Holiday Home Styling, does it even matter?

IT MATTERS!  It can be the difference between you getting the booking or guests booking elsewhere.

Think of a potential guest looking for a holiday home online, seeing you for the first time. You need to make that first impression count if you stand any chance of securing their booking.

The budget they have to spend means they can afford to pay your prices.  You meet their top selection criteria such as location, number of bed spaces, features that are essential to them eg pool, wifi.

Then they start to narrow it down.

Which of these are they more likely to be drawn to? 🤔🤔🤔

The holiday home that looks meh, old fashioned and thrown together randomly or the holiday home that looks stylish, uptodate, coordinated, and homely?

Mmmm now that’s a hard one!

The great thing about holiday home styling, it that you only have to do it once. Do it properly, but do it once.

Then you keep on top of it; replace any wear and tear, repaint the wall, in other words maintenance jobs that you’d be doing anyway.

With no styling experience you can turn around the way your property looks.

It’s not about following trends, it’s about following some home styling rules and avoiding the faux pas that I so often see online. 

And it makes me cross and sad when I see these. 😡😢

All the resources the owner has put into buying the property and marketing it, to be let down at the last hurdle.

Don’t let that be you!

Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly of holiday home styling

The areas when I’m reviewing a holiday home’s styling; I always look at.  Because they matter!

Get them wrong and your eye is drawn to these features for the wrong reasons.

(Apologies if you expected to see lots of gruesome images of the bad and the ugly. That was my initial idea, but that then felt unfair.)  Happy to share images of the good though, to inspire you.

For the bad and ugly you’ll have to take my word for it. You’ll know what I mean as you too will have seen it!

The good

Windows Dressings

In bathrooms and kitchens use practical, moisture resistant blinds (no curtains please!)

In bedrooms and lounges where you want to add curtains for warmth and texture ensure the curtains run ceiling to floor and that they are lined.  Sill-length looks like you’re cutting corners (not the look we want to give). In bedrooms add black out blinds too to ensure the perfect night’s sleep.

If there’s a radiator underneath the window that you don’t want to block with lined curtains, use a roller blind and inexpensive voiles. It adds much more style, texture and warmth to a window area than a roller blind alone would. Imagine this bedroom window without the voiles, it would look a bit bare and unfinished:

holiday home styling

Furniture size

Pieces of furniture must be in proportion with the room size.

Here these sofas are large, in a smaller space they would be too much, but this room can take them. And the coffee table is the perfect size. It’s big enough to be practical for storage. Yet it’s not too cumbersome. Its size allows enough space to walk around it and to not block the fire.

holiday home styling

Colour scheme

A main colour scheme with one or two accent colours is what a room needs. An accent colour is an injection of colour. In the above image brown and moss green have been used with a neutral wall colour.

Here a pale pink has been used, taken from the colours in the artwork, again with neutral walls. And I love the splash of green from the flowers. An accent colour only needs to be used in small doses to be impactful.

holiday home styling

The bad

Too much dark wood

I’m a massive fan of wood. It makes a room feel warm and homely.  But dark wood – be careful.

You know the colour I mean, the almost black/brown colour that you find in beams (often in old pubs too).

This can be overbearing in a holiday home. Particularly if the ceiling is low (which it usallly is if it’s a beamed ceiling). Often I see a dark wooden table “to match” the colour of the wooden beams.

Please no – this is too much.  The rest of the room’s wood needs to be a lighter shade. Or even painted a colour to match and complement the rest of your room. If you’re looking for an all round wood colour to use, opt for oak as it fits with modern and traditional schemes. It’s also widely available from online furniture warehouses and high street chains so isn’t too expensive if you shop around.

No focal point

A focal point is something in a room that unconsciously draws your eyes to it.  It draws you into the room.

It gives purpose and structure to the room. This could be a fire place, a large piece of artwork, a patio door leading onto the garden, a stunning piece of art, a large, brightly coloured rug.

If your room doesn’t have a focal point, then add one. No need to add a fireplace if you haven’t got one but a sleeper fixed to the wall, as a mantel piece and a large mirror or painting hung above it would work. A larger room can have more than one focal point.

An easy way to create one is to paint a feature wall a contrasting colour to the rest of the room eg above a bed or a sofa. If you’re brave enough add it to the whole room!

Too small artwork

A very common styling baddie.

When choosing your artwork, take into account the amount of furniture that you have in a room.  If it’s sparse, then a large piece of artwork will help fill up the space.  It can also serve as a focal point.

Pictures hung landscape work best if your ceilings are low.  If in doubt go big. I rarely see a piece of artwork too big for the space!

Too small artwork is particularly obvious on a wall above a long sofa or above a double bed. Better to buy two or three pieces of smaller artwok and hang together as a collection, than use one piece too small.

Also while I’m talking artwork – no staggered alignment please (I fail to understand how that looks better).  Hang pictures at the same height.

The ugly

Orange pine

When I see even one piece of orange pine furniture in a lovely holiday home it makes me sad.  It looks cheap (and likely was).  It sets the wrong tone.   Wooden furniture doesn’t have to be expensive and pine ticks that box, but not orange pine.

A simple and cheap solution to this eyesore is to paint it.  Opt for cream or this can be a great and way of adding an accent colour into your room. Paint the bedside tables for example.


Clutter is caused by too many items/accessories in one space.

It jars the eye and detracts from where you want potential guests to be looking.

Apply the rule of 3 when it comes to accessories on a surface such as a coffee table or windowsill. Three items are all you need.

Keep the tops of kitchen units clear too. So often a vase or decorative item is stored here. Why? That’s not where you want potential guests to look is it.

Use accessories to enhance a space, to add interest, colour and texture; not to draw you to a part of your room for the sake of it.

Being vanilla

I’m a fan of neutral walls if you use them as a blank canvas. To which you add your perfectly sized furniture, your focal point, your accent colour, your selective accessories.

What I’m not a fan of is ‘being vanilla’: bland, ordinary, lacking in character.

You don’t need original features to create character.  It can be added through your choice of lime green accessories in the kitchen or a fabulous navy blue wall painted above the bed. It could be the piece of abstract art work your teenager brought home from school.  Or that newly reupholstered chair that you picked up cheaply from a charity shop.

Style each room with something in there that’s unique, a talking point.

Over To You:

I want you to now look objectively at each space in your holiday home with these good, bad and ugly points in mind. Look at it with a fresh pair of eyes.  See your holiday home as a guest looking online would.

If you find the exercise hard, because you’re too close to your business; you can’t see the wood for the trees, that’s OK, it’s often not as easy as it sounds and I can help you.

 I Can Review You

Styling reviewLet me cast my expert styling eyes on your holiday home.  I’ll tell you what you need to do to get it looking champagne on a lemonade budget.

I’ll record a video with commentary giving you tips and suggestions, ideas and bespoke advice. A video that’s yours to keep and listen to as often as you need.

Get your holiday home styling sorted now, once and for all.

Ensure your property is presented to look its best, so it stands out online for all the right reasons.

As a result, get guests to choose you, get more bookings.

I look forward to helping you achieve that.

Click here to book your review <<Bespoke Styling Review – Only £49>>

Your holiday rental business is surely worth that investment?