Every vacation home is different, but they all need functional appliances that look great and work well for the space. There are so many variables that affect your choices that it’s worth taking a moment to break it down before you make those big purchases—and make the most of your vacation home kitchen space.
Know Your Renters
Who will be staying in the space? Are you creating a space for the sophisticated traveler, or the family-and-friends crowd? Are they usually families with young kids or couples without kids? How much time do you plan to spend in the space yourself? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you create an environment that you and your guests will want to return to year after year.
The Sophisticated Traveler
Entire segments of the travel industry are dedicated to this group, and, if you’ve got the right space in the right location, it can be a very lucrative clientele. While this crowd definitely chooses its vacation spots based at least partly on the food and restaurant scene in the area, a rental’s kitchen and kitchen appliances tend to be a big part of the decision making.
The trick is to balance the desires of the gourmet with the reality of renting. A six-burner commercial stove probably isn’t necessary, but it’s worth investing in stainless steel and contemporary appliances. If a gas range isn’t an option, consider an induction cooktop, which continues to be a popular trend with our clients who are foodies and hobby chefs. A French door refrigerator maintains the luxe look, but you can really take it to the next level with a wine refrigerator. Outfit it all with a simple set of restaurant-style white dinnerware, a few high quality knives and pans, and you’ve given any guest a kitchen they’ll want to come back for.
The Family Vacationer
For families, a well-equipped kitchen is more than a luxury—it’s a must for a successful vacation. While this is a group that certainly appreciates a gourmet kitchen, you want to consider convenience, volume and traffic in outfitting the kitchen. A larger, easy-access refrigerator is a good choice, and whether you go with French or standard doors, consider a model with the freezer on the bottom, which takes into account the number of hands reaching in for a cold drink or a snack several times a day.
An induction cooktop is something else to consider both for safety (the heating element stays cool to the touch) and for ease of cleaning and maintenance. That said, most people don’t want to learn new cooking equipment on vacation, so think carefully about your audience before making that decision. The real crowd pleaser here is a dishwasher that doesn’t require a lot of pre-washing, and the investment is likely worth it for both guests and owners. Outfit with bright and fun, mix-and-match dinnerware, family size pots and pans, and a few extra sets of silverware.
The budget is where the real balancing act comes in. You want to have the quality that will last for you as the property owner, but that is also a sensible investment. You definitely want to invest in energy-efficient appliances throughout your rental. Quality and style are obviously important, too, but if the budget is tight, don’t be afraid to look at floor models from reputable retailers.
Don’t Forget Yourself!
Chances are, you got into the vacation rental game as a way of making a vacation home possible for you and your own family. So, whoever your regular renters tend to be, make sure you outfit your kitchen with the appliances and kitchen equipment that work best for you. With that in mind, maybe that wine refrigerator really is a solid investment!
We’d love to hear more about your own tips and tricks for outfitting a vacation home kitchen!