How to furnish and decorate a beach house rental

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Waves lapping on the shore. Relaxing strolls on warm sand. Seagulls flying peacefully above. There are many reasons why travelers flock to the coast. Make your beach home an even bigger draw by bringing that sensory seaside experience indoors. We approached the Vacasa Interior Design team and asked: how do you decorate a beach house rental to stand out from the competition and attract more guests? Here, the team shares five ways they create beautiful beach vacation rental interiors that entice travelers time and time again.

Inside a fully furnished and well-lit Brinnon, WA vacation rental living room.

Modern design rules for decorating your beach house rental

1. Let your locale lead you

Every beach town has its own unique charm. What’s your beach known for? Are guests drawn to its quiet shores, its perfect surfing conditions, or its popular family-friendly boardwalk with a colorful ferris wheel? Kimberly White, Head of Home Quality and Standards, leads Vacasa’s team of interior designers. Her advice: play with each destination’s biggest draws and use that as design inspiration. For example, add botanical motifs in tropical beach locations or accentuate nautical references in destinations known for boating and fishing. “Focusing on what makes your beach destination special will help create meaningful and memorable experiences,” Kimberly says.

Inside a Neskowin, OR vacation rental with furniture and a view of the ocean during the day.

2.Choose materials and upholstery wisely

Sand, sunscreen, saltwater—these are just some of the elements that can wreak havoc on your beach house furniture (both indoor and outdoor) and its longevity. Because of the warm weather, your windows and doors are likely to be open much of the time, letting in moist, salty sea air. Invest in furniture made of durable materials that can withstand all types of weather, such as teak or POLYWOOD®. Plus, look for performance fabrics that are easy to clean, like Sunbrella®—a favorite of the Vacasa interior design team. Resist the urge to simply purchase inexpensive plastic stacking chairs at a local hardware store. These are flimsy and can break and wear down easily.

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3. Encourage fun with the right vacation rental amenities

Make sure every guest is beach-ready with added perks they’ll appreciate. Think marshmallow roasting sticks, plastic cups to take to the beach, lightweight folding chairs, beach towels, portable ice coolers, or a picnic basket. “If you want your beach home to stand out from all the rest, details like these matter,” says Milena Marzulo, Vacasa Design Associate.

Inside a bedroom of a Moclips, WA vacation rental with white walls and queen sized bed and a view of the ocean.

4. Set the scene with coastal hues

The perfect coastal color palette? Just look outside. You’ll see vibrant teals, soft blues, and neutral sand tones. When Vacasa Senior Design Associate Nikki Kaestner works on a seaside vacation rental, she aims to strike a stunning balance of soft and natural hues. For example, she advises bringing in touches of blues, off-whites, grays, and tans. Then, balance with sleek wood furniture, clean lines, and metal finishes. The result? A sophisticated, luxurious look that makes every moment indoors feel like a day at the beach.

Living room of a Brinnon, WA vacation rental with a fireplace and a view of the ocean during the day.

5. Avoid beach kitsch

You know the ones: seashells everywhere, pillows that say “Beach,” dolphin and starfish decor adorning every wall. The Vacasa Interior Design team’s #1 rule for decorating a beach house rental? Don’t take coastal design literally. Instead, take a subdued approach, advises Nikki. Evoke the seaside by bringing in coastal colors and natural textures (like stone and rattan), rather than overtly displaying beachy paraphernalia. Your design will look more high-end, sophisticated, and well worth the vacation rental price.

A spacious bedroom of a Brinnon, WA vacation rental with hardwood floors and a view of the ocean.

Want more ways to design your vacation home for bigger profits? Learn how to decorate your vacation rental like a professional interior designer. Or, check out our Vacasa Interior Design program for personalized vacation home interior design services that can help you boost bookings and revenue all year round.

Beach vacation rental FAQ

The best flooring options for coastal vacation rentals are hardwood, laminate, vinyl, or tile. Not only are these options stylish, but they are designed to stand up to coastal elements, like sand, salt, and moisture. Avoid carpet. Beach homes tend to be exposed to warm salty sea air, making carpets musty. Plus, carpet fibers can trap sand, making it difficult to thoroughly vacuum. Stick to durable materials that are a cinch to clean.

Yes, beach house rentals can be a worthwhile investment. Coastal vacation homes typically command higher rates and draw more bookings compared to inland destinations. Plus, during peak summer season, it’s not uncommon for beach homes to book out entirely, opening up opportunities to offset your home’s expenses and mortgage. Reservations and rental income aside, owning a beach house also means having your own personal seaside retreat to spend quality time with your family and friends whenever you’d like.

Vacation rentals at the beach are sought-after places that require special consideration. Purchase furniture made of durable, all-weather materials like POLYWOOD, teak, and Sunbrella fabric to withstand frequent contact with sand, saltwater, and heavy sunblocks. Then, stock your beach rental with all the essentials for your guests’ perfect beach day, including beach towels, marshmallow roasting sticks, foldable beach chairs, and beach umbrellas.

See our ultimate inventory checklist for vacation rentals >

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