A good layout and unique design are two key elements to attract a steady stream of renters. You want the space to feel fresh and inviting and include all the qualities you would enjoy in a vacation rental. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you set up your Airbnb.
THE SET UP
First, you need to figure out the best layout for each room. It helps to have a target audience in mind – you can then gear the design toward their needs. Are you going for people traveling on business? Couples relaxing on vacation? Families?
Once you’ve decided it’s time to plan. Sketch a basic outline of each room and the pieces of furniture you want to include.
Things to consider (depending on your audience):
- Where can people entertain?
- Where can they eat?
- Will they need a workspace?
- Do you have any special features you want to highlight like a fireplace or reading nook?
- Does the space have good views to build around?
- Is each space optimized to its full functionality?
Once you’ve decided where everything will go, measure (trust me, it’s worth it). Invest in pieces that are multifunctional and offer flexibility.
Opt for sturdy and stain resistant fabrics or materials that can be washed easily such as cotton or polyester that for a longer lifespan. Decor that is cleaning-friendly will save you stress and time.
Pro tip: it’s usually good to keep your personal, meaningful or fragile items stored and out of harm’s way.
Harvard Square – $145/night
As the host, it’s your job to make your guests as comfortable as possible. A house manual is great for this. It’s your one-stop reference guide for all things pertaining to the space – anything from where to find extra toilet paper to the Wi-Fi password belong here. That way it’s all in one place and you save your renters a phone call. Make sure you also include practical info such as fire escape routes and emergency contact numbers in your reference guide.
If your space has lots of stairs or a tiny bathroom, include that in your listing. You want to be as up front as possible with your guests. However, a little creative writing never hurt anyone – that tiny bathroom can become “charming” and the three floor walkup can become free exercise.
If you’re hosting a family with young children, make sure any hazardous items are out of reach. Be mindful of any tripping hazard such as lamp cords, sharp coffee table corners, or rugs that have a tendency to lift. Spring for some rubber backings or pads for your carpets to make sure they don’t slide. And if precautions fall short, be sure there’s a first aid kit handy.
THE COMFORTS OF HOME
The more you can make your space feel like a home away from home the better. Tidying and cleaning every room thoroughly is a must. Pro tip: pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms.
A few nice touches can include:
- A well-stocked bathroom (nobody wants to run out of toilet paper on vacation)
- A basket of toiletries (lotion, soap, shampoo, etc)
- A hair dryer and iron
- Books and magazines (extra points if they’re geared toward your target audience)
- Candles in neutral, natural scents
- White bed linens and towels to create a clean feel (plus they’re easy to bleach)
- Extra hypoallergenic pillows
- Air purifiers and/or humidifiers
- BONUS POINTS: Houseplants
Coolidge Corner – $270/night
A big reason people choose short-term rentals over hotels is because they want to be immersed in the culture of where they are. Consider your location – what category does it fall into – city, beach ski? Use that into your design. Subtle touches here and there are all you need.
For example, for an Airbnb in Boston try a vintage map of the MBTA lines, an old crate from Haymarket or photographs of the city. If there’s any local lore or unique amenities special to your area, be sure to include the in your reference guide so your guests can get the most out of their experience.
And there you have it, a complete guide to setting up your Airbnb. Good luck!
Historic Back Bay – $299/night
Somerville – $200/night
Newbury Street – $136/night