Short-Term Airbnb rental home decor ideas
Highly-popular vacation rentals on Airbnb are known for providing home-like experience, having all the features of a home and then some. Rental hosts are constantly trying to create the perfect retreat what keeps guests coming back over and over, leaving fabulous reviews in between. If you're looking to become an Airbnb host and need ideas for the stellar guest experience, check out these remodeling and decorating tips.
Repair before replacing
In other words, don’t replace something that can be repaired. This point is a major money-saver – before ordering new kitchen cabinets, try sanding down the old ones and giving them a fresh coat of paint. The same applies to the doors and woodwork. New windows are expensive, and if your current ones are draughty or even leaking, consider what can be done to make them more weatherproof in the first place. Rental repairs also include regular maintenance, so make sure the door hinges are oiled to prevent them from creaking. Perhaps even the old parquet floor can be re-laid, sanded down, and lacquered for a fraction of the cost of a new floor. Avoid plumbing emergencies and unfavourable reviews from your guests by making sure the kitchen and bathroom fixtures, as well as drains, are running fine.
Focus on the kitchen and bathroom
Even if they’re staying just a couple of days, many guests will base their reviews on these two facilities, since the kitchen and bathroom are areas that people are most sensitive about. Whoever has rented an apartment to tenants know that small changes like putting a new backsplash, painting the cabinets, replacing a toilet seat, and installing a new showerhead can do wonders in making your rental more attractive. Sometimes even adjusting the lighting can cast a new light on your place, pardon the pun. If you want to go the extra mile, see if you can get a permit to add an extra bathroom to your rental. If your rental is suitable for families or groups of people, having two bathrooms will make it pop up in the lists.
What materials to use
As flooring materials are concerned, think twice before putting carpets in your Airbnb rental, as the number of things that can spill is endless. If you don't want to invest in a decent hardwood floor either, there are many cost-effective and highly decorative options like versatile vinyl tiles and sheets, linoleum, epoxy, and even cork. What these materials have in common is that they are easy to clean between guests and require little maintenance in general. If inexpensive materials will fulfil the same purpose, there's no need for costly ones. If you'd put a marble or granite counter in your home, in a rental it'd be overkill. They require maintenance like sealing against moisture and staining, and may even chip if treated carelessly. On the other hand, you don’t want to go cheap either – cheap materials will wear out sooner and you’ll be back in square one – making repairs and remodels in the midst of the holiday season.
Where to spend cash
When it comes to investing in furniture, there are many vendors that offer cool items that are affordable. Low prices may even attract you to some insane deals which compromise on quality, however when it comes to essential pieces such as flexible modular sofas, you want to go with manufacturers who use strengthened steel frames and high quality seating system for ultimate support and many years of service. These sofas often come with organic design features, where deep seating options combine the features of a traditional 2-seater plus a chaise lounge. Another great source of inspiration are second-hand stores, as they often have unique vintage pieces that guests will eagerly include in their holiday photos.
Bring the indoors outside
Your Airbnb decorating doesn't end at your front door. If your rental unit has outdoor space that is available to your guests as well, focus your attention to that area, as well. Especially if the rental is small, a comfortable outdoor area or patio can give your guests additional space for relaxing. Think of your outdoor area as of an extra room and furnish it with outdoor-friendly furniture such as colorful Adirondack chairs, outdoor rugs, pillows, and a club table. A mini bar or a glass-door fridge would make a nice addition in summer months. All in all, you should look for low maintenance accessories that can be stored in bad weather.
Notes on décor
Whether you’re renting a room in a multi-unit building or an entire home, owners claim that décor can make or break the place. Removing every item personal is essential. Between the plants, records and books and everything else that is left for the guests, there should remain nothing that shows who used to live there. Make sure to remove family photos from the nightstands, as well as intimate artwork like boudoir photos. While your rental décor doesn’t have to approximate the Ritz, think about simple yet tasteful color schemes, unclutter surfaces, non-offensive artworks, and a few mirrors on the wall. For many Airbnb operators, incorporating the spirit of the cities where they’re located has proven to be a win-win decision.
Things that matter the most
Today’s guests are often working even when they’re travelling, so great Wi-Fi access is a must, even if just for sharing the holiday photos. No matter how beautiful your Airbnb might be, an uncomfortable bed is definitely getting you a bad rating. Show that you're a considerate host by putting together a list of micro-manuals on quirky specifics about your place, for example, if hot and cold water handles are reversed, or how to operate the coffee machine. Just don't go overboard with instruction notes as your guests might feel they're doing something wrong all the time.
Remodeling and decorating a short-term rentals is more than just making your guests happy. While your online photos will capture all the improvements and considerations you’ve put into it, keep in mind that it’s only personal guest experience that matters.
About the author: Lilly Miller is a Sydney-based graphic designer and a passionate writer. Loves everything about home decor, art history and baking. Shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney. You can find her on Twitter.
“Poetry creates the myth, the prose writer draws his own portrait.”
- Jean - Paul Sartre