5 Ways to Decorate Your Summer Rental

Image: Jennifer Mabley and Austin Handler of Mabley Handler Interior Design (HomeGoods)

Home sweet rental home. You may not own your summer rental, but you’re going to be living in it for a couple weeks to a couple months and understandably want to make yourself at home.

“If you’re in a rental house over the course of the summer, you want to be surrounded by things that you love and speak to your style,” Austin Handler of Mabley Handler Interior Design said.

“People are spending a lot of money to rent these homes, so if other people’s personal items are there, I can see why they want to represent themselves and have their own flavor,” Jennifer Mabley added.

I touched base with Handler and Mabley, who partnered with HomeGoods in Southampton for the store’s media preview and soft opening May 15, to get you some expert advice on how to give your summer rental a personal touch.


Image: Throw pillows are a great way t add style to your rental (Starting at $16.99, HomeGoods)

Think Small

If you’re renting a place, it’s probably fully furnished. Your best bet is to use accessories to add a personal touch. Handler recommends pieces of coral, nautical hurricane lamps, driftwood trays and small vessels for coffee tables. And of course, BYOTP (bring your own throw pillows). “Take the rental pillows and throw them in the closet,” he said.

Or Big

If you just hate the sofa that comes with your rental, drive a bargain. “We’ve heard of people who have purchased furniture and have tried to parlay that into a discount on the price of the rental,” Handler said. I suggest asking before you purchase.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Mabley isn’t too keen on the idea of hanging new nails on your rental’s walls, but that doesn’t mean your stuck with the home owner’s rather interesting taste in art. “Take down a photo and add a mirror,” she said.

Sleep Soundly

“Rental sheets may not be the best in the world,” Mabley said. Pack your own for a comfortable respite.



Image: Outdoor lanterns (top, $9.99, HomeGoods) and patio sets (bottom, $599.99, HomeGoods) can transform your rental’s outdoor space

Great Outdoors

Don’t just focus on the home’s interior. We spend so much time outdoors during the summer. If the rental is older, the outdoor furniture might be a little worse for the wear. “Bring your own outdoor furniture from home and have it look fresh and new,” Mabley said. Handler suggests benches, and lanterns are great for nightcaps on the deck.

HomeGoods in Wainscott can help you impress for less this summer. 

beth ann clyde

beth ann clyde

Beth Ann Clyde is a social strategist of Long Island Pulse. Have a story idea or just want to say hello? Email bethann@lipulse.com or reach out on Twitter @BAClyde.