How to Make a Rental Feel Like Home, Whether You’re Staying 6 Weeks or 6 Months
Hint: Bring along familiar comforts.
Published Dec 18, 2020 6:00 AM
Nearly a year into a stay-at-home lifestyle none of us could have predicted, it’s understandable if you’re craving a getaway that is longer than the average vacation. And you’re not alone—in August Airbnb reported that the number of guests searching for stays of 28 nights or more was up over 50 percent compared to last year. The theory holds that long-term holiday rentals offer better opportunities for social distancing and quarantining if necessary and, of course, time away from the same four walls you’ve been staring at for the past nine months.
Since rentals offer creature comforts like full kitchens, laundry facilities, and (in most cases) the ability to bring your pets along, they inherently feel more like home. But living in a space that isn’t yours—with furniture and decor that’s meant for a series of rotating guests, not a (semi) permanent resident—can take some getting used to and some serious personalization. Here, find five ways to make your short-term rental reflective of your more permanent space, from bringing along familiar comforts to smart (and temporary) styling tips, courtesy of Atlanta-based design firm Forbes Masters.
Install WiFi That Works
Although this trip is a getaway by most definitions, chances are you’ll still be working Monday through Friday. And how many times have you arrived at a vacation home and the WiFi…wasn’t great? Verizon Fios offers stand-alone Home Internet plans, so you can bring a fast and reliable connection anywhere—without the annual contract. Fios’s fiber-optic technology delivers 99.9 percent network reliability, making it easy and affordable to get the speed you (and anyone you’re with) need to work, play, and stream.
Brighten Up Your Backdrops
While you won’t be able to paint the walls, if you’re planning on staying for a few months, don’t feel like you’re stuck with a boring Zoom background “Peel-and-stick wallpaper is an easy way to add character to a space without creating permanent change,” says principal interior designer Tavia Forbes, who recently collaborated with Mitchell Black on a collection of graphic options inspired by traditional African textiles. Fabric-based peel-and-stick wallpaper makes a statement without doing damage—when your stay is over, just remove it.
Surround Yourself With Familiar Faces
One of the most difficult parts about 2020 has been all of the time we haven’t spent with friends and family. While you’re likely only bringing the essentials to your rental, consider tossing in—or, if you don’t have them already, framing—a few photos of the people you love most. The best way to make a space feel like your own is to fill it with personal touches, and there’s nothing like past memories to get you excited for what lies ahead.
Eliminate Blank Space
Nothing makes a space feel less welcoming than a bare wall. “Artwork is very personal and makes the apartment unique to you,” says Forbes, who suggests livening up a rental with pieces that reflect your own style and taste. If you don’t have art to bring with you, Etsy is a great resource for handmade and custom works without the hefty price tag.
Go Overboard With Cozy Textiles
Never underestimate the power of the perfect blanket. “Fill a basket with beautifully woven or furry throws and keep it next to the sofa,” says principal interior designer Monet Masters. “The throws invite people to help themselves and cuddle up on the couch.” Supersoft and vibrantly colored options from Bolé Road Textiles and Jungalow by Justina Blakeney can bring a pop of color—and a special touch—to often sparsely decorated rental homes.