Every time I experience a vacation or business trip in a furnished vacation rental I feel a call to action. I am just not sure what the action should be. Writing reviews is a good start but what I want to say would take pages and pages and maybe some spandex and leather…
Lately I have been watching an American Netflix series called Arrow – don’t judge me. The premise is the hero brings to justice those that have “failed this city”. Aside from the fun of seeing my beautiful city of Vancouver in most of the scenes; I love the fantasy… and honestly who doesn’t thrill at the idea of donning a super hero persona and cleaning up the bad guys, and the bad stuff, etc.?
I imagine my super hero persona, Flash Decora. Oh she is fierce! With her feathery fresh pillows, dust mite resistant pillow protectors, downy duvets, pristine clean sheets, dimmable reading lamps, side tables – with cell phone chargers, pristine towels, full sets of dishes, sharp kitchen knives, gourmet cook ware and a caboodle of kitchen gadgets; she would clean up this furnished rental. She would lob out dusty teddy bears, rip out random junky broken uncomfortable furniture, dumpster the crispy decorative toss pillows, and toss a lamp beside every chair, sofa and bed… both sides! She would tear down strange and confusing relics from shelves and walls – every bedroom would receive a sturdy empty dresser with drawers that work and hangers in every closet, matching hangers! Audio visual equipment would be whipped into shape and simple to use. She would find the owners and agents, tie them to comfortable chairs and ask them, “aside from making money, what do you think the purpose of your furnished rental property is”? Do you think you would make more if you knew the answer?
A travel experience that offers the comfort of home is a really great idea. As a home body this concept totally fits for me. There are several sites to book with, Home Away, Vacation Rental by Owner and Air B&B to name a few. What appears to me to be missing is an awareness or concern for the comfort of the paying guest. Rather than how the space functions for the guest who is renting the home for the experience of feeling “at home”, the focus is on how it looks on website photos or worse for the exclusive enjoyment of the owner. The owner might not mind their old furniture or dishes. They might find joy in their personal collection of velvet cat paintings, but most everyone else does not. The owner may have to sacrifice a bit of this personal clutter to ensure their guests are comfortable. As an interior designer I see comfort as one of the most important things about designing a living space. Despite what appears to be the case in most furnished rentals, comfort can be beautiful.
So, what makes a person comfortable??
In 2013 Good Space did a furnished rental project in Palm Springs California.
The focus was on guest comfort and convenience. Although the look of the kitchen is not a perfect fit for the style of the home, there wasn’t a budget to renovate it. Instead, we put great effort into outfitting it for cooking and guest comfort.
When I arrive at a thoughtlessly set up furnished rental the message sent to me is this; the owner is doing me a favour, my value is similar to the guest who drank too much at the party and should not expect more than a night on the sofa or rug. I will be subjected to their unique personal taste, crappy old furniture and dishes because this is their house not mine. Except, that is simply not true, for the time I am paying to be there, it is my home. I want to “live” there, not just endure my time there struggling to find a lamp that works or a knife that is sharp enough to cut my vegetables for dinner. I don’t think I am unique in this point of view. So, shape up owners and furnished rental agents, Flash Decora is out there, watching and ready to take action.
For more information and some compelling figures on why it might be worth investing in a vacation property check out the reputable vacation rental website Homeaway.com’s article on key findings on Vacation Rental profits . Contact us to discuss what our Good Space Plan could be for your vacation rental.