Converting a house into a local accomodation involves creating a first visual impression that captures those who choose from afar with just a click. The decor must reflect the experience you intend to offer guests, harnessing the potential of each space and making the house more attractive and valuable.
It is one of the most important services in interior design, seeking to balance the beauty of the spaces with their functionality. With the boom in holiday rentals, there has been increased investment in this area and a desire to transform a space with history into a home open to new dreams.
At RIMA Design, we have some tips to create the perfect atmosphere and instantly charm your guests:
1. Understand Your Target Audience
The first rule is to get to know your target audience and the experience you want to provide.
Consider the property’s features: if it has a pool, a gym, or other amenities, or if it’s located in a private condominium, these are elements that add value to the house. These features influence the rental price, which can determine the type of guests: a house with more amenities may attract a more luxurious segment.
The location of the property is equally important: in the city, it may attract more business travelers; by the beach, it may attract leisure travelers. The type of audience will also affect the number of rooms and guests allowed: a large house with many rooms is practical for groups, while a small house with more privacy is ideal for couples.
n interior design project should cater to guests’ needs in terms of the use of various spaces, transforming the house according to the ideal experience for each audience.
2. Use Decorative Elements that Add Personality to the House
A holiday rental should be as fresh as a hotel room but with something that makes it special. Decoration can make a difference in creating the perfect ambiance for your guests.
Size is a factor to consider in interior design. A large house can be decorated with larger or bolder pieces, while in a small house, decoration must be chosen strategically. Mirrors help enhance the perception of space, while floor-to-ceiling curtains change the perspective in houses with lower ceilings. Visual elements and horizontal lines (artwork or wallpaper) also help “widen” walls, while vertical elements help “stretch” them.
Decorating your house with a theme also helps build a connection between various spaces. Local tradition can inspire decoration based on regional products: an Alentejo house with cork elements or a Lisbon house where tiles are prominent. But the theme can be more generic, focusing on movies, with pictures of Hollywood stars, or on decorative elements from a particular artistic movement.
To complement the natural light in your house, it’s essential to place lamps or light fixtures in darker corners of the house or above sofas and tables. Artificial light should be positioned to illuminate spaces for functionality and, at the same time, help create specific atmospheres: reading corners, dining areas, or islands, for example.
Don’t forget about scents, with candles or plants to draw attention in photographs, and incense or essential oil diffusers upon arrival. Scents like lavender, which conveys cleanliness, vanilla, which sweetens the environment, mint and lemon, as well as floral aromas, synonymous with freshness, or even coffee, which brings comfort and a sense of home, are excellent choices for welcoming guests.
White tones are always a safe choice, whether in modern or rustic houses, contributing to a more minimalist decorating style. They not only offer guests the desired feelings of freshness and cleanliness but also, in smaller spaces or those with less natural light, help transform the perception of space.
Lastly, textiles: the most practical way to define the look and feel of spaces. If everything else is simple and in neutral tones, these objects with contrasting colors and textures can make a difference in the house experience. These include rugs, bedspreads, blankets, curtains, cushions, or sofas, which make all the difference in the house experience.
Some features naturally make your house special, while others can be enhanced to better meet what people value most in a house.
Temperature control through air conditioning or central heating is one of the most sought-after features in a house, especially if it is located in a region with extreme temperatures. Interior or exterior fireplaces, which can also be part of the decoration, are a good alternative and instantly differentiate your house.
A functional kitchen with all the amenities is another essential space that tourists increasingly want to experience in a holiday rental, setting them apart from hotels.
What guests value most in a house where they will spend part of their travel time is natural light and a view of the sea, mountains, or the city. Spaces like balconies, terraces, or gardens, or water elements such as small fountains or swimming pools, help create a unique environment for guests to enjoy your house and are ideal for highlighting in initial rental listings.
Equally important is showcasing this attractiveness of the house at the presentation to guests, through professional photographs that create a unique virtual visit experience – and make them feel at home immediately.
There are some useful decorative elements that offer comfort upon arrival: pleasantly scented soaps in the bathroom, a first-aid box with an appealing design, or books about the city or region that compose a decorative shelf, for example.
In addition to these, you can leave small treats for guests to enhance their experience in the house. A note with the Wi-Fi password, a map of the city, brochures with restaurant suggestions in the area, a blank notebook, or even a bottle of wine or freshly brewed coffee are essential parts of the welcome and the desire to return.
Decorating a house for holiday rental is about providing an unforgettable experience for those who visit, differentiating it from any other accommodation.
The rented house must strike a balance between its walls and its decoration, welcoming guests warmly and authentically. Within its walls, the history of a lived space should coexist with the freshness of a space ready to be experienced for the first time.