Whether you’re planning to rent out your space while you travel, or are thinking of turning that spare room or backyard cottage into an Airbnb, there is a lot to consider before you put up your listing. From taking great photos to designing with guests in mind, here are a few foolproof tips for making your space stand out.
Assess what your place has going for it. Do you live near the beach, a great farmer’s market, or a cool bike path? Play up your neighborhood’s features in the decor by choosing local art or photography for the walls, and a color scheme that reflects your unique location. In the Southern California Airbnb shown above, the owners chose a poolside photo print, trendy blue animal print rug, and sleek, modern furniture for a sunny LA look.
Take great photos. When you’re ready to photograph your space, choose a sunny day and take pictures of each room when natural light is at its best. Open up window treatments wide, turn on the lights, and check to make your you’ve cleared any personal items out of the shot. Straight-on shots (like the one above) tend to look better than photos shot at an angle — if you have a tripod, set your camera on it and adjust the position until it looks just right. Then, click away!
Design Tip: One big framed photo makes a bigger impact than a salon-style gallery wall of smaller pieces … and it costs less, too!
Declutter. Before welcoming visitors into your home, you’ll need to pare back your personal items and excess belongings so that your space feels fresh and inviting. Useful items like basic cookware and dishes should stay. But the family pictures, plastic cups, and laundry baskets full of clothes have got to go. In the kitchen, any items left out should be functional, beautiful, or both.
Protect your valuables. It can help to dedicate one lockable closet or storage area for storing your personal items and valuables before you open up your home to short-term renters. Of course, you may get so used to enjoying your space without all of that extra clutter that you decide to get rid of it for good!
Design Tip: Splurge on a set of handmade mugs from Etsy or a local shop, plus a French press or pour-over coffee maker. These little items won’t set you back too much, and they look great in photos advertising your rental!
Go for budget-friendly decor. Presenting a space that’s really clean and clutter-free is way more important than spending a lot on decor. In fact, it’s important to keep in mind that occasionally guests may damage some of your belongings — so choosing budget-friendly pieces that you can replace as needed is a smart move. Floors especially can get a lot of wear-and-tear, so roll up the fancy rugs and opt for a simple natural fiber or flat-woven cotton instead.
Design Tip: Plants make any space look more complete. Potted cacti and succulents are ideal for a short-term rental, because they are easy to care for, and look hip. Cluster a few tiny pots on the coffee table, and put one bigger plant in a sunny window.
Pamper guests with little luxuries. So often, it’s the little things that leave the biggest impression. Leave guests with little treats in each room — fresh flowers on the kitchen table, fluffy white towels in the bathroom, a tray of snacks and magazines in the bedroom. And be sure to include a home reference binder, too. This essential should include any need-to-know info about your space (like the wifi password), plus local maps and phone numbers.
Design Tip: A tray makes anything look more special! Use one to corral small items like snacks, spare toiletries, or coffee-making items.
Photo Credits: Airbnb
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