“When I first started on my journey to becoming a holiday property owner, I relied on Dr Google to wade through website after website seeking answers,” says the owner of SOUL of Gerringong Simone Mathews. And given the stylish property quickly became one of Australia’s most popular holiday homes, Simone suddenly found herself inundated by fellow holiday home owners looking for advice.
A complementary arm to her holiday home business, SOUL Home is a place where holiday property owners can share real-life advice and find out about industry news, but we caught up with Simone recently to get her take on the top 10 things to consider when designing a holiday property.
“When you style a holiday house, your guests are expecting to arrive and see the same ‘wow’ images from your website and social media. So, it’s important to find ways to style your property consistently with minimal fuss so you can turn it over quickly between guests, yet ensure the property looks incredible and inviting every single time,” says Simone.
2. Create that ‘holiday feeling’
“Guests are escaping their daily hustle of today’s fast-paced world to stay at your property. So, you want your holiday property to have that ‘holiday feeling’ from the moment they arrive. Create a styled space, but not a sterile space. You want your guests to feel like they can put their feet up and not be scared to break anything,” says Simone.
3. Target market
“Understand your property’s target market and what they are looking for to plan your styling, rather than just injecting your own style. If you love a minimalist look though have bought a beach shack, you may need to put your style preferences aside to ensure the property complements its native environment,” says Simone.
4. Styling items: Can you afford to replace them?
“It is part and parcel of having a holiday property that things get damaged or broken. When styling, don’t use pieces that you can’t afford to replace or pieces that will devastate you if they are damaged. You want your guests to respect your property and items, but you need to understand that accidents do happen,” says Simone.
5. Break the rules
“Holiday accommodation needs to have a sense of fun and personality. You can break the rules! If you’re in a coastal area, have some fun and make the most of the breezy nature of the coast. At SOUL we have an anchor door knocker – it adds a bit of quirk to the coastal property,” says Simone who encourages people to have fun with artwork too.
6. The Boxing Day test
“Style is important, but it also needs to be practical. The Boxing Day test is to ensure that every person that your property can sleep can also be accommodated on the lounge or at the dining table. So, if your property sleeps eight, you need to seat eight on the lounge and at the dining table. Our own homes are designed to enjoy both quality times together and areas to find your own space. When on holidays, people want to come together and spend time as a group,” says Simone.
“In your own property, you need dedicated storage for everyday items like wardrobes and storage robes. In holiday properties, you can create open hanging spaces that can form part of your styling. Don’t waste space in holiday properties with excess storage that will not be utilised,” says Simone.
8. Use everyday items to add character
“In a holiday property, you can style your everyday items with open shelves, particularly in spaces like the kitchen. Place your stacks of plates, bowls and glasses on open shelves; not only are they then easy to find, they also look great,” says Simone.
9. Quality linen
“It’s easiest to stick with the same colour linen and bedding in your holiday property. It will save dollars with your laundry bill as they can all be washed together, rather than creating different loads for the cleaners and laundromat,” says Simone who suggests bringing in other colours through bed covers and throws instead.
10. Repeat laundering
“Make sure that everything that you incorporate in your styling can be laundered. The most common complaint for holiday properties is cleanliness. The last thing you want is your guests arriving and seeing a dirty cushion or throw. At home, you can hand wash these when needed. In a holiday property these items need to be turned around for the next guest. So, you might have your heart on a particular throw for the new lounge, but make sure it can be laundered.”