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Interior Design for Holiday Lets. Advice for Owners

The last 3 years have been fantastic and we really enjoy designing our apartments for our guests to be chic but practical. However we have learned lessons over this time and I thought I'd share!

Our 10 top tips for designing your holiday let are:

  • Don't have carpets in your dining area or bathroom; or white carpets anywhere!  Not dining areas, because it's impractical (we've had to invest in a dark rug in Whitby Gardens apartment) and not in bathrooms because.....well just because it's not hygienic and very old fashioned!! We have light coloured carpet in Whitby Gardens apartment, which we will one day change.  It was not chosen by us and is due to the apartment's previous life as a show flat.  We forever have to have it cleaned and even the bedrooms suffer wiWhitby Pad Dining Areath little tea drips!!!  We find the high end vinyl products the best, such as Karndean.  We used this in Whitby Pad and it is warm, easily cleaned and looks great!
  • Choose good quality solid furniture.  It doesn't necessarily need to be expensive, but when you go round the shops, check to see how furniture on display is wearing....does it have chips and scratches from the public touching it.  Does it look grubby in the shop?  If yes to either question, avoid!!  We find making sure regularly used wooden furniture is solid wood rather than veneered makes a big difference. Plus, with solid wood, all damage can be rectified with a bit of sanding and oiling/ varnishing.
  • Don't use any glass furniture ever, especially if you are hoping to attract a family market.  It wll cause concern to wary parents and is likely to get broken by the indelicate!
  • Invest in good quality coasters and placemats, because these get wrecked by guests!  We have to replace ours every 18 months minimally!!
  • Have a pot of touch up paint for any walls so that you can keep on WP_bed2_curtainstop of scuffs and scratches.  It makes life a lot easier.
  • Don't have too many ornaments and especially not at low levels if you expect to attract families.  Also, not having too many knick-knacks reduces dusting and the chances of cleaners missing bits.
  • Expect electrical items to wear more quickly that things at home.  Not sure why this is, but we have certainly noticed a difference.  For this reason, don't get things that are too cheap.  Buy decent quality that you can afford to replace when the time comes.
  • Be prepared to replace loo brushes and fitted sheets annually if needed, as they look old and worn quickly.
  • Use white bedding throughout for a hotel feel, as it's much more flexible and it's easy to mix and match between rooms and holiday homes if one pillow case is damaged for instance.  Use throws and scatter cushions to add colour. We didn't in the second bedroom in Whitby Pad (see above), but although we think it looks great, we will buy plain white next time.  
  • Follow interior design fashions, but nothing too extreme.  Something easy on the eye and if possible, make bright colours present in affordable accessories rather than buying that super trendy fuschia sofa!


  • Last but not least, enjoy planning the interior scheme.  You will very rarely get the chance to design an entire home at once and buy everything matching!  We love the planning and decorating stage and get really excited having guests come to stay to see what we have done :).