Designing Your Vacation Home: 

Important steps that separate a vacation rental from a private home

5 Tips for a successful vacation rental

The Design of your home matters

Guests seeking a vacation rental have many choices these days. From high-end hotels to boutique guest experiences and hundreds of homes on the market, buyers are looking for an immersive experience. They want to have all of the luxuries of a 4-star hotel with the privacy and locality of a private home.

When designing your property it is important to take into consideration the local look and even more important to get a good look at your competition. Some will tell you that your beach house should have a coastal vibe, or your mountain home should feel rustic. That doesn't mean that your beachfront property should be lined with seashells, but careful consideration of colors and local vibe should be first on your list.

That said, in Colorado the rustic theme is sometimes overplayed so just simply standing out from the rest of the rentals can make all the difference.

When we designed our personal Airbnb in Colorado Springs the predominating look bordered on rustic traditional. Most of the houses felt more like your great aunt Rita left her personal belongings behind than a guest experience. We approached our property with a more trendy modern look that felt more like a hip coffee shop than a traditional local rental home and as a result we attract a more artistic clientele.

Design for your audience

After years working marketing this seems like a no-brainer. If you want to attract families consider bunk beds or a playroom and if you prefer to host guests on business, then consider workspaces. More than simply aesthetic, the interior design of your home will also attract the kind of person you wish to rent to. A man cave will likely attract parties, where a design that feels more like a spa might attract couples who will probably take better care of your home. This is important for the longevity of your rental and the success of your business.


We suggest spending some time in your rental, as a guest, before putting the home on rent. This will help you address any little items that will make a guest stay more comfortable. All of the little things should be in place to help make a stay feel like a 4-star experience including a place to charge phones, to hang clothes, extra linens and don't forget a wine opener.

When implementing your design use durable furniture (our couches are always metal frame) that can take a lot of use or that may not have sentimental value. We suggest hardwoods and upcycled or thrifted items that can be replaced when needed without spending too much money to do so. Bare in mind you will be hosting many kinds of people, and not everyone will respect, or care for your furnishings as much as you do, so don't get too attached.

We also try to include reading areas, throw blankets, comfortable lighting with various settings for mood and a modern entertainment system that will tie into your guests entertainment preferences such as access to Netflx or Hulu. This is especially important if you wish to rent to longer term guests who crave creature comforts on their stay.

Cater to local tourism

When stocking your rental, don't forget to include brochures on local activities and things to do, a book with local resources and a list of your favorite restaurants, shops or businesses. This will help your guests connect with the area and feel comfortable right from the gate.

A little luxury goes a long way

Your guests will be coming from all corners of the earth to stay in your home and little luxuries really help the casual home feel more like a vacation. Soft and comfortable sheets should line the beds, the pillows should be comfortable with at least one soft, and one firm pillow on each bed. This will ensure your guest has a good nights rest, which is in the pinnacle for every review and every experience in your home.

Additionally we stock cotton swabs, cotton balls, apothecary style shampoo's and conditioners as well as make up remover sheets (this will help save the longevity of your towels and hand rags). If you don't have a budget for extra luxury items, consider leaving higher end coffee, some local drinks or another items that makes their visit feel welcome. 


All in all when designing your home for the short term rental market, be considerate of your guest's needs and they will leaving you glowing reviews in return. In the end the reviews will make or break your rental success story.