incorporate your Boutique Hotel suggestion of “sitting comfortably in bed with a guests I Pad or phones” So, I have purchased a headboard for the guests to sit up against. We already supply the 4 bed pillows for comfort. Then I am going to have my electrician add electrical outlets to both sides of the bed that include USB ports for easy charging. I will pick up a pair of lamps for either side, with that industrial trend look. The big bonus is now they will be able to lounge looking out through the new 12′ of sliding glass doors at the sea views. Now that is a “Boutique ” vacation rental with a view. You can follow our progress on our blog @ http://www.LazyBowenHideaway.com/blog.

    • Jan, I am eagerly looking forward to your renovation. As you already know, I love your rentals! I am very happy to have helped out!

  • Love to travel 2014

    Most of the beds seem to have a duvet. As much as I love the look they can be really hot. If you are in a hot climate like Miami can you get away with skipping it or do you think you really need it to be luxurious

    • Hi Love to Travel, I recommend simple, light colored bedspreads in tropical climates with the option of very light duvets when the weather cools down (like right now). You can add a light throw at the bottom with some nice fluffy shams and you’re good to go. :)

  • Maesywerngoch

    Very good article. I am re-thinking our lighting and beds. Do you think all beds should have headboards? I don’t put throws as they end up on the floor but if you think they are a real plus I can do that. what about pictures hung above beds? Do you think these bedside lights are too small? no one has complained but you are so right, people want to see their books etc. TIA Susan

    • Hi Maesywerngoch, to answer your questions in order: (1) yes, in general I think beds should have headboards. There are exceptions of course, but from a practical standpoint, with so many people reading/working/browsing the net/reading their emails in bed, it’s nice to have back support. I stayed in one vacation rental, however, that provided “reading in bed cushions” in their headboard-less bed and it was great. Mind you, the cushions were upholstered in an eye-cathcing fabric that went with the bed linens so it looked great. (2). I do think the throw/folded blanket is the way to go in bed presentation, but again, not always. If you have a simple, natural material bedspread that is stunning on it’s own, you probably don’t need one. As for guests throwing throws on the floor, you can provide a beautiful wicker basket in the bedroom and guests will be more likely to throw pillows and throws in there. You can also store extra blankets in them in case guests want extra warmth too. (3) I love artwork hung above beds, but make sure it’s ample. In your case, the single piece is not enough. A clustering of more pieces in there would be stunning. And to make it even more interesting, put a mirror in there, along with some photography or line drawings. Make every piece different and you’ll end up with a stunning gallery presentation. (4). It looks to me like the lamps are providing enough light, but I suggest you sit in the bed and see for yourself. Be sure to take a physical book and see if it’s enough light to properly see the pages. Did that help? Thanks for commenting! :)

      • Maesywerngoch

        Thank you very much for taking the time to write to me in detail. I sincerely appreciate your help. I am going to do as you suggest. I really enjoy your blog, great subjects.

 

GET THE FREE LIST OF SHORT-TERM RENTAL ESSENTIAL ITEMS

THE 31 MUST-HAVE ESSENTIALS THAT GUARANTEE GUSHING GUEST REVIEWS

On the house!
100% Privacy Guaranteed