The Quill Blog

Q & A with Superhost Diana of Rock Ridge Casita

Sep 16, 2020

The best part about having a business in the STR (Short Term Rental) space is the people. I continue to meet inspiring, warm, creative people and I'm happy to keep sharing some of these amazing inspirations with you here on:

Quill Decor's Host Profiles

Today we're going to meet the owners of Rockridge Casita, a 5 star Airbnb tucked into the backyard of a Bay Area residence. Diana and her husband both work full time jobs, and on the side they run this very successful Airbnb with earnest intentions and the fullest of hearts. 

This thoughtfully designed Airbnb PLUS property is in a garden shed turned guesthouse. As if this meticulously groomed backyard with its twinkly bistro lights wasn't welcoming enough, they have a beautiful blonde co-host to greet you with her warm wet nose. The calming company of Mia, their gentle golden retriever, comes at no additional charge. When can I book?!

Please enjoy reading my interview...

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The BEST OF IKEA for your Short Term Rental

Aug 19, 2020

I once stayed at an Airbnb in Canada that was very clearly stocked and furnished with 100% Ikea everything. From the dishes to the duvet covers to the sofa. All of it. It wasn't great. It wasn't horrible, but it was not great. It lacked soul, for one thing. 

Let me first clarify, I love Ikea. I love the experience of visiting the stores and seeing the vignettes all set up in their staged glory. I love buying their art supplies for my kids. They've got some incredible storage solutions, and I'm even a fan of their kitchens for the right application. 

But do I think a Short Term Rental should be 100% Ikea? Definitely not. And if you're here reading this, I probably don't need to explain why. To boil it down, it will not differentiate you or your rental. In a market flooded with Ikea everything, you can be better

That said, there are some excellent Ikea furniture and decor items that you should totally consider folding...

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Guest Post: The Pros and Cons of Converting Your Property to an Airbnb PLUS Listing

Aug 12, 2020

(All images in this post are from this Historic Sandstone on Airbnb Plus. Scroll to the bottom of the article for more info on this beautiful home.)

Hi, Valerie here! I'm thrilled to introduce authors Symon He and James Svetec, the creators of LearnBNB.com and BNBMasteryProgram.com.

Symon and James together recently published Airbnb for Dummies (1st Edition), and they're here to share what I think is the most interesting section of the book from a design perspective to help demystify the elusive Airbnb Plus Program for my readers. 

Wondering if Airbnb Plus is something you should be aiming for with your property?  Read on to find out! 


The Airbnb PLUS  program, launched in 2018 to only 13 cities, is now widely available in most cities in an attempt by the platform to attract higher income and low price sensitivity travelers with a more premium experience offering. 

As an Airbnb host, you may be...

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Q & A with Superhost Natalie of La Casita Cacao

Jul 31, 2020
 

(video by Mizraim Soria)

I am SO excited to write this blog. Just GIDDY. 

For a while I've wanted to start a blog series profiling super awesome hosts, and I'm so excited to have found the perfect first house and host to kick off this series! 

Welcome to Quill Decor's Host Profiles

It's my absolute pleasure to introduce you to Superhost Natalie Cacao from La Casita Cacao in the dessert hills of Hesperia, California. She is so skilled at putting together a good color scheme that she carefully coordinated her very adorable family of 4 for this photo AND this picture also sums up the tight and well done color palette in her beautiful BNB. 

As if the yummy interiors and peaceful desert surroundings don't make you want to book a getaway immediately, there are also ALPACAS roaming freely outside the front door!

You guys. I can't even with alpacas. I feel super drawn to these goofy, fluffy somewhat mysterious and strange creatures. Sign. Me. UP! Not to...

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How to Choose the Best Dining Room Furniture for your Airbnb

Jul 01, 2020

If I think about all of the dining rooms of all the Airbnb's we've stayed in, there's a flash of many memories. Eating, working, playing games all around various tables in various cities with our family or our friends. Sometimes at really creaky unstable tables, sometimes on uncomfortable chairs, and sometimes, I'll call them the best times, we sat around in a nicely designed dining area with chic and quality furniture.

The dining table and chairs are the work horses of your rental, like the sofa. You don't want to go super cheap with these items because it will get a LOT of use and abuse over time. Stick with quality and durability.

Don't have space for a formal dining area in your rental? Not to worry! A little eating nook or bistro set will be great. What matters is that you offer some kind eating space for your guests, and bonus points for you for thinking about the design of that area to make your rental stand out. 

