How to fill your vacation rental with local art and support local artists

Make your vacation rental more attractive and individual by displaying the work of local artists

When a guest visits your vacation rental, will they feel instantly at home? Will they get a feel for the destination they are staying in? Does the interior décor reflect the style and quality your guests would be expecting?

Travelers today are looking for something different, a place that feels unique and authentic. They do not want to stay in an apartment, townhouse, or country home, which could be anywhere and has no distinct character. How many times do guests stay in properties which have the same pictures from well-known homeware brands? Not another black-and-white print of Audrey Hepburn or an image across three picture frames!

A great way to create this sense of individuality is to display local artwork in your short-term rental. You will bring style and color to your vacation home, as well as a sense of the destination where the rental is located.

Individual pieces of artwork can create a personal emotional reaction from the observer, and this can give your guests another reason to remember your property. Particularly, if they then go on and buy another work by the same artist.


1. Have a positive impact on the community and support local artists

Not only will having local artwork give your vacation home a unique feel, it will clearly show that you want to support the local community. Finding ways to give back to communities is becoming increasingly important for short-term rentals.

In many well-known, popular destinations, there is growing resentment from local people and municipalities. There is even talk of regulation to restrict the number of short-term rental properties in particular destinations. Locals feel that Airbnb-type properties are increasingly owned by property managers who are not based locally. These companies are filling up their properties to the max and then not contributing to the local economy. Furthermore, they are not encouraging guests to spend their money with local small businesses. Any initiative which can show the local community that you are trying hard to have a positive impact has to be a good thing. If regulation does come, make sure that you are one of the short-term rentals that the local community wants to keep…


DID YOU KNOW? – Showcasing local artists can get you up to 3.13% on the Sustonica criteria! Check out our standard.

Why is it part of the criteria? Providing local artists with a place to promote their artwork is a great way to give back to the local community as well as bringing character and uniqueness to your short-term rental


2. How to decide what kind of artwork would suit your vacation rental

Now you are convinced that showcasing local artwork in your vacation rental is a great idea, how do you find and support local artists?

Before you start your search, there are likely to be a number of things you need to consider.

Matching the style of your short-term rental. You may have a sleek, minimalist feel which would lend itself to contemporary pieces. Or your specific destination is on the coast or in the mountains and could be reflected in local landscapes or seascapes. Think about why your guests are visiting your destination. Is it home to specific wildlife? Are there iconic buildings and heritage sites which make it memorable? This will help you decide on the right artist.

Budgetary considerations. What is your budget for purchasing artwork (even if you agree a discount with the artist)? How much would your guests be able to spend if they decided to take some artwork home with them?

Materials used. If you are thinking about sustainability, you may want to think about working with artists who use environmentally-friendly paints and art materials. Or even those who use recycled or waste materials and upcycled or foraged items like excess fabrics and driftwood. This approach creates totally unique artworks which are also sustainable.

Size and location. Quite obvious – but do be clear about the size of artwork which would work in your vacation rental. Also think about outside space if you have gardens – you may be able to showcase some beautiful sculptures.

Types of artwork. Do you just want wall art or could you also accommodate handmade or upcycled furniture if that works with the style of your vacation rental? Or even a statue?

Once you have answered these questions, you can then start your search to find the appropriate local artists.


3. How to work with local artists in the community

Now that you are clear on the type of artwork you are looking for, you can start your search to support local artists. These are some ideas of where you might find the right ones.

  • Local galleries in your destination
  • Social media channels like Instagram and Pinterest
  • Events that showcase local artists and craftspeople
  • Local shops that sell artwork and artisanal pieces

Once you have identified a local artist whose artwork you would like to display, you can contact them to suggest a partnership. Even work with more than one if you have space to showcase paintings, sculptures or handmade ornaments, or furniture for example.

You will need to decide the type of partnership you wish to agree with them. Perhaps you could pay for the artwork and then receive a small commission on any sales to your guests. Alternatively, the artist could loan you pieces to display in your vacation rental, which you then promote to your guests. The artist would then take the full price of any sales generated.

If your chosen artist has a gallery of their own, you could also arrange visits for your guests to see their full range of work.

You will probably need to consider the shipping of artwork if your guests are mainly from overseas and would not be able to take any large items home with them.

Note for Property Managers: how about agreeing a partnership with a local gallery where your property owners can go for artwork?


4. How to display and promote local artwork

Once you have agreed to your partnership, you then need to think about how you will support the local artist of your choice. To achieve up to 3.13% in the Sustonica criteria, you will need to show that the artwork is for sale and how to contact the artist. This could be a discreet label on the artwork itself or some printed cards provided by the artist. Of course, these should preferably be on recycled paper printed using vegetable inks!

Also, remember to use your digital guide to promote your chosen local artists. You could include photos of other pieces of artwork as well as more information on how to purchase and visits to their gallery if appropriate.


REMEMBER – Showcasing local artists can get you up to 3.13% on the Sustonica criteria! Check out our standard.

Why is it part of the criteria? Providing local artists with a place to promote their artwork is a great way to give back to the local community as well as bringing character and uniqueness to your short-term rental

Your real superpower is that you can now create a unique style in your vacation rental and support local artists in your community!


Check out another of our Insights to find out why sustainability is becoming so important for short-term rental businesses.

Why sustainability will be increasingly important for the vacation rental industry in 2023


Print a Sustainability chart for your vacation rental and list all the things that you do with regard to:

  • energy efficiency
  • waste reduction
  • water conservation
  • respect of the community
  • promoting the destination
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