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How to make a summer rental feel like home

Wireless speakers, a smoothie maker or your favorite

Wireless speakers, a smoothie maker or your favorite pillow can fine-tune a summer rental. Credit: Getty Images/Julieanne Birch

Renting a house for a getaway this summer? Whether you're staying for a week or the entire summer, you want to feel at home and at ease on your vacation. Here's some help turning that summer rental into a place you love kicking back and relaxing in.

1. Use your own bedding

Rental bedding is often bare bones. Up the comfort level by making the bed with your own sheets from home. "Your ultimate sanctuary, so bring a fresh sheet set with a pop of summer color to instantly personalize your rental and make sure you're comfortable at night after those long beach days," says interior designer Kyle Schuneman. Don't forget to bring your own pillow for maximum comfort.

2. Add some personal items

Make the rental your own by adding some small personal details. "Take along a few photos of family and friends in cute picture frames," says interior designer Julia Buckingham. Or put out a vase with some favorite fresh flowers — the kind you normally display in your own home.

3. Bring some everyday items

What easy-to-tote gadgets and other household favorites do you use every day? "A small blender or smoothie-maker is something a typical rental house won't have, and if you're like me and prefer your smoothie a certain way, you'll want to bring that along," says interior designer Peyton Lambton. "If you are a fan of music, take your own wireless speakers because that usually isn't something that's included in a rental. Also, a bathrobe is always nice, especially if you are sharing the rental with friends or in-laws."

4. Use your favorite scents

Familiar scents — like those you use at home — may trigger certain memories and make you feel more comfortable. "Good design should affect all your senses, so bring in a great smell to your rental home," Schuneman says. "Whether it be through a fragrance diffuser, your favorite candle or using a lavender potted plant as a dining table centerpiece, make sure your rental smells like home."

5. Bring in extra accents

"Add throw pillows and blankets in different textures like cable knits, linens and terry cloth to personalize the living room," Schuneman says. "You can also bring them onto the deck at night for those cool summer evenings around the fire pit." Plus, this is great for germaphobes who might be hesitant to nap on the couch or use the rental's throw blankets and pillows.

6. Think about the little things

If you only have the rental for a weekend, you can still bring in your own items to make the space cozy — just think a little smaller. "A favorite mug or cup can add a level of comfort when staying in someone else's home, and it doesn't take up too much space in your bag," Lambton says.

7. Entertain effortlessly

Just because it's not your house, doesn't mean you can't entertain. Make do with what you have and don't forget the essentials. "Music is key when entertaining, so make sure you have some wireless speakers and a good playlist on hand," Lambton says. "Candles can set the mood, especially outdoors."

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