Travel inspiration and insider tips

6 years, 6 months ago

How to furnish your holiday rental for added “wow factor”


“To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often”


So said Winston Churchill. And while he is quoted perhaps too readily and loosely, by everyone from bloggers to soapboxers to tweeters (albeit with less ‘you are’s and more ‘ur’s in the latter case), that gent of unending eloquence was definitely onto something here.

This advice is, we feel, particularly useful for Hosts looking to spruce up their holiday rental. Do you think your rental property is perfect? Or would you like to learn a few easy ways to improve? And even if you do think it’s perfectly ship shape, according to The British Bulldog it won’t remain so unless you’re willing to take a critical look and make some alterations and updates from time to time.

So, we decided to get some more specific and relevant advice from another clever person. Anna Tobin, a renowned family travel and interior design blogger (her design blog is called, it’s very good and worth reading), was kind enough to tell us her top ten tips for improving a holiday rental to make it more extraordinary. She’s had a slew of experience staying in a wide range of HouseTrip’s holiday rentals around the world, and we wanted to know what her thoughts were to add some extra “wow” to a rental property.



1)    Don’t buy everything from one home store

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Your guests don’t want to feel like they are staying in a department store catalogue. Mix and match your furniture, be eclectic and make your furniture choices interesting.


2)    Add a touch of individualism, but not too much

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Opt for a few one-off pieces from a thrift shop, antique store or homewares boutique – but don’t overdo it. People want to get a glimpse of the personality of the home owner, they don’t want to be overpowered by it.


3)    See your furniture and décor as an investment and don’t buy cheap

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If you choose the cheapest beds, sofas and white goods for example, you will end up having to replace them much faster than you would do if you went for a quality product and the penny-pinching option could end up costing you more in the long run. Cheap flat-pack furniture doesn’t tend to last as long as readymade either. Guests can sniff out when you’ve cut corners on quality and they won’t come back.


4)    Introduce some local touches

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Tourists like to see things that are unique to the place they are staying in, so root your property in its environment with, say, an English cottage garden if your place is in the UK; works of art on the walls by Catalan artists if your apartment is in Barcelona or a pot of hummus in the fridge of your Cypriotic kitchen.


5)    Be practical

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Don’t choose all white bed linen or pale carpets that could easily stain, don’t fill the kitchen with irreplaceable fine bone china, if you’re welcoming kids stock up on hardwearing children’s crockery.


6)    Hide your personal stuff

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If you live in your property most of the time and only rent it out occasionally, make sure that you leave at least one kitchen unit empty for your guests, ensure that the fridge and freezer are not filled up with half-empty milks and opened can of sweetcorn – they should be completely ready. Leave several drawers and a wardrobe free for your guests. They do not want to store their underwear next to yours!


7)    Welcome guests to try your tastes

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A holiday rental is special because it really is a home away from home. So encourage your guests to play your music, read your books and watch your movies. People like clues that tell them a bit about their host.


8)    Don’t just accept kids, invite them

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If you’re listed as a family friendly residence, make sure that you are family friendly and not just childproofed. Ensure that you have a high chair, cot and space to change a baby. If you invest in a steriliser and food puree maker too, it will make you even more inviting. Have some toys and family board games on hand for older children and maybe a football and tennis balls for them to use.


9)    Supply some staples

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People don’t want to arrive late at night to find that they have to run to the store for toilet paper, shampoo and coffee. Leave a few necessities for guests to use so that they feel comfortable and at home right away.


10)  Ask for feedback

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If a guest says that the house was lovely, but it was a shame that the sofa bed wasn’t at all comfortable, it could be worth investing in a new one. Read reviews and comments on other properties similar to your one too, you might pick up some helpful tips.




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