How to Avoid Airbnbust through your Rental Decor

Nov 10, 2023

image above: This beautiful Cotswolds Cottage

Once upon a time, Airbnb exploded into the tourism market with its home-from-home offering — a world away from the tired old hotel scene. Holidaymakers' eyes were suddenly opened to a world of possibilities. And so too were the eyes of would-be short-term rental investors.

Recently though, we've heard more and more talk about Airbnbust: the nickname given to the over-saturation of the short-term rental market making it more difficult for Airbnb owners to run a successful business.

But here's the thing... The market IS over-saturated. But it's over-saturated with the WRONG type of Airbnb.

A quick scroll through Airbnb or any OTA (Online Travel Agent) website will show you thousands of listings where the owner has furnished their property with anything they can find, snapped some photos, and listed the property in the hopes of making a quick buck. Let me tell you... a well-thought-out, beautifully designed Airbnb where the owner has lovingly considered their guest and catered to their every need is a short-term rental diamond among a sea of glass and this type of Airbnb is NEVER going to go bust!

To succeed in this market, you have got to stand head and shoulders above the competition and in this blog post, I am going to show you, dear host, how to do just that through your Airbnb decor. Keep reading for my top design tips on how to stop the scroll and avoid Airbnbust.

image above: Virtually Here Studios

How to make your Airbnb unique and STOP THE SCROLL...

Before you start to get into the nitty gritty of your Airbnb design, you've got to think about who you're designing the space for. Every subsequent decision you make about your property will come back to this person (or group of people). I highly recommend you take my Design Your Airbnb course if you'd like to really hone in on this and build out a successful design that sells. I cannot emphasize the importance of designing for the right market enough!

Once you know who you're designing for, then vision boards are going to be your best friend. A good vision board, like the one below, is going to enable you to plan out your space and see what works before you even spend a penny (or have to deal with an awkward customer service representative because you've bought the wrong piece of furniture...again!).


Ok, so you've got your ideal guest in mind (feel free to give them a name — it totally helps!) and you're armed with your vision boards. Now you need to think about how you're going to differentiate from the other nice-but-cookie-cutter vacation rental offerings.

Four ways to make your Airbnb unique (without going crazy)...


1. Add Character with Art

You know how sometimes you see an Airbnb (or maybe someone's home) and it's nice but it's just... meh. And you can't quite put your finger on why? It's probably missing impactful art. A few well-chosen pieces of art on the walls will transform your space from bland to beautiful. The Cotswold cottage below is a great example. And do have a read of this blog post if you need a little more help in choosing the perfect piece.


2. Add Character with Color

For your Airbnb to look its best and really grab your dream guests' attention, you've got to nail your color palette. Read my blog on how to choose the perfect paint colors and how to keep your color palette interesting, without ever being OTT.


3. Add Character with Wallpaper

There's nothing like some well-chosen wallpaper to add individuality and take a space to the next level. Just check out this example below...

The first image is a perfectly nice, but frankly boring bathroom that no one would have any desire to spend any amount of time in. 

But a quick refresh and some gorgeous woodland wallpaper later and this becomes one of the best rooms of the house!

Choosing the right wallpaper can be a daunting task but luckily, I've written this blog all about choosing the perfect paper and my favorite places to buy it from. 🤗


4. Add Character with Vintage

Regular readers will have heard me talk before about the importance of mixing a little vintage into your short-term rental decor. While there are some great shops around (and trust me, I love IKEA as much as the next person!), nothing can match the character of an item that has its own history and story to tell. Check out this gorgeous property below which seamlessly combines old with new to create a truly stunning space.


So don't panic, super host! With a bit of care and planning you do not have to fear the Airbnbust rumors! There will always be a market for short-term rentals that are beautifully designed with the guest in mind.

 Happy designing!

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