Cottage decorating could be the impetus that causes your Outer Banks vacation home to be chosen by more renters. Clearly, tastefully done Outer Banks house rentals are more likely to rent than those that appear to go unattended.
Cottage decorating is not merely for the inside of the house nor is it only for a newly built house. When we bought our Duck house, my wife, Janet, felt that the exterior did not seem inviting, and if anything, was dark and dreary. The photos below show you a before and after. As you can see, after adding a little white paint and adding in a lawn, the house feels homier to the eye. Curb appeal is important because renters will come down to the Outer Banks over the winter to look at their list of rental potentials to decide which house to rent. We have had several renters comment positively on the curb appeal of our Duck house and as one of the reasons for selecting our home.
Cottage decorating is an even bigger task with a newly built house. You are starting from square one. When we started the build phase of the Salvo house, I had no idea what we were getting into. Guys, one message, stay out of the way. We went with an “all in one” builder, but that still left the inside furnishings, window treatments, and decorating to be decided. And what, if any paint color did we want on the walls, and what colors? What about the bathroom tiles, what colors, shapes, sizes, and so forth. You get the picture, a lot of decisions to be made in a very short timeframe. As a matter of fact, the builder scheduled a meeting for us to “pick things out”. I’m thinking a half day at the most, right? Wrong, but more on that later.
Janet wanted a little bit different look than what we had usually seen in other Outer Banks rentals. She wanted something tastefully done, but unique. An islandy feel, but not over the top. I called around to different furniture companies on the Outer Banks, but none stood out as different until I called Exotic Home. We had know of their smaller stores, one being in Duck, known as Exotic Cargo, but did not realize they had a larger furniture store in Kill Devil Hills. I spoke with the owner, Mike, and Tiffany was assigned to our account. They could supply the furniture, wall decorations, kitchen items, pool table, outside deck and pool furniture, and pretty much everything but the window treatments. In addition, Tiffany would also be happy to accompany us when we went to meet with the builder to pick things out and help us through the process. Not sure how happy the builder’s representative was about that, but let me tell you, it worked like magic. Exotic Home had taken cottage decorating to a whole new level. Before the builder’s meeting to make selection, we met with Tiffany to give her some ideas as to what we were interested in. With some give and take, Janet and Tiffany formulated a basic concept to bring to the selection meeting.
The big day arrives, and we begin the process. Janet, Tiffany, the builder’s designer are picking out tile colors, rug colors, wall tile, cabinets, and all focused around the theme Janet and Tiffany had devised. The builder’s designer suggested a tiling format as you enter the main doorway. About six hours in (so much for two or three hours), I think we are done. Wait, one last step, choosing the cabinet knobs … how hard could that be? Well to my surprise, we walked into a room of cabinet knobs … I’m thinking, you must be kidding me. Well, we finish up with all the builders selections.
The next day we meet up with Tiffany at Exotic Homes to make furniture and other decoration selections. I get to make one choice the entire two days … I get to have a picture of a group of pelicans for over top the kitchen cabinets.
In all seriousness, if you are building new, I would advise to first meet with a furniture person that you are comfortable with that can supply you with 95% of what you need to stock the house. This is the most efficient way to get it done, and it minimizes the coordination effort when all of the selections actually go into the house. Cottage decorating is very important to not only curb appeal, but also giving your home that unique comfortable feel that will have renters returning year after year. You may want to consider a cottage decorating budget as part of the management of your rental property to keep your house fresh and up to date.