I'll...

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The Simple House Manual Your Short Term Rental Needs

Mar 31, 2020

A house manual is a reference point and guide for your home and all it's quirks for your guests. But do guests actual read them? Is this a waste of trees? 

It's fair to say that some guests don't read them or even touch them. But it's also fair to say that house manuals are generally boring and impersonal in every way, down to the sterile white binder they are placed within. 

So, let's explore some ways to make your Airbnb House Manual more appealing and read worthy for your guests by adding some personality to what is typically boring information. And to make things super easy for you, I've got a free downloadable template to get you started at the bottom of this post. 

 

The Bones of a Short Term Rental House Manual (What To Include): 

  • A Welcome Message- Make it short (so it is more likely to be read) and personal (to keep it from feeling bland or boring.) Make sure on this front welcome page to list the property address...
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Why You Should Frame Your Airbnb Wifi Password (and a FREE Printable!)

Mar 30, 2020

A couple of years ago my husband and I went to Italy for a wedding with our two kids.  We also took my Mom for our sanity sake, which was an excellent idea all around. My husband, Matthew, drove us around to 4 cities in 2 weeks, and that makes him a hero.

Anyone who can drive in Italy and not die is a hero. It's the scariest place I've ever been in a car. Anyway, we survived and all that to say: Here's what I learned most from traveling around Italy...

One of the greatest and simplest gifts you can give your guests is an easy to locate Wifi Password.

Framing your password in a cute and inexpensive frame, then putting it right smack in the middle of the main room or entry of your temporary rental is SUPER easy, and invaluable to your guests. 

You can download our free wifi password sign HERE and edit for your property! Your guests will thank you. 

We have three different sizes, 8x10, 5x7, and 4x6.

This wifi password sign is a small detail that will make...

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A No Brainer List: The Best Bedding and Mattress for your Airbnb

Feb 19, 2020

THE BED is for obvious reasons SUPER consequential to the overall happiness of your guests. Happy guests leave good reviews and refer your spot to friends and re-book for future dates. All important to the overall success of your rental business! 

If you need some inspiration for the design of the bedroom, head to this post.

Here, we're gonna talk about the way to achieve the highest levels of comfort for your Airbnb beds with the best mattress and bedding choices! 


Let's Start with the Mattress

When my family is going on vacation, I'll inevitably choose the Airbnb with the cutest design, and best reviews. I don't often think about bed comfort, but some people are obsessive about this. They'll look for specific comments in your reviews about the bed, or ask what specific brand your mattress is.

We recently stayed at an Airbnb that did so many design things right! Window sill full of succulents? Check!...

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How to Make your Short Term Rental Like a Hotel...But Better

Feb 19, 2020

It's safe to say that you're aiming for success with your short term rental business. In this increasingly competitive marketplace, it's so super important to differentiate yourself from the competition. 

While of course I'll argue that design is one of the best ways to make your rental stand out from the crowd to grab not only more but better bookings, there are other things to consider besides just design. 

Turns out your competition is not only other Short Term Rental properties, but also all of the reliable hotels in and around your area. 

This article from Fast Company proves that although the vacation rental business is growing, there is still a large majority of people who prefer to stay in hotels when they travel. 

(above image: The Refinery Boutique Hotel)  

What Hotels Do Well (that you should do too)

Your goal should be to make your rental like a hotel in as many ways as you can, but then also make it...

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The Ultimate Cleaning Checklist for Your Airbnb (with a Covid-19 update)

Jan 22, 2020

Update on June 10, 2020: Please follow the below link for recommendations from the CDC through Airbnb for the best Covid-19 cleaning guidelines.

Things have changed a great deal, and now of course many many more surfaces need to be cleaned regularly with disinfectant. We fully and whole heartedly suggest you follow guidelines from the experts during this time. 

Airbnb's Current Advanced Cleaning Protocol

Now, if you wish, you can feel free to read my more anecdotal ramblings on the topic of cleaning for your Airbnb below. 


Okay, so this is not a design related post, but I do feel it's important enough for me to spend some time diving into this topic.

Let's talk about Cleaning!!

My husband has always preferred to stay in Airbnb's when we travel, and as a result we've stayed in LOTS of them all over the United States and in various countries around the world. (Italy, Australia, Canada, and so on.) 

Most of the time, they've felt clean. There was one...

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