Have Slipcovers, Will Travel: Interior Designer Meets South Padre Condo Rental

Ah, there’s no rest for a hardworking interior designer, even on vacation:

Each summer I go through a little drill when we arrive at our rental:   I walk through the unit and hide all the pillows, accessories, paintings, fake plants, area rugs and assorted clutter in the guest closet.  I can’t do anything about the paint job, so I just pretend it’s not there. Over the years I have accumulated an assortment of ready made slipcovers for the rentals, along with throw pillows, drop cloths, and Indian bedspreads which make great cover ups for nasty condo furniture. The picture above is off the rental web site – isn’t that couch a beauty?

And presto! What’s the scene after Joni Webb’s little annual adventure in summer rental redecorating?


Here’s what it looked like after I cozied up our unit. I used blue and white ticking ready made slipcovers for the sofa and love seat. We bought the pillows on sale down in Padre at the best (and only) decor shop on the island: Park 100. I brought the Dash and Albert rug with me. I’ll buy flowers at the grocery stores and add candles to atmosphere. The books come from home to read while we are there. . . . The wicker coffee table was actually kind of cute – about the only cute thing in the condo!

I moved the blue and white lamp from a bedroom to make it look a little nicer, and came THIS CLOSE to buying a new shade for it. Sad, I know. The white tiled floor is a plus. Whenever we are choosing a rental, we always opt for tiled floor over carpeting because at least you know it will be clean then. I learned my lesson one summer when I had to personally have the carpets cleaned the day after we arrived. Yuck!!!

How does Webb get her makeover kit to her vacation home?

We take a SUV down to the beach, so we have a little extra room to pack up all the decorating materials.

Photos: Joni Webb

13 Comment

  • I’m glad I have low standards.

  • Well, I was going to say something like “sure seems like a lot of trouble even if the end result does look a lot better.” Or maybe some kind of crack about a busman’s holiday.

    But wilf said it a lot better.

  • So that’s where grandma’s sofa ended up. And I’m a grandmother, so you know that’s old.

    When we rent at the beach, we’re just glad there aren’t racoons in the attic.

  • How long is she staying there? A weekend? A Week? 2 Weeks? Seems like a lot of work to me!

  • Edited to Add: But it does look nice in the after photos.

  • I bet she could do wonders for my crib, perhaps she could weave my shepherds hair tumble weeds into a speedo for the beach.

  • Joni,

    It looks really nice. Even at the lakehouse we always want it to be a nice as possible. However, with both a long-haired and short-haired german shepherd, there is never a shortage of hair for the enterprising weaver to fashion clothing items from.

  • To each his own. Way too much trouble for the outcome. Neither one is to my taste.

  • Love it. Far far too lazy to go to that trouble myself, but good on you!

  • why someone would brag about being such a nutjob? we stay at perfectly beautiful condos when we go that cost less than the gas her suv eats to get her slipcovers and pillows there, and frankly who cares when it’s all getting covered in sand anyway? not to mention i just think slipcovers = tacky anyway…so the final product isn’t even exciting to me.

  • I love this! I think most rentals have the yuckiest furniture and always feels a bit questionable when I sit on it. This doesn’t take any time.
    Funny how trying to make one’s space comfortable for their stay brings out such snarkiness!
    Who cares what someone does to make a nice environment. Makes the commenter above me sound bitter. Hee hee!
    I say great job and I’m going to try to do a few changes like this next we rent

  • actually we stay at the condo for a month, so it’s a long time to sleep on sofas that are probably 30 years old, full of dead skin mites, etc. yuck. hehe. I know it doesn’t look wonderful, but hey – it’s the best I could do with what I had to work with!!!

  • Joni Webb Wrote: “actually we stay at the condo for a month”

    THIS makes a lot more sense now. IF it had been for a weekend, kind of OCD… but a month… I would do the same in my own way… just drape sheets over the furniture. I do do that when renting a beach house for a weekend. Protects their furniture and my peace of mind.