How much quality furniture costs you

Furniture can range a lot depending on where it was made, what materials were used, how to was constructed, among many other factors. I am often asked by potential clients what kind of price range they should expect to spend on their furniture, so I put together this little list. While these selections are very much mid to even low price points, they are a great starting point when trying to determine your budget.

These numbers were put together using average costs per each item. They are not commercial grade furniture (which can cost a lot more), but they also aren’t IKEA (sorry IKEA!) quality either. They are right in the middle.

These prices will increase every year along with inflation, among other factors. And since most people will only buy furniture every 10+ years, prices can change dramatically over long periods of time. In addition, most people don’t buy all the furniture needed for their homes in 1 single purchase. Often times, most people will buy one furniture item, then another, until they have collected all the items needed for their home. This also helps spread the “shock” of furniture costs over a longer period of time.

I share this with you in case you are considering turning your property into a short term rental. You will need to allocate a large portion of your start up costs to purchasing furniture, so this is a guide to help you budget and to know what kind of overall purchase price you should be expecting to make.

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Monthly Short Term Rental Challenge: Charming Turtle Creek Town Home, Dallas TX

If you don’t already know, every month I take about 1-2 short term rental properties that could use a professional’s eye and I share my thoughts with the owners on how they can improve their home and potentially get more bookings.

This month, I worked with Cortney, based out of Dallas Texas with an adorable town home that needed some very small touches to help bring some life into the space.

Let’s start with the Living Room.

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The Living Room looks to be in pretty good shape. The teal chair looks like it is a little too big for this space, but it does adds a nice pop of color to the room. I would swap this out for ottomans at some point in the future. 

The sofa just needs a few brightly colored geometric (southwestern inspired) pillows (with teals, pinks, oranges, yellows and grey) and a large chunky knit throw with a three dimensional piece of art to add some interest to the walls. 

I would also suggest raising the drapery by the sliding glass doors- this will help make the room feel more spacious, and go with something that is more interesting- like a dip dye!

Now the Kitchen…

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Overall the kitchen isn’t bad, but it also doesn’t feel very inviting. Since it is a small space, and has very neutral colors, this space really just needs some pops of color to bring it to life. 

I would suggest some brightly colored pots and pans, with brightly colored dishware and utensils/storage sticking with greens, aqua, oranges and yellows. 

Now on to the bedroom…

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This room has a great neutral and contemporary headboard, and the lightly patterned pillows are a nice texture for the space, but this room is missing some color, and some lighting. 

The purple-grey comforter is nice, but it’s too dark and is making this space feel smaller than it should. I suggest changing this out for a white comforter (It’s also easy to clean with bleach). 

I would suggest adding hanging pendant lights above both nightstands, something small and either glass or brass color. 

I would suggest painting the focal wall (the one with the small window with a bright and cheerful color (like the color shown below: Benjamin Moore Orange Burst Paint), and paint the other walls white (true white, not off white or cream). This will help make the colorful wall pop more too.  

I would also add a colorful body pillow link the one shown below to add a focal point in the room.

If you are interested in having a professional Interior Designer review your short term rental, be sure to fill out the application HERE and we will be in touch with you!


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The 3 Most Popular Design Styles in San Diego

According to Redfin, there are three main styles that are most popular in San Diego this year:

Ranch-Style

The iconic ranch architecture is known for its single-story, low-to-the-ground look, often with an open layout and occasional split level. A ranch can also be called a ‘rambler,’ depending on which region in the country you live in and local terminology.

Looking locally, ranches made up a larger share of homes in Phoenix and Atlanta than any other area, with 36 percent of all listings sold claiming the style in both metros. Portland, Chicago, Denver, and San Diego similarly favored the rambler.

Not only were ranch homes the most popular style of home sold last year, but the style also tended to be more affordable.

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Modern

An innovative approach, including contemporary and modern homes, was most popular in California. Modern homes are similar to the contemporary style with a stricter style format. 

Modern homes typically include progressive elements such as asymmetrical exteriors, flat roofs, and integrated outdoor spaces. Many modern interiors also feature minimal molding and trim, neutral color palettes, and metal accents.

