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How to Decorate a Seaside Holiday Cottage on a Budget

Posted by Mark Godsell-Fletcher on

A property in a popular tourist spot can offer you the way to make a decent living by renting out to holidaymakers. But with the mortgage repayments to consider, you need to watch every penny you spend...it is possible to create a welcoming and stylish home-from-home for your guests by following a few simple rules. Give the public what they want You might think the predictable seaside themes are a bit obvious and maybe a bit naff, but remember you're appealing to city-dwellers and landlubbers who have been dreaming of escaping to the coast. Shells, driftwood, fishes, boats - you can employ these seaside items to add items of interest to the cottage - pick one or two seaside icons to build your theme around. And if some of these decorative items have actually been sourced from the beach (for free), that's even better. Blue and white - bold blocks of colour Blue and white are the traditional colours of the seaside and they make your task of decorating stylishly on a budget even easier. Whitewash walls and use different shades of blue on feature walls to create a fresh, light effect. Another advantage of this approach is that it addressed the issue of ongoing maintenance - even the best-behaved tenants can cause accidental damage (scuff marks from bulky suitcases being a common problem), a quick touch up with white paint is an easy fix. Blue is very compliant colour for interiors as all tones of blue compliment one another, rather than clashing. In fact, a range of different blues across all the furnishings (including bedding and towels) can look fantastic, reflecting the different shades of the sea and the sky. So, simply look for little accessories in blues and scatter them around. Brighten up with splashes of orange or red (contrasting colours to blue) on cushions and smaller decorative items. Indulge nostalgia For many of us, trips to the seaside remind us of our childhoods - those first happy holidays with our buckets and spades. Also many of the most popular seaside resorts trade heavily in nostalgia; from the Victorian piers to the traditional punch and judy shows - they offer us a chance to step back to the past (even if it's an artificial one). This is all good news for anyone decorating a holiday home. Visit charity shops and even junk yards to pick up old books, toys and other accessories from past times. If it looks something your granny used to own, Enid Blyton might have written about, then your guests will love it. And old fashioned postcards look very striking when framed up in batches. Upcycling Not all homes suit upcycled furniture, but a holiday cottage by the seaside is the perfect setting - again, this is all about pushing those nostalgic buttons. Flea markets and house clearances can be very fruitful hunting grounds. Keeping with the white and blue theme, paint old tables then rub them back down for the sun-bleached effect of driftwood. The most ordinary furniture can be transformed with a lick of bright paint. But it's not all about avoiding spending money... Your guests will be looking out with eagle eyes (especially if your property is billed as "luxury" accommodation) for corners which have been cut. Loose, badly fitted and cheap fixtures & fittings make a terrible impression - so it is well worth investing in a professional joiner (if you're not sufficiently handy) and some top quality finishes. This means door handles, light fittings and bath / shower units. Look for quirky items for added character. Don't waste money on items that are easily broken and will inevitably need replacing. Mugs, glasses and crockery being the usual suspects.


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