Hi all, I just purchased a Condo in Hawaii that is STR approved. The location is super close to the water, shops, and restaurants.
I’m having a difficult time deciding how to decorate. There are hundreds of Hawaiian themed homes with rattan everywhere and I’m not exactly feeling that. I personally want to do something more modern and quirky but afraid that instead of standing out from the rest for doing something different I’ll get overlooked because it doesn’t have the Hawaiian feel.
So my questions is, when you travel to an island destination do you want the home to embrace the location or are you looking for fun, functional, and unique? All tips are welcomed!
@Krystal92 I think you should decorate in whatever way you like. I know exactly what you're talking about, because I live in a tourist town in Mexico and so much of the decor is so much the same. I actually have been in hundreds of homes here in my work as an uphosterer and I'm so sick of seeing shelves full of dust collecting pottery vases and the walls covered in depictions of geckos and suns and fish and palm trees, with walls painted in gaudy colors ( which is very Mexican).
They aren't all like that, though. One client I worked for had an apartment that you would have thought you were in some trendy place in Manhattan if didn't look out the window- all white and black, lots of stainless steel and super modern. There are actually a lot of modern places here, too.
In both the way I built my house and the way it's decorated, I've used a fusion of traditional materials and building style, with eclectic stuff that suits my taste. And my guests have loved it.
So you might go for something along those lines- keep it tropical in feel, but without all those furnishings you see in every rental where you are.
Some guests might want a place that looks like what they imagine Hawaiian houses should look like, from all the glossy magazine pictures they've seen, but certainly not all guests are going have that image as a deciding factor. And how you decorate can appeal to exactly the kind of guests you'll enjoy dealing with.
And I'd bet there are plenty of repeat vacationers to Hawaii who are sick of all that rattan, too 🙂
@Krystal92 When I rent a holiday home, I actually prefer places that have been lived in over ones that have been furnished exclusively for tourists. That's partly because I like having a window into the local way of life, but there's also a practicality involved. Places that have never been used as a residence tend to be a little too basic when it comes to stuff like kitchen and cleaning supplies, lighting, and art. If I see a listing in Paris that's decorated with pictures of the Eiffel Tower, I feel certain that no Parisian has ever lived there, and I'd bet money that if there's a knife in the kitchen it's not even sharp enough to cut camembert.
So whatever your personal taste is, I'd suggest furnishing and decorating it like the condo you'd love to live in. And to make your life easier as an STR host, stick to furnishings that are durable, easy to clean, and appropriate to the rental price. If you have a great location, quality amenities, and a competitive price, the place won't need rattan to attract bookings.
One of my condos is in Maui, and I know exactly how you feel. The whole “Hawaiiana” thing just doesn’t do it for me, although I love Koa wood and just a touch of a tropical/ocean vibe. Just a touch.
I also spend a few months a year in the condo myself, so I have it decorated and outfitted for my own tastes and lifestyle, although I do make many decisions based on anticipated guest usage. For instance, I tend to overprioritize durability, because I know many guests will be harder on stuff than I am.
For the subtle Hawaiian touch, I went with NO rattan or flowery upholstery at all, and instead got an Acacia wood dining set, a swivel chair with a modern leafy print, and a couple of wall photos of some of the nature in the area, like the ocean, sunsets, turtles and bamboo forests. I also got a rustic-styled master bedroom set. Rustic is not my style but the little imperfections in the wood make it perfect for blending in with the small dings and dents gifted by guests. Everything else in the condo is simple and minimalist, and has furniture pieces I would just as readily choose for a place on the mainland.
Whaapen, @Krystal92. Congrats on purchasing your condo in Hawaii for STR use! You can still embrace the location and its uniqueness without a Hawaiin-themed overkill, so I'd say go for it! Offering some ideas:
You could go neutral with wall paint and add splashes of colour in your decor (e.g. cushions, accent items). Instead of rattan you could use wooden furniture in any shade you like (or any other durable available material that won't rust). Add select accent items that reflect your modern and quirky idea (e.g., a large surf board as art &/or oars and paddles), unusual lighting fixtures, etc.
Overall, go for strong stuff in your decor that can stand up to wear and tear and which won't be too much of a loss if they're damaged beyond repair. Looking forward to seeing the finished product. Have fun!
Hi, @Krystal92 ! So I just moved and my fiancé and I renovated the basement to turn it into an Airbnb guest suite. One of my favorite things that I’ve implemented falls into two categories— both decor and getting reviews. I have this box of about 200 assorted postcards with blank backs and I wanted to put them to use. I also have one of the instant cameras— like a Polaroid. I think it’s called a Fujifilm Instax.
Anyways, I put both of these together on the top of my refrigerator and put magnets on the fridge. At the very end of my in-suite guest manual, I let my guests know that I’d welcome their review... also, if they feel so inclined— they can even take a selfie and/or write a quick note on a postcard and post it on the fridge.
I started the trend off by posting an instant selfie of me and my fiancé and a postcard greeting to guests. People really seem to like it. It’s fun, interesting and it’s not something you see everyday. It’s also very original decor!