Styling your Airbnb: How to turn a simple space into something inspiring
We’ve all seen the photos of our friends posing in some spectacularly stunning Airbnb somewhere in the world – filling us with envy and making us want to get online and book the place for ourselves. If you style your Airbnb right – your guests will do your marketing for you.
The vacation rental industry is becoming more and more competitive which means having a property that stands out for all the right reasons is vital if you want to secure glowing reviews, better ratings and more bookings.
Choosing your Airbnb design
Let’s be honest, if you don’t have panoramic views or an unbeatable location to offer guests – you are going to need to rely on the interior design of your property to get you across the line with new bookings.
The more energy you put into thinking, planning and executing this design – the more fruitful your Airbnb income will be.
But before you spend your life savings on Persian rugs and antique lamps, you need to consider your audience and what they will desire from the interior of your home.
Are you targeting business travellers? If so – a more minimalist approach might be necessary. Are you pitching to young families – then black wallpaper is probably not the best option.
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You also need to consider your location. If you’re furnishing an inner-city apartment in New York it’s probably best to avoid a rural, rustic theme when it comes to interior design – but that theme could work perfectly well for a barnyard that you’ve converted into an Airbnb in the English countryside.
In general, your theme should make sense with your surroundings. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule but unless you are a very confident decorator who knows you can pull off a risky move – we recommend you stick with something safe.
Turning your Airbnb into an inspiring space doesn’t have to be a costly exercise and doesn’t have to require an interior designer. Depending on the size of your accommodation – it might only require buying a few feature items, or putting a fresh coat of paint on a couple of walls.
If you have a small area to decorate, consider purchasing a couple of striking pieces of art – something by a local painter or some photos of street scenes from your city that have been beautifully framed.
There are plenty of places to find inspiration if you’re stuck for ideas – whether it’s home decorating magazines in your local supermarket – or going online and searching for designs. Pinterest is a fantastic place to help with brainstorming – just search Airbnb Interiors or Home Décor for tonnes of ideas.
Where to spend your cash
When it comes to investing in furniture for your home, there are many places you can buy cool stuff that’s affordable. It’s hard to go past IKEA in terms of home décor because you’re guaranteed to find furniture that’s acceptable to most consumers/is not too offensive and has a reasonable price tag.
But second-hand stores are also a great source of inspiration for unique pieces that will be the talking/photo point for guests – whether it’s a gorgeous vintage lamp or a retro-print room divider. Just beware of items like couches that might contain smells from their former owners when buying second-hand furniture.
Some helpful tips:
Keep it neutral
Unless you are extremely confident with your interior decorating skills and have a certain audience in mind when it comes to a crazy colour scheme – we advise to keep the palette neutral.
If you decide to paint the walls red, there’s a good chance you’ll scare off more conservative guests. Stick with a colour scheme that won’t offend and that can be lifted by a few feature items – such as a piece of art or rug.
If your place has old stained carpets on the floor – think again before putting it on Airbnb. One of the most important things you can do when it comes to the interior design of your Airbnb is to focus on getting the floors right.
Buy nice tiles for the bathroom. Rip up the carpets and have the old floorboards polished. Or buy some beautiful rugs. Guests do care what’s under their feet when they are staying in a vacation rental. Make it nice.
This might seem like a no-brainer but it’s amazing how many hosts renovate their Airbnb and don’t think about storage for guests…they create minimalist havens with nowhere to hang a shirt! Add hooks to the walls.
Consider built-in cupboards. Put a rack for shoes at the door. Make sure guests aren’t frustrated by having nowhere to put their stuff.
The smell of your Airbnb can be a deal breaker for many guests. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your space is and what cool furniture is inside – if it stinks like a wet dog, or a toilet, you are unlikely to get good reviews or future bookings.
Get rid of old mattresses, carpets, rugs, pillows or couches that might contain bad odors. Some hosts use air fresheners or scented candles to add goodness to the atmosphere but try not to choose anything overpowering as this could turn off guests with allergies or sensitivities.
Try to avoid:
- Cluttering your space
- Having too many personal items, like family photos, around the house
- Religious items that might make a guest feel uncomfortable
- Expensive antiques that run the risk of being damaged by guests
- Themes that don’t tie in with the location and surroundings
Stuck for ideas? GuestReady has a team of highly experienced staff who understand the needs and wants of Airbnb guests around the world. We can provide advice when it comes to decorating your home to ensure you have the best chance of attracting new bookings and gaining great reviews. We are also available in Edinburgh.