Shop the House – La Mariposa

By Kylee Niederhauser

Today we’ll be taking you on a tour of La Mariposa – a mid-term rental property in La Quinta, California and a new addition to Arrivls.

When we take on a new design and set up job, most of the time we’re starting from scratch with an empty house. But in this case the homeowner had started the process and had most of the big furniture items already picked out and set up at the house before bringing us in to finish up the details.

After meeting with the client and understanding the direction that they were heading with the design, we got to work on the space. We think it turned out great – not only aesthetically but also functionally. La Mariposa is sure to be a guest favorite!

The Living Room

La Mariposa has a modern, open-concept great room with high ceilings and amazing views of both the pool area and the surrounding mountains. The homeowners set the tone for the design with most of the furniture before we came in with finishing touches. 

One of the most common mistakes we see in a living room set up at a short term or mid term rental is not having enough seating for the max occupancy of the house. So we proposed adding two more chairs to allow for more seating and also to balance out this part of the room.

We also thought that the coffee table felt a little lonely in the middle so we found a similar one at a slightly taller height so that we could nest them together and better fit the scale of the room.

Decor in this room was minimal. The homeowners purchased the rug. We purchased a few items for the coffee tables and baskets for either side of the fireplace – one for blankets and one to house the router and internet equipment.

We also added some wall decor – two pieces stacked over the console table in the entryway and a larger scale wall hanging on the back wall.

Shop the Living Room

Kitchen & Dining

All of the dining room furniture – the table, chairs and bench – were all purchased by the homeowners. As were the barstools at the kitchen island. One of our favorite parts of this whole room is the wood detail that the homeowners added to the kitchen island. It’s actually a wood-look tile and it turned out great.

We did make a few cosmetic changes to the kitchen – the most noticeable changes were swapping out the lighting over the island and the cabinet handles.

The homeowners liked the warmth of brass, and they were starting to add brass details throughout the house. We’re brass fans as well, especially an aged brass, but the issue that we saw is that there were so many chrome details in the house as well. 

And those chrome details were expensive ones – like all of the door handles and hinges, nice ceiling fans, shower fixtures, and the appliances. We’ve done mixed metals before, but the brass and black and chrome seemed to be competing with each other instead of complimenting each other, so we suggested switching out all of the brass cabinet pulls in the house for black.

The homeowners were on board with the black cabinet pulls, but still wanted to tone down the amount of chrome in the kitchen, which is why we swapped the pendant lights and we also changed out the kitchen faucet for a black one.

The other big change in this kitchen is what’s inside the cabinets. The homeowners had already purchased many of the essentials for the kitchen, but we took it from well-stocked to fully equipped. We think that having a fully-equipped kitchen in a short term rental is important, but it becomes even more important in a mid-term rental where guests are staying for 30-60 days or more.

You can access our free sample inventory, which includes a list and links to all of the items that we like to use in our rental properties and that includes all of the kitchen items. But here are a few specific things that we added to this kitchen.

The first is outdoor dinnerware and serveware. Part of the outdoor updates, which we’ll get to in a bit, included pouring concrete on the side of the house to make an outdoor dining area. And for properties with an outdoor dining area, we always like to include outdoor dinnerware. We look for melamine plates and bowls that are dishwasher safe and found this nice set from Home Depot online.

We also make sure that the kitchen was set up so that guests can cook all of their meals here if they wanted to. They already had a nice set of pots and pans but we rounded out the inventory with bakeware, cutting boards, mixing bowls and cooking utensils.

Shop the Kitchen

View all of our kitchen favorites on our free sample inventory.

Bedrooms

Moving on to the bedrooms, all of the bedrooms already had rugs, bed frames and mattresses, sheets and duvet covers.

In the primary bedroom we added nightstands on either side of the bed along with plug-in wall sconces. We also added charging ports on each nightstand and a white noise machine, which is something that we like to add to all of our rental properties.

