Making Your Airbnb Feel Like Home


One of the top reasons travelers choose Airbnbs over hotels is that short-term rentals come with a sense of comfort.

When you walk into a well-curated Airbnb, there’s the soft smell of scented candles and fresh linen, comfy couches to sink into, and a feeling similar to the one you get when you come home after a long day. There’s no lingering cologne, no questionable stains on gritty carpet, or mass-produced art. Just a home waiting to welcome you for however long you happen to be in town.

So how do you achieve this feeling in your short-term rental?  

My favorite way to create this irresistible feeling is through well-thought-out design, giving the place a comforting, yet unique vibe worthy of another stay and, of course, a great review. Here are my top 5 tips for creating an aesthetic all guests will love.

1. Give the place personality.

First and foremost, you want your Airbnb to have personality. But you have to be careful—too many eclectic pieces can make the space feel cluttered and uncoordinated. I suggest choosing a simple color pallet (maybe 3-5 colors, using neutrals and one pop of color). Then choose sheets, pillows, and other textiles that go along with that pallet, without exception. Patterns are fine, just limit them and make sure they coordinate. Pinterest is a great tool to use to stay organized and on-task as you develop your home’s aesthetic.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Designing a space can be tough and intimidating. If you don’t feel like it comes naturally to you and is causing you stress, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Enlist a friend who has a good eye or invest in a design service. Check out Houzz for great Nashville recommendations. Just make sure the designer is able to achieve the aesthetic you’re going for and has a good track record of staying within budget. Ask for references and be sure to contact them.  

3. When it comes to art, shop local.

Nashville has a ton of great art and supporting local artists is something you could even mention in your listing. You might consider going to the Art Crawl on the first Saturday of each month and seeing what original work you can score. Or, you can visit Anderson Design Group, DCXV, or Hatch Show Print if you have something specific in mind and don’t want to hunt. Just make sure you invest in a nice frame consistent with the space’s aesthetic if you purchase a print.

4. Choose items wisely.

Whether you handle the design yourself or someone is choosing them for you and getting your approval, be sure you go for things that are unique, engaging, and functional. Aside from a television with cable or a streaming device (like a Roku), I love to include board games, short books around 128 pages that can be read in a weekend, and, as mentioned in a previous post, a Nashville guide so guests can chill out, flip through it, and decide what spots to visit. Remember, you’re welcome to use ours!

5. Envision a stay in your Airbnb, pretending it doesn’t belong to you.

Walk in the front door and try to pretend you’re seeing the space for the first time. Think of what you would like to have access to when staying somewhere. From sturdy coat hooks and an umbrella stand by the front door to easy access to a plug by the bed to charge your phone, every amenity is important. I like to include an extension cord and even a flashlight just in case a storm knocks the power out.

Just remember, each little choice you make adds up, eventually leading to an unforgettable guest experience. Those who stay in your short-term rental will be thankful to have a tranquil, well-curated space to stay in. If you do a good enough job, the experience may turn them off of hotels forever—now THAT we can get behind.

Still feeling a little lost on what to have on-hand in your Airbnb? Don't forget to check out the checklist in our ebook! Haven't downloaded it yet? Let's fix that! You can get it free here