The deal is done, the contracts have been signed, the fizz has been drunk and the words “I own a home in the Alps” have been sung; then reality sets in. How do I do this? How do I furnish my dream property? What do I need? Where do I go to shop? I don’t live there – who will take delivery? Who can help?
Morzine is well known for offering a great investment return on rental ski properties. As a locally based interior designer, I have worked for the past few years designing & furnishing countless investment properties with a selection of estate agents and ski rental property specialists such as Elevation Alps. They have a wealth of experience and expertise when it comes to turning dreams into reality.
Before you rush out to furnish your dream Alpine abode, here’s my essential advice to help you along the way.
You need to think very carefully about what you actually need.
Firstly, speak to local people, letting agents, property agents, chalet rental companies and others about the type of clients your property is likely to attract, Get their opinion on what items you need to equip it with. If you choose to rent through an agent, they will generally give you a list of ‘must have’ equipment and give you advice on how to maximise the potential of your property.
You could also use the services of a local design team, such as ours. We know the market, where to shop and what is needed to make a successful rental property. An interior designer can also usually get you some great trade deals that can really help your budget.
Choose a style carefully.
Many holiday home owners can’t wait to get stuck into decorating, choosing paints, picking furniture, trimmings and carefully selecting artwork. It’s all part of the fun to create your perfect home from home. Before you get swept away in a sea of décor, remember it’s best to keep things simple. From furnishings to colour schemes, less is definitely more. The key element to remember is that whilst you want your holiday home to be a perfect reflection of your taste, it also needs to appeal to your customers.
For all types of rentals, long term, weekly, short breaks and seasonal, each will have different needs. The key is to incorporate as much as you can within your budget, whilst making your property appeal to the masses. Ensuring it stands out from the other options for the right reasons is key to making it the one they choose for their next holiday.
Not overdoing it with patterns, colours, accessories and knick-knacks will lend itself to a more appealing, stylish, calmer, less cluttered and easier to clean environment.
So how do we do it?
There are several factors to think about when kitting out your apartment or chalet as a rental property. It’s generally best to avoid the very latest trends or the new high-fashion ‘must haves’ as they will date very quickly. The rule of thumb for rentals is to keep colours neutral and avoid over-personalising the design. Generally, think modern, fresh and simple, but add in a pop of colour with soft furnishings.
When it comes to selling holidays in your property, the old adage really is true: a picture tells a thousand words. Many properties fail at renting or keeping return business due to bad lighting and no ambience. So, think well-lit and warm with a few statement pieces of furniture, all well photographed to aid in your sales.
To deal with the demands of a rental property, make sure everything you buy is hard-wearing and easy to clean. Opt for sofas with removable covers that can be machine-washed and real or faux leather that you can wipe clean.
Divan beds will last longer than flimsy bed frames and don’t forget storage — beds with built-in drawers or ottomans provide extra space. Mattress protectors are a must have, they will extend the life of your mattresses.
For smaller properties, look for space-saving flexi-furniture such as dining tables that fold down and sofa beds. If you can’t fit in chests of drawers or cupboards, put up shelves. Using a local designer has its advantages, as in many rental apartments space can be tight. A good designer will incorporate space saving ideas to help such as built-in wardrobes with cubby holes instead of bedside tables and floating shelves above the bed to avoid unsightly large heavy brackets above your head.
Finally, here are some of my top tips for you:
- Don’t buy everything from the same shop or supplier – nobody wants to feel they are sat in a catalogue!
- Be practical, do you really need 12 different styles of irreplaceable antique glassware?
- Don’t skimp on quality, but you don’t need to go overboard on the budget.
- Make sure you have some of your personal touches and style on display, but not too many.
- Remember you will need to cater to parties of different types and sizes.
- Make the best use of the space you have available.
- Make the most of your location, take inspiration from your surroundings (but don’t go overboard with Pinecones, cut-out hearts and sheep skin rugs!).
Most of all, do not forget to retain some elements of your own taste – if you are going to be staying there you do still want it to feel like home!