Secrets of a picturesque holiday
ANitem appeared on myFacebook news feed recently about the world’s most unattractive real estate ads. One showed a picture of a building with an exterior wall missing; it looked as if it had been bombed and gave a new perspective to industry jargon such as ‘‘loads of natural light’’ and ‘‘indoor-outdoor living’’.
Myfriend David has been trawling the net for holiday rental accommodation on the NSWnorth coast and we have been having a bit of a hoot about what he’s found. Manyagents and owners think any old iPhone snap will do, no matter that the modular sofas are Harvey Norman catalogue circa 1985.
Interior decor is a subjective thing but salesmanship is all about tricks of the trade, which the mainstream tourism and hospitality industry knows full well. Glossy holiday brochures promote images of romance and ease and keep the leading silver foxes of this world in full employment. The same tanned and tailored chap of a certain age (wholooks just like that handsome Mark Harmon, without his NCIS silvery crew cut) pops up in just about every cruise brochure, typically with his slightly younger wife, toned and blonded and with a cashmere sweater slung effortlessly around her shoulders, faithfully at his side.
Back in holiday rental accommodation land, I am reminded of childhood holidays with Mother and Dad and what fun it was to redecorate the various hellhole cottages we secured over many a summer. In those days there were no online pictures or video tours and you had to rely on the advice of an agent. ‘‘It won’t last long,’’ they would say of a cheapie. And they were right. It would be on its last (fibro) legs but we didn’t much care because we were daggy and would always be smuggling in a ginger cat or two and didn’t want anywhere posh.
Mother and I fancied ourselves as stylists (we were, perhaps, the original pop-up designers) and would move all the furniture about and put the bright throws we had brought with us over the most offending items. Wehad an aversion to vertical blinds and Dad would have to thunder at us not to redo the holiday house windows with our Indian cotton bedspreads masquerading as curtains. Hesaid if he stood still in the loungeroom he would be mistaken for a standard lamp and we’d toss a mirrored Rajasthani throw on his head.
I still have a few of those long-ago camouflage textiles and will be tossing one or two into David’s holiday port.