Holiday Home Times

Interior Design | Home Improvement

They do it with mirrors – Part 1

With apologies to Agatha Christie for the title, this week we’ll look at how, in your homestay, mirrors can brighten up small spaces, create an illusion of space, serve as objects d’art, and create a sense of drama and intrigue in a space.

Mirrors are now one of the cheapest and most common materials in interiors, but this wasn’t always so. Before the industrial age, quality glass was difficult to Read the rest “They do it with mirrors – Part 1”

Using Moodboards to Plan your Homestay Interiors

Moodboards are collections of samples of all materials you plan to use in your interiors. The samples are small in size, and usually proportionate to their intended use, so that, at a glance, you get an idea of all the colors and textures in a space.

A moodboard is a very useful tool to get all the right materials and finishes required for the space without making mistakes.

When selecting Read the rest “Using Moodboards to Plan your Homestay Interiors”

Styles of Interiors – Mediterranean

Every beach homestay or resort, it seems, has to use the word “Mediterranean” somewhere in their copy. While this usually refers to the interiors, it is often used to evoke a slow, relaxed pace of life, of afternoon siestas and al fresco dinners, of colorful cocktails and lots of seafood. In this story, we’ll look at what defines Mediterranean style, using two properties. The first is a villa in Palolem, Read the rest “Styles of Interiors – Mediterranean”

Styles of Interiors – Retro

Last week, we looked at Modern (which is actually very old) and Contemporary styles of interior design. In this story, we’ll look at a style which evokes instant nostalgia – the Retro style. The retro style started in that age of new ideas – the ’60s and the ’70 s. Coming from that era where authority and convention was challenged, retro has a playful approach, laden with humor, re-evaluating form Read the rest “Styles of Interiors – Retro”

Styles of Interiors – Modern vs Contemporary

Architecture and interior design are heavily influenced by the times, and so different periods give rise to different styles of architecture and design.  The names of these styles have become a part of everyone’s vocabulary, and are commonly used in design magazines and real estate descriptions. However, the popular use of these terms refer to styles that are significantly different from the academic description of these styles, and every region Read the rest “Styles of Interiors – Modern vs Contemporary”

Guestroom Electronics – Systems and Infrastructure


Systems and infrastructure electronics in the hospitality industry are a significant investment for property owners. Typically, these systems are designed for large hotels, and are neither required nor cost-effective for homestays. However, many homestay owners aspire to become hoteliers, and India desperately needs new investment in mid-range hotel properties. This article, therefore, is for those property owners aspiring to scale up their operations.

Door Locks

The average homestay/B&B door Read the rest “Guestroom Electronics – Systems and Infrastructure”

Guestroom Electronics – Guest Services

Hotel guestrooms are increasingly becoming packed with electronics. Apart from the AV suite and internet/telephony, guestrooms have electronics for air-conditioning, safes, minibars, alarm radios and so on. All these add complexity and need careful management. In this article, we look at each in detail and see what the best strategies are for deployed each of these.

Air Conditioning

Holiday home air conditioningMost places in India require cooling for at least a part of Read the rest “Guestroom Electronics – Guest Services”

Informing past guests about recent renovation/ home décor

Informing past guests about recent renovation/ home décor

Because you will be renovating or changing your décor from time to time, it is imperative that you inform not only your past guests about these changes, but also travelers who could be your next guests. Informing your past guests about the recent renovation and changes in your home décor have many benefits, including resolving issues (if any) with them, reminding them about your property, etc.

But first things first! Read the rest “Informing past guests about recent renovation/ home décor”

Guestroom Electronics – Ways to Communicate Even on a Vacation


Last week, we looked at entertainment electronics in the guestroom. Homestays today are more than just holiday stay options – in cities, they are increasingly popular with business travelers who’re tired of the same old business hotels. Business travelers have their own special needs, and communication – telephony and internet – is top of the business traveler’s list.

Let’s look at the internet options first.


The best and Read the rest “Guestroom Electronics – Ways to Communicate Even on a Vacation”

Wireless Thermostats and Door Locks – Investing on a Peace of Mind

Wireless thermostatFor owners of vacation rentals who are not stationed in the property, gaining a peace of mind that their property is safe is of utmost importance. So what if one could stay in touch with one’s home from nearly anywhere – you can lock and unlock the door, adjust the thermostat and set up alerts if windows or doors are opened, all from a PC or a compatible smart phone? Read the rest “Wireless Thermostats and Door Locks – Investing on a Peace of Mind”

Guestroom Electronics – The Entertainment Suite

Today’s hotel guestrooms are loaded with electronics. Homestays, of course, work very well with no electronics at all, as the guest experience expectations are entirely different, but homestays in cities may want to provide the essentials if they want to target a higher ARR (average room revenue).

