There’s nothing better than a beautiful hotel room, right? A place you can escape to, that makes you feel like you are living a brand-new adventure for awhile. Hotels know that interesting, beautiful spaces let them charge high rates and keep their guests coming back.
But do you know that a beautifully styled (and photographed) vacation rental can make your property or AirBNB home stand out, get chosen over others and make more money for you?
We want to share our professional tricks for styling and photographing your vacation rental or AirBNB home so you can increase bookings, charge higher rates and make more money now. Take a look at the tips below and see what you can incorporate into your vacation rental or AirBNB listing today.
And remember, small design changes do not have to be expensive or even that big!? The exciting part about style and design is that, if done smartly, you can make a big impact even if you are on a budget, with just some minor (but thoughtful) improvements.
If you’d like to work with a top, experienced stylist to get personalized and reasonably priced advice on how to improve your vacation rental visually, visit Stylevise to find talented stylists and designers ready and excited to work with you from anywhere in the world. (Soon, we may even be able to find you an interior photographer to really bring the beauty of your place to life!) Trust us, seeking a bit of help from a talented stylist with experience in this space can really pay off. In the meanwhile, check out the tips below to get started!
TIPS TO STYLE YOUR VACATION RENTAL
1. Think: happy, fresh, clean.
Clean and fresh with pops of color. Image via Airbnb (click image for listing).
Overall, when it comes to the ideal design style for vacation rentals, we think you should stay minimal, happy and fresh. The above example is a great one. There is personality, but it is also clean and simple. How many times have we wished that those ugly ski condos we are pouring over had a few less animal heads, plaid blankets and knotty pine, and were just a little, ahem, less complicated?
Simple, white and clean is a great foundation. Then, when it comes to accessories or layering, you can add more visual interest, such as an accent wall of wallpaper, interesting shelf styling or a compelling gallery wall that just says, “someone cool lives here.” It’s a great reason to take a trip to Ikea, or check out some of these new retail “Ikea challengers” on the scene. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to find a few fresh pieces to keep things looking light, bright and welcoming.
2. Keep your ideal guests (and what they need) top-of-mind.
A kid friendly room via Kid & Coe. Image via Kid & Coe (click on image for link).
Think about the type of guests you are trying to attract and put yourself in their shoes…their mindset. What kind of items would they need to make their vacation or short-term stay a success? What kinds of spaces can you showcase, that shows them why your vacation rental is designed and meant just for them?
If you are targeting families, add a few photos showing stylish wooden toys in the kitchen or at the farmhouse table. Kid&Coe does an amazing job showing families how great its vacation rentals will fit their lifestyle perfectly.
3. Tell your unique story.
We love Lana’s amazing Nashville Airbnb. Image via RichHippies.co (click on image to access link).
When it comes down to it, no one wants to stay in a stale hotel room, and no one really wants to stay in a stale vacation rental. The whole point (besides saving some money) is to experience a more personal place and get to know a new place a little better through the home (and eyes!) of the host.
So use your collections and your unique taste to show your guests who you are. You should still probably clear out the family photographs (people you don’t know staring at you is just creepy), but artifacts, souvenirs, and other collections can really be beautiful and interesting if curated, collected and displayed right. Your photographer can really help bring this story to life in the way she photographs and in the way she highlights the small, interesting details. Check out this amazing Nashville Airbnb from stylist and designer Lana Katsaros, perfectly styled with unique items and details.
4. Style “vignettes” and include them in your photo slideshow.
Love this stylish vignette from Lana and the Rich Hippies House (click on image in link).
Part of telling your unique story means including “vignettes” that help bring it to life. And as this article from the Airbnb blog states, “Show guests how they would live in your home.” This helps them viscerally imagine the amazing vacation or stay they will have there.
Notably, we love a space that uses vintage treasures to add personality, warmth and texture. In a vacation rental spot, some great vintage-y pieces to add might include an antique luggage rack, a beautiful old wastepaper basket, a neat old clock, or an antique decanter and crystal glass. These types of items are fun to find in consignment or rummage shops, do not have to cost a lot of money, and make for really great, interesting details that will really catch the eye of those reviewing the photos of your online listing.
