• Home Sweet Anywhere : A Vacation Rental Makeover at Lynne & Tim Martin's Creekside Cottage in Templeton, California

    What a summer!

    As usual, I’ve packed about three years’ worth of activities into the last three months. Case in point: in August, I literally stepped off the plane after visiting my vacation rental in Kauai (where, just like last year, I skipped poolside relaxation in favor of sprucing up the place), and not 12 hours later was back on the road again with VR photographer Tyann Marcink for a 5-hour road trip to Templeton, California for the vacation rental makeover I’m excited to present to you today!

    (The whirlwind 48 hours were so worth it.)

    Lynne and Tim Martin’s Creekside Cottage was already a gem. And it’s no surprise:

    Lynne, best selling author of Home Sweet Anywhere and writer for the Huffington Post, and her husband Tim got lots of press, (Forbes, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and HLN...and the list goes on) for spending 5 years on the road, traveling from vacation rental to vacation rental, blogging about it at Home Free Adventures, and then turning that blog into a best-selling book that has been published in eight languages!

    Tyann and I met Lynne and Tim when they gave the keynote address at the 2016 HomeAway Summit in Austin, Texas. They hooked the audience with stories and memories from their vacation rental travels, plus valuable tips from a seasoned guest’s perspective.

    In other words, Lynne and Tim know vacation rentals. So we knew we wouldn’t have to work too hard to take this place from great to incredible.

    My “job” (if you can call it that) was to add a bit of resort-style indulgence to the Creekside Cottage with perfectly pleated and tucked commercial linens and towels, plus bath amenities for a luxe spa feel. Then, we drenched the place in natural light so Tyann could work her photographic magic.

    Check out Tyann's post {here} for the complete set of stunning makeover photos!

    For my part, I’m going to talk specifically about the Creekside Cottage’s bathrooms and bedrooms, guiding you through the transformation of these beautiful spaces and the thought process behind my choices. 

    Master Bedroom

    As soon as I stepped inside Lynne and Tim’s cottage, I fell in love with its earth tones and carefully chosen accent pieces.

    These design choices were on full display in the master bedroom, where huge windows let in the leafy views of the landscaped yard and rich hardwoods combine with flowing sage-colored curtains. What a canvas! 

    I’ll say it: The “Before” picture did not do this room justice. Dark, and taken from a high angle, the photo failed to showcase this incredible, light-washed space. And even though the bed beckoned me for a nap with its fluffy white duvet, it needed a duvet cover and some tucking-in strategies to make it perfectly indulgent.

    With a few tweaks...

    Gorgeous, right? 

    Since the Creekside Cottage targets couples getaways, my goal was to give both the master bed/bath and guest bed/bath a high-end spa and wine country feel. Here are some of the products I used to achieve that in both bedrooms: 

    Mattress & Pillow Protectors

    The first thing that I added - to both the master bed and guest bed - were mattress protectors. This leave-it-and-forget-it item is key, protecting your mattress from bed bugs, allergens, and spills. Thanks to my friends at Protect-A-Bed for donating their mattress protector for this project! (They even provided pillow protectors - another must-have to lengthen the life of your pillows!)

    Satin Sheets & New Pillows

    I went with Centium Satin Sheets and pillowcases from Standard Textile for their luxe feel at a good price point. Lynne and Tim have a cal king in the master, which is not a standard in hospitality, so I had to improvise: I used the extra wide flat sheet and it worked like a charm!

    I also provided our new Chambersoft pillows by Standard Textile for the master bed. Then I kitted out the bed with a summer-weight duvet insert and cover, and topped it off with my favorite Lynova Blanket by Standard Textile, plus Lynne and Tim’s existing throw pillows.

    For the finishing touches in the master bedroom, I brought in a low-maintenance air plant to pull in the earth tones, and of course, we added a copy of Home Sweet Anywhere by the bedside.

    Master Bathroom

    It’s hard to believe, but the master bath was just as stunning as the master bedroom! This couples’ dream bath features a glass-enclosed walk-in shower and separate granite sinks. Fittingly, my inspiration for this space was a couple’s day at the spa. (Complete with wine, of course.)

    As with the master bedroom photo, the "Before" of the attached master bath didn't quite capture the light-infused, total indulgence this bathroom has to offer.

    But the after, though:

    Now isn't that a bathroom where you'd want to spend an entire day? 

    Both the master and the guest bathrooms got the same star treatment, with these products:

    Lynova Towels & Cumulus Robes

    I chose the Lynova Terry Towels for both bathrooms. They’re 100% cotton and extra-thirsty; they’ll remind guests of their favorite spa towels. Lynne and Tim’s built-in, open shelving really made for a pretty display for these fluffy towels! 

    Then, I hung a pair of light weight Cumulus Robes to continue the spa feel in each bath - it’s a great touch that comes standard in hotels, but few vacation rentalists are doing it (yet).

    Bath Amenities

    If you know me, you know I love Terra Pure’s organic, travel-size amenities for vacation rentals. With subtle green tea fragrance and quality packaging that looks great on a counter or shower shelf, these shampoos, conditioners, body wash and lotions make a nice addition to a spa-inspired bath.

    Extra Goodies for Guests

    I also added an aloe cleansing bar + massage bar soaps and a hairdryer bag. To finish, we stocked the drawers with a a few guests extras like toothpaste, a toothbrush, shower cap, and a personal care kit so guests would be well-prepared.

    Of course, I didn’t let the master suite have all the fun. I used these same products in the guest bedroom and bath, too! Here's the guest bedroom Before & After: 

    And the guest bath Before & After: 

    What I love about this home is that Lynne and Tim designed it from the ground up, and the layout is absolutely perfect for two couples on a wine country getaway. The open living space, which includes the kitchen, dining and living area, sits at the center, with a bedroom on either side - giving each couple privacy at the end of the day.

    Not only that, Lynne and Tim have thought of everything a guest could want. And after 5 years of calling vacation rentals across the country "home," it's no wonder! 

    A big thank you to Lynne and Tim for hosting us in their home and allowing us to treat the Creekside Cottage to a makeover! Wishing you all the success in the world with your new vacation rental adventure.

    Do you want Tyann and I to makeover your vacation rental?  

    My vacation rental bestie Tyann Marcnik, Photographer and Videographer and I are always up for a makeover challenge big or small. Email me?  Here's the link to our first makeover at the Hermosa Beach Hideaway in Redondo Beach, California.