How to decorate a vacation rental home to a theme without being kitschy

Decorating your vacation home is the perfect time to get a little creative and incorporate some choices you might not include in your everyday house. Guests are there to have some fun, and you can help set the mood for them with a fun vacation home interior.

When you choose a theme, it’s easy to get excited and continue to add more and more to it. But sometimes themes can go a little too far. Over-the-top and kitschy decor can work, but you might limit who your home appeals to if you go that route.

Here are some tips on how to thoughtfully incorporate themes into your vacation rental decor.


Use colors and textures instead of clutter to accent.

Teal for a beach home or browns and greens for a mountain cabin can subtly bring the outside in, without being the only thing a person sees when they walk into a room. Textures can do the same thing: opt for driftwood furniture in coastal areas and wood paneling in wooded regions.


Incorporate decor items here and there, not everywhere.

A seashell on a shelf in a beach house is a nice touch, but 25 of them could be distracting. Be mindful about where you place knickknacks and other themed items, and be sure to leave some surfaces for guests to leave their belongings.


Create the experience of a movie, not an advertisement.

Get creative and think about how a set designer would set things up without overpowering the scene. And remember that the room you decorated with a "Frozen" bedspread might be used by a teenage boy.


An empty wall doesn’t have to be filled.

Instead, decorate strategically around the natural focal point of a room, like a window. One bold piece of art can have more impact than an overcrowded wall.


Make your vacation rental an extension of its location.

Create a positive and distraction-free experience for guests, so they can live like a local—enjoying the environment that surrounds your vacation rental.


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