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Tips for Designing Your Rental Home

A popular way to travel with family is to rent a vacation home, especially for weekly ski and beach trips where you benefit from the extra space and money saved on eating out. Renters have high expectations that a rental home will be as nice, if not nicer than their own home and filled with lots of amenities.

The Lake Austin House Plan is perfect for any waterfront property with its wraparound covered balcony and flexible third floor, which can be used for additional bedrooms or a game room for the kids.

You'll want to consider these design and furnishing tips for your rental home to ensure your guests feel right at home:

You want to choose furniture that is easy to clean and durable. Consider adding slipcovers to your sofa and chairs, which can easily be cleaned. Since you'll probably be replacing the furniture more often than in your main home buy furnishings that look nice but aren't very expensive. One area where you shouldn't cut corners is with the mattresses, since nothing is worse for a vacationer than to sleep in an uncomfortable bed.

Make sure you stock up on cleaning essentials like a vacuum, mop, broom and basic cleaning supplies (you can find most cleaning supplies at discount, dollar stores). Don't forget to have a plunger in each bathroom. This will help make your guests considerate of your home.

Organizing jackets, coats, shoes and boots in a custom storage solution by California Closets is a great way to keep it neat and tidy.

If space allows try and create a mudroom area where your guests can easily place their gear, especially if your home is being used for skiing. If you don't have a large closet, purchase a large storage unit with a bench, plenty of shelving, hooks, drawers and compartments to store shoes.

Make sure you create inviting spaces for your guests to relax and watch TV. A fireplace makes a great focal point. Surround it with cozy furniture, some tables for board games and a large TV with DVD.

Just like a hotel reflects the area in which it is located, your vacation home should do the same. If it's a mountain home then your décor should have a rustic feel to it. If your home is located on a beach than it should be decorated in popular ocean colors like blues, greens, yellows and tans and your furniture should be made of wicker or rattan.

What you decide to charge for rentals will greatly affect the expectations of your guests. If you are charging a high rate, then your guests will expect a certain level of high-end furnishings, appliances and amenities. Include as many interior photographs of your property when you advertise so that your guests won't be surprised when they arrive.

If you're short on closet space in the bedrooms you'll want to add bureaus and armoires so your guests will be able to put their belongings away and feel more at home.

Make sure your home is family-friendly so avoid class tabletops, sharp objects, breakables and excessive cords. Be sure to leave tips for your guests about lighting a fire and if there's an emergency like a power outage, no water or heat.

Design Tip
With so many products claiming to be green these days, it's hard to know which products are really sustainable and efficient. A great indicator for certified sustainability in the bathroom are products that have the EPA WaterSense®. These products use significantly less water than standard models while still delivering the rinse, spray and flush you expect.