August 16, 2022 Mountain Living

Designing the Dream: Tips for Furnishing Your Vacation Rental

By Kate Barker

Renting vacation homes has become even easier with sites like AirBnB and Vrbo, and both Banff and Canmore have regulations in place for people looking to rent their homes this way.

If you’ve decided to purchase an investment property, you might be looking at furnishing it to fulfill someone’s dream vacation. But how do you furnish a home for short term guests? Here are some tips to get you started designing the perfect vacation rental.

Furnish for Function

Each room in your vacation home has a purpose, and it’s best to make sure your design encourages people to fulfill that purpose. For example, the bedroom is a place of rest after an exciting mountain adventure. The bed and pillows should be comfortable, and there should be outlets by the night tables to charge cell phones, cameras, and other accessories. Lamps in this space create more intimate lighting, but overhead lights will allow people to get ready for evening events, or just to pick clothes for the day ahead.

The living room often defines the entire rental. Who’s your target demographic? Is your vacation home family friendly with a large living room for gathering and playing games together? Or is this a romantic getaway with a cozy and intimate space designed to bring people closer to each other. Are you catering to business types? In which case, a space designed for relaxed workflow might be your best option. The size of your space might help dictate some of these decisions, but it’s up to you to create the space for the magic to happen.

Quality Counts

While it might be tempting to hit up Ikea and get your rental place furnished on a budget, those pieces won’t wear well in a vacation home, and they’ll need to be replaced, costing you time and money. Even the best-intentioned guests can be hard on your furniture, so you want to invest in quality fabric and pieces that will age well and can put up with use and abuse. Linen bedsheets are known for their comfort and durability, while wood furniture can develop character as it ages, adding to the charm of the place.

A great way to save a few dollars is to look at thrift stores. Vintage pieces can add to the rustic charm of many mountain vacation rentals, and no one will notice if they acquire another scratch or two. This also adds to the eco-friendly vibe of many mountain escapes, and guests will appreciate a piece with a bit of history behind it.

Storage Solutions

While it may be fun to fill the space with the things you love, your vacation rental is being used by people looking to make the most of their time in the mountains. Depending on the time of year, your guests may be travelling with a lot of gear, and they’ll need some place to securely store it while they’re out on the town. Keeping space for things like mountain bikes, skis, snowboards, or other expensive equipment is a must in any mountain vacation home. It’s also important to recognize this area will get a lot of wear and tear as people load and unload their gear. Investing in this space will make your guests’ stay memorable when they can get in a day of skiing or biking, put their gear away, and go out for a nice dinner that evening.

Storage in the home goes beyond just mountain toys. Places to unpack clothing in the bedroom, store and charge electronics throughout the home, and even keep toiletries in the bathroom will all enhance the visitor experience by giving people a homey feeling as they settle into their mountain dream.

Less is More

It’s easy and fun to get caught up in the details. Trinkets, photographs, artwork, decorations – they are all fun to discover and display. But what’s the experience you’re looking to cultivate for your guests? People visiting your vacation home are only staying for a short time, and they’ll need room to put their things as they arrive. Keeping things simple gives the home an inviting and calming feel, whereas cluttering the space can make it feel cramped and uninviting.

You’ll also want to think about cleaning. Between each guest, you’ll have to clean the place top to bottom. Those fun little knickknacks can be a nightmare to clean between visitors, not to mention there’s a risk of them getting damaged or broken.

At the end of the day, keep it simple. Guests will be more impressed that your space has everything they need, and nothing they don’t. They’ll also be able to relax in a clean, minimalist designed space that provides comfort, quality, storage, and, of course, some excellent mountain views.

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