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 this or if you'd like a design audit completed for your STR!🤗)
(This audit was part of a giveaway I did this summer with social media coach, Lace, from Mint STR Hosting. She completed a social media audit for this property as well. Stick around and I'll share information about that later!)
The first thing I did after observing all of the listing photos in this 2 bedroom Airbnb, was to stand back and objectively name the 4 broad improvements that would give them the best return on their decor investment dollars.
Here's that slide:
Okay, let's break down these "Top 4" in more detail one by one, yes? Yes!
In my opinion the most important must do suggestion is curtains, curtains, curtains!
Why? They add softness and sophistication to a room, immediately elevating the overall feeling of the space to a comfortable and inviting home environment.
My suggestion for the living room is go with billowy white curtain panels that reach the floor or break just right above. For the hardware, I suggest black or gunmetal from West elm or pottery barn. (These things often go on sale if you have the patience to wait and check frequently!)
Tip: Go cheaper on the curtain panels, and quality for the hardware. Cheap hardware looks cheap. Cheap panels can look really nice if done right. Want more detail here? Watch the video. 😄
(If you want to read more about my curtain suggestions and advice including my fav panels and hardware, head to this blog.)
The entry to this space has a sweet little table with a mirror. It's clean and nice, but it's not really memorable. Part of your success as a short term rental host relies on really memorable and compelling images that will grab a future guests attention when they're scrolling through an app.
And not only will it help with grabbing a guests attention and having them book, but having a bold statement also creates an atmosphere inside of the home that, if done right, will enhance the guests experience by creating a more exciting and inviting rental home.
I made two suggestions for how to create a memorable entry:
Below I'll give more detail for the wallpaper option, because frankly it's more memorable. And that is the goal! 😉
If you've been following me a while or read my blogs, you may well know my #1 Cardinal rule for decorating is:
Have at least one thing in every room that is older than you to layer in character and soul.
Those images above are just a few things I found quickly on Etsy when searching 'vintage beach decor' items. Etsy is a great resource for vintage goods, as are your local 2nd hand stores, Goodwill Restore, Facebook marketplace, your Grandma's house, and so on.
Listen, if I weren't married I'd probably own 4 dogs and about 39 lamps. (Thanks for keeping me grounded, honey.) What is not to love?! About both, but let's discuss lamps.
Lamps are like affordable artistic objects that you can sprinkle around the home to add charm and lots of glowy gorgeous eye level light!
"Oh I love your bright non adjustable overhead lighting!" said no guest ever.
Look around your rental. Not sure what to add to that naked console table? Make it lamp. That is if you have a plug nearby.
Do you have lamps that are in need of updating? World Market is my fav affordable resource, right after Target.
Okay, so following the "4 Top Improvements", we'll now dive deeper into the areas that I think would benefit most from some additional decorating. They are:
Let's unpack it!
Since the entry way is your homes first impression on a guest, it's a great place to make a bold design statement. This peal and stick wallpaper from World Market is very affordable for doing just that. Most of the other resources above are from H&M home which you should totally check out for trendy and affordable decor!
Taking the occasional tables up a notch was my first thought when I looked at this living room. (Watch the video learn why!) Adding an additional chair facing the sofa is nice to evoke conversation, and of course lamps and curtains as we've discussed above will soften this room in the right ways.
Other than that it's a few more accessories, pillows and throw blankets that will help pull this space together and make it feel like the warm inviting living room your guests will rave about.
As I said in the video, these bedrooms are lovely and clean with some nice wall hangings for a start. The items pictured above are intended to really take these rooms a level-up on the decor and appeal scale.
Adding a wallpaper to the headboard wall, and large velvet curtain panels will be the most impactful of the changes I'm suggesting for this bedroom.
If you only take away one thing from this blog, let it be this. Wooden blinds in a bedroom are NOT ENOUGH.
You must layer curtains over top if that's what you have to maximize light control. There isn't a hotel in the world with out black out curtains. It's just not optional. It doesn't matter if you don't value light control in a bedroom. Guests absolutely expect this, as they should. They may be jet lagged, or have a baby who needs a nap, or just like to sleep in. They deserve options to darken a bedroom, so give them this gift.
I suggested an upgrade to the dining chair in the corner with a fun rattan chair with a pillow and/or sheepskin placed on top.
A full length mirror is really nice to have somewhere inside a rental, and this bedroom would be a good place for it. The lamp pictured above is just if they want to upgrade their bedside lamps. The ones they have are fine, but I did suggest that they change the bulb from a Compact Florescent to either a decorative Edison type bulb, or just a bulb that will give off soft white light.
Same as Bedroom 1, adding wallpaper and thick velvet curtains are the most impactful improvements. From there updating the lamps, adding a rug, and upgrading the corner chair would make this room more photographable to appeal to future guests, and a better experience for those staying there.
Okay, we've made it to the end! Huzzah!
Thanks for sticking with me. I truly hope that this was useful information. Now a question for you! Would you like to see more blogs like this?
Would you like to have a design audit completed on YOUR short term rental property?
And for the social media audit of this same property completed by Lace from MintSTR hosting, click here!
P.S.- If you could benefit from a step-by-step guide for how to design and furnish a show stopping and unique Short Term Rental, check out my e-course where I break down this daunting process into an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide.
You can be the designer. I'll teach you how!
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