The Quill Blog

There's No Place Like Target

Sep 21, 2021

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...

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Best Beds for your Airbnb

May 20, 2021

(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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A No Brainer List: The Best Bedding and Mattress for your Airbnb

May 04, 2021

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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Q&A with Hanan from Tahoe Little Black Cabins

Apr 09, 2021

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...

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Gain 5 Star Reviews by Customizing Amenities for Different Guests

Mar 23, 2021

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...

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Free Printable: A-Frame Art with Wifi Password

Mar 03, 2021

(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...

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Design Audit with Airbnb Miami Vibes

Oct 07, 2020
 

Welcome to my design audit of an existing Short Term Rental Space! 

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:

  1. The top 4 improvements I suggest for the property at large. 
  2. A breakdown of improvements going room-by-room to take the design to the next level, and vision boards showing suggested products that could be used. 

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...

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Q & A with Superhost Diana of Rock Ridge Casita

Sep 16, 2020

The best part about having a business in the STR (Short Term Rental) space is the people. I continue to meet inspiring, warm, creative people and I'm happy to keep sharing some of these amazing inspirations with you here on:

Quill Decor's Host Profiles

Today we're going to meet the owners of Rockridge Casita, a 5 star Airbnb tucked into the backyard of a Bay Area residence. Diana and her husband both work full time jobs, and on the side they run this very successful Airbnb with earnest intentions and the fullest of hearts. 

This thoughtfully designed Airbnb PLUS property is in a garden shed turned guesthouse. As if this meticulously groomed backyard with its twinkly bistro lights wasn't welcoming enough, they have a beautiful blonde co-host to greet you with her warm wet nose. The calming company of Mia, their gentle golden retriever, comes at no additional charge. When can I book?!

Please enjoy reading my interview...

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Guest Post: The Pros and Cons of Converting Your Property to an Airbnb PLUS Listing

Aug 12, 2020

(All images in this post are from this Historic Sandstone on Airbnb Plus. Scroll to the bottom of the article for more info on this beautiful home.)

Hi, Valerie here! I'm thrilled to introduce authors Symon He and James Svetec, the creators of LearnBNB.com and BNBMasteryProgram.com.

Symon and James together recently published Airbnb for Dummies (1st Edition), and they're here to share what I think is the most interesting section of the book from a design perspective to help demystify the elusive Airbnb Plus Program for my readers. 

Wondering if Airbnb Plus is something you should be aiming for with your property?  Read on to find out! 


The Airbnb PLUS  program, launched in 2018 to only 13 cities, is now widely available in most cities in an attempt by the platform to attract higher income and low price sensitivity travelers with a more premium experience offering. 

As an Airbnb host, you may be...

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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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