Whether you are just renting out a small, unused room in your home or you are putting your entire house up for rent, preparing the space can be intimidating. If you lack interior design experience, you may fear that you don’t know how to create spaces that are both functional and visually appealing. You may also feel uncertain about what makes a rental property appealing to someone who is looking for a place to stay.
Decorating a rental space isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be extremely difficult, either. While you could hire a professional designer to get your rental in tip-top shape, there are also several things you can do on your own—even if you have absolutely no design experience. Whether you are preparing a room from scratch or you want to make a space that’s already decorated a bit more appealing to travelers, these decorating tips for Airbnb hosts will help you create an attractive listing without spending a fortune.
Consider Your Audience
Before you start working in your space, you need to think about your ideal guests. Are you planning to host families who are on beach vacations? Business travelers who are in your city for conferences? Couples who are on their honeymoons? Concert-goers who are attending a show at a nearby venue?
Understanding your target audience will help you better comprehend the needs of your ideal guests. If you plan on renting a room in your home to people who are traveling for business, for example, you’ll want to make sure there is a desk, Wi-Fi, and plenty of outlets. If you want to host families, you might want to invest in a high-quality slipcovered sofa that is comfortable and easy to keep clean. If you live in a popular tourist destination that’s near a beach, consider decorating the space in a seaside theme. The more you cater your space to your target audience, the more popular your listing will be.
When you are ready to start shopping, be careful of what you spend money on. This is especially important if you have a limited budget. If you do not already have nice furniture, that is a good place to spend your cash. While it is fine to pick up an inexpensive bookcase, accent table, etc., it is wise to invest a bit more in something like a really nice bed. Traveling is exhausting, and having a nice bed to sleep in is definitely a huge perk. Using a large portion of your budget to ensure the comfort of your guests is also likely to help you score some great reviews.
Replacing old, stained carpet is another good investment. Guests do care about the surfaces that are under their feet, so your floors should be kept clean. Rip up your carpet and have the floorboards underneath refinished or install laminate flooring. Upgrade from linoleum to tile in the bathroom. Choose flooring materials that are both attractive and durable.
Keep It Neutral
Unless you have a certain audience in mind or you feel extremely confident in your personal interior decorating skills, stick to a neutral color palette. Keeping it neutral makes the space more appealing to the masses and helps you avoid scaring off more conservative guests.
No matter how great you think that bright orange accent wall looks, it will likely be a huge turn-off for many of the people who view your listing. Replace it with something a bit more neutral if you want to get as many bookings as possible. Keep in mind that neutral doesn’t have to be boring. You can add a bit of visual appeal by incorporating a colorful rug or a piece of art. Even accent pillows can be used to add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral space.
Maximize Sleeping Space
If you want to maximize your rental income, maximize your sleeping space. The more people your space can accommodate, the better. If you are renting out a one-bedroom home, add extra sleeping space by purchasing a sleeper sofa for the living room. Consider offering a cot or a crib. Purchase the largest bed you can afford for the master bedroom and, if there are other bedrooms, include two twin-sized beds. They can be used separately to accommodate two children or pushed together for a couple.
Keep Personal Touches to a Minimum
While this can be difficult when you are renting out a room in the home you live in, it is important to keep personal touches to a minimum. Avoid displaying family photos in guest areas and common areas. Remove your family’s toiletries, clothing, etc. Don’t store any personal items in areas where your guests will be.
Also, you should avoid displaying any political or religious pieces. When you are renting out a space, the main goal is to ensure that your guests feel comfortable and at home. Displaying things that are of a religious or political nature can do the exact opposite.
Make the Space Functional
Don’t get so caught up in making the space pretty that you forget to make it functional. While ensuring that the rental is aesthetically appealing is important, you also need to ensure that it is functional for your guests. Include hanging space so your guests have a place to hang their clothes. Built-in cupboards and dressers are also a good idea.
If space allows, include a desk. Remember to make sure that there are plenty of outlets that your guests can use to charge their electronic devices. Think about the things that you need when you are traveling, and try to provide them for your guests.