The Quill Blog

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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Best Beds for your Airbnb

Jan 21, 2020

(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...

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An Easy No Fail 3-Step Plan for your Airbnb Window Treatments

Jan 15, 2020

Window treatments can really go either direction for making a room feel complete and refined or chintzy and cheap. You obviously don't want your rental to look cheap. You want it to look polished, put together, cool, and guest ready. That's why you're here reading this blog, right? Right.  

I've considered posting a round up of the best 20 blinds and curtain panels, but I think maybe let's not complicate the issue. Best to cut to the chase sometimes, and you've got lots of decisions ahead for completing the decor in your rental.  

3 EASY(ish) Steps to Layer the Right Window Treatments in Your Airbnb:

  1. Hard Blinds
  2. Curtain Rod
  3. Curtain Panels

I say easy-ish steps because doing window treatments yourself isn't really easy. It's going to take some work. However, to help cut down on the time and effort you put into this process, let's narrow down the time you spend selecting the products to buy with a short list of no-fail options...

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Mid Century Bungalow Living Room - Get The Look! (Plus My Design Process)

Jan 12, 2020

Decorating an Airbnb (or other short term rental property) is a slightly different art than decorating a personal home where clients live. As an interior designer who's been at it for 15 years, doing both commercial and residential design, I find Airbnb design is THE MOST fun kind of project for lots of reasons.

Whether you're designing an Airbnb that you own, or doing it for someone else, hold onto your hats and let's get this party started.

I mean, don't get me wrong, this process isn't easy. There's SO MUCH to do, and SO MUCH to purchase. And time is money. You may be tempted to just start stuffing generic-not-so-bad Ikea/Target crap in the whole place to call it done, open it up, and start getting some return on that investment. 

But I really encourage you to take a breath, step back, and focus on the design of your Airbnb at the outset. The key to your success in this endeavor is standing apart. It's advantageous for you to think about how your...

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