How to style your short-term rental property
Your short-term rental guests aren’t looking for a cookie-cutter hotel room. Instead, they want something with personality and character, a home-away-from-home. Make your property stand out from the hundreds of other listings by styling it to perfection – that means creating a sleek, sophisticated, and comfortable environment that stands up to wear and tear.
Below, we’ll share some of our top tips for styling your property for short-term rentals via sites like Airbnb. Use this as a checklist; something you can refer back to again and again.
Let’s get started.
Embrace local style
If visitors have chosen to steer clear of a traditional hotel, they are most likely after a taste of authenticity. So, when styling your property, opt for an overall theme that echoes the best features of your local area.
For example, if your short-term rental is by the sea, incorporate coastal imagery, natural textures, and a nautical colour scheme. In contrast, if your property is situated in an urban hub, street-art style prints, raw materials such as concrete, and industrial details are the way to go.
If possible, incorporate wares from local artisans – whether that’s locally-made candles, pottery, or original artworks.
Keep it easy
Sure, higher-end furniture and décor look luxurious, but it doesn’t always stand up to wear and tear. Remember, short-term rentals often attract young people and families – these guests certainly don’t want to tip-toe around their accommodation, constantly worried something is going to break.
Here are a few ways you can keep it easy, comfortable, and realistic:
Go with flooring that’s hardwearing and easy to clean – hardwood is always a great option. Add warmth with area rugs instead of full-room carpeting.
Opt for silk or satin paint finishes. These are easy to wipe down. Matte paint tends to scuff easily and hold on to stains.
When it comes to things like lounges, armchairs, cushions, and curtains, look for coverings that are machine washable. A poly blend is usually more stain resistant than a natural fibre, too.
If your property has a kitchen, go with non-absorbent bench tops to avoid staining.
Play with texture
As we mentioned, it’s always a wise idea to invest in furniture and fixtures that are durable and easy to clean. You don’t, however, want your property to look too clinical.
To avoid this, play around with texture. Try a chunky knit throw or showcase stunning natural wood grain in a coffee table. Experiment with a feature wall using a textured wallpaper or add a plush rug to the master bedroom. Indoor plants are also a fantastic way to add warmth and homeliness to your property. Just be sure to care for them properly – there’s nothing more unappealing than a dead plant.
Splurge where it matters
Comfort is critical to a positive accommodation experience, and to secure a five-star review, it’s vitalthat your guests get a great night’s sleep. Splurging on a quality mattress and bedding with a high thread-count will reap serious returns. When selecting a doona insert, feather or duck down delivers the ultimate in luxury and warmth. Alternatively, choose another natural fibre, such as cotton or wool.
Don’t get too personal
Your guests want personality – not your personal life. Avoid incorporating personal photos, memorabilia, or anything else that might make visitors uncomfortable. They want to feel like it’s their home, not yours.
Instead, add personality by introducing area-specific and universally appealing details. This might include art prints, books, music, and flowers. Do keep in mind that not every surface and corner needs an item of interest. Be selective and curate a designer space that’s both homely and refined.
Give your guests privacy
Even if your short-term rental is a granny flat in your back garden, your guests should never feel they are being watched.
Give your guests the privacy they need to relax with high-quality window dressings on all windows. Curtains add softness and cohesion to living rooms. Blinds – particularly blackout blinds – ensure your guests can sleep as long as they want. This is even more beneficial to international guests, who may be jet-lagged and exhausted from hours of travel.
It’s all about the details
The smallest details have the biggest impact. Don’t underestimate the importance of electrical appliances – invest in a coffee machine, hairdryer, and iron. Even something as simple as a Bluetooth speaker and a universal charging dock will give your property an edge.
In addition to electrical appliances, ensure the kitchen and bathroom are stocked with all the basics: tea, coffee, bottles of water, maybe a small box of chocolates and a bottle of wine. Don’t scrimp on toiletries either. Hotels offer luxurious soaps, shampoos, and conditioners, and so should you.
Finally, consider things like guidebooks, photography books, and even a personal list of restaurant and activity recommendations. Showcase your area or city to guests from overseas or out-of-town.
Allow your property to shine – clutter and disorganisation can seriously put a dampener on all your hard styling work. Don’t overdo it with knick-knacks, artworks, and soft furnishings. Give each piece room to breathe.
You might also like to invest in convenient storage solutions that your guests can use while staying at your property: a wardrobe with coat hangers, a chest of drawers, somewhere for their suitcase, clean surfaces where visitors can keep their bags, phones, and keys, and an area they can use their laptop. That way, guests can enjoy a clutter-free property for the duration of their stay.
Showcase your styling with professional photographs
Even if you have styled your property to magazine-quality perfection, if the photos don’t do it justice, you simply will not secure the bookings you deserve. Take the time to get the perfect shots. Or, hire a professional photographer.
Capture styled elements, areas of interest, as well as highlighting the functionality of your property. Remember to use light to your advantage – capture your property in natural light as well as in mood lighting (with lamps on or candles lit).
HomeHost can provide advice on styling your property. Call us on 1300 17 17 18