Staycation and Holiday Let tips

Summer is on the horizon which means the holiday season is coming.
Tourism is currently the fastest growing industry in Britain, expected to expand by 3.8% a year up until 2025.
Staycations are something that have grown in popularity, boosted by the pandemic but has
sustained its growth since, travelling within the UK for holidays is the new norm.
Our resident Interior Designer Helen Winter from Coral Interiors knows all about the attraction of staycations, a former AirBnB super host she is expert in Holiday Let Interior design and staging.
We asked her a few questions on what makes a good holiday let.



Do I avoid colour? Is it best to keep the colour scheme neutral?

Helen: "Neutral is the safe option and you may think it best to stick to this palette so as to not frighten you guests but remember you need to stand out online when your potential guests are scrolling and looking at your local competitor property.
Ideally if you are confident in colour and more importantly how to balance it, then that can be the best way to produce an eye-catching scheme.
If you are not confident then stick to tried and tested palettes such as blues and greens, coastal colours or jewelled jones such as emerald or rich navy with a contrasting pop of mustard.
A great place for inspiration is Pinterest and Instagram to look at what is trending so to keep ahead of the game (and your competitors!)"


My Holiday Let is mostly used by families, how do I accommodate for multi generational guests in an open plan living space?

Helen: Open plan living spaces can be amazing for large family numbers but also challenging to accommodate for a variety of needs and ages.


How much storage is acceptable?

Helen: A lot less than you might think. Guests will only be there for a maximum of two weeks, a long weekend on average.
People do not necessarily put things away in drawers and wardrobes if they are staying for a short time, plus the more storage the higher the risk of guests leaving things behind! So think about accessibility in the room, wall hooks, vanity tables with minimal drawers, and a slim line wardrobe with a few hangers will provide enough suitable space for guests items without crowding the room.
In living space use a sideboard to store games and look at bookshelves to showcase accessories as well as book. Seating and easy flow around the rooms is more important than storage so prioritise that when it comes to space planning.
Also consider open shelving in kitchens instead closed cupboards it allows guests to find things easier and aesthetically they will make kitchen spaces feel lighter, brighter and more ‘on trend’.



How do I make the kitchen ‘guest friendly’. What do I need to put in it?

Helen: So there are the obvious day-to-day appliances but in order to get a good review and show your guests you want to give them a first class experience look at including more ‘nice to have’ ones.
A luxury brand coffee machine, a smoothie blender or juicer maybe even something fun like a waffle maker for the kids.
Ensure All appliances have the manufacturer booklets nearby or the QR code next to them so they can access instructions on how to use.
Think about the type of property you have and what you would like there if you were on holiday. Nice big outside space? Then a BBQ, pizza oven are great, but ensure you have the right utensils and equipment for your guest to utilise these! Not ideal if they have to go out and buy some tongs or suitable baking tray for the pizza oven in order to use them.



How important is having an en-suite?

Helen: If you can create a small ensuite in your Master Bedroom then do try to do it.
It will increase the appeal to multi-generational families as the elderly grandparents will most likely take it that room to have space away from the chaos younger children can bring to a bathroom!
It also brings a sense of luxury to your property and will put it more in the ‘high end’ bracket for your guests psychologically.


I cannot afford to replace the bathroom, what can I do to it to ensure a luxury experience for my guests?

Helen: Right so here we need to think about what can be painted or maybe given a bit of up cycling treatment.
Do you have a vanity unit in your bathroom as oppose to a pedestal sink? If so, can the doors and framework of the vanity be re-painted, or the handles changed?
There are some fantastic tile paints on the market that could cover up some dated tiles too.
If up cycling is not really an option then look at distraction.
Add a large mirror to add interest and radiate light around the room. Use plants to hide nasty marks or flaws, grouping them on a shelf or using floor plants can be great way to draw focus away from areas you do not want guests to see.
Accessorise to the max, look at rugs, pictures, baskets filled with candles and decorative details, maybe include luxury branded soaps and quality cotton towels too.
Consider creating a feature wall with wallpaper or bold paint. If you property is a period one look at adding panelling to bring character and add that high end boutique hotel feel.



If there is one area I need to focus on to ensure a good guest experience (and review) what would it be?

Helen: Guest experience is all about comfort and welcome. So first impressions are vitally
important. Wow them as they park in the driveway and as they open the door and you’re halfway there.

A well presented front garden/driveway and a sparkling clean front door with shiny hardware will make your guests feel like you’ve rolled out the proverbial red carpet.
After that think about touch points.
These are primarily the sofas and comfortable seating in the social spaces and the comfort of the beds.

Mattresses and beds are unfortunately something you definitely can’t please
everyone with, but think like a 5 star hotel and follow the checklist below.

- Firm but comfortable mattress, possibly with a cool topper or top layer for summer months.
- crisp, pristine white bedlinen
- Plump lofty duvet and pillows (search for ‘soft as down’ microfibre, which has a much nice feel and no crunch like feathers. But include a soft and a firm pillow with spares in the wardrobe if possible, so people can choose to suit their needs.
- Dress the bed with a bedspread or runner and coordinating cushions to create a welcoming and well-designed feel
- Divan bed bases with separate wall-mounted headboards are the most durable and forgiving as opposed to metal or wood bed frames

With sofas and armchairs, think about different age groups and requirements for multi-generational groups of guests.
Older guests may prefer more upright chairs or sofas with high backs and high arms, but younger families may want to cuddle up on a squishy sofa together to watch TV.

Try and accommodate both requirements in your living room or family room, so everybody’s happy.

Other touch points are cutlery and crockery and towels, which should be the high quality and
simple to hold, nothing overly trendy and uncomfortable to use.
These are all items you can find cheap alternatives for but a creaky, uncomfortable bed, being too cold or too hot and having a bad nights sleep or not having enough comfortable seating and the right cutlery to use can be the simple, but easy to get wrong things that will take your review from 5 star to 2.

Posted by Hayley Allen
1st July 2022

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