Airbnb Interior Design Tips to Style the Perfect Rental

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Whether you hanker after running your own Airbnb or love to stay in one as a guest there are certain interior design tips that Airbnb homes will benefit from.

In my travel series, I discuss what to look for in UK Holiday Cottages at length having stayed in many over the last 15 years. I’ve also stayed in plenty of Airbnb properties both in the UK and abroad, and whilst it’s a different experience to the cottages, there are still certain things I’d look out for when choosing my next home.

Let’s chat a little further on how to design an Airbnb rental to make your property really stand out and so that guests like us are inspired to come and stay.

Interior Design Ideas for Airbnb homes

1. Start with the basics

As with any holiday let, you need to ensure all the basics are covered. That means all the standard amenities and home comforts like washing up liquid, hand soap and so on. From an interior design point of view, you should ensure your Airbnb home feels spacious, uncluttered and of excellent quality.

Add good beds and clean looking bedding. Give the bedrooms plenty of options for storage with fresh, fluffy towels in the bathrooms.

In the living space add plenty of seating and lighting to ensure the room feels welcoming and relaxing. Whether your guests are business or leisure travellers they’ll want to unwind at the end of the day and relax in a welcoming environment.

In the kitchen, ensure it looks modern and clean, giving plenty of space to food preparation, as well as an area to sit and eat. Delineate the areas, no matter how big or small so the guest understands how to use the space. Use mats, rugs, lighting and more to do this.

Even if your Airbnb is small, all guests need a place to sleep, wash, eat and sit. As a guest myself I’d look for clean, fresh and modern design with a splash of homeliness and character to give me a full experience.

2. Add character and personality

How do you add the character and personality into Airbnb interiors without alienating those who don’t like your style?

It’s a tricky balance and one not all Airbnb hosts get right.

Remember, many guests are looking for a convenient place to sleep whilst they visit or work in a particular area, but lots are now using Airbnb as a bolt-hole or holiday property so want something a little more special.

Some of the design ideas I’d look for in an Airbnb listing are:

Colour – I want to see colour and interest on walls and in the home accessories. I want to see that the space has been designed and well thought through. In contrast to a holiday cottage, I like colour on the walls and in the art. The more the design fits with the surrounding areas the better. If you have a country cottage embrace a modern country style, if it’s a city pad, make the design more urban and architectural.

Coordination: If the Airbnb host isn’t confident in adding interior design ideas to the property, I’d hope they would seek expert opinion. I want to see a design coordination in the property – a cohesion of the interior running throughout the home. Whether that’s similar flooring, a certain colour palette or a particular aesthetic. I don’t want a mix up of styles and looks so keep it well coordinated if you can.

New versus Vintage: Even though the property needs to look fresh and clean there’s nothing to stop the Airbnb host using vintage or preloved pieces of furniture and accessories in the property. Indeed, as a guest, I welcome seeing older pieces, particularly in a modern setting, appreciating their quality and character. As long as they are in great condition and add personality to the space, older pieces are a great touch.

3. Advanced Touches

If you really want to take your Airbnb interior design to the next level, why not think about some advanced technological touches.

Creating more of a Smart Home is a big draw for potential guests and could make your property really stand out. Adding installations such as Hive for the heating, Smart Locks on the doors, music systems controlled by Google Home or Alexa, and Wifi connected lighting all add an extra special touch.

Be wary of anything that invades the guests’ privacy of course, but all these modern touches enhance the interior and give the home a quality feel. As a guest, I welcome anything that elevates the space to the next level.

4. Create a Good First Impression

When your Airbnb guests arrive at the property, they’ll want to feel welcomed and relaxed, especially after a long day of travel. Your front door design is important, as it sets the tone for the trip. Add homely ornaments and decorations, that have personality and style to match the home.

You could even incorporate items from local artists, as a way of bringing the community into the Airbnb space. Once in the entryway, create a space where guests can leave their coats and bags, to ensure they feel as at ease as possible, and can unwind effectively.

Remember that your guests are probably new to your Airbnb and its surroundings. You need to help them find their bearings and settle in, meaning that planning your space to fit the location of your property, is vital in fostering a memorable guest experience.