Both modern and contemporary homes sold at higher median prices than most other styles.

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Contemporary

Contemporary-style can inspire more variations than modern architecture, taking the lead styles for Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland. These homes also prove to be the priciest, boasting large windows and dramatic exteriors.

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Click HERE to read the full article.

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Top 3 Interior Design Mistakes to Avoid

I get asked this question alot, so I wanted to share the top 3 Design Mistakes I see most often, and how you can avoid them. By now, you probably already know that bad design choices can cause stress and anxiety, neither of which are emotions anyone wants to bring into their home. It might sound silly, but small teaks and changes to your home can actually bring stress and anxiety levels down. If everyone had a well designed home, who knows, maybe there would be less need for pharmaceuticals (one can only hope!), but having a well designed home certainly couldn’t hurt!

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How to give Minimum Effort to get Maximum Bookings

As an Airbnb Interior Designer, I often get asked by clients what and where they should spend their money on when it comes to interior decor.

It’s a great question because most people don’t have an idea of budget or where to implement all the décor strategies I use in my services. Some owners even prefer to make design changes slowly over time due to budgetary constraints, I understand! So it makes sense to start with the décor that has the most powerful influence on attracting new and repeat guests and easily getting 5-star reviews.

There are 3 main places you need to focus on in order to get the most “bang for your buck”:

  1. Mattress- Be sure to buy a “middle of the road” mattress. You don’t need to buy the most expensive option (especially since you will need to replace it more often than your personal mattress), but also don’t buy the cheapest option either. Often times the difference between the cheapest option and the nicest option is only a few dollars when all is said and done but it can dramatically affect your rating and booking rates. If you have a comfortable bed, guests will remember that, and write a review about it, even tell their friends! If you have an uncomfortable bed, guests will remember that as well, and it will reflect in their reviews. Why? Well not only is sleeping the main reason your guests are even booking your home, but it is also where they will spend the majority of their time in your home. Also, when guests get a good night sleep, they are more likely to awaken and leave your home in a good mood. However if your guests don’t get a good night sleep, they will more likely awaken in a grumpy mood, and you don’t want your guest to write your review while they are grumpy!

  2. Bedding- just like mattress’, bedding is an important part of the guest experience. I know it’s tempting to go for the cheapest bedding options, especially since you will need to replace these far more often than your mattress’, but resist the temptation! Just like the mattress, your bedding selections should cater to the average person, so you do not need silk or sateen sheets, but a simple cotton sheet set is not only most common, but it is also soft, durable, and breathes well. While you personally might enjoy a microfiber (polyester) or satin sheet, your guests most likely will not (by majority ruling). Let’s talk about thread count. Click on THIS link that will tell you all about them!

  3. Towels- just like the bedding, don’t skimp on the towels! Basically anything your guest will touch or use, you should spend some extra cash on. Yes, you will need to replace these items often (towels more often than all other), but it’s only a few dollar more to purchase a much nicer towel. Your short term rental is competing with hotels in your area, do you think the nice Hotels skimp on the towels? No! They are big, fluffy, white, and soft. I once stayed in an Airbnb listing that had very old, stiff and thin, bleach stained colored towels. I was genuinely concerned that they hadn’t been washed. Needless to say, this reflected in my review, so don’t let this happen to you! Replace towels often and keep your reviews positive.

Where You should spend less money: All art, accessories (dishes, glasses, etc.), tables (however don’t purchase items that are too cheap, or they won’t last very long and you will find yourself replacing these items often). Seating like sofas is a place where you should spend a little more of your budget because often this is where your guests will spend the majority of their time (besides the bed) watching TV, eating, etc. so make sure it is a quality piece that will not only last a long time, but that it is durable. Consider fabrics that are stain resistant, etc. to keep the appearance of a new sofa.

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Why Clutter is Causing Depression

UCLA once did a study on the affects of clutter in a room called “Life at home in the 21st century”, this study was based on a groundbreaking, four-year, ethnoarchaeological CELF study conducted in 2001-2005. What they found was that a staggering number of possessions and an array of spaces and furnishings that serve as the stage for multiple family activities can tell us a lot about who we are as a society.

