If you’re thinking of renting out a home or property you own as a short-term vacation rental on Airbnb or other home-sharing platforms, or even if you’re already in the business, you’re probably wondering how you can set up your space in the best possible way to impress your guests when they arrive while also trying to make the most of your space.
I understand. Not all of us are Interior Designers and having to procure the services of an Interior Designer can sometimes be a luxury. Here’s why I thought it might be helpful to dish out some tips on how you can maximize the space of your Airbnb, which you can pretty much do on your own.
Possibly the most important thing I will say during this article is to avoid clutter. One of the challenges of furnishing an Airbnb is balancing two distinct needs—providing enough to serve your guests, while avoiding a cluttered and overly compressed vibe in your Airbnb.
It can be very tempting to fill the limited wall space you have with pictures and other items that you’ve always wanted to display. The problem is that it leaves your Airbnb feeling constrained, tight, overstuffed and crowded. Instead, stick to the ones that offer the classiest feeling for the room.
Furnishing short-term rentals aren’t always simple. There are more factors to consider than just style, because the needs of a weekend visitor might be different than someone living at a property full-time.
If your unit is small, it might be tempting to think that small furniture is the right choice. The problem with that is that you end up with many pieces of small furniture, taking up more space and being less functional than some larger pieces.
Large items might take up more floor space by themselves, but you won’t need multiples of them, so you won’t be duplicating elements like armrests, for example. A large piece of furniture that replaces two or three smaller pieces usually ends up saving you quite a bit of space.
Instead of buying a loveseat and a chair, buy one large sofa; perhaps one that can be also converted to a bed.
Small spaces become especially problematic when planning a kitchen. Try replacing your kitchen chairs with folding ones or those that can be easily stacked on top of each other. In addition, you could also install a folding countertop which is easy to use.
A daybed is worth considering for a living room space, particularly if you’re in an area that caters frequently to large groups and you want to absolutely max out the amount of guests who can sleep in your rental.
A comfortable seating option by day and an additional place to sleep by night, some Airbnbs feature daybeds in their living rooms in lieu of sofas. They also offer the added benefit of providing storage in drawers or shelves underneath, increasing the flexibility of your space and reducing clutter throughout the home.
If you want your Airbnb unit to feel bigger, the immediate trick is to use lots of natural lighting whenever possible. Throw open curtains or blinds as much as you can and allow your rooms to be lit with real light.
You could also opt to use thin curtains, preferably white ones, as window coverings, provided it goes with the rest of your theme. The benefit with White curtains is the fact that they can easily be opened to allow the view, but when you want some privacy, they still allow plenty of sunlight to come through, brightening the room.
Meanwhile, open windows also have the bonus effect of allowing a view to the outside, subtly adding more space in your mind. It’s a little optical illusion, but it’s a very handy one.
Did you know the colour or design of the wall accounts for most of how your house will end up looking? This is the reason why apartments always use a light color on the walls. A light color makes the rooms seem bigger than before and thus makes a small square footage seem much more livable.
Decorating an Airbnb unit is specifically challenging as you need to account for a wide range of tastes. For instance, you might love creative touches like hot-pink wallpaper, but you’re less likely to attract a large number of guests with unique choices like that.
The good news though is that the trick of using bright natural light to make a room seem bigger, essentially works here too. Using a light, solid colour on the walls creates a slight mental illusion of distance and openness, which makes everything feel larger than before.
Avoid using very bright colours and patterns on the wall, unless you have a considerably large space.
More often than not, we tend to think of our living space as a floor plan and whenever there is a spot in that floor plan that identifies storage space, we recognize that square footage as devoted to storage.
Here’s a trick – that square footage extends from the floor to the ceiling, so why not take advantage and choose tall shelves that extend all the way to the ceiling instead of shorter shelves that only go up a little way?
The key is to stretch that storage space upward where it makes sense so that you’re taking up vertical space, not floor space.
Another great way to maximize storage space in a home is to fill an entire wall, floor to ceiling, with shelves that are directly attached to the wall, minimizing the floor square footage the shelves would otherwise take up.
These shelves can be used for anything from holding decorations to books to functioning as a home entertainment center.
If you have a lot of items you’d like to display, instead of having ten things on display, store the rest and rotate them.
Using a somewhat minimalist appeal is especially important when you consider that short-term travelers are often laden with luggage and other items that will be spread throughout the house during their stay. If the home is cluttered before they even arrive, then it’s only going to be downhill from there.
I cannot stress how effective it is to use mirrors to expand the interior of a small room. Mirrors trick your eyes into thinking that you’re looking farther than you actually are. Thus, mirrors in several places in your home can fool your eyes repeatedly, making everything seem a little bigger.
One great way to do this is to place a mirror on each closet door in your bedroom and you’ll quickly gain the illusion that your bedroom is a lot bigger than it was before.
Large bathroom mirrors – and even mirrors on bathroom doors – can create the same effect, introducing a sense of largeness and openness that wasn’t there before.
Got a bicycle that takes up space? Consider hanging it from the ceiling or on a wall to save some square footage. You could also mount the living room television directly to the wall rather than using an entertainment console or other TV stand. This will keep you from taking up more space than is necessary for your television, and also adds a high-class vibe to your living room.
Choosing surfaces with wheels or ones that are lightweight enough to be easily moved can greatly increase convenience for your guests. When they have the ability to quickly move a table aside or arrange seating around a board game or other activity, your guests will feel more at home in your rental. Using furniture with wheels will also help prevent scraping and scratching on your floor.
If your Airbnb unit features any doorways that you largely leave open, consider a home improvement project that widens those doorways and may even eliminate the door.You can read 10 tips for vacation rental renovations for more ideas.
You don’t have to take out the entire wall. Just enlarge the entryway into the room and remove the door, extending it to the sides a little and perhaps all the way to the ceiling. It will instantly create a very powerful sense of having more space.
In conclusion, the real trick is to always look for ways to have smarter space in your Airbnb unit rather than just add more space. If you find ways to maximize square footage wherever you can by having storage space in unexpected places, go ahead and implement them to add a sense of more space.