We also added mattress and pillow protectors and a second set of sleeping pillows. They had a nice set of plush pillows, so the second set we purchased was a medium density memory foam.

The linens that the homeowners had purchased were nice, but we ended up reaching out later in the installation to tell them that it was probably *too* nice. Sheets in mid-term rentals, especially pillowcases, seem to need to be replaced more often than short term rentals that are being washed multiple times a week.

We didn’t want to have these nice linens get ruined so we suggested that the homeowners either take them home to use themselves, or to keep them at the house in the supply closet to use when they visit the property. And then we purchased our go-to sheets and spare pillowcases and alternate duvet covers. Two sets of each with spare pillowcases for less than the cost of one of the original set of sheets. 

We also purchased a few decor items for this bedroom. Some wall art and a couple of small accent pieces.

The shelves were kind of a pain. We had planned to use them as shelves but because they’re bent wood they weren’t totally level and that became very obvious when we tried to style them. So instead of shelves we hung them more as dimensional art and I think in the end it’s a unique feature.

The other two bedrooms also had rugs, beds, mattresses and linens and just like the primary bedroom we added a second set of pillows, mattress and pillow protectors and replaced the linens.

We also added nightstands to both bedrooms and plug-in wall sconces. Plug-in sconces not only look nice but they are also a great option for smaller bedrooms that require smaller nightstands. They don’t take up any space on the nightstand which is good for functionality and also the overall design.

We also added a tv to both of the guest bedrooms. We always go for TVs with a built-in Roku interface and the ones we bought here are Hisense brand and cost around $350, including the mount, from Walmart. Don’t get upsold on a tv mount, our go-to is $30.

Shop the Bedrooms

All of the bedroom closets already had hangers, but we added luggage stands. And in one of the closets we store the baby gear which was another new purchase for the property.

This was one of the proposed items that the homeowners were unsure about at first, but we explained that in this market, they probably won’t get a family renting the house, but they will likely get an older couple with kids and grandkids who visit.

In our market, we get a lot of snowbirds, or retired couples who come down to the desert to escape the cold winter weather for a couple months out of the year. And oftentimes they’ll have their family come and visit during a part of their stay. And if the $250 in baby gear can help secure just one booking, ever, then it’s paid for itself, like 30x.

Shop the Kids Gear

Decor in both of the guest bedrooms was intentionally kept very minimal. We added faux plants, full length mirrors and wall art.

The wall hanging in one of the bedrooms was purchased by the homeowners and we found the hanging bar and leather straps on Amazon. And unfortunately we found out yesterday that the wall hanging that we ordered for the other bedroom is on backorder, so we’re probably going to end up canceling that one. 

Bathrooms

In the bathrooms, we switched out the brass cabinet pulls for black ones just like in the kitchen. The homeowners also wanted to swap the faucets and the lighting for black options as well.

Funny story about the lighting, our son actually picked them! I was looking at options on the couch one night and he came and sat next to me and he said, “Wait, scroll back up. Those ones are really cool.” So he was excited when the homeowners approved that choice.

There weren’t too many other purchases in the bathrooms – a second set of towels so that we can set out two per person and have at least one full set of spares. And then also hair dryers, one per bathroom, and shampoo bottles, which we buy in bulk and I make the labels on our cricut machine.

Shop the Bathrooms

Outdoors

We loved how the interior came together, but there was also a big transformation outside. This is a newer construction home so it didn’t need a lot of work, just a few tweaks to maximize the functionality.

We walked the space with the homeowner and we decided to swap out the rock in between the concrete pads for turf, and then to pour additional concrete on the side of the house so that we’d have space to put two chaise lounges and also a dining set.

We’ve helped facilitate a few different concrete and turf projects for clients over the past few years so we knew just who to call, and they got the job done in just a few days. The turf brought some color to the area and looks really nice, and the side yard area came together well.

Shop the Patio

La Mariposa is currently available for 30+ night stays. Click here for more details.

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