In today’s competitive holiday market, guests choose comfort and style over price. They have gone beyond the traditional and impersonal hotel stay. They want the feel of home...
If your holiday home in Portugal isn’t receiving the “wows” it deserves, maybe it’s time to make some changes. Even minor alterations in decoration or investing in a few select pieces of new furniture really do go a long way, creating a modern and cosy atmosphere that will make you (and your guests) want to return year after year!
When a client is looking for holiday properties to stay in with their friends and family, they look for properties that have a bright and modern style. Their first impressions will, without a doubt, come from the photos that are posted and what the house looks like. If they like what they see, they will most likely inquire on availability.
If you already own a holiday home that needs some updating/simple touch-up or are in the process of buying one soon, think about how you will want it decorated and furnished. Remember, this will have a major impact between having repeat guests and increasing your rental income, or not.
We realize that for some, this can be a difficult task, but home styling can also be lots of fun!
Where to begin...
Our advice is that you first think about the current look that your holiday home has and how you would like it changed. Next, look at photos of some more recent and popular holiday houses and what their decor looks like.
The trend today is white-on-white interiors. Why? Because it makes your holiday home look summery, simple, more spacious and with a crisp clean look. Let’s start out by each division...
Kitchens: small details go a long way
Most houses today have kitchen cabinets that reach the ceiling. If your house has lower cabinets, place a few scattered traditional coloured ceramics on top to create an impact. Don’t clutter, just enough to catch the eye.
On counters, place one or two (not too big) baskets with some flowers/plants or fresh fruit to give it a warm welcome look.
Bright living rooms create a cosy ambience
If your curtains are heavy, try substituting these with some that are lightweight and in white. Add ceiling rails (this type of rail will make the wall seem taller). White curtains make any window seem softer and provide a touch of privacy to a room. It’s enough to lift any ambience and space.
Place some green plants with eye-catching pots (in natural fibre, looks great and are trendy!) by a large window or if your window is not big enough, just below it.
If your furniture is dark, add a few accents of neutral furniture. An elegant but comfortable cream chaise-lounge with some bright coloured cushions (don’t be afraid to mix geometrics with florals) and an equally light coloured armchair facing the chaise-lounge, or near it with a small but stylish side table. It will create a cosy area where friends and family can easily gather and talk. It’s also functional as it adds seating.
Adding a soft coloured lamp nearby creates the final evening ambience. By placing some white flowers and books on the coffee table (and throughout the house), the ambience becomes lighter and comfortable.
Replace older looking wall pictures with fun and neutral coloured pictures in shades of sand, cream, green and practically all different shades of blue, walls will feel refreshed.
Bedrooms that will “wow” your guests
For the master bedroom, try neutral warm colours such as soft yellows, stone and greens. No matter what type of furniture you already have, these colours blend in beautifully with any style and are an invitation to a restful and relaxed sleep.
If you’re on a budget and prefer not to change the furniture, simply substitute the decorative throws and cushions. Add a splash of any neutral colour above, this can be paint or an attractive patterned wallpaper on the wall behind the headboard to give the room that “wow” look.
A long cream coloured rug coming out from underneath the bed, adds comfort.If possible, upgrade your side table lamps to a simple creamy colour with soft light. Place an armchair by the window so that you have a reading area with natural sunlight. Again, we suggest having white lightweight curtains here also.
Inside the other bedroom(s), if possible, always have two individual beds that can be pushed together when necessary. A long, padded headboard that shares both beds and a stylish but simple, side table in between these. Choose an elegant side lamp with a soft light.
The decorative throws and cushions should also be in a soft neutral colour and add a large rug that shares both beds. Alternatively, one single brighter colour rug in between. Place an equally bright coloured shelf on the opposite wall which can be used for additional storage by adding some natural fibre boxes. A corner full length foot mirror will add depth and make your guest or family member feel that you’ve thought of everything for their comfort!
Bathrooms with style
Just by adding a colourful shelf or a bright small corner stool, your bathroom will look different and functional. For bathrooms where there is a lack of storage space, this can be a blessing!
Placing some nautical/rope/natural fibre accessories (goes great with a beach decor!) will also make the bathroom seem cheerful. If there is enough wall space, hanging a long mirror will bring light and depth into this area.
Even if your holiday home is only used during a short period of time, small and inexpensive changes can make a huge difference. Have fun!
Author: Ana Silva, Interior Decorator at Portugal Interiors
This article was originally published in the July 2021 edition of Portugal The Simple Life Magazine. Download your FREE copy on this link!
Thinking of updating your Holiday Home in Portugal?
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