The results were astonishing! The cluttered homes caused as much stress as postpartum depression based on their cortisol readings. Think about that for a moment…the clutter was literally causing depression. As the clutter begins to pile up, your stress levels raise as well. If you don’t do anything about the clutter, eventually you will have a mental break point. A point at which the stress becomes too much to bear, and you give into depression and loose all motivation to clean up the clutter that is causing your stress induced depression. Only furthering your depression deeper. It’s a loose-loose cycle.

So how do we stop this cycle? Read my book “How to organize and declutter your home” to learn all the steps you can take to creating a life of freedom from clutter and depression.

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Why is Interior Design Important?

What does it mean to design someones home?

Well first, let’s take one step back. What is a home? A place where we keep our loved ones safe. We can hide away from the world in our homes when we need to. More importantly, it is a place where you can express yourself, and we have an emotional connection to our homes because of this.

Interior Design is the art and science of understanding peoples behavior to create functional spaces within a building.

Why is that important? Because we all live and work somewhere and these spaces affect not only our bodies, our minds, our energy levels, and even our productivity levels, which directly affect our income levels. Good Interior design meets all of these needs, whereas bad interior design meets none.

So how do we react to design? Everything that is man-made is designed. From the shoes you wear to the buildings you walk into. But you don’t notice good design, you simply use it. You don’t feel it, you just feel content in the space. And it looks nice, therefore you like it.

Bad Interior Design is like a pebble in your shoe. When you have a pebble in your shoe, its all you can think about; where can you sit down and take care of it? Bad design is like the pebble in the shoe- its annoying and you notice it all the time. It’s annoying to have to move around furniture in order to sit down. It’s annoying to not be able to reach the top shelf. It’s annoying to have to bend uncomfortably low to reach a sink basin.

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New Services!

For those of you who don’t already know, I have added some services! Below is an outline of the services I am now offering. Please check them out, and let me know if you have any questions!

GRANNY FLAT INTERIOR DESIGN

ADU’S (ADDITIONAL DWELLING UNITS) OR BETTER KNOWN AS “GRANNY FLATS” ARE A GREAT WAY TO ADD VALUE TO YOUR PROPERTY. BY WORKING WITH KRYSTIN KREBS INTERIORS, YOU CAN GET A COHESIVE AND MARKETABLE HOME, MAKING AN ENJOYABLE SPACE FOR A FAMILY MEMBER TO AGE IN PLACE, OR DRAWING IN THE PERFECT RENTER - WHILE THEY HELP PAY DOWN YOUR MORTGAGE, YOU CAN EVEN TURN A PROFIT!

FINISH PACKAGES

Select from one of the two options listed below:

1. TURN KEY FINISH PACKAGE DESIGNS

These turn key design packages are perfect for ADU’s (Additional Dwelling Units) or better known as “Granny Flats”, home remodel projects, and even new construction projects. All of the finishes including flooring, wall paint, exterior finishes, lighting, faucets, cabinet styles, hardware, etc. have all been hand selected for the perfect combination, and can be customized to you and your needs.

How does it work?

If you are interested in purchasing a style package option, you will be provided a detailed specification list of all the finishes including size, color, and price so you too can have a perfectly and professionally styled home! These specification packages are a great solution for your renovation loan lenders as well as for your contractor. Krystin will work directly with your lender and contractor to make sure all the items you have selected are accounted for and ready for installation. Should any item become unavailable or out of stock, Krystin Krebs Interiors will provide you with substitute choices.

Note: Furniture Package sold separately.

2. CUSTOM FINISH PACKAGE DESIGNS

Not interested in a turn-key design package? No problem! We can work together to come up with a design that is entirely unique for you and your home!

How does it work?

We will set up a date and time to meet on a regular basis to select all of the materials needed for your project. Once all the finishes have been selected, I will provide your contractor with our list, and should any items become unavailable or out of stock at the time of purchase, I will be available to help you re-select your choice so you still get a cohesive look.

FURNITURE PACKAGES

Now that you have new finishes in your home, what better way then to pull the entire space together by purchasing furniture that fits in the space?! Krystin Krebs Interiors also has a matching furniture style option that will provide you with all the furniture needs your home requires, blending perfectly with your finishes, creating a complete cohesive look that isn’t not over done.

