• Hermosa Beach Hideaway: A Vacation Rental Before & Happily Ever After (She Photographed It, I Styled It)

    Being in the vacation rental industry has its perks!

    When the HomeAway Summit made its way to LA this year, VR photography expert Tyann Marcink and I decided that we were going to group resources, combine our skills, and trade our way into an awesome vacation rental in Hermosa Beach, California.

    We both has visions of escaping the hotel conglomerates and spending our time in one of the local beach cities. And that's exactly what we got to do! 

    But it was not all salty air and sunkissed hair. We worked our buns off that weekend, styling the home to get it in pristine condition for Tyann's camera.

    I scoped out about 4 places on VRBO that we thought needed a upgrade. And then I reached out to all of them. The only bite I got was from Judi! What luck....

    I actually knew Judi's place well! I had wanted to stay there for years. As a native southern Californian, I've always admired Judi's gorgeous vacation rental from a distance. It was actually one of my early inspirations for starting The Distinguished Guest! 

    Back then, Judi was ahead of her time, supplying robes to all of her guests. Those unique hospitality touches really caught my eye. 

    Needless to say, I was so happy she agreed to the trade!  The Trade?  3 nights accommodation for photography by Tyann and linens, amenities, and styling by Alanna.  

    The result?  See below......


    Exterior Before

    Exterior After

    Porch Before

    Porch After

    We wanted to focus on the details, so we used what Judi had around the house to help tell the story of her rental.

    Living Room Before

    Living Room After

    We cleared some of the extras, hid the remote controls and the large tray on the main table, simplified the couch pillows, and moved/hid the table just to the left of the couch.

    Dining Room Before

    Dining Room After

    In the dining room, we added natural light, opened all the windows, and again focused on the details of this lovingly decorated space. Look at those stunning vintage chandeliers! 

    Judi also had a lot of really great beach-themed decor, which became another focal point for the shoot.

    Kitchen Before

    Kitchen After

    We really wanted to make the one-of-a-kind beach/country kitchen come alive. So many beautiful features in this room, from the antique stove to the beautiful, gleaming faucet and coastal-gray cabinets! 

    For a more flattering view, Tyann shot towards the living room instead of the utility area. 
    We also styled with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, to lend a lived-in feeling and add a pop of color.

    Then we did something a bit unique: we cleared all of the small appliances out of the kitchen so that the kitchen could speak for itself. We really wanted the beautiful vintage tiles to be the focus--not the coffee pot!

    Bedroom Before

    Bedroom After

    I love the way the bedroom turned out!

    I styled the bed with new linens from The Distinguished Guest, including the Thomaston Mills Duvet, mixed with the Standard Textile Centium Satin Sheets, and the Down Etc Pillows (2 Rhapsody and 2 Aqua Plush).

    Take a look at the first "After" bedroom pic above. We wanted to feature the bed and the closet, with its beautiful linens and robes attractively displayed to show the careful consideration of Judi and her cleaning staff.

    Who doesn't love a well-organized linen closet? Lesson: Don't let a shut closet door hide your  impeccable attention to detail! 

    Bathroom Before

    Bathroom After

    This bathroom was stunning, and so under-featured in the existing listing photos. This is a beach community, so being able to access the shower from outside is a huge selling point. And the claw foot tub? Imagine a rainy afternoon soaking there with a favorite book. 

    I styled this bathroom with TDG's Luxury Stripe towels, Terra Pure amenities, and topped it all off with a good, old-fashioned rubber ducky!

    Hope you enjoyed reading about this Hermosa Beach makeover! I know I love seeing how a few well-placed details and Tyann's expert eye can showcase the beauty of an already-gorgeous rental. 

    Thanks to Judi for trading us for a really great place to lay our heads! Check out Judi's Hermosa Beach, California cozy 1915 beach cottage here!