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Design Tips for Renting Out Your Space

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.

Airbnb

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!

Airbnb3

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!

Airbnb2

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

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.

Rugs for Airbnb

Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Loloi Rugs Justina Blakeney Kahelo in black and ivory; Safavieh Kilim in navy; Momeni Laguna in black; Safavieh Kilim in blue and purple.

Photo Credits: Airbnb

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

 

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Stripes Forever: 4th of July Decor

With the Fourth of July falling mid-week this year, let’s take this chance to hit pause on our busy lives and savor the little things that make life sweet — like iced coffee on the porch, fireworks on a summer night, and the always-stylish power of stripes.

Design Sponge
Erin Napier for Design Sponge

With a centennial American flag framed on the wall and an antique armchair reupholstered using striped French grain sacks, this home really knows how to put stripes to work!

Aerin Lauder
Aerin Lauder via Habitually Chic

Barker and Stonehouse
Barker and Stonehouse

Love Breton striped tops? Bring the classic blue-and-white stripes into your home with chic striped wallpaper and a geometric striped rug in the bedroom. With this many stripes going on in one room it helps to keep everything else soft and neutral, so go with white or natural wood floors, a linen-upholstered bed, and crisp white sheets.

Domino2

Domino
Domino

If you want a bolder look, go for wide stripes. In the space shown here, a shade sail with wide black and white stripes is suspended from the ceiling for a dramatic look.

Domino3
Domino

Iittalla via Apartment Therapy
Iittala via Apartment Therapy

For a look as comfy as slipping on your favorite tee shirt, pop striped pillowcases over plush pillow inserts and line them up on your couch.

Whether you like your stripes wide or narrow, classic blue, chic black, or neutral, one super easy way to bring stripes home is with a fresh new rug. Striped rugs go with any style, and are just as easy to work with as a solid, but so much more interesting — check out four of my current favorites below. Happy Fourth, and happy decorating!

Striped Rugs
Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Capel Nags Head Vertical Stripe Rectangles in blue; Liora Manne Sorrento Rugby Stripe in black; Liora Manne Sorrento Pinstripe in navy; Safavieh Cape Cod in natural and black.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Dreamy Sheds

What’s not to love about having a mini-getaway right in your own backyard? Whether you opt for a garden retreat, backyard art studio, party shed, or solo relaxation zone, a shed to call your own can be a fantastic way to de-stress, practice a craft or hobby, or even start a side business. Read on for five totally swoon-worthy examples of backyard sheds, plus tips on decking out your own tiny backyard dream shed.

PeasAndNeedles2

PeasAndNeedles
Peas & Needles

First up is this glorious shed created by a textile designer in the UK who wanted her own weaving studio where she could set up her loom, work on projects, but also relax with a cup of tea. I love how the layers of cozy rugs, cushions, and weavings create a cocoon-like effect — don’t you just want to jump in and snuggle with all of those fluffy pillows?

Lesson learned: If your shed isn’t feeling as comfy or inviting as you would like, add more soft stuff!

AliceInScandiland

Alice
Alice in Scandiland

Next up, we have an adorable little backyard office and studio for a Cornwall-based blogger and work-at-home mom. The interior style is very clean and Scandinavian with a natural fiber rug, light blue armchair, and mirrors reflecting the greenery outside — but my favorite part has got to be the fort addition for her daughter! This seems like the ideal solution if you want to be outdoors with your kids, but also perhaps sneak in a little work or (ahem) write a blog post.

Lesson learned: A shed doesn’t have to be just one thing. Make it work for your family by incorporating a fun element or two.

BHG
BHG

If you’re looking for complete and utter relaxation surrounded by nature, this is the shed for you. A converted greenhouse design, this shed is all fresh air and glass, so you can enjoy birdsong and fresh breezes as you read a book or cat nap on the daybed.

Lesson learned: Context is everything. What makes this space so great is that it’s tucked back into a quiet corner of the garden and completely surrounded by lush green foliage.

BHG1
BHG

It’s shed party time! From the black-and-white striped floors and hanging chair to the bar cart and fringed chandelier, this super fun space has a lot going on, and it totally works. If you love to entertain but are getting tired of having everyone in your house, an entertaining shed could be just the ticket.

Lesson learned: You don’t need a shed big enough to fit a crowd to count as a party shed! If you can fit the drinks cart and a seat or two, you’re good. Guests can drift in and out, and the party fare will stay out of the sun.

Emily-Henderson3
Style By Emily Henderson

Sometimes you just want somewhere to get away from it all and relax. If that’s the case, may I recommend outfitting your shed with a daybed, topped with loads of soft blankets and cushions? Add a tree stump table and oil lamp for a back-to-the-woods feel, but keep the palette light with shades of cream and driftwood.

Lesson learned: Sheds are awesome, no matter how you use them. Now if you need me, I’ll be in the greenhouse with my dog-eared copy of Anne of Green Gables and a tall iced mint tea.

Dreamy Shed Shopping Guide

Dreamy Shed Shopping Guide (Clockwise from top left): Boho Paisley Elephant II by Danhui Nai; Not All Who Wander by Katie Doucette; Momeni Boho rug in ivory; Surya Jute Natural Woven rug in natural.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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3 Textile Trends to Try in 2018

Just as in fashion, it can be fun to watch interior design trends from the sidelines — without feeling the need to try every trend that passes by. But at their root, trends are just new ideas, and some are bound to resonate more than others. I’ve rounded up a handful of textile looks trending in 2018 that are both fresh and doable. See which textile trends you might like to take for a spin.

Loaf - Blue Sofa
Loaf

1. Rich-Hued Sofas

It’s no longer a given that your sofa has to be done in a (boring) neutral hue. From bright colors to wild patterns, pretty much anything goes when it comes to sofa upholstery in 2018. But my favorite take on the trend is a deep, rich blue like on the sofa shown above. Even better if it’s in a plush velvet-like fabric that you can’t wait to sink into! Pair with neutral walls and a nubby knit rug (another trend…we’ll cover that one next) for a surprisingly easygoing look.

Chunky knits
Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

2. Oversized Knits

Get out the big needles, Nelly — this isn’t your grandma’s knitting! Oversized knits have a decidedly modern-yet-crafty feel that works beautifully with a range of styles. Try this trend in an oversized knit throw at the foot of the bed, or in a nubby rug to provide welcome texture underfoot.

Homepolish-interior-design-70710
Home Polish

Real Rugs in the Kitchen

This is a trend that’s been building for a while and shows no signs of slowing down. Instead of purchasing a rug intended for the kitchen, why not roll out a rug you truly love in this space? Sure, there will be occasional spills to handle, but since the kitchen tends to be a smaller space, it’s also easier (and less costly) to have the rug cleaned than, in say, the living room. It seems a bit counter-intuitive, but I prefer to go with rugs made from natural fibers like wool and cotton in the kitchen because they are easier to spot-clean at home.

textured rugs and pillows
Rug + Pillow Shopping Guide (Clockwise from top left): Surya DwellStudio Riad rug; Surya Textured Genevieve Pillow in khaki; Jaipur Rugs Scandinavia Dula Alta rug in natural white; Surya Textured Spiked Flower Pillow in charcoal.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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