As the Airbnb rental market continues to flourish, guests are offered endless choices for their stay. However, hosts are now experiencing the challenges of increasing competition.
One factor that draws visitors to an Airbnb listing is the location — whether it’s in an unbeatable spot to explore the city, or offers breathtaking views of the surroundings.
But, what if you’re not in a prime location?
Instead, you’ll need to take advantage of your interior design to create a home unlike any other.
Thoughtfully planning the style and features of your space will instantly capture your guests’ attention, resulting in more exposure, exceptional reviews, and an increase in bookings.
Below, we cover some of our best tips for designing a successful Airbnb property to maximise your rental income and investment.
1. CATER TO YOUR IDEAL GUESTS
The first step to creating a successful Airbnb property is to determine who you’re hosting. A business traveller will likely have different needs from a family, a group of friends on a weekend getaway, or a backpacker on a budget.
Understanding your ideal guests means you can offer amenities that will make their stay extraordinary — it may even be the difference between them booking your property or the one next door!
Consider investing in the following items for the most common types of stays:
- Business trip: a desk, reliable Wi-Fi connection, and printer.
- Family holiday: board games, colouring books, and ample seating.
- Romantic getaway or weekend with friends: audio speakers, a cheese board, and cocktail supplies (or even a complete home bar area).
- Backpacking adventure: a phone charging dock, clothes drying rack, and guitar.
If you’re already Airbnb hosting, it’s time to become familiar with your existing guests. Send them a message when they book or meet them when they arrive, find out the purpose of their trip and what made them choose your place. Common themes will often arise, and you’ll gain a better understanding of why your current visitors are drawn to your property and what else they may need.
2. MATCH THE STYLE TO THE LOCATION
Visitors who prefer an Airbnb to a hotel are often motivated by their desire for an authentic local experience. They want to envisage this space as their home, and themselves intertwined with the ebbs and flows of life in their destination.
Cultivate this connection for guests by embracing elements of the surrounding area into your design. The environment will help guide the emotion and atmosphere you wish to create, supported by your chosen colour palette and decor.
A coastal townhouse can adopt the energy of summer vacation by including rattan furniture, ample daylight, and brushed brass features.
Enhance an inner-city apartment with a contemporary style, including elements such as polished concrete and sleek matte black fixtures with a neutral palette. Instil personality with a gallery wall that features photographs of the city’s streets and illustrations by local artists.
A country cottage sets the scene for a wholesome winter escape. Welcome guests with a farmhouse style that incorporates the rustic charm of timber, cosy textures, and vintage-inspired fixtures. A barndominium would also offer a truly unique experience in this setting.
3. ORGANISE THE SPACE
A holiday offers respite from the chaos of daily life, and the last thing your guests want is to be surrounded by mess.
Make a conscious effort to declutter your property, thoughtfully including items that serve a purpose or achieve your intended atmosphere only. If you’re renting out your primary residence on occasion, store your personal belongings elsewhere or on-site in a locked room or storage shed during your guests’ stay.
It’s also crucial to ensure that your visitors have adequate storage for their own belongings. This is key to a convenient experience that will encourage a positive review after their stay.
If your property has no built-in wardrobes, add a clothes rack and a few robe hooks to hang clothing and accessories. Include a luggage rack in the bedroom and a shoe rack at the entrance to show your guests you’ve gone the extra mile.
4. IMPROVE YOUR LIGHTING
By optimising your lighting, you’re doing both yourself and your guests a favour.
Ample light will create an uplifting atmosphere for visitors while also preventing any potential accidents. Enhance natural light by placing mirrors throughout the space, removing bulky curtains, and if budget allows, consider installing a skylight.
The more daylight you can take advantage of, the better your Airbnb listing photos will be. This is integral, as quality photos will accurately showcase what your home has to offer. Don’t cut corners here — hire a professional lifestyle or interior photographer who will capture the best first impression of the space.
Thoughtfully-curated ambient lighting will also set the mood and foster an inviting stay. Add at least one lamp to each room — vary between table and floor options, or even a salt lamp. Soft white or warm bulbs are best for inducing a calm environment.
To create a remarkable outdoor area, hang fairy lights or paper lanterns along the balcony or above the seating area. Your visitors will then be more inclined to enjoy winding down or sharing a meal in the fresh air.
5. PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL
The little details in your space will leave a lasting impact on your guests and may even help you achieve Airbnb Superhost status. Aim to establish a home where your visitors feel comfortable and accommodated — as if it’s their very own.
Creating a welcome table with helpful features will make your guests feel at ease on arrival. Include check-in and check-out info, Wi-Fi logins, and details on how things work if your home has any quirks. Often it will be their first time in the area, so adding some restaurant menus and local activity brochures will help steer them in the right direction for exploring the area. Top it off with a few treats, such as some locally-baked pastries, craft beers, and fresh flowers from the market or your garden.
Also, provide items that guests may forget to bring or those they don’t even realise they need. Some appreciated ideas include:
- Toothbrushes and travel toothpaste
- Spare razors
- Cotton pads
- Makeup wipes
- Tea and coffee
- Extra towels
- Extra blankets and pillows
- Plenty of tissues and toilet paper
- Hairdryer and hair straightener
- Phone chargers
- Torch and matches
- First-aid kit
6. DESIGN YOUR SPACE FOR INSTAGRAM
The best Airbnb experiences are those that are one-of-a-kind, with the ability to transport your guests to another world.
An exceptionally unique home will attract visitors who will do your marketing for you. When guests share their stay on social media, you’ll effortlessly gain extra exposure for your Airbnb.
You can design a space that appeals to Instagram by adding eclectic decor and lighting, bright colours, or choosing a theme that steals the show. Don’t forget to create an Instagram account and hashtag for your listing where your guests can direct their audience.
7. INVEST IN YOUR BEDDING
While it’s valuable to elevate your Airbnb’s aesthetic appeal, your guests’ sleep experience can make or break their stay. Having a poor sleep or waking up in pain will put a dampener on the day’s activities, so it’s crucial to ensure they rest comfortably.
Start with a quality mattress — if your current one is sunken, uncomfortable, has an odour, or is approaching 8 – 10 years old, it may be time to upgrade. Invest in a supportive mattress of medium firmness to accommodate a diverse range of guests. Place a mattress protector on top, and if you want to make it extra comfortable, a plush mattress topper.
A dreamy sleep experience isn’t complete without comfortable pillows and linen to match your theme. Keep in mind that your bedding may be washed more frequently at your rental property than it would be at home, so choose durable linen that can stand frequent use.
In terms of budget, aim for quality that aligns with the price of your Airbnb investment. A cheaper property may warrant more affordable bedding, while a luxury home will require furnishings to match.
Bonus tip: increase your Airbnb income by expanding your sleeping options. Replace a regular lounge with a sofa bed, and switch a queen bed for two singles in the spare room which can be pushed together if needed. Also, offer an air mattress as an extra feature. The ability to accommodate more guests gives you added flexibility with your listing.
For any upgrades that are more extensive, such as a bathroom or kitchen renovation, try to schedule these during your slow season. You may notice a period of time each year where your property isn’t fully booked — for example, a beachside villa during winter. This is the ideal time to be painting or structurally upgrading your Airbnb house without impacting a significant number of bookings.
If you need further inspiration on how to create an extraordinary experience, check out other listings in your area with 5-star reviews. This will allow you to see how they’re making their guests’ stay extra special, and what you can do to go even further.