Select from one of the two options listed below:

1. TURN KEY FURNITURE PACKAGE DESIGNS

These turn key design packages are perfect for ADU’s (Additional Dwelling Units) or better known as “Granny Flats”, home remodel projects, and even new construction projects. All of the furniture including sofas, beds, tables, etc. have all been hand selected for the perfect combination, and can be customized to you and your needs.

How does it work?

If you are interested in purchasing a style package option, you will be provided a detailed specification list of all the furniture selections including size, finish, and prices so you too can have a perfectly and professionally styled home! Should any item become unavailable or out of stock, Krystin Krebs Interiors will provide you with substitute choices.

2. CUSTOM FURNITURE PACKAGE DESIGNS

Not interested in a turn-key design package? No problem! We can work together to come up with a design that is entirely unique for you and your home!

How does it work?

We will set up a date and time to meet on a regular basis to select all of the materials needed for your project. Once all the furniture has been selected, we will purchase all of the items and ship them directly to your location. For installation, there are two options, someone on-site can install the furniture, or I can travel to your location and do the installation with my team.

AIRBNB INTERIOR DESIGN

AS THE SHORT-TERM RENTAL INDUSTRY GROWS AND BECOMES INCREASINGLY COMPETITIVE, ENSURING YOUR PROPERTY STANDS OUT FROM THE CROWD ON ONLINE PLATFORMS ALL BOILS DOWN TO ONE KEY FACTOR – IT’S INTERIOR DESIGN. KRYSTIN KREBS INTERIORS HELPS SHORT TERM VACATION RENTAL HOMEOWNERS DESIGN AND DECORATE THEIR HOMES TO BRING THEM MORE BOOKINGS AT A HIGHER RATE.

FURNITURE PACKAGES

Select from one of the two options listed below:

1. TURN KEY FURNITURE PACKAGE DESIGNS

These turn key design packages are perfect for Short Term Rental (Airbnb) homes because all of the furniture including sofas, beds, tables, etc. have all been hand selected for the perfect combination, and can be customized to you and your needs.

How does it work?

Either I will need to measure your home (if local), or you can measure and send me the dimensions. We can also coordinate this over skype/zoom etc. We will review the package options available, and make a selection. I will then begin the draft a floorplan to ensure all the items will fit. You will be provided with an accurate estimate for the cost of the items, then we will then begin purchasing upon your approval of the items. Should any item become unavailable or out of stock, Krystin Krebs Interiors will provide you with substitute choices. We will ship all items directly to your location. For installation, there are two options, someone on-site can install the furniture, or I can travel to your location and do the installation with my team.

2. CUSTOM FURNITURE PACKAGE DESIGNS

Not interested in a turn-key design package? No problem! We can work together to come up with a design that is entirely unique for you and your home!

How does it work?

  • We will schedule a One Hour Consultation where we will discuss your home, your goals, your pain points, the demographics of your area, the target market and their needs, etc. We will also discuss style, color, art and accessories, and investment costs. (IF this property is a new purchase: I highly recommend scheduling this appointment as soon as you have the property under contract, before escrow closes). Since furniture deliveries can take some time and vary from vendor to vendor, we want to allow ourselves enough time to make the furniture selections and allow for the transit of these items, so the sooner we are able to get started, the better.  

  • I will create a list of all the items needed in your home, and draft a floorplan based on your furniture needs. I will then present you with mood board presentations which will include several furniture style options, fabrics, and colors that fit your home, your vision, and your investment costs based on our consultation meeting. You will then have 3 optional meetings for revised furniture selections as needed.

  • We will set up a date and time to meet on a regular basis to select all of the materials needed for your project. Once all the furniture has been selected, we will purchase all the approved furniture items when a deposit has been received, then we will schedule an installation date(s) where we will deliver the furnishings, art, and accessories. I will create a cohesive design, and provide your home with everything you will need to be rental ready for any vacationer including home goods as needed (towels, kitchen utensils, etc) and ship them directly to your location. For installation, there are two options, someone on-site can install the furniture, or I can travel to your location and do the installation with my team.


