Design tricks to steal from the UK's most stylish holiday lets

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Published On

May 14, 2024

A holiday rental should be pretty, escapist, functional and practical. How? Olivia Lidbury gathers tips from the best

Spare a thought for Max Lozinski, who is simultaneously juggling 13 house renovations around Europe. Said homes will be for August clients, who buy into joint ownership of several properties, which they can access throughout the year, and which, unlike having a second home, open up a choice of multiple locations for owners to use. Lozinski is far too savvy to simply rip everything out and start again: “If a kitchen is decent, a coat of paint and new hardware goes a long way,” he says. In this Cotswolds cottage, the kitchen wasn't salvageable, so a new one was commissioned from nearby Woodchester Cabinet Makers. But the authentic stone flooring remained; its appeal was initially dampened by an equally greige colour palette, so this was remedied by painting the cabinetry and shelving in mustard yellow: "Contrast goes a long way in livening things up,” he explains.

Lozinski's favourite way to add wow factor to areas such as sitting rooms is with wallpaper, but he opts for half the wall - applied from above the dado rail - for half the cost. “It creates that sense of formality and also playfulness,” he says. He has a soft spot for tongue-and-groove panelling: “It's a wonderfully robust, functional yet elegant way of covering a lot of wall space in a very easy-to- maintain but visually interesting way.”

Unlike the stone villas he is overhauling in Majorca, British cottages come with the benefit of timber-frame floors and ceilings, which makes running pipework for bathrooms surprisingly straightforward. In this setting, behind a tongue-and-groove bedhead is a roll-top bath and a sink, but no lavatory. “It offers the ability to sink into the pace of the countryside,” he justifies. And in a world of overwhelming options for sanitaryware, he advises to keep choices classic for a traditional setting. “The Victorians designed it all so well. Burlington and Bristan's 1901 are timeless and well priced.”

To cater to a global clientele, a local reading list always finds itself onto an August property's shelves, and spans travel writing, guide books, cookbooks and novels. And for rainy days, board games, decent televisions and speaker systems offer much-needed distractions. To aid in the homely feel, he mixes a range of knick-knacks, oddities, eBay finds and local craft objects to create a sense of a home that has evolved over time. Back in the kitchen, he always includes an abundance of serving bowls and platters to make dinners feel celebratory and special, “as they should be on holiday!” he says.

Repurposed from the Saturday Telegraph, Saturday 5th August