How to Style Your Airbnb

What once was a little known secret known only to frequent business travelers is now one of the world’s most valuable hospitality companies! Airbnb has become increasingly popular all over the world for families on vacation, traveling friend groups, economical solo travelers, and, of course, professionals traveling for work. When you first decide to become an airbnb host, you may feel overwhelmed as you look at your competition online. But here are some simple tips you can use to set up your space for guests:

First, think practically how you can maximize your income.

Most people who host airbnb spaces are doing it to earn a little cash on the side of their normal career—so why not make the most of it? You will be able to make more money if you have more sleeping space available. Even if you’re only planning to rent out one room, consider using two full beds instead of one big king-sized bed. You could also invest in an air mattress which you store in the closet, a collapsible cot to fit under the bed, or even a bed which also includes a pull-out trundle bed underneath the primary mattress.

Then think about logistics—what do your guests need?

As you decide where to place your furniture and how to decorate, remember some basic amenities your guests will need. For example, electrical outlets! If there’s no great way to leave all the outlets available and out in the open, you may want to go ahead and leave an extension cord plugged in for guests to use. If the guest room doesn’t have more than one outlet available, consider buying a power strip which can accommodate the other devices they need to plug in.

Your guests will also need space to hang any clothing which will wrinkle. If their room doesn’t have a closet, add some attractive hooks on the wall or door. You may also want to provide an empty dresser or open shelving so guests who stay for more than one night can feel like they have space to unpack. Some visitors may even like to have a shoe rack by the front door so they don’t have to feel like their bedroom floor is covered in clutter.

Before you decorate, decide who you’re targeting.

There are over 300 airbnb hosts listed in the Bay Area, plus thousands of regular hotel rooms people can choose from. If you want to stand out among the crowd, you have to realize your home won’t appeal to every single traveler. Think about who would be most likely to seek out your specific neighborhood, and who would want to stay in the size of home you have available. If you’re renting out a spare bedroom in your apartment near San Francisco’s financial district, your target audience is going to be much different from someone renting out an entire 3-bedroom house next to Six Flags in Vallejo. When you figure out who will most likely stay in your home, you can decorate accordingly.

Create a unique, welcoming space.

Now for the fun part—decor! This part may seem intimidating, but remember your guests have chosen to use airbnb instead of a hotel. Even if you think they’re just using airbnb because it’s more cost effective than a hotel, they still chose your home over a service like Priceline or Trivago! Your guests are looking for an authentic, local, Bay Area-esque experience.

With that in mind, try to choose a decor theme which your guests will appreciate. If your home is by Stinson Beach, visitors would probably love a home that offers a sunny, breezy feel. If you live in the Mission District of San Francisco, your guests may be looking for more of a Latin American or hipster vibe.

But before you get too out there, keep in mind that you want to appeal to as many guests as you can. Don’t include religious or political symbols in the art you choose, as this may alienate or offend some of your guests. And regardless of the theme you choose for your space, we recommend you stick with neutral and natural colors. You can’t go wrong with wood-based furniture and soft earth tones.

You should also err on the side of sparseness as opposed to clutter. Your guests need to feel like they can relax and spread out; they won’t be able to make themselves at home if every single surface is covered in knick knacks, touristy travel books, and other decor pieces. Instead of relying on home accessories, use multiple textures and patterns to add visual interest to your space.

Are you ready to start furnishing your airbnb space? Stop by one of our three Bay Area showrooms to browse our selection of custom sofas and sectionals, or check out our full catalog online.