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Now Featured in SD Voyager Magazine!

This blog post isn’t going to be like my typical post where I share design tips and tricks, instead this blog post is going to be a shameless plug for me and my business! I wanted to share with you the first magazine article written about me and my business. Be sure to check it out, and learn more about me, what I do, and how I got here by clicking HERE

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Are vacation rentals dead?

I hear this question a lot, and I think it is due to the new laws that are being passed almost daily in different counties, cities, states, and even on a federal level trying to limit or ban short term vacation rentals from their area.

While there are some people who oppose the expansion of vacation rentals for various personal reasons, ( I’ve heard everything from “my rental rates will increase” to “I don’t want someone running a business out of a home next to mine” — shocking, I know) there is no rational reason to oppose short term vacation rentals, and there’s no end in sight. This industry is BOOMING and will only continue to grow further as more and more people list their homes on OTA websites like Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, etc. while they travel.

Gone are the days of time shares, with limited dates and high rates, we have moved into the 21st century. Since a majority of short term vacation rental travelers are millennials or young families, their travel habits have changed dramatically from supporting old business models like time shares and hotels, and have moved into a more communal and shared way of traveling through short term vacation rentals, which you can also see this trend with industries like Taxis, Uber, Lyft and other ride share options. 

Popular sites like Airbnb are paving new ways to travel, and large hotel corporations are being threatened. Instead of supporting the few, popularity has shifted to supporting the many by putting small amounts of cash into homeowners pockets rather than large hotel corporations. This industry has grown so much that Airbnb has completed an acquisition of HotelTonight!

Here are some interesting global stats for you from around the World:

Vacasa, a vacation rental firm, has opened a real estate brokerage in Oregon. Vacasa Real Estate will help buyers and sellers of vacation rental properties find homes along the Oregon coast and other popular vacation rental markets throughout the state.

VRBO has announced a partnership with US mortgage lending firm Quicken Loans to allow confirmed revenue earned through the platform to qualify for mortgage refinancing through reviewing the property owner’s income. Property categories eligible for the scheme include both primary residences and vacation properties.

Now, as bigger companies begin to move into the short term vacation rental arena, they will not slow down now. This may have once been a hobby, or after thought of turning part (or your entire) home into a “temporary hotel” where guests paid you much smaller fees than the large hotels in your area to simply sleep for a night, has turned into an entire business model for some people. Many people who started as vacation rental owners have now moved into managing other vacation rentals. Not only creating a new job for themselves, but also helping spur on the economy by bringing in new tourists daily to support the city they are in. 

As history has already shown here, short term vacation rentals are here to stay, and this industry is only going to grow larger.  

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5 reasons why you need to work with a Real Estate Agent

  1. They negotiate for YOU...that's what they do.

  2. The commission is paid by the seller. While this isn’t great, if you are the seller, just think of all the backlash you could get if a sale goes south when the buyer finds something they don’t like while you are in escrow. Agents help prevent this.

  3. They literally do this for a living- Why would you not want to use someone in the know? Especially with such a large purchase? If you are planning on relying on sites like Zillow, I have some bad news, they are not credible sources. Often the information they provide is not even accurate, so you shouldn’t depend on these sites to do your research for you.

  4. Agents have access to rental rates and all the property history, including inspection reports, etc. so you can make an educated decision.

  5. If you plan to sell your home in the future, or want to know what the neighborhood homes are selling for, your realtor can pull the comps or give you a CMA- comparative market analysis which shows sold and active comparables to give a good idea of what is the average selling price in your area.

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Bedroom Decor Tips for Vacation Rentals

Bedrooms are the most important room as a vacation rental, for obvious reasons, this space is most likely where your guest will spend most of their time in your home. So this room really needs to be the focus of your efforts. It should feel like a relaxing oasis.

There are many things to consider such as having a light on the nightstand next to the bed for those people who may be “night owls” or perhaps may need to get up during the night, or early morning when it’s dark as you don’t want your guests fumbling around in the dark, possibly tripping over anything in their path, looking for a wall switch.