5. Designing an Outdoor Space

When first planning an Airbnb outdoor space, you need to think about your ideal guests, as a family will have different needs than business travelers. If your rental is suited for those with young children, create a space for them to play safely and easily. Perhaps you could provide outdoor games and toys, or set up some equipment, such as a swing or a slide.

Any Airbnb needs options for guests to try different things, so I would recommend placing some outdoor seating for enjoying a meal. This should be decided on the space you have and the guests you are serving.

If your space doesn’t have a large outdoor area, and instead has a balcony or similar, then the design will have to be appropriately scaled and furniture sets will have to be well thought through. For example, if you have an apartment fit for couples, then forgo a large table and chairs for intimate and cosy seating in your outdoor space. Be sure to consider the context as well, and plan your design fully.

How Do You Design a Small Space in an Airbnb?

If your rental space is smaller, some accommodations will have to be made. Again, ensure that you supply all the essentials, as not to be incomplete. However, this may prove difficult in practice, so you will have to be thorough and take your time figuring out the best way to a good design.

1. Consider discrete storage options.

Lots of items are needed in a rental property, but it can be hard to find the storage, and that problem is only amplified in a small space. You will need to choose furniture that suits your needs and fits with the items you have. For example, if you have a coffee table with extra storage, it wouldn’t make sense to store pots and pans for the kitchen in it, even if the space if sufficient. Think about how you can make your design intuitive, so your guests have an simpler time navigating their stay.

2. Be careful with your decorations.

In a small space, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. It may be simpler to opt for simple and minimalistic Airbnb interior design, that still provides for all needs. A way to do this is to limit your additional flourishes. Be selective with the items you add, like those perfect few throw pillows, or the right indoor plants to make the space feel alive.

3. Remember that guests need personal space

The bedrooms should be separate from the main area of the home. They require space for their personal items, so its a good idea to leave options in bedrooms for them to store their things. They should be able to integrate themselves into the home smoothly, as if they were in their own home. Adding some thoughtful touches can make a significant difference in the quality of a stay.

4. Use natural lighting to your advantage

Natural light can have a great impact on making a room look perfect. Make purposeful choices for the spaces you have, and consider how you could make a room feel with different lighting. For example, sheer curtains could be used in a shared space to reduce light in the evening, when guests want to start relaxing and preparing for bed. Take note of the lighting in a room, and create a focal point that is enhanced by the light at different times of day.

How to Manage your Airbnb home

GuestReady is a UK Airbnb Management Agency which helps hosts around the globe manage their property on Airbnb. They focus on guest communciation from the first contact to onsite support management. They make sure the home is safe and guests are looked after during their stay.

The GuestReady team of pricing experts dives deep into the data to ensure your occupancy and profit rates are fully optimised and their professional cleaning service keeps your property looking at its best at all times.

What a great way to feel confident that your Airbnb property looks great and is well looked after when you’re not around.

Are you confident you can update your Airbnb interior design with these tips and ideas to create a space your guests adore, and book time after time?

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Jen x

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an interiors writer and blogger and has an insatiable love of home style and decor

Find me on: Web

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2 Comments

  1. Fiona jk42
    September 8, 2019 / 8:47 pm

    From the perspective of someone who has hosted on Airbnb, I would stress that you need to ensure the place is easy to clean. Unfortunately that means cutting back on certain types of decor. We have pictures on the walls, but keep surfaces clear of ornaments, as they are a dust trap. Likewise with soft furnishings, think ahead to how you will clean up after messy guests (you are bound to get some, it’s just a matter of time). Make sure your sofa has loose covers that are machine washable, preferably in a dark colour that will not show stains. Likewise, with linens. We replaced white towels with a fashionable mid-grey colour, which are easier to keep looking nice without having to resort to environmentally-unfriendly bleach (guests will use your towels to remove their make-up, clean their boots and for all sorts of things they probably wouldn’t do with their towels at home!)

  2. DesignTrivo
    September 14, 2022 / 11:28 am

    Excellent post and am glad to read. Thank you so much your idea very helpful and again thanks for sharing.

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