Outfitting a cabin can be one of the most fun things you will do as an investor. There are so many options to choose from, and you can let your creativity shine. However, a few things can help you be the most successful. Here are the top 5 things to remember when outfitting your investment cabin:
1. You are not going to live there! So think beyond your personal tastes, favorite fabrics, etc.
As you make decisions, think more about what you desire when you travel, not what you desire at home. A cabin needs to be an experience. You want to add items that will cause your guests to feel like they are “not at home.” You want them to feel like they have escaped to the Great Smoky Mountains, where things are generally relaxed, away, at a different pace, and a different scene. That is what your guests are looking for. If you have to choose between an item that they would likely have in their house at home and one they would only find in a vacation destination, go for the latter.
2) Choose durable furnishings.
Choose fabrics and materials that will last a long time and not wear and tear easily. Your furniture store will know how the material on a couch will hold up, so don’t be afraid to ask! Go for colors and items that will endure spills. I once had a decorator outfit a cabin living room with the most marvelous, absolutely gorgeous white chair. At first, it took my breath away with its beauty, but then I thought about a glass of wine going wrong. I should have listened to my concern, because that chair made it exactly one month. Don’t make that mistake! We also routinely have a handyman reinforce our furniture with extra brackets and screws, particularly our chairs and tables. You will want to do this, too, if there is any furniture you think might be vulnerable. We try to circumvent this by specifically not choosing delicate furniture.
3) Remember that guests come in all sizes.
People come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure you factor that in when purchasing furniture. It’s best to find furniture that can accommodate just about anyone. Think about tall men and women when you hang your mirrors. Think about shorter ones when you set your cabinets and outfit your kitchen. We have the most beautiful tall cabinets in one of our kitchens because I love the look, but we also have a little step stool for those who may need it.
4) Watch those themes.
Themed cabins are great but don’t overdo it. Bears are fantastic, and most Smoky Mountain visitors want to see one or two during their trip, but covering your cabin in bears can be much too much. Also, it’s best to keep your themes mainstream and something most people will enjoy. In other words, try to avoid themes that only a few select people might appreciate. Additionally, keep your themes appropriate for the mountains. If you have a “thing” for flamingos or the jungle, save it for your beach condo or your private office at home!
5) Think about how it will photograph.
Remember that photographs are 90% the deciding factor in choosing your cabin over another. As you make final selections, think about if it will photograph well. You should avoid busy patterns that are often found in rugs, drapes, upholstered furniture, bedspreads, and comforters. Spend a little time online looking at photographs of other cabins and take note of their furnishings. Pay attention to the colors that seem most inviting to you. When you find some photos you like, print them or save them to your phone so you can take them with you when you go shopping. Try to find items that match the photographs you liked best. Pinterest can also be quite helpful, so be sure to look there as well.
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