5. Add some (plant) life.
Beautiful cottage in New Orleans (click on image for link).
As Stylevise stylist Susie Roupe tells us, “Always have a plant in the room! Adding flowers or a houseplant is like instant energy in a space.” We like orchids or ferns in the bathroom (long lasting and they love humidity!). Costco can be a great place to pick up some long-lasting, affordable plant life for your vacation rental.
We aren’t scared of fake plants in an entryway or bookshelf either (might be especially useful in a rental!) We think HomeGoods has some amazing fake plants that will make your photos look great, and also brighten the room when your guests walk in.
6. Use some stylish signage.
Logo developed for a friend’s family mountain cabin.
We have all seen and are hopefully using the super cute WIFi password signage that is available for free all over Pinterest. (Hopefully you don’t have a long, wacky WiFi password like ours that Verizon won’t let you change, either.) We know that it is always helpful (and saves you headaches as well) to put together a binder of “house notes” like how to turn on the shower, where the thermostat is, etc.
But, if you want to go one step further, you could even use graphic design to give your vacation spot its own brand! One of our best friends has totally taken her vacation rental to the next level by creating a logo for it and using it on tags, napkins and other linens! And we are constantly inspired by our event designer / sister who makes the most amazing wedding printables for the gift baskets filled with places to visit and restaurants to try. You could create a logo and use it on paper napkins or that binder of house notes we were taking about above. What a super cool project and fun way to make others remember and think about your property!
Maybe you have a great graphic designer friend who could help you with a project like that (we have one who would be awesome at this kind of thing, and you can contact her here!) Alternatively, you could use one of many very cool new websites that specialize in helping you get quick and inexpensive graphic design. Or you can even try our favorite DIY-graphic design website, Canva, and make one yourself free! As we design-ites know, a little graphic design (as with all design) goes a long way! These are the details that will often have guests coming back again, too.
7. Offer some interesting edibles.
Awesome snacks from the Rich Hippies house in Nashville (click on image for link).
Ahh, not those kind of edibles! (Ok, we’re from Colorado but we are not those kind of girls, people!) We’re talking about a cute basket of some great snacks or a small split of “house” wine to welcome your hungry guests home. Or, possibly some glass vases filled with Jelly Bellies or M&Ms on the entryway table? We’d even include a shot of these small goodies in the photo slideshow, so they know that your rental is one with perks.
If you want to take it to the next level, have fun with a couple local brands and maybe tell the story of where they are from. Maybe a local company would even send you some free samples, in exchange for you acting as a local ambassador for the brand! In any case, local treats (and beverages) are always appreciated!
8. Optimize your outdoor space, and show it in action!
Love this pretty outdoor porch in upstate New York. Image via Airbnb (click image for link).
Creating an outdoor gathering area is easy to pull together. The above listing is a great example. A few fresh throw pillows and maybe a string of restaurant lights make the area look newly inviting and make guests imagine the fun they will have there, drinking a glass of wine after a day of exploration in your city or town.
When you or your photographer take pictures of the space, whether a large patio or small balcony, consider laying out a bottle of wine and a cheese plate (or similar) to help your future guests imagine the relaxing times they will enjoy there.
We hope these tips and tricks help you style your vacation rental – and make it into a more effective and lucrative vacation rental or AirBNB listing! You can check out images of spaces we really love on our Vacation Rental Style We Love Pinterest page.
Are you an Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway or Kid&Coe host with tips to share? Or maybe you are a stylist or designer with expertise in styling vacation rentals? Please share any of your style or hosting tricks below! We would absolutely love to hear from you.
Stylevise is a cool new place where you can find stylists and designers who are easy to work with and really want to help you. They love interesting, unique projects like styling Airbnb or VRBO rentals, and are all totally committed to helping your execute your vision, whether big or small in scope. Check out the creative individuals who are on the Stylevise platform here. It’s easy to submit a dilemma today and get free proposals from stylists and designers all offering exciting, budget-friendly solutions.