Some will spend a lot of time and money making a rental property perfect. Superhost Kristie Wolfe spent $32,000 reformatting a six-ton model potato into a hotel that now attracts Airbnb (ABNB) - Get Free Report guests from all over the world.
Wolfe made both hosting and building unique vacation rentals her career. She also built a suspended treehouse on Hawaii's Big Island and a forest cocoon in Washington state. In 2021, she earned $327,297 from her Airbnb business.
Other vacation homeowners, however, prefer a property that requires the least amount of time and effort. Minimal design can work with a property in an ultra-desirable location, whether it be the center of an expensive city like New York or Paris or a dwelling at a popular beach town or ski resort at the peak of high season.
While visitors will book the latter no matter how one decorates it, cool interior design can both attract interest and boost the value of a rental property to prospective renters.
Influencers, VRBO and Interior Design
To show what one can do with a single-family home, home renovation chain Home Depot (HD) - Get Free Report partnered with Expedia (EXPE) - Get Free Report's VRBO and a number of interior designer influencers to decorate a property.
The property, a vacation rental in the Berkshires region of Massachusetts, taps into several current interior design trends--a light-filled kitchen with gold metal accents and exposed wood, a living room full of plants and wicker chairs and a bedroom with a matching artsy carpet and wallpaper.
Behr paint company's color of the year, a warm white known as "Blank Canvas," features both on the walls and in the matching accessories.
"Making upgrades to any home or rental property with furniture, wall art, wallpaper and textiles can truly change its personality without the need for a major renovation," Corinne Bentzen, general manager for The Home Depot Home, said in a statement. "Through the makeover of a vacation rental in the Berkshires, we're excited to showcase just how impactful these easy and attainable home updates, from fresh bedding and throws to functional seating, can be for travelers and property owners."
Do-it-yourself lifestyle and interior design influencers Holly and Brad Lauritzen of Our Faux Farmhouse, Fariha Nasir of Pennies for a Fortune and Danielle Guerrero Our Nest on Powell helped decorate the different rooms in the vacation property.
Another trend is the presence of blankets and throws all over the property. A patio overlooks nearby Laurel Lake and features a modern outdoor fireplace and a string of overhanging lightbulbs.
Rental Properties: A Good Investment?
The property featured by Home Depot is a real-life vacation rental in Lenox, Mass., that can be booked on VRBO for upwards of $625 a night.
"This retreat offers a lakefront hot tub, kayaks and a lake you can swim in for hours of summer fun!" reads the listing description. "[...] In October 2022, Vrbo and Home Depot selected this home for a complete makeover to make your stay even more special."
While the $625 price tag can make it seem like whoever is in the vacation home business has it made, a study by rental research company AirDNA found that, at the end of 2021, the average vacation home generated $56,000 a year in profit after all expenses.
Those thinking of investing need to consider not just which place is poised to explode but also how much time one can devote to keeping it up. That said, a recent round-up found that the most lucrative vacation home markets are Miami, New York City and New Orleans.