The Quill Blog

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. 


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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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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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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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How to Choose the Right Rug for your Short Term Rental

Jan 08, 2020

(above image: Design by Emily Henderson

If you've got hard floors in your vacation rental, you're going to need some rugs. 

A rug is a room's foundation, setting the tone for the entire space. It can add color, tie in accent colors, or be a neutral force that allows other colors to pop. It adds texture and warmth underfoot, making a house feel more inviting and comfortable for your guests.  

That's a pretty big job for one object, especially one that often comes with a big price tag. And because they will inevitably go under (sometimes dirty) shoes, you'll want to make smart, durable rug choices for your rental property. 

Let's discuss the smart way to buy rugs for your short term rental. 

(above image: Design by Rosa Beltran

Like I do for everything in life, let's break down rug buying into an easy list of categories to consider:

The 3 Attributes of Rugs

  1. Material

  2. Color & Pattern

  3. Size & Position

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Picking the Right Paint Colors for your AirBnB

Jan 03, 2020

Painting is expensive especially when you're having someone else do the work. Likely in your short term rental property, you're outsourcing the labor and therefore this is an investment that you want to get right! 

You're in the right place! Get ready for my best color advice.

Start with a Tight Color Palette

The First step in picking the right paint colors is to think about all of the colors you want to use in your space. A tight color palette with a small number of colors is the best way to go.

Why? It will make the design of your spaces look less chaotic and more intentional. The brain feels calmer when things around a room relate to one another because there is less to process.

Here are 3 go-to rules for planning a color palette

1. Follow the 60/30/10 Rule 

This rule says you use light colored neutrals for 60% of your space, the next 30% are for deeper toned neutrals, and the last 10% are your pops of color. 

Under this rule, you...

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How to "Field Measure" Your Space for Furniture

Dec 29, 2019

Before you buy any furniture or decor for your short term or vacation rental, it's a good idea to do some planning!

If you've read any of my blogs or taken my e-course on Airbnb Design, you'll know starting with a plan is the cornerstone for success in decorating and designing any space. 

Let's start at the beginning:

A floor plan is a scaled visual representation of a room or building with the view from above. A floor plan will help you understand the ideal layout and flow of your space, and what size furniture you need for each room. 

The first step in creating a floor plan is to collect some measurements of the area or areas you're hoping to draw. In the design industry, these are called "field measurements." You can do this one of two ways: 

  • By hand with pens and paper
  • Digitally with an app like MagicPlan

For the old school pen and paper method, see my below step-by-step guide. If you want to go the digital route, which would be faster,...

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5 Options for Filling the Blank Space Above your Sofa

Dec 04, 2019

Is the sofa in your Airbnb's living room in front of a big blank wall?  A blank wall always seems to grow and become more boring once the sofa is positioned in front, right? It can be overwhelming knowing what to do with this prominent blank canvas. 

However, there are a lot of different ways to bring that wall to life, and I'm here to help!

Let's break down the options and look at some beautiful examples done by some amazing designers. 

(1) The Gallery Wall

Gallery walls are always fun and can really allow your creativity to soar with the endless options for what to add.  Also, they can be less expensive than buying large pieces of real art, depending on your approach. However, I totally get that the term "endless options" is enough to send many of you into a tizzy of anxiety, and I get it. I am the exact same way without a well thought through plan.

How about a mini-tutorial?! Let's dive in:

(a) Think through your Color...

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