As a large island nation, we’re blessed with a diverse climate and seemingly never-ending coastline. As such, many of us opt to buy our own holiday home, rather than spending a fortune on international plane tickets. It’s an investment that keeps on giving. Whether a seaside oasis, country retreat or cosy caravan by the beach, the beauty of having your own weekender is that you can potentially also rent it out on the holiday market in between your own getaways, letting it practically pay for itself. We’ve got plenty of tips on how to style your holiday home to up the appeal for the rental market while also providing a fuss-free and soothing space for your own escapes.
Our surroundings have an enormous impact on our mood on a subconscious level. A dark and disorganised interior immediately feels oppressive, while a light, bright and clutter-free space makes us calm and relaxed. Think shades of white, cream and beige for a fresh and airy ambience, while organic tones and textures such as timber and stone are both timeless and soothing.
Lots of lush, leafy indoor plants are an essential, although chances are you won’t be there on the daily to keep them watered and maintained. Swap the real thing with high-quality faux plants, which are a good alternative as they offer the ambience without the upkeep. Install sheer curtains for privacy, if required, while still allowing plenty of natural light to spill in. A trick for creating an illusion of space and luxury is ceiling-to-floor curtains.
Take cues from the local area, whether beachy, boho or the bush. A coastal home in northern New South Wales may be influenced by the bohemian culture of Byron Bay. A hinterlands home could look to the surrounding flora and fauna for a touch of Australiana. Far North Queensland is all about the rainforest vibe and coral reef. An Outback oasis might embrace the décor of the local Indigenous art. You could up the romantic ambience of a country retreat with an open fireplace and plenty of snuggly throws or create a French-style provincial courtyard.
Alternatively, you could choose a theme that inspires you, such a tropical, Moroccan, nautical or Palm Springs, or simply pick a complementary palette and add colour with cushions, rugs and a few well-selected artworks.
The last thing you want to be doing on holiday is worrying about the inevitable spills of red wine and ice-cream cones, not to mention sandy feet tracking in and out of the house several times a day. Select fuss-free furnishings such as timber flooring (softened with rugs), a timber dining set that can be easily wiped down and a sofa in leather or with a removable cover that can be dry cleaned.
This is particularly important if you also plan to rent out your holiday home. You can’t expect your paying guests to be as careful with your home and furnishings as you may be yourself. Future-proof yourself by choosing hard-wearing items. Wicker furniture is an option for both indoors and out when it comes to beach houses — it’s oh-so-reminiscent of balmy tropical getaways.
Possibly the most essential feature when considering how to style your holiday home is to create an enticing space (or spaces!) to soak up the outdoor ambience, whether dining, relaxing with a book or for sunset cocktails. If space permits, zone your deck or patio to provide both a dining set and a sofa. Consider the climate and whether the furniture will be undercover or exposed when making your selections, as some pieces will need to be protected. Add plenty of colour and personality with cushions and lanterns. And don’t forget the barbecue: it’s a holiday house essential!