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How to make a summer rental feel like a home
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How to make a summer rental feel like a home

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You’ ll want your rental to become your home away from home.

Renting a house for a getaway this summer? Whether you’re staying for a week or the entire summer, you want to feel at home and at ease on your vacation. Here’s some help turning that summer rental into a place you love kicking back and relaxing in.

1. Use your own bedding.

Rental bedding is often bare bones and simple. Up the comfort level by making the bed with your own sheets from home. “I always say your bed is your ultimate sanctuary, so bring a fresh sheet set with a pop of summer color to instantly personalize your rental and make sure you’re comfortable at night after those long beach days,” says interior designer Kyle Schuneman. It’s also a good solution if you’re someone who has trouble falling asleep in new places.

2. Don’t forget your own pillow

It’s the same idea as the rest of your bedding: If you have the pillow you use every night, you might feel more relaxed and comfortable when it comes time to sleep. “Taking your own pillow is a great way to make the bedroom feel more like home,” says interior designer Peyton Lambton. “There is nothing worse than a pillow that is uncomfortable!”

3. Add some personal items.

Make the rental your own by adding some small personal details. “Take along a few photos of family and friends in cute picture frames,” says interior designer Julia Buckingham. Or put out a vase with some favorite fresh flowers—the kind you normally display in your own home.

4. Bring some everyday items.

What gadgets and other household favorites do you use every day? Bring them (if they’re easy to tote around, of course). “A small blender or smoothie-maker for the kitchen is something a typical rental house won’t have, and if you’re like me and prefer your smoothie a certain way, you’ll want to bring that along,” Lambton says. “If you are a fan of music, take your own wireless speakers because that usually isn’t something that’s included in a rental. Also, a bathrobe is always nice for the bathroom, especially if you are sharing the rental with friends or in-laws.”

5. Use your favorite scents.

Familiar scents — like those you use at home — may trigger certain memories and make you feel more comfortable. “Good design should affect all your senses, so bring in a great smell to your rental home,” Schuneman says. “Whether it be through a fragrance diffuser, your favorite candle or using a lavender potted plant as a dining table centerpiece, make sure your rental smells like home.”

6. Bring in extra accents.

“Add throw pillows and blankets in different textures like cable knits, linens and terrycloth to personalize the living room with,” Schuneman says. “You can also bring them onto the deck at night for those cool summer evenings around the fire pit.” Plus, this is great for germophobes who might be hesitant to nap on the couch or use the rental’s throw blankets and pillows—at least you know exactly who used these items and how often they’ve been cleaned.

7. Think about the little things.

If you only have the rental for a weekend, you can still bring in your own items to make the space cozy—just think a little smaller. “A favorite mug or cup can add a level of comfort when staying in someone else’s home, and it doesn’t take up too much space in your bag,” Lambton says.

8. Entertain effortlessly.

Just because it’s not your house, doesn’t mean you can’t entertain. Make do with what you have and don’t forget the essentials. “Music is key when entertaining, so make sure you have some wireless speakers and a good playlist on hand,” Lambton says. “Candles can set the mood, especially outdoors. Citronella candles are good to have so your guests aren’t eaten alive while trying to have dinner outside.”

(Real Simple magazine provides smart, realistic solutions to everyday challenges. Online at www.realsimple.com.)

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