So you’re looking to start an Airbnb. As someone who just started this exciting new venture myself, and as a designer who has been revitalizing homes for years and years, I officially have some advice. Now, I might still be learning the Airbnb side of things, but the design side I have down to a creativity science, and there are some things you definitely need to make your Airbnb stand out from the crowd. I’m sure there are a lot of ways to approach this whole process, but here are my 5 things you need for an Airbnb.
Usually, when someone chooses a location to vacation to, it’s because they want to experience the best of that area. The stucco house in New Mexico or the ranch in Texas are far more attractive options than the typical, run-of-the-mill hotel for a reason: they capture the very essence of the state or city. So an absolute must for your Airbnb is the details, design aesthetics, art, and more to embody the local vibes, welcome your guests to the town, and give them an authentic look into what that area is all about.
Area-specific aesthetics can be achieved with color palette, plant selection, art, and even furniture styles.
All The Necessities
Just from personal experience, there is nothing worse than getting to an Airbnb and feeling like you have to go shopping for the absolute basics. Have enough plates, silverware, and cups in the cabinets, stock the coffee and tea drawers or tins, and always keep paper goods where they can be easily found.
Also, take into consideration seating, sleeping areas, dressers, and closets. When you’re designing an Airbnb, make sure there is enough space to live in. Guests will appreciate extra storage over too little storage, and will feel more comfortable in a space where there are seating options and lots of places to gather together. For our Airbnb that meant two sofas, a large dining room table, and bar stools at the kitchen counter, as well as a patio table and seating throughout the backyard.
Something A Little Different
It’s becoming more and more of a trend to have wow-factor Airbnbs. This can be anything from treehouses to train cars. The point is, people are getting creative and using the uniqueness of their rental homes to catch the attention (and five-star ratings) of Airbnb guests. To stand out in this market, it’s a good idea to integrate some OMG! (as Airbnb puts it) factors into your rental home.
The wow factor can take the form of almost anything. Grab some unique furniture like hanging egg chairs, chaise lounges, locally made tables, and antique cabinets. Repurpose pieces into something totally new or focus on curating design-forward furniture that naturally offers something a little different! Add a wall mural, make a fire pit available, offer games, books, movies, Netflix, or purchase a property with a view! There are so many different wow factors for you to incorporate and it’s definitely in your best interest to thoughtfully how you plan to blow guests away and keep them coming back.
You have to remember that your guests are not familiar with the space. If they are thrown into a confusing, crowded, or incohesive house for a handful of days, then their trip might be memorable for all the wrong reasons. For us, that meant no-fuss bedding, a closet with easily accessible storage, lots of clean and clear spaces, an open concept, and consistent, modern, and refreshing design aspects throughout. We kept the kitchen appliances familiar, made sure the bathrooms were up-to-date, and even took into consideration hardware for doors so there are no mysteries.
It’s always a temptation with design to go big, but simplicity will always be more inviting to strangers and guests.
A Great Backyard
I might be a bit biased as a seasoned landscape designer, but a backyard makes or breaks the Airbnb. Obviously, this isn’t necessarily true of city properties and apartments, but even with those, the outside can matter just as much as the inside. My point here is the the curb appeal is the first sight the guest gets that isn’t a photo online. The outdoor maintenance can also be a sign of how well the rest of the property is taken care of. All in all, it leaves an impression, and it’s always a joy to have an accessible and usable backyard!
A backyard can even be your wow-factor for the property, as well as additional space to show off the benefits of the local neighborhood. It can help you add something a little different, and provide some of the necessities (like a pool for hotter climates, storage for water sports equipment, a grill, and extra eating space). There is so much you can do with a good backyard, so if you’re buying a house with a little property to turn into an Airbnb, don’t neglect the outdoors!
I’m here to help! The PUNIAF.design team is ready to take on any fixer-upper or redesign project you have. Together, we can make your Airbnb dreams come true and provide a fabulous experience for your guests!