The 5 Biggest Listing and Decor Mistakes to Avoid in your Airbnb

airbnb art airbnb decor airbnb decor mistakes airbnb design airbnb host advice airbnb listing mistakes how to make your airbnb stand out Mar 03, 2023

image above: Lindsey Colhoun

I've recently been busy creating a new YouTube show with my awesome friend (and short-term rental guru!) Stacey St. John, called "Better Your BNB". In each episode, dropped weekly, Stacey and I spend 15 minutes or less reviewing a short-term rental listing submitted by you and share ways to enhance or improve the property listing and interior.

>>> Click here to subscribe to the show so you don't miss an episode! <<<

As we've begun filming these reviews, I've noticed some common mistakes cropping up again and again, and PING!... That's how the idea for this blog was born! Whether you're an Airbnb aficionado or just starting out in the short-term rental game, read on so that you can recognize the 5 biggest listing and decor mistakes to avoid in your Airbnb!

 image above: LD Cabin


Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Rental 


1. Not Designing for Your Ideal Guest

I've said it before and I'll say it again... You can't create an Airbnb that appeals to everyone. If you try to please everybody, you'll end up pleasing nobody!

Before you even start planning your Airbnb you have to hone in on who you're designing the space for.

💫 Are you located in a holiday hotspot that families will flock to?

💫 A romantic, secluded retreat ideal for couples?

💫 Or perhaps a city center pied à terre for the busy business traveler?

Figure this out first and then make every single subsequent decision with these guests in mind. Make every item that has to be lovingly sourced, purchased, dusted, and maintained count.

2. Too Much Decor / Not Enough Decor

Your ideal guest is going to appreciate (and pay a premium for!) a beautifully designed space. You don't want to end up with a space that's so jam-packed with artsy bits and bobs that it leaves it feeling cluttered or like your guests are trespassing in a family home. Nor do you want a space that's so stark and pristine that guests find themselves perching on the edge of the sofa unable to relax. You've got to find that middle ground and this blog is a great place to start!

image above: LD Cabin

3. Art that is Too Small and Hung Too High

When it comes to art, bigger is usually better. (See also LAMPS... more on this below!) Obviously, you don't want to overwhelm your space, but if you have a wall to fill, you're generally better off doing it with one statement piece rather than a couple of smaller ones. Also, make sure the center of your artwork is hung at eye level. Artwork is there to be noticed and enjoyed so choose it with care, display it with pride, and let it pull the rest of your decor together!

4. FGS Not Enough Lamps!!!!

Have I ever mentioned how strongly I feel about lamps??? Lamps are your best friend when it comes to designing your Airbnb. Trust me, you NEED lamps! They instantly create a cozy, homey, and stylish space and are completely adaptable to your guests' needs and preferences. They also don't need to cost the earth and can be a really fun way of adding a stylish touch to an otherwise forgotten corner.

Luckily for you, I've done all the hard work for you when it comes to lamp shopping so if you need a lamp (or seven...) then look no further than this blog right here!

When it comes to choosing the right sized lamps and artwork if in doubt, go BIGGER! This handy little infographic illustrates why...


5. Neglecting the First Impression

So you've paid attention, you've completed my Design Your Airbnb E-Course and you may have just created the most beautiful Airbnb that the world has ever seen. But if the photos don't reflect that, then the world will never know!

Your guests will form their first impression of your space before they even step inside, so make sure your listing photos are on point. Poorly lit, poor quality, or outdated images are a red flag for potential guests, who might assume your space isn't worth the price tag. You don't have to hire a pro photographer (though please consider this if budget allows!), but do some research and inject some time and effort into those all-important listing photos and make sure they highlight your property's best features.

image above: LD Cabin

And my one final rule...? Have fun!

Creating an incredible space for your guests to enjoy should be an amazing experience. Stick to the guidance above, and if you need a little more help then you should definitely check out my Style Quiz or my FREE Design Class for short-term rentals!

Happy Hosting! XOXO

Other great reads for you...

An Easy 3-Step Plan for your Airbnb Window Coverings

Picking the Right Paint Colors for your Airbnb

What to do with the Blank Space Above your Sofa

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