Search Condos

Just Don't Book It,
Barefoot It!

Barefoot Beach Rentals

Maureen Nieland’s Secrets to Gorgeous Beach Condo Decor

As a property manager for beach rental properties, I encounter many owners that want that “wow” look in their condos, but they just don’t know where to start. When I take over a condo for vacation rental, I strive to add beautiful coastal elements to the décor to make it more attractive to prospective guests. I have turned numerous condos from frumpy to fabulous and have made them into rental rock stars.

That is my forte and is part of my service to owners as a property manager. I know what guests are looking for, and I provide my owners with ideas on what colors to paint their condos, the best places in town to buy furniture and accessories, and I often make most of the accessories for them myself. I have recovered chairs, painted furniture and walls, selected backsplashes, tile, etc. The best part is that it does not cost them a fortune to turn their condos around and start getting the rental income they want for not a lot of money.

Let’s face it, if you have been out shopping, you know the high cost of decorative accessories. I am going to give you several different ideas that are easy to do and look like you spent a lot of money when you did not. Most people do not have a lot of discretionary income this time of year, but everyone has an imagination. So I am going to show you how to use yours when you are out there shopping the after- Christmas sales and provide you with other inexpensive ideas that might be of interest to you.

When the New Year arrives, we typically spruce up our interiors, so here are a few ideas to get you going in that direction with ease. Beautiful centerpieces and decorative items for you dressers, lamps, nightstands and kitchen counters are a good place to begin. They greet the guest with something special and unique.

  1. Christmas ornaments make great fillers for decorative bowls. These ornaments are deeply discounted after the holidays. Some of the best ones I ever found were at Walmart for $1.47 each, and that was the regular price! I also found some great ones at Kirkland’s, Hobby Lobby, etc. I am not talking about the traditional ornament that has the metal cap on top. I am talking about 3-dimensional ornaments that have a special shape or design that can be used as design elements but do not have a traditional Christmas color or theme. Virtually anywhere you go, you can find something that will work. I find that keeping them all the same in a container or bowl has the best effect. I have filled these bowls for under $15.
  2. Bags of plastic pears or apples. You can usually find these in Tuesday Morning for a few dollars per bag. Tuesday Morning is on Front Beach Road right before the bridge on the left. I spray paint these with gloss white spray paint (You can also use metallic silver, gold or copper). Just hold them by the stem and spray away. Let them dry and then use craft glue or Mod Podge to paint the stems and then dip the stems in glitter. Fill your hurricanes, bowls or glass containers with these. It is a really fun look that looks expensive and rich, but it is very inexpensive to do.
  3. Make a diorama with a glass jar with a lid. A diorama is a miniature scene. I like to make mine with a coastal flair. Walmart has a great, big glass jar with a lid for around $12. It is in the canning section. Hobby Lobby has metal anchors, seahorses, octopuses, crabs, etc., for around $7 each. Hobby Lobby also lets you buy one regularly priced item for 40% off with a coupon. The Dollar Store on Front Beach Road at the corner of Front Beach Road and Joan Avenue sells coastal beaded necklaces, necklaces with coastal charms and shells and starfish for $1 each. If you buy 10 items, you get two items free. They only take cash here. Get some sand from the beach, fill your jar with a few inches of sand and then arrange your items in the sand. I cut the coastal charms off the dollar store necklaces and place them in the sand with the beads and the seahorses. Add an upright starfish or two, and WOW!   It is super look for not a lot of money.
  4. Succulents. Succulents look great in glass jars with lids. Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Joanne’s all carry these decorative succulents in the floral section. Get a glass jar with a lid, fill it with a few inches of sand from the beach and place the succulents in the sand. You can use one big one or several of various sizes and colors … up to you. Tie a burlap wire ribbon around the vase. It is so beachy and classy, and you will love it!
  5. Starfish. I use these in all different kinds of ways, but here are a couple. One takes a little time, and the other way is flat-out simple. My go-to store for shells is the Dollar Store at the corner of Front Beach Road and Joan Avenue as previously mentioned. You can buy 10 starfish for a $1 each and get two free. I decorate my starfish in a variety of ways and put them in bowls or you can simply buy several and lay them in the bottom of a rattan or wooden distressed tray with handles. It looks fabulous on a coffee table. It is very eye-catching, simple and inexpensive.
  6. Decorative Tassels. My go-to store for decorative tassels hands down is Tuesday Morning. They have the best prices on decorative tassels large and small. I put them on lamps, tie them on dresser handles, headboard posts, and use them on jars with lids instead of bows. You can get gorgeous ones for $3 to $5.   They make such a beautiful design statement on your bedroom furniture, lamps, consoles, etc. Inexpensive, yet beautiful, they give any piece of furniture a custom look.
  7. Melamine Trays and Plates. Maureen Loves Melamine! Why do I love Melamine? Because you can’t break it, and it is very inexpensive. Perfect for rental property! You can find decorative trays and plates made from melamine in Home Goods, Tuesday Morning, Marshalls, Walmart, etc. The best selection is usually most prevalent in the spring and early summer in most stores. These trays and plates are very inexpensive, typically under $15, and come in a variety of coastal shapes … turtles, crabs, seahorses, etc. I use these plates and trays for display as decorative elements on tables, kitchen counters, etc.