Home » blog » Oops! You Lost Me at the Pink Bedspread (Or The Anatomy of a Dead Booking)

Lately I’ve been looking for a Maine waterfront cottage to rent for a week in August.

I know if I book now, I’ll have my pick of the most affordable and kick-ass gorgeous vacation houses in coastal Maine. As a guest, I know that planning ahead is key. The best properties get scooped up before you can say ‘Uncle.’ In fact, as I write this in mid-February, many of the most enticing places are long gone.

And yet, the process of finding something is a little grueling. Like you, I am busy. I have a monthly blogging schedule to adhere to, as well as several properties I am designing. On top of that, I’m writing a book. So it’s not like I have a lot of time on my hands.

Consequently, my filter is narrow. If I don’t like the house within the first 15 seconds, I move to the next in line.

What is my criteria?

Well, after I put in my preferred location, dates, desired bedrooms and rate range, I look for two things: beauty and comfort. And the photos tell all.

Many properties post a ‘view’ photograph first. Awesome! I appreciate this. I love to know what I’ll be looking at when I sit on the back porch with a fine cup of joe. If I find the view beguiling, I go to the next photo.

Maine vacation house

I like the view outside this prospective vacation house, I’m excited to see the next photograph. Gosh, let’s see what it looks like inside……

And this is the pivotal moment when the winners are separated from the losers; kind of like Darwin’s natural selection…..

Only the chicest survive.

If this is the next picture featured…..

Ugly bed in a vacation rental

The unfortunately ubiquitous “Granny” bedspread has sunk many a booking.

It’s over.

Like, it’s really, really over. I literally don’t look at the next photograph. If I see a pink “Granny Bedspread,” I am so turned off that I instantly make assumptions about the rest of the house. If the owner thinks a polyester-ish pink flowered bedspread with a ruffled Holly Hobby bedskirt is okay, what else is she/he going to think is passing muster?

Do I care to find out?

No. Especially when there are other properties to be seen at a mere click of the back button.

That might not be fair, but it’s the way it is.

This owner just lost a booking.

And that’s sad.

It’s sad because it’s such an easy thing to fix, especially because the house is in a gorgeous location, the architecture is nice and those views! How can you beat them?

So here’s my advice to this owner:

Ditch the bedding before the week’s up!

It’s not too late in the season to secure bookings for the coming summer.

Here’s how (and you don’t even have to leave your home or office):

  • Get out your computer or smart device. Go to a hip and current online store who sells hip and current bedding. West Elm, Pottery Barn, CB2, Dwell Studio, Ikea and Anthropologie are all good sources.
  • Browse the bedding selections, noting suggested accompanying pillows and duvets. These ensembles have been assembled to be eye-catching so buying everything together will pay off.
  • Buy the whole shabang, put it on your bed and watch your bookings increase.

Yes, it’s that simple.

Never underestimate the power of bedding.

Oh, and don’t forget. You don’t have to spend a fortune. Sometimes the most affordable stuff happens to be both chic and cheap, like the 100% cotton LJUSÖGA duvet I specified for this Idaho ski cottage:


I specified an Ikea LJUSÖGA duvet for an Idaho vacation ski cottage. $24.99! Centium Satine sheets by The Distinguished Guest.

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