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Interior design feature

A great holiday let interior design and an unforgettable guest experience is key to bumping up reviews, earning rebookings and an ability to command a higher rate per night. Tasteful interior design can help your holiday let stand out from the crowd and give you an edge over the competition.

To get the best insight into interior design, we asked specialist Holiday Let Interior Designer, Helen Winter of Coral Interiors, what are her top Do’s and Don’ts for setting up a high-end holiday let.

interior decorating

Things You SHOULD Do

1) Reverse-engineer success

‘Visit England’ provides guidelines to plan, design and fit-out your holiday let. This will help you take a lot of the guess-work out of your holiday home interior design and in turn, you’ll have a better chance of driving more bookings for a higher rate than a property of lower quality.

As ‘Visit England’ is the body responsible for auditing self-catering accommodation, by following their guildlines, you will stand a better chance of achieving the highest star rating possible for your property.

Speak to your Sykes property expert to find out what they’d recommend, giving you the best chance in the marketplace.

2) Create a considered look and feel your holiday let

Create a mood board with up to three colours, which will run throughout the cottage and a clear style. You should ideally to reflect the location and age of your property.

By having consistent coordination throughout your holiday let, it will help your it look less cluttered and more stylish, as well as professional. It is important that you try and stick to evergreen colours such as white, cream, black and grey. Bold colours may go out of fashion fairly quickly.

3) Think like a hotel owner

Your holiday cottage needs to be able to compete against the local luxury B&Bs, boutique hotels or even spas. If you want to own a top holiday let in your area, you will need to make your property even more appealing than theirs.

Luckily, there are a number of things you can include to make your property more tasteful. Crisp white linens, a pillow menu and tea and coffee making facilities in bedrooms will all add a luxurious touch and give you a better chance of receiving better guests reviews.

If you’re looking to fully equip your holiday let, checkout our holiday let inventory checklist.

4) Be brave with your holiday let interior design

Don’t be afraid to incorporate a theme or apply a unique wallpaper to a feature wall. You may want an oversized headboard in the principal bedroom for example.

Although you want to try and make your colours evergreen and desirable over longer periods, it can be beneficial to add some personality to your holiday let. Give your guests something to remember and make your property stand out more from the mainstream.

5) Be practical

Over time, your property will show signs of usage and general wear and tear. Think about how you can limit the need for replacing any furnishings by thinking practically.

Hard wooden floors, or indeed laminate flooring, will help limit the signs of usage. Unlike carpet flooring, laminate and hard wooden floors will not absord any stains and will not need replacing anywhere near as often.

If carpet is in your heart, unlike your painted walls, you may want to avoid pale cream carpets and rugs. The same rule applies for sofas and armchairs. Choose fabrics that will limit the amount of stains shown from inevitable spills and usage.

Holiday home interior design


Things You SHOULD NOT Do

1) Don’t forget the requirements of different age groups

When it comes to thinking about the age and ability of your guest, try to be as inclusive as possible when mapping out your holiday let interior design.

Try and include alarms by any pools or ponds and removing any objects that may cause harm to your younger guests. For your more elderly guests, consider implementing a hand rail for any inclines such as stairs or ramps.

2) Don’t just maximise, optimise your holiday let interior design

It can be easy to think that more guest capacity equals more revenue. But try not to let go of the important element of quality in your holiday let experience.

It’s all very well to maximise ‘heads on beds’ with sofa beds and bunk beds, but with this you will also need to ensure you have enough seats for dining and relaxing on. If you can sleep 10, but only comfortably seat 6, you’re not delivering a quality guest experience.

Advertising your holiday let for large groups won’t necessarily make you more money, and it will potentially cause your guests to complain if they are not accomodated for properly. Optimise your property and allow plenty of space for dining and socialising.

3) Don’t overwhelm with your theme

As mentioned previously, you will want your property to be as evergreeen as possible. To do this, you will need to avoid being overly themed or hackneyed. If something was a big trend five or more years ago, it’s time to let it go. It’s time to ditch the “Keep Calm and Carry On’ signs, and give the bunting a miss.

Having a subtle theme that represents your property’s local area is perfectly fine. However, don’t go overboard as this may not be to everybody’s taste.

4) Don’t rest on your laurels

You may have a successful year or two and think you’re all set, but you need to keep your holiday let well-maintained. Deal with any additional wear and tear to avoid it ending up looking shabby and unloved in a few years. To stay optimum, review your guest feedback and take action where you can.

Don’t be afraid to check in on your competition regularly. If bookings are dropping off, ask yourself, is there anything you can do to plan a re-launch with new photos for next season?

5) Don’t scrimp on furniture and style

As the saying goes, “you pay for quality”. Having more expensive furniture could save you more money in the longrun due to its quality.

  • Sofas – Avoid cheap, boxy leather or vinyl sofas which are cold in winter and hot in summer.
  • Beds and mattresses need to be the best quality and comfort that you can afford.

Get some advice from a specialist holiday let supplier, or your local bed company to tell you which mattress will work well for the majority of people.

You can economise on things like side tables, coffee tables, and cushions, as these can be easily replaced if damaged. And definitely don’t scrimp on lighting and low-energy lightbulbs – overhead lights are not enough, include floor and table lamps to living rooms and bedrooms, and plug-in nightlights for safety and comfort.

Head to Coral Interiors for more ideas on how to furnish your holiday let to give it the best chance of attracting both new and returning guests.

Interior design decision making


Let your property with Sykes and earn up to £125,000 per year*

  • Join over 15,000 holiday properties already working with Sykes Cottages
  • We welcome over 26 million web visitors a year
  • Many of our owners achieve more than 45 bookings a year
  • We specialise in turning your holiday property into a profitable year-round income for you

*Based on a 7 bedroom property in the Lake District with bookings between October 2017 to September 2018.

holiday let owner pack

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