Jayne McCaw, owner of Jayne’s Cottages, manages a collection of luxury rentals in the Muskoka region. She knows a lot about upscale cottage hospitality. Her properties are available to rent on CanadaStays, the country’s largest online community for vacation rentals, and years of experience have taught her how to make a space desirable, stylish and welcoming.
Apply some of her tips to your own property — no matter the size or location — and increase its value in the eyes of new guests.
1. Go for neutral tones.
People are often attracted to cottages that sit amongst gorgeous trees, lakes and wildlife – thus, the décor should compliment, not compete, with that vibe. Soft neutral grey, taupe, beige, whites and off-whites not only look classy and clean, but also allow the beauty of the surroundings to reign. McCaw’s advice is to keep it simple and let Mother Nature be the star. Muskoka’s White House on Lake Muskoka is an example of this aesthetic.
2. Depend on white walls.
Again, in order to not take attention away from the great outdoors, clean, fresh walls are the way to go. “The dream Muskoka room,” says McCaw, “is easy, white, clean and simple.” Classic simplicity when done properly elevates any space.
3. Choose tasteful artwork.
Keeping things sleek and simple doesn’t mean you can’t do artwork on the walls — just make sure to not go overboard. “Less is more,” says McCaw. The neutral backdrop is perfect for paintings or prints that reflect the outdoor surroundings. Choose landscapes or rustic, antique pieces to lend charm; loud contemporary prints will only cause a disconnect. Check out the neutral walls and elegant artwork of the Wanderlust property in Muskoka for inspiration.
4. Some (impermanent) colour can be your friend.
While neutral tones are recommended for walls and other permanent fixtures, there’s nothing wrong with sneaking in some flashes of colour that can be changed seasonally. Pick out some pillows and throws with fun prints to add life to a room – they’re easy enough to switch or refresh depending on the time of year.
5. Stay away from knickknacks.
One person’s charm is another person’s tacky. Though you may love your uncle’s collection of wooden decoy ducks or the cheesy magnets you’ve collected from all over the world, your guests may not. People want to feel like they own the space, even if only for a week. And there’s nothing luxurious about cottage kitsch.
6. Avoid hand-me-downs.
By the same token, don’t recycle your housewares. “To offer a luxury rental, you can’t just bring up your older used furniture and expect people to think it is fine, says McCaw. “While you may be okay with it, people looking for luxury rentals expect an investment into the furnishings of the property.”
7. Always keep things up to date.
Have fun with your décor and make updates every season to keep up with trends. Peruse glossy cottage magazines, blogs and Pinterest boards for inspiration. Your guests will appreciate the extra effort. If you’re ever in a bind, McCaw suggests Sklar Peppler for simple, elegant and affordable cottage furniture. “It’s a quick and easy way to freshen up your summer look.”
8. Think about your lighting.
Choice is your (or rather, your guest’s) friend here. Once that glorious sun goes down, proper lighting is essential. A selection of well-placed lamps and battery-operated candles will offer a warm, softer ambience, while overhead lights are best for those livelier nights.
9. Add seasonal touches.
Everybody loves fresh flowers. A seasonal bouquet not only livens up a room, but also shows your guests that you care. If you can, put a few different arrangements in the shared spaces. Seasonal, local fruit can also play double duty as decorative and delicious.
10. Comfort is key.
You want a clean, crisp look, but that shouldn’t take away from the comfort factor. Couches should be plush, pillows should be abundant and you can never have too many throw blankets. You want guests to respect your property, but they should also feel at home.
Once you’ve got your cottage retreat looking glamorous, it’s time for the next step: photography. Download CanadaStays’ eBook for tips on how to stage your space for the most effective pics.
Check out all of Jayne’s Cottages on CanadaStays and if you own a second property, check out Canadastays.com for more tips and information on how to list it.
See full article here: https://www.thestar.com/sponsored_sections/2017/03/07/ten-fresh-decorating-tips-for-your-cottage.html