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5 Tips for Staging and Styling Your Airbnb

Updated: Jan 8, 2023

The vacation rental industry is booming thanks to companies like Airbnb offering unique home-away-from-home experiences for vacationers and business travelers alike. But with hot markets like this comes fierce competition. So unless your Airbnb rental has stellar cityscape scenes or panoramic mountain views you need to step up your decor game to stand out.

“To be successful with rentals you have to offer more than just a comfortable place to sleep.” - Peter Lorimer from Netflix's trending series Stay Here
How to style your Airbnb
Nest's recent Airbnb style job for a client in Over the Rhine, Downtown Cincinnati's hottest neighborhood. We developed the theme, did the decor sourcing and staged the space!

Ready to take your Airbnb’s style to the next level? In this blog you’ll learn the five essential tips for styling your Airbnb. Whether your Airbnb is in need of a few finishing touches or you’re starting from scratch, these decor styling tips will give your rental the edge it needs to stand out without breaking the bank.

Airbnb Styling Tip #1: Select a Theme

When selecting a decor style theme for short-term rentals it's best to create an audience profile. This way you can better anticipate the needs and space use of your future guests. Ask questions like where is your Airbnb located? What are the activities and events your guests might be participating in? Do you see more families, young couples, or business travelers renting the space more frequently? Once you establish the niche your Airbnb will speak to you can start pulling together a design concept.

Location can play a large factor when considering your Airbnb's style. If you're looking to style a space in inner-city New York you'll want to avoid a rural, rustic feel. On the flip side that would be perfect for a mountain cabin Airbnb!

Design Tip: Take a walk around your Airbnb's location and grab style inspiration from restaurants and coffee shops in the neighborhood.

Airbnb Styling Tip #2: Plan Out Your Design Concept

After you’ve identified your audience and selected your theme the next most important step is to plan out your design concept, so your Airbnb has a nice cohesive design flow from room to room. Think of this as building a brand for your Airbnb. Brands have consistency in their logo, language, website design and marketing materials. Use this same line of thought when selecting decor for your Airbnb style.

You don’t want guests walking from a modern contemporary living room into a bedroom that’s more traditional. This type of disjointed design can be confusing to guests and provide an undesirable experience. This doesn't mean you have to use the same colors, textures and patterns in every room, but you want to build consistency.

Design Tip: How to change it up without compromising the design

Take the living room for example, we used bold, saturated colors of green, orange and blue, and incorporated rich textures and fun animal patterns. We carried this same design thinking through to one of the bedrooms but softened the colors up a bit to emerald green, peach, and teal and used a fun peacock patterned comforter for the bedding. This way the room still has its own design identity under the larger theme of the the Airbnb.

Airbnb Styling Tip #3: Think Personality, Not Personal

This is a big rule of thumb for staging in general, but especially so for rentals. Remove all personal items from your Airbnb. No one wants to see a picture of your grandma at her 90th bday party or homemade art from your kiddo on the fridge. While those are sweet and sentimental to you, all meaning is lost on your Airbnb guest. Instead swap out personal items for decor that’s more on theme with the experience you’re trying to deliver. Consider adding style to your Airbnb with local artworks and fresh plants, rather than your own ornaments and personal possessions.

Design Tip: Use a variety of textures and patterns to build visual interest throughout an Airbnb rental.

Airbnb Styling Tip #4: Incorporate Statement Pieces

Most Airbnbs are rampant with IKEA furnishings and are indistinguishable from one to the next. To to pump up your Airbnb’s style consider one statement piece of furniture that really makes for a must-have space like our client's hanging chair we knew we had to incorporate into the design.

Design Tip: Statement pieces make for Instagrammable moments

Statement pieces like this hanging chair and the faux foliage backdrop are setting the stage for Instagrammable moments. AKA free publicity for your Airbnb rental!

For small budgets wanting big style check out second-hand stores. They are a great source of inspiration for unique pieces that will be the talking/photo point for guests – whether it’s a mid-century modern record player or a asian-print room divider.

Airbnb Styling Tip #5: Don’t Skimp on Necessities

To create a well styled Airbnb it needs to be more than just aesthetically appealing to your guests. This is your guests’ home away from home for the duration of their stay, so be sure to include furnishings that they absolutely require on a daily basis. Be sure the space functions for needs and include things like an entryway console to drop their keys, hooks for clothes if your void of a closet, a full length mirror, a nightstand, and lots of lighting. There are also a slew of other amenities that you'll need to incorporate to maximize your guests experience at your Airbnb, but we'll stick to just the decor for this blog.

The best way to put your Airbnb to the test is actually stay a night or two, so you can better anticipate what your guests will need.

Take a tour of the best Airbnb in Cincinnati!

Don’t know where to start when styling an Airbnb? Let us help!

Nest Home Staging and Design now offers Airbnb styling services! If you’re serious about owning a successful investment property you should be serious about professional property styling. The majority of real estate listings are now professionally staged and Airbnb properties are no different.

Whether you want to rent furnishings or own your inventory, we'll create a short-term rental plan that fits your needs and work with you on developing the design theme, decor sourcing and staging.

Let's make your Airbnb listing stand out in the competitive rental market!

Thanks for reading!

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