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Reality Design Shows: Myth or Reality?

Updated: Feb 6

Who doesn’t love to watch the decorating networks? Especially the shows that take the viewer on a journey of decorating a beautiful beach or mountain vacation home all in less than an hour. As experts in the Short-Term Rental (STR) and Vacation Rental industry, we are here to tell you that it is not as easy or budget-friendly as these shows make it seem.

We are challenging the myth and here’s the reality: It takes a lot of time, planning, and hard work to create a beautiful, profitable vacation rental or short-term rental property. Here’s what you need to know before you get started.


First, it's important to know the demographics of your guests and why they reserve a vacation home in your area.

Do they need a place to relax, unwind, and reconnect with their families? Or do they come to your area for business purposes? Do your guests prefer more modern amenities, or is a rustic design preferred? Taking into consideration the needs of your potential guests will help you decide what renovations and upgrades should be made.

By tailoring your vacation home to your guests’ wants and needs, you will also be improving your marketing. You can create ads that highlight the amenities that fit the needs of your guests and make your vacation home stand out from its competitors. Not only will this provide a better experience for your guests, but it can also help to bring in more revenue.


Decorating shows are not realistic with budget, labor, timelines, or the costs associated with creating a vacation home.


They give viewers the impression that with the right resources and ideas, anyone can create a vacation home in a few days. This is simply not true! You must also remember the hidden costs associated with producing a television show, which viewers are not made aware of. It is best to take inspiration and ideas from these vacation decorating shows, but always remember to customize a plan that fits your lifestyle and budget. With this approach, you can enjoy the perfect vacation home without breaking the bank.


A better approach to apply when decorating an STR or Vacation Rental home is to take ideas from the shows but customize and tailor those ideas to fit your lifestyle. While luxury and design will be a priority, you also want to make sure the space is functional and fits your practical needs.



To customize your home décor, think about the feelings you want to convey. Are you going for a cozy and inviting atmosphere, or a modern and luxurious one? Once you have an idea of what kind of atmosphere you are creating, you can then focus on pulling pieces together that represent your vision. You can look for unique furniture pieces, smaller decorative items, and colors or textures that best suit your idea. Don’t be afraid to get creative and think of new ideas that will wow your guests.


Looking for more ways to uplevel your vacation rental business? Join the Vacation Rental Designers Collective!


Powered by a dynamic community of designers, real estate professionals, hosts and property owners with a shared passion for success and profit, the Vacation Rental Designers Collective is more than just a community, it’s a paradigm shift.


With the VRDC you’ll learn how to run a successful vacation rental business while gaining insider insight and innovative strategies, all designed to ensure you maintain coveted five-star reviews.


Become a part of something big. Find your tribe, attract new clients, and watch your business thrive. Join us in redefining the vacation rental industry—one beautifully profitable space at a time.


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