People who don’t live near the coast spend a lot of money designing a living space that makes them feel like they’re at the beach. That’s because this type of interior makes you feel comfortable, cozy, and maybe even on vacation all the time.
Luckily, you don’t have to imagine. You own a property that’s close to the water.
It’s not all warm ocean breezes and dazzling sunsets, however. As you probably know, coastal living requires a little extra effort and maintenance. There always seems to be sand, even after you’ve swept every floor. The sun can be intense, which takes a toll on your roof, windows, paint, and landscaping.
And let’s not forget the fun of tropical weather. High winds, whipping rains, and the ongoing threat of hurricanes can leave us all on edge.
So how do you create a fresh, modern, and delightful ambiance in your coastal rental home without spending too much time and too much money?
As always, we have ideas.
White Walls Say You’re at the Beach
White walls may seem like a challenge – how to keep them clean?
But, nothing says coastal like bright, white walls. If you invest in high quality paint, you’ll find that the walls are easily cleaned. You can wipe them down and even give them a full wash if necessary when there are fingerprints, marks, and stains. You won’t have to repaint very often when you’re using the best possible paint.
There are additional benefits to keeping your coastal rental property painted white inside:
- It will match all of your furniture, accessories, and planned décor.
- It’s minimalist without being too bare or spare.
- It creates an illusion of more space.
- It’s a perfect background for your natural light. Open up the windows and the light will reflect brilliantly off your white walls.
White walls create a cool, summery feel all year long, which is ideal when you’re working with a home that’s so close to the water.
Furniture Should be Coastal Comfy
Keep your furniture fresh, comfortable, and cozy. The best coastal furniture is usually in a shade of blue. It doesn’t have to be, but when you’re working with white walls, the blue sofa, chairs, and other accent pieces just seem to work. You’re giving off the sense of waves and sky, which are essential elements for anyone visiting the shore.
You’ll also find a lot of stripes in beach-adjacent, coastal homes. Consider a classic striped sofa in blue and white. Or, if you aren’t ready to commit to a full on striped sofa, maybe an armchair with stripes or a throw rug that’s blue and white striped might be a better idea.
You don’t have to go out and buy new furniture in blue stripes. Work with what you’ve got.
A coastal home needs to be comfortable. Think overstuffed furniture, plush mattresses, and soft linens. Replace any furniture that seems to be fading in style and/or comfort. Keeping your property looking modern and inviting is part of making sure it’s fresh and ready for your next guests.
Dining tables can also reflect a coastal feel in several different ways. Consider sticking with the white theme or a light wood. Stay away from anything too dark. A long table that can accommodate an entire family or group of friends for dinner is a great idea. Think about a picnic table style when you’re furnishing your dining area.
Extend the Vibe to your Outdoor Space
You want your guests to enjoy the outdoors as much as the indoors when they’re at your Florida rental property. Whether you have a small patio, a condo balcony, a minimalist courtyard, or a large yard with tons of foliage and green space, it’s important to keep that outdoor area looking fresh, clean, and well-maintained.
If you have a yard, make sure your contract with landscaping or lawn services is up to date. They should be mowing weekly, especially in the summer and autumn when the rain makes everything grow quickly. Blow away any leaves, sticks, debris, and other trash.
Speaking of trash, where are your bins? They should be easily accessible but also out of sight. Your guests don’t want to pull up to your property with a full view of a trash can that’s waiting to be emptied.
Some of the best elements to a coastal outdoor space include:
- Furniture. You’ll need a set of chairs and a table, even if your space is small. Guests will want to enjoy coffee or an evening glass of wine or if possible, a full meal, while enjoying the cool evenings outside.
- Fire pits. These are popular in coastal vacation homes. If you have the space for one, set it up and arrange seating around the fire pit.
- Lights. String some fairy lights around your outdoor space or set up lanterns with mood lighting. There needs to be enough light for your guests to see, but you don’t want to make the outdoor space too bright.
Make the outdoor space easy to maintain and welcoming. It’s part of the whole coastal living experience. You might want to include a hammock out there or some picnic blankets.
Accessorize with a Beach Theme
With your paint, furniture, and appliances in good shape, it’s time to focus on the details.
Your accessories should embrace the fact that you’re on the coast.
For a lot of owners, this means wall hangings in the shape of anchors and large conch shells on the coffee table.
That’s one way to go, but you can bring your beach design to a more elegant and subtle place, too.
Wooden accents are simple, fresh, and classic. Artwork created from straw, sea glass, and wicker can look clean and modern as well as beachy. A large vase of natural seagrass can look lovely on a night stand or in the living room. Driftwood sculptures, rattan lanterns, and large vases full of seashells (locally sourced) can look great in the kitchen or on some shelves.
Don’t forget the bathrooms. Coastal style towels (we’re back to the blue stripe recommendation), or anything with starfish, oars, and fish will work well. Think about a mirror shaped like a porthole. Rope baskets can hold shampoo, soap, and extra toilet paper.
Keep Your Roof and Exterior Paint in Good Shape
The sun can be a bit of a problem when it’s shining bright and hot nearly every single day along Florida’s Gulf of Mexico coastline. That’s good news for your vacation rental business – it’s what keeps your guests coming to the area all year long.
Your roof, your exterior paint, and your driveway and lawn can suffer, however.
It gets hot, and to keep your home fresh and well-maintained, you need to be constantly inspecting your property. Look for signs of wear and tear, deterioration, and damage. We recently survived a major hurricane, and the worst time to look at your roof and your siding and your shutters is after a hurricane. You want to be prepared ahead of time.
Make sure all of your storm prep is in place. If you have not already invested in hurricane-resistant windows or storm shutters, now is a good time to think about it. Are you prepared to find sandbags when necessary? Keeping your property storm-safe is part of keeping it fresh and profitable.
We recommend inspecting these elements at your property at least annually. Don’t wait for things to really break down before you fix them. Be proactive and have a preventative maintenance plan in place.
Keep Up with Cleaning
There has to be a plan to deep clean your property between each vacation guest. There’s going to be a lot of sand and salt tracked through the home thanks to those beach days and seaside activities. Leave cleaning supplies for your guests to use during their stay. If they can sweep the floor every day, they’ll have a better stay and your crew will have an easier time cleaning up after they leave.
Stay away from carpet and expensive furnishings. Carpets will only trap that sand and other dust, dirt, and debris. You want quality furnishings and pieces, but you don’t want to be spending thousands of dollars every year to replace what was damaged from sun, wet bathing suits, and all the other wear and tear that you have to expect when you’re renting out a coastal property.
These are our best tips, and they’re general. You might need some specific advice if your property is right on the water or in a condo community or on an acre of land.
When it comes to keeping your vacation home coastal and fresh, you don’t have to go overboard (“overboard.” See what we did there?). Just make sure your guests will feel like they’re having the beachside vacation they’ve been dreaming about. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming, especially when you start with the right foundation.
Need help setting up, renting out, or maintaining your coastal vacation property? We can provide our local and industry-wide expertise. Contact our team at Anchor Down Real Estate and Rentals.