It began with the stalking of this gorgeous North Carolina mountain cabin's Instagram account, and it developed into an IG friendship with a fab and very funny design and renovation power couple.
Loree Beth Harris, who goes by LB, and her husband Will own Both Minds Design, a thriving design firm in Nashville, Tennessee. They bought and renovated this cabin to share with the world as a short term rental, but also as a reprieve to rest and recharge as a family of 4 when they want to get out of Nashville and head to the mountains.
If you want to hear them talk about their business and hosting a mountain vacation rental, head to this link to watch my IG Live interview with them. Did I mention they're super entertaining? You won't be dissapointed.
Before we Dive into the Q&A portion of this blog, here is a board to help you shop the look of their beautiful cabin which they've aptly named Cabin Dreamweaver.
As a girl born and raised in Tennessee, I grew up going to Target.
Having lived in England for the last 3 years, I appreciate this super store more than ever since it's is a rare occurrence that I get to step foot into an actual Target.
There is no Target in England, and there is also nothing like it. In fact, I've traveled all over the world and I've never experienced any other store where you can buy cute new underwear, an awesome lamp, a new rad jean jacket and your laundry detergent all under one bright and cheery roof.
So safe to say, I'm a fan. I like the whole experience of Target. Did you know Target has a smell? It's distinct and nostalgic for me. I could spend hours in there and every time we come home to the U.S. I always sneak away from my kids and family for a least one glorious date with my former friend - big giant red Target.
I was walking through the Target closest to my parents house this summer...
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...
(above image: design by Michelle Gage)
The bed of your Airbnb property is paramount to your overall success. People care deeply about the beds in a rental! The headboard/bed of your short term rental property will set the tone for the bedroom, and it's important to think through the mood you're after when you select this item. I will say for certain that although the look of the bed's headboard and frame is important it's NOT where I'd recommend you spend a lot of money.
There are plenty of good quality beds at excellent prices out there, and I've put loads of them in this post.
Now, when you buy lower priced beds, this means you'll be assembling a flat-pack product yourself, or paying someone else to do it. So do consider that in your equation. If you can swing it, hire a handyman or flat-pack assembly company to come in one day and knock all this stuff out for you in one shot. OR if you're trying to save money on the front end, buy some booze and bribe...
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!
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!...
I've said it before, I'll say it again.
One of the best things about being involved in the short term rental space is meeting a community of other amazing hosts. Today I'm sharing a Q&A with some talented hosts from California, Hanan and Joe, who clearly must not sleep what with their full time jobs, multiple short term rental properties, AND 3 gorgeous children to raise.
Let's dive in and learn what they have to teach us about hosting the right way.
Tell us about yourselves!
We are Hanan and Joe, a husband & wife team with a passion for interior design, renovation, entrepreneurship, traveling and family. We own and run short term rentals in both the Napa Valley and Lake Tahoe while also raising 3 lovely children (Jacob, Aminah & Jordan) and working full time jobs. Joe works as a registered nurse and Hanan works as a Realtor in the Napa/Sonoma region.
How did your Short Term Rental journey begin?
In 2015, we...
Hello readers! Today I have a special treat for you.
Tracey Northcott, a seasoned host who offers a wealth of experienced knowledge through her consulting business, has a special guest article for us that you're going to love!
Have you ever stayed at an Airbnb or other short term rental and just felt that the host might as well have been right there acting as your butler, anticipating every need? Well, Tracey is here to teach you how to stand apart by anticipating the needs of your guests in advance and thus earning their praise and better reviews in return.
Take it away Tracey!
Hello, Tracey here!
It is a pleasure to be guest blogging for Valerie - I have admired her styling for such a long time. Her Instagram is always so full of great tips and wonderful eye candy…. Looking at photos of stylish STRs is really my happy place - and if you are reading this, then I am sure you understand.
If you too are a fan of Valerie’s work, then you are just the sort of host who...
If you've been paying any attention to the design scene lately, you'll notice that plants are everywhere.
They literally bring life to a room, and can make an otherwise flat design feel complete and photo ready. Plants will make your temporary rental stand apart from your hotel competitors because:
Hotels don't have plants!
As you're designing your Airbnb, you don't want to skip over adding some green buddies to your space!
However, I can understand your hesitation, especially if you yourself aren't going to be visiting the property regularly to care for them. Luckily, I've put together this easy guide for you to follow to make the process less stressful!
I also gathered up some of the best faux plant options on the market right now, so keep reading!
Obviously, I'll suggest plants that are hardy and hard to kill. It's important, however, to recognize two things.
(above rendering by Callie Podsezertsev from Twenty First and Palm)
Hello STR friends!
Let's talk about Wifi passwords for a minute. Back in this post I talked about the importance of making your Wifi password highly visible and easy to locate for your guests. Particularly the guests weary from traveling.
One great way to do that is framing the password in a nice frame and putting it in a prominent area.
There are a lot of fun templates you can download to make your wifi password "frame worthy" and I'm excited to share a FREE one with you today!
My friend Callie at Twenty First and Palm is an architectural illustrator, and a really good one I might add. Follow her on IG here -- > @twentyfirstandpalm
(above rendering by Callie Podsezertsev from Twenty First and Palm)
Callie and I did a little brainstorming and came up with this fun A-Frame Printable for you! Even if you don't own an A-frame, it's fair to admit they're...
What's a design Audit, you ask?
A designer's eyes (in this case mine) on a short term rental property through its current listing photos. From these photos I outline:
If you've got 18 minutes to kill and want to soak up all of the design advice I give to this amazing couple for their AirBNB, check out the video above! It is FULL of actionable steps to elevate this (already pretty cute) property. The goal in all of this: to maximize the ROI for the owners of course!
Below is a visual recap of the video with the links and resources for you! I hope you find it helpful!! (Please let me know if you'd like to see more content like...