Functional Beauty!


17Every week for over a year now, I have sat down on Sunday morning to write a story for this blog.  Most weeks I have a topic in mind, however sometimes the events of the past week will force themselves to the forefront of my thinking … which brings me to this week’s topic. 

Vacation Rentals of the Desert has a very unique non-exclusive management agreement with many of our home owners.  We developed this idea during the recession to allow vacation property owners the opportunity to off-set their management costs by participating in the rental process … to a degree.  I have found that this system has worked well for our company and have a handful of properties with owner booked tenants as well as tenants acquired through our company.  The property that I will describe in today’s post is a gorgeous, newly remodeled and furnished condominium that joined Vacation Rentals of the Desert this past summer.   The new owners, when purchasing the condo, agreed to honor a three month booking from the sellers.   As new owners to our vacation rental program, we provided a minimum requirement list and after viewing the mid-century decorated property with the owner, I made several recommendations towards improving its functionality as a vacation home.

One of the first things that I noticed was the lack of window coverings.  In the main living and dining areas there are large sliding glass doors that look out onto a patio and the fairway beyond offering a gorgeous unobstructed view to the outside world … and an equally unobstructed view of the inside and its inhabitants!  It was easy to identify a privacy issue.  The decorator faux drapes framing the sides of the windows were removed and motorized blinds installed.  Problem solved.

Recessed canned lights are fitted throughout the condo adding to the clean modern feel, but the lack of lamps present a problem for guests trying to read, or when one person is reading and another is watching TV.  This was easily addressed by purchasing a couple of standing lamps with directional lights.  These lamps are a favorite trick of mine and I believe should be standard in every vacation rental home.  They can be easily moved to wherever needed and then stored away in a closet when not in use.

Another area of concern was the beds … specifically the height of the beds.  Personally I do not remember beds in the 50s and 60s being so low to the ground.  Lower than today, for sure … but mattresses on the ground were pictured with peace-sign bedspreads and shown in hippie pads, not as a “decorator” detail.   True mid-century modern would be a full size bed in the master bedroom with short legs screwed directly into the box springs.  Anyone remember those?  But I don’t see that going over well today.  Despite the beds being so low, and based on the fact that the condo had been a rental the previous season, the owner and I decided to take a “wait and see” approach for the time being.

Their tenants arrived and settled in.  Typically we do not become deeply involved in an owner acquired guest, but we are always happy to assist if needed.   It wasn’t long before we realized we should have been pro-active regarding the beds.   One visit with the guests showed that height was not the only issue here.

The condo has a king in the master suite and queens in both of the guest bedrooms.  All three beds have fabric frames and headboards.  None of the three beds had box springs!  The mattresses where sitting directly on the frame slats and sunk down into the frames snuggly.  The mattresses where great … new pillow tops of great depth, but practically sitting on the floor.  Making a bed meant getting on your hands and knees …  and to tuck in the comforter you inevitably scrapped your knuckles.   For a short term guest … probably not a big deal.  Who makes beds when they’re on vacation?   For a three month guest living in a property, it’s a big problem.  The guests also mentioned that the mattress covers would pop off during the night and sleeping with sheets and bedding coming apart was a struggle.  Taking a closer look at the bedding, we discovered that the mattress cover was made of a plastic, waterproof material that was very slippery.  This was compounded by silk sheets and silky comforters!  There was so much going wrong here you had to laugh.  The beds were absolutely gorgeous but when you pulled the comforter out from the tight frame to turn in for the night, the bedding slipped all over the place … taking on a life of its own!

I shouldn’t laugh … the guests were not happy.

I promised that I would speak to the owners and see if we could get the problem remedied as quickly as possible.  Once explained, the owners completely understood and I was enlisted to make the necessary purchases …. Three sets of box springs, all new mattress covers and two new sets of sheets per bed … 100% cotton!  The beds are fabulous.  They now look and act as beds should.  The four inch box springs lifted the mattress just level with the tops of the bed frames, increasing the height … but not so much that it takes away from the mid-century look.  The cotton bedding is also easier to keep on while sleeping and the guests are no longer chasing their bed all night.

So when furnishing your vacation home, it’s not only about beauty.  A beautiful piece can also be functional.  I always recommend that owners stay at their vacation home for a minimum of one week before their first paying guest.  Sleep, cook, and entertain if you can … really live in the property.  If something doesn’t work, change it immediately.  It is better that you discover the problem rather than hearing about it in a bad review!

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  1. Thanks so much for the tips! I hate those low beds! Looks cool, but just not that comfortable. Re; water proof bed pads. There are some that don’t slip and slide. It’s a must! People have accidents. Any stain on a mattress is just creepy!

    • Thank you for the comment Teri. I completely agree … a stained mattress can be pretty creepy and leads your imagination to some very unpleasant places. I failed to mention in the article that the mattress covers I purchased were in fact waterproof. There is a plastic material hidden within the thick padding of the covers.

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