Combining Real Estate Investment with Interior Design: A Guide for Beginners

Last Updated on May 3, 2024 by SampleBoard

Real estate investment is not just a means to boost your income. It's a creative journey that can provide a profound sense of accomplishment and purpose.

This is especially true when you choose to combine it with your passion for interior design, as it opens up a world of creative possibilities and potential for greater profits. 

There are countless ways to infuse your investment with the art of interior design.

Whether you're staging a flipped home for sale or creating a cozy, wellness-driven design for a vacation rental, the opportunities are limitless.

Today, we'll explore the basics of interior design for real estate investments, equipping you with the knowledge to start transforming your properties as soon as you close the deal. 

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Harmonize Your Investment Style With Your Desire for Design

Regarding real estate investments, the type you choose will dictate the design approach. Whether it's residential or commercial, each has its own design considerations.

Residential options include:

  • Long-term rentals
  • Mid-term rentals
  • Vacation rentals

While commercial options range from office spaces to retail spaces and multifamily properties. 

Each of these will have different customer expectations. Long-term rentals are generally not furnished, and you will likely only paint the walls a neutral color, like beige.

Similarly, office spaces, retail spaces, and multifamily apartments are up to the tenant to furnish.

Mid-term rentals and vacation rentals are where interior design-minded investors get to shine.

Mid-term rentals are those rentals that last less than a year but more than a month, such as a business traveler, and they are generally fully furnished.

Vacation rentals, which can last from one evening to a whole month, can also be creatively designed by an interior design-focused investor.

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Think About What People Want from Your Rental

Alongside your investment type and interior design level, it's crucial to consider what your potential tenants are looking for in a rental.

Understanding their needs and preferences will help you create a more appealing space and foster empathy and consideration, which are key to successful real estate investment. 

For mid-term rentals, your tenants are likely businesspeople seeking a restful place after work. To cater to their needs, maximize storage with bookshelves, dressers, and cabinets.

Paint the space in soothing colors to promote a calm atmosphere. 

Vacation rentals may require less emphasis on storage space and more on quirky decorations, interesting holders for toiletries, and a cozy couch to nap on after a hard day of play. 

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Image credit: Demelza Krens

Consider the Return on Investment

The pricier the property, the higher the tenant's expectations for mid-term and vacation rentals.

For example, Colorado is a pricey place for investment properties, as it is an incredibly popular vacation spot.

Thanks to the many people who want to visit, there's high competition for AirBnBs and mid-term rentals, and you will need to stand out amongst the crowd. 

Beyond choosing a great location, one of the best ways to do this is to create a unique sanctuary for visitors.

In this instance, spending extra time and money ensuring every detail is perfect will pay off handsomely, as you'll receive more bookings and higher ratings. 

In contrast, focusing on cost-effective measures in a smaller market will pay off better, as there is less competition than there would be elsewhere. 

Embrace Local Trends

When people visit an area, they want their rental to reflect the local environment, which helps create a more immersive vacation experience.

As such, think local and design each of your investments to consider the hot trends in the area. 

For example, Colorado has a long and proud tradition of cowboy culture.

You can incorporate this in a new, edgy way by considering Western Gothic design, a style that fuses the traditional furnishings of Western style with a dark, haunted aesthetic.

When done correctly, your rental will be memorable and intriguing, not deterring those looking for a restful place to stay.

Focus on rich Pendleton blankets, distressed wood, vintage furnishing, and brooding colors like navy.

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On the other hand, property in Florida would look perfect in the mermaid-core style, which focuses on whimsical nautical scenery, bright tropical colors, and seashells.

This fun, whimsical design will give your rental that true Sunshine State feel and enhance your guests' experience as they trek to the beaches or play at Disney World. 

As another example, modern design for a rental near New York City will feel sleek and cutting-edge, echoing the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple.

Subway tile, simplistic furniture, and sharp angles remind visitors of all the delights in this center of commerce. 

Get Inspired: Popular Interior Design Themes for Rentals

Tropical Escape 

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Fantasy and Adventure Themes

  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Disney-Themed
  • Star Wars 
  • Harry Potter (Wizard-Themed)

Nostalgic Themes

  • Barbie Dream House
  • Old Hollywood Theme
  • Retro and Vintage
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Interior design isn't just for your primary residence: depending on your investment type, you can also let your imagination run wild on a rental.

When you make a real estate investment, your property is also your product, and staging it for maximum effect allows you to enhance your return on investment through higher bookings and rents.

Consider your potential tenant, consider the cost-effectiveness of interior design, and focus on making your property feel rooted in its particular area.

You will find that good interior design is more than just enjoyable and profitable.