Electronics in guestrooms are usually categorised into entertainment, communications, guest services, systems and infrastructure. Over the next few stories, we’ll look at all Read the rest “Guestroom Electronics – The Entertainment Suite”

Property Clinic: Simple, Spare, Almost Ascetic Aesthetic

If you have to generalize about India, which is a dangerous thing to do, the one thing most people would agree upon is that we don’t do simple. We embellish, we ornament, we bring in a riot of colors, textures and materials to everything we do, from food and clothing to our movies and our houses. In stark contrast to this celebration of excess is the aesthetic of Kerala. Traditional Read the rest “Property Clinic: Simple, Spare, Almost Ascetic Aesthetic”

When and How Should You Refurnish Your Vacation Rental Property

Holiday home refurnishingLike any hospitality player, maintenance of your vacation rental property is very important to ensure that you not only create a good impression amongst travelers looking for accommodations online, but also get good reviews and referrals from guests who have stayed with you. There have been several instances where the images in one’s online rental ad are those taken when the property was newly furnished, but the current state of Read the rest “When and How Should You Refurnish Your Vacation Rental Property”

Property Clinic: Well-Designed Spaces Need Few Accessories and Little Furniture

Most homestay owners buy a property for use as a homestay. Others let out rooms in their existing properties. Very few have the luxury of building a new property that they plan to run as a homestay. In that ideal situation, good architecture can ensure that very little is required as interior enhancement.

A good example of this is this island property off the shores of Karnataka. As if Read the rest “Property Clinic: Well-Designed Spaces Need Few Accessories and Little Furniture”

Giving a New Lease of Life to Old Flooring – Cement Mosaic

Many properties in India from the 60s, 70s and 80s have concrete mosaic flooring. Older properties may even have the seamless in-situ concrete mosaic, which was later replaced by pre-fabricated concrete mosaic tiles. As a flooring material, concrete mosaic has many advantages – it’s cheaper, lasts incredibly long, and with appropriate polishing, can have a glossy shine that’s very attractive. It’s also quite eco-friendly – when the floor is concrete Read the rest “Giving a New Lease of Life to Old Flooring – Cement Mosaic”

Should I Take Professional Help to Build my Holiday Home?


Since you have decided to buy a plot of land and build your vacation home, it’s pretty obvious and understandable that you would like to be involved in the construction and the subsequently the furnishing of the house – you might thus want to do everything yourself without any professional help. However even before the first brick arrives, you need to ask yourself: “Will I do a better job Read the rest “Should I Take Professional Help to Build my Holiday Home?”

Putting Things Away – the Kitchen and Bathroom edition

This week, we’ll explore storage options in the kitchen and in bathrooms, in the context of homestays. When you have a kitchen that’s meant to be used by your guests, you would obviously be expected to provide an adequate supply of crockery, cutlery, and cooking utensils. We’ve covered the list of essential kitchen utensils previously, but here our focus is on storage.

A homestay kitchen has to take into account Read the rest “Putting Things Away – the Kitchen and Bathroom edition”

Tips to Making your Vacation Rental Eco-friendly

Eco-friendly holiday homeEco-friendly home is today a buzz word. There are developers offering eco-friendly homes; then there are accommodations who call themselves eco-friendly and also a huge range of home furnishings, appliances, etc. that promise you a greener home.

So whether you are planning to build a vacation home or wanting to make your existing vacation rental an eco-friendly one here are some tips you can use:

1. If you are building Read the rest “Tips to Making your Vacation Rental Eco-friendly”

Putting Things Away – Making a Storage Plan for Your Homestay

While writing property clinic stories over the last few weeks, you may have noticed that I repeatedly commented on tidying up rooms before taking photographs. While in our homes, we have the luxury of a little untidiness, as a homestay we don’t – just as we expect a hotel we stay in to be neat to a fault, the space we offer to our guests have to be obsessively tidy. Read the rest “Putting Things Away – Making a Storage Plan for Your Homestay”

Property Clinic: When Less Should Be More – Part 4

Over the last three weeks, we have been looking at various spaces in a lakeside property in Bhopal. When we looked at the living room last week, we did not discuss the curtains. Very few properties have the luxury of only requiring sheer curtains, as this property does, because it faces a lake and not another residence.

When you do have the privilege of only needing sheer curtains, your Read the rest “Property Clinic: When Less Should Be More – Part 4”