4 Interior Design Ideas to Adapt Vacation Rentals to the ‘New Norm’

The continued disruption and uncertainty brought about by the current global Covid-19 pandemic has drastically altered the way we all live our lives. As a result, many travelers are forgoing foreign travel in favor of vacation rental destinations within driving distance.

However, for many travelers and guests, there will likely be different expectations from their usual rented accommodation, with more emphasis on increased hygiene and social distancing.

With this in mind, this article will look to outline several ways rental property owners can adapt their properties to meet these new demands – ensuring they provide a comfortable, clean and flexible vacation home that allows their guests to feel relaxed and safe during their stay.

Ultra-clean kitchens

vacation rental kitchen

Your overall cleaning routine will definitely have changed to ensure your property meets stringent hygiene and cleanliness standards, but key areas like kitchens and bathrooms could benefit from some extra special attention.

Kitchens are the heart of any home and often become the epicenter for socializing and dining in vacation rentals. However, given their functional purpose for preparing, cooking and storing food,  they can also be a hotbed for bacteria and germs if they’re not well maintained. So, addressing these concerns should be a top priority.

The measures you take will of course depend on the type of property and the budget you have, but bringing these integral areas up to scratch doesn’t require a complete overhaul. Simple updates to high-touch surfaces like worktops, splashbacks, floors and cabinet handles could be all that’s needed to demonstrate careful consideration of hygiene in the kitchen.

For countertops, investing in a hard-wearing, durable and scratch-resistant material like ceramic or granite offers a low-maintenance, easy to clean option that’s also ideal for standing up to the rigors of a vacation rental home. While walls and floors could benefit from wipe-clean surfaces such as porcelain tiles or glass, to make the cleaning job easy and help uphold excellent hygiene standards. 

Easy-clean bathrooms

vacation rental bathroom

Understandably, bathrooms are also an area that should be given specific attention in terms of bolstering cleanliness in your vacation rental. Many bathrooms can be laborious to clean, but we have a few ideas to help make the job a little easier without compromising on style.

For sinks and toilets, consider investing in floating units. For one, there’s less surface area to have to clean, but secondly, off-the-floor units also offer fewer places for germs to hide and make the overall cleaning job quicker and easier.

Like the kitchen, opting for durable and practical bathroom tiles for floors and walls (with a smooth rather than textured surface) will make them easier to maintain and help minimize any growth of mold. In terms of color choice, a light, neutral shade like a beige or grey can help to project a fresh and chic feel, ticking the boxes for both style and sanitation.

Social distanced living spaces

Social distanced vacation rental living room

With social distancing still very much in play across the globe, ensuring your vacation home offers comfortable living areas with ample, flexible spaces that can accommodate long-term measures is key.

This doesn’t have to imply major structural changes, but more small layout reconfigurations that create an open feel for better maneuverability. It could be as simple as removing some non-essential furniture pieces or repositioning them to allow a better flow between different communal spaces.

While most people traveling together won’t necessarily need to be social distancing within their bubble, there’s still a great deal of uncertainty and common changes to restrictions given current spikes. As a result, vacation plans could change quickly depending on new restrictions.

So, providing guests with space where they can comfortably spend more time indoors and adapt to suit their current needs will go far towards ensuring they’re still able to relax, regardless of what’s happening in the outside world.

Create contactless interactions

contactless interaction in a vacation rental

Minimizing contact with others to reduce the chance of transmitting the coronavirus has been a prominent message since Covid-19 that’s resulted in people altering the way they shop and interact with the outside world.

With this likely to continue moving forward, many guests may look for reassurance from rental providers to carry out safe essential interactions such as key collection, grocery deliveries and payments without putting themselves at unnecessary risk.

From an interior design perspective, look at how the entrance to your property could be improved to optimize visitor safety during their stay. This could include creating a secure delivery/collection lockbox for key exchanges – obviously being sure the area is frequently cleaned.

You could also consider creating a similar ‘safe zone’ for deliveries such as groceries or take-aways, minimizing human contact where possible and offering greater peace of mind to your guests.

The impacts of COVID-19 are far from over and will continue to influence the way we all live our lives for some time yet. But taking the right measures to adapt your vacation rental interior, starting by putting a greater emphasis on hygiene and other key considerations amidst the current ‘new norm’, should help give your guests peace of mind during their stay.

About the author

Suhayl Laher works at Tiles Direct, one of the UK’s largest independent tile distributors and retailers – bringing design inspiration to homeowners, architects and developers.

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