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Elaine Skinner, from Hops and Camellias, explains what sets a luxury holiday home a part from the rest and ensures maximum occupancy throughout the year. And if you’re thinking about sprucing up your holiday let over the winter months how to best spend your budget for ultimate luxury and return on investment.

When you think of luxury holiday homes, what comes to mind? Swimming pools and hot tubs, luxury fittings and furnishings, uninterrupted killer views? Whilst all of these can certainly help, they are not always the key to creating a luxury holiday let and it’s often the little details and je ne sais quoi that can make the difference between mediocre and luxury. I have been working as a residential and holiday home interior designer for 30 years and I know exactly what it takes to set the scene for luxury homes, here’s just a few of my tips.

Choose a theme and be consistent:

I always look at a property’s surroundings for inspiration, bringing the outside in is a great way of creating an individual design scheme that works all year round, which is imperative when you are designing a high end holiday home. It’s vital that a property appeals to guests throughout the year in order to maximize the booking potential, so a well thought-out interior scheme will be key to this. By carefully choosing the right colours, textures and surfaces a clever interior designer should blur the changing seasons, making a property feel light and airy in the summer months, but warm and cozy during the autumn, winter period.

Quality and style:

Your holiday let is not a place to offload your old sofa. Your property, irrespective of the interior theme, should have a consistent style and image, with stand out features, stylish interior design and flawless décor, so it really oozes quality and style. There are certain areas that you can economise on and a professional interior designer will be able to advise you of those. Equally there are areas you can absolutely not cut corners, comfy beds, good quality sheets, large fluffy towels, power showers, robust dishwasher and washing machine are all essentials. You will also want to ensure your kitchen and dinning areas are stocked with everything a chef would require. And whilst crockery doesn’t have to be fancy, a matching and full set of everything a guest might need is important. Always aim to exceed expectation and you can’t go too wrong.

It’s all in the detail:

Sometimes you can’t quite put your finger on what makes a place special, and whilst the quality items I have mentioned above are so important, it’s often the little touches that seal the deal. Ask your interior designer to help you pick out some artwork and where best to place it, this adds instant personality and homeliness to a space. Board games and books are a great home from home feel, even better if you can create a special nook for guests to enjoy them. Welcome baskets of local produce, a bottle of bubbly or a vase of fresh flowers all add a little something extra and it’s these little touches that guests often remember above everything else. Another great way to make your guests stay special, is to dress your property for the season, think bucket, spades and bodyboards for the summer months; blankets, fire pit and marshmallows for the cooler months, perfect for winter stargazing.

If you are charging high end rental then don’t mistrust your quests; treat them with respect, give them everything they could wish for and a little bit more, it will keep them coming back for years and spreading the word to their friends and colleagues, the all important word of mouth.

Above all enlisting the help of a professional and local interior designer, who can offer you solid advice, professional know how and experience of where budget needs to be spent, will not only make you more money but they’ll pay for themselves, as well as making it stress free and fun too.