Striking the right balance between form and function is central to design theory. But when it comes to vacation home improvement, there’s one more layer to think about: Housekeeping efficiency. In a housekeeper’s perfect world, vacation homes would be upgraded to be more comfortable and welcoming to guests — and also to be easier to clean. Fortunately, those things aren’t mutually exclusive.
Yadira Veronica, Vacasa’s housekeeping manager in Southern Idaho and Montana, says that a clean can go from good to great with just a few minor adjustments to interior layout and design. The next time one of your homeowners is preparing to give their property a facelift, consider passing along some of this advice. It’ll help their home stay cleaner while improving your operational efficiency and making life easier for your housekeepers.
Here are Yadira’s tips for design upgrades that housekeepers love:
Stain the Trim
Keeping wood trim looking its best is not just about the aesthetic. “Older wood’s rough edges can catch on the cleaning cloths we use to dust or polish, which makes the wood appear rather linty,” Yadira says. “Not a good look”. She recommends that homeowners spend some time sanding and staining wood trim and furnishings next time they’re upgrading their home.
Use Scrubbable Paint
If your homeowners are considering a new paint color (or just touching up their current one), Yadira recommends a “bath and spa” paint type (either with a primer mixed in or on the side). The name is a misnomer: This paint is good for any wall, and according to Yadira, it can be a real lifesaver. “Bath and spa paint can hold up to repeated scrubbings and won’t chip.”
Get Neutral Grout
Tile is a popular choice for bathrooms and kitchen counters because it’s moisture and stain resistant. But the grout? That can be tough to clean. If your homeowners are preparing to touch up their tile floors or counters, Yadira recommends choosing a neutral color grout—beige, gray, or tan—so that stains don’t stand out.
Choose the Right Stainless Steel
While stainless steel appliances look sleek and modern, they also smear easily and can take a good amount of elbow grease to clean. Yadira likes the “smudge- and fingerprint-resistant” stainless steel appliances (a good recommendation when your homeowners are ready to upgrade). If they aren’t in the market for a new fridge, just provide your housekeepers with an ample supply of WD-40 to help them buff out the smudges.
Lining kitchen drawers with rubber can make it difficult to coax crumbs and dust out of the corners. And, Yadira says, the liners can easily crumple or peel, leaving a sticky residue behind. Plastic or metal trays are preferred, because they’re mobile, washable, and keep the drawers organized.
Perhaps your homeowners are considering replacing some of their living room furniture. While microsuede couches feel like plush perfection, they’re also challenging to keep clean (especially in dog-friendly vacation rentals). Yadira encourages homeowners to opt for living room furnishings made from a stain-resistant fabric like leather. “It’s easier to wipe down and vacuum,” she says.
Embrace Carpet Tiles
If homeowners are looking at replacing their carpet, Yadira always suggests a zipperlock style to avoid snags and runs, and carpet tiles that can be easily replaced without pulling up the entire floor.
Make sure that homeowners have a good supply of linens that a housekeeper can cycle through, and that all the pieces go together. If a sheet set is missing a pillow case, it’s time for the whole set to go.
Offering your homeowners a few pieces of housekeeping-friendly home improvement advice can result in more efficient operations for you, which in turn can lead to better reviews and better revenue. And if homeowners are ever curious, Yadira says, you shouldn’t be afraid to put them in touch with the housekeepers who know their home so well.
“It’s great when housekeepers and homeowners can work together to create a better guest experience,” says Yadira. “There are so small changes that can help us housekeepers while making the home look so much better.”
Brought to you by the housekeeping team at Vacasa.