Designing Destinations: Exploring the Latest Trends in Vacation Rentals

There is a lot more thought and care that goes into designing for short-term rentals versus working with our end-user clients. Most of our vacation rental property clients we work with use the space as a vacation home for themselves as well. The space has to capture an experience so the renter can feel the atmosphere as they search online. It also has to be delivered in person. Many times I have booked online and when I arrived, the home didn’t feel as it did online, it felt tired and I was disappointed. As a designer, I never want that to happen to people who rent the properties we work on. It is also crucial that the overall design/theme towers above the competition, the space programming and furnishings need to work together to deliver that experience for not just the renters, but the owners as well. It’s a fine balancing act and a lot of responsibility that our team doesn’t take lightly. In today’s blog we will get into some trends and how we are incorporating them into the short-term rental field!


Let’s start with exterior amenities! I think this is one of the best ways to shine and set your property apart if you have that option. I like to do my research to see what the competition is and what I have to work with. Depending on the area your property is located I think people underestimate the exterior space. Think beyond the pool and hot tub to a neighborhood library book box, hammock area, fire-pit/grilling spaces, or community garden picnic spaces!


For this project in SanDestin, Florida, I wanted to capture the incredible view of the Bayou. I used all the lush green texture of the landscaping as a backdrop and let it be the focal point when I was working on the space planning. I wanted to make sure there was ample seating for conversation, a place for adults to enjoy a beverage, as well as the view, and dining that would accommodate the littles since this home has sleeping for 12 people.



Another great example is the project we worked on in Fort Walton Beach. It is a single-family home that sleeps 6-8. We worked on the deck, pool, and landscaping design to create a hidden Shangri-La! The foliage is tropical and citrus trees were planted so if the timing is right, renters will have lemons, limes, and grapefruit to enjoy. We did our space planning to include a nice relaxing seating area with swivel chairs that includes an optional fire pit that can swap to a coffee table for chillier days. The perimeter is sprinkled with loungers, drink tables, and umbrellas to protect our renters. We tied the space together with a server/trash bin holder, grilling station, and dining area. With the tropical setting, we added outdoor pillows with many colors. Pink, orange, green, and blue hues to play with the tropical landscaping to create the perfect retreat with all the comforts of home!



Certain multi-family properties may not have the opportunity for you to create thrilling outdoor spaces. These properties may only have amenities that the community offers, like the community pool, grilling areas, pickleball courts, etc. Multi-family property amenities is something to think about before you purchase, but that’s a whole other topic! All this to say, what you can control in this instance, the inside, needs to be on point so you can get creative on what you can offer your guest. Which is another topic we will cover up next.


Interior spaces are not to be overlooked. Here are some trends savvy investors are implementing into their refreshes or re-designs:


Shades of Blue: As humans, we naturally yearn for equilibrium. Whether influenced by past experiences or dealing with PTSD, some of us have grown accustomed to chaos as the norm. However, it’s crucial to recognize that chaos isn’t inherent to normalcy. We must recondition ourselves to embrace balance, tranquility, and serenity as standard, rather than perpetually seeking chaos as our default state. Incorporating shades of blue can offer a cool and calming color choice that has the power to evoke feelings of serenity and relaxation. It’s worth noting that Sherwin Williams chose a calming blue called “Upward” as their color of the year, highlighting the significance of this serene hue.



Roundness: Rounded everything from island shapes, to arch doorways, even texture has an element of roundness in it! We are channeling our feminine energy and adding in touches of round strategically to tie spaces together through furniture shape and texture. These pieces are some great examples to implement into your design without breaking the bank!



Texture: Textured accent walls/ceilings are all the rage and a great way to add texture and a feature wall into your space without going over budget! Working with a designer can save you up to 20% on your total project costs by creating a comprehensive plan that protects your budget. According to Forbes Magazine… “Anyone with a realistic budget should hire an interior designer” 



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