• How to Transform your Vacation Rental in Six Hours

    "I was in Portland only a few days and had only six hours between guests departing and arriving so had to work quickly" said Jane, the new owner of a super cute 500 s.f. condo in Portland, Oregon. Jane purchased the condo furnished and sight-unseen; she could tell from the sales photos that she wanted to dress it up but kept to a strict budget of $2,000 for all additions and changes to the condo. She ordered the rug, art and linens in advance and had her cleaning crew store them in the closet; everything else she purchased at a store within walking distance of the apartment.

    We wanted to feature the bedroom because we really love how Jane was able to transform it with just a few small changes and $1,000. (the remaining $1,000 was spent on the living room, kitchen and bathroom. Click on the link to her listing below to see all of the fabulous photos) her new bedroom feels clean, open, airy and has that hip and trendy feel that makes you want to live like a local. 

    What did Jane do to transform her bedroom? She explains in her own words below:

    Tossed the fake ficus sitting in the corner. I dislike artificial plants to begin with and was happy to wave good-bye to this dusty monster. In a small space, every inch needs to work hard, either as storage or usable space. The ficus did neither and aarrrggh, can you imagine keeping it clean? In its place I put a chair that had been tucked in another corner of the apartment. The chair can be pulled up to a desk (unseen in the photos) or used as place to toss clothes. I draped the chair with an existing throw and added a $30 pillow from Target to dress it up.

    Replaced the tired old sheets, duvet, pillows and comforter with high-quality new ones. I believe that no matter how modest one's vacation rental, it must offer outstanding linens; linens spell luxury. After exploring Portland all day, I want my guests to crawl into high thread counts and fresh, sparkling clean, fresh-smelling sheets. I want their heads to rest on high-quality pillows in pristine condition and snooze beneath a comforter that is lightweight but toasty warm. (So many people are allergic to feathers that I prefer high-quality synthetic over down.) Luxury linens turn even a modest bed like this one, which lacks a head- and footboard, into a place to feel pampered. Sheets, duvet, four pillows, and comforter came to $400. 

    Added artwork (by Rankin Willard). This was the single most expensive item in my budget, at $469 (framed, 39"x31") from OneKingsLane.com. The apt is small enough that this orange wall with the Jack Russell provides the focal point in the place. I decided against buying a headboard because I wanted the wall to look uncluttered and impactful (I also wanted to save $).

    Replaced the lamps. These are from Target, $25 for each base and $20 for each shade. (The brand Threshold that Target carries is first-rate for the price paid.)

    Switched the old velvet drapes for fresh new washable cotton ones. These drapes are Threshold from Target at $20 a panel and can be hung by hidden tabs (which I used) or through a pole pocket. I used the existing drapery rod but mounted it higher and wider from the window. It's important to iron or steam drapes before hanging them; don't depend upon gravity to pull out wrinkles because it won't.

    Added a storage ottoman bench at the end of the bed. This little bench not only ties up the room visually but holds two extra throw pillows and a blanket and offers a perch when doing things like tying one's shoes. This aqua velvet tufted bench is from Overstock and was $167. It required some simple assembly.

    Jane and her daughter Rebecca have a passion for design on a budget and often collaborate when it comes to design and inspiration.  When I asked Jane what inspired her design she said "Portland is fun, hip, playful, and yet very sophisticated for being such a small city. I wanted my vacation rental to reflect the kind of city my guests would be visiting".  

    We think Jane's transformation is brilliant and we really love how she was thoughtful about her budget and how she decided to spend her dollars!  Nice work Jane, we will be following up with you in the future to find out how occupancy and rate have been impacted by your stunning changes.