Provide lots of pillows and bedding! Keep sheet sets together by placing a neatly folded set inside its matching pillowcase or, for a pretty and functional detail, tie the whole set with ribbon. This is a small cost, but can show your guests you really care about their experience and have thought about all the details. Make sure you have extra blankets in your home, not just for the beds. Often times some guests will want to snuggle up with a blanket on the sofa. It’s always better to over deliver than to under-deliver to your guests. Extra pillows are a nice gesture as well and don’t cost very much.

Provide a place for guests to unpack. Having an empty dresser is nice, but if that’s not possible or not something you want to encourage with your guests (this is often where most guests tend to forget items they left behind after they leave your house), be sure to leave a luggage stand for your guests to easily open and access their luggage without having to leave it on the ground (plan these according to how many people can sleep in each room).

Provide privacy. This means doors, window treatments, etc. to help make the room more private. If you can, I highly recommend providing two types of window treatment; one that is a semi-sheer (providing light and minimal privacy), and one that is a black-out (providing little to no light and maximum privacy). Also, remember to supply all bedroom and bathroom doors with locks.  

Temperature controls- whether you provide a fan or heater (depending on where you live and what kind of seasons your house is in), be sure your guests are comfortable to their standards.

It may not strike you as the most creative part of furnishing your home, but storage is an important factor to take into consideration for any vacation rental. In particular, if guests traveling to your location are likely to stay for a week or longer, be sure to provide ample closet, drawer or clothes rail space to enable them to unpack and feel completely at home. Even the most minimalist rentals don’t have an excuse – there are many stylish options which can also serve as a design feature.

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Top 5 Furniture Ideas for Small Spaces

Small Spaces such as a “Granny Flat” or an ADU (Additional Dwelling Unit) and even the current trend of “Tiny Houses”, have limited storage options, so making the most of the space you have will be key to creating a functionable space.

1. There are many storage solutions that can have multiple functions, such as the bed below from Design Within Reach, called the Nest Storage Bed. It not only functions as a bed frame, but it also is a great place for hidden storage. This way your space won’t look messy or cluttered, and only you will know what’s hiding under your bed.

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2. Perhaps you love your bed, and don’t want to replace it? No problem! Consider using under bed storage solutions that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing such as these modern weave under bed storage baskets from West Elm.

3. There are even multi-functional furniture options such as this urban sleeper sectional sofa from West Elm which, as you might have guessed, converts from a sofa into a bed, saving you tons of space by having a bed that can fold into another piece of furniture, but it gets even better- the chaise that creates the sectional L shape, also has storage built-in, perfect for bedding!



4. Ottomans are also a great versatile piece of furniture- they can be used to sit on, put your feet up on, and this upholstered base storage ottoman from West Elm can even convert to a coffee table!


5. Coffee Tables are often one of the most underutilized pieces of furniture in a home as they are usually thought of as functional, however few are utilitarian like this Industrial Storage Pop-up Coffee Table from West Elm. Its converts from a coffee table into a dining table for two, AND it has storage! Now you’ll never lose that pesky remote again!

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Living Room Decor Tips for Your Vacation Rental

Make sure the remotes to the TV are easy to find and navigate. The coffee table is also a great place to leave local magazines, your recommendations for guests, and a guest book (if you choose). You don’t want guests to have to hunt around the room for things they will need, so baskets or trays are also a great way to keep these essential things all in one location. This should be easily visible (often on the coffee table). Make sure your sofa has plenty of pillows (usually 2 in each corner is a good portion). Is your sofa in decent condition, and the cushions are full? If not, you may consider replacing the cushions, or replacing the entire sofa, if needed. This is often an area where you guests will spend most of their time relaxing, so your furnishings should be sturdy and comfortable. It is best to hide as many cords as you can as well to give the space a less cluttered feeling.    

Here are a few photos of my living room, which has hidden cords, bright lighting, storage, and plenty of seating options with many pillow options.  

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Front Door & Entry Tips for Vacation Rentals

Front doors and entry ways are the first impression your guests will get of your home. Make sure it has a clean doormat with a working light. Consider the condition and color of your door as well- does it need new paint? Maybe a pop of color so it draws more attention? What looks best in the photo of the entry? Should you add a plant for some color and texture? These are all things to consider when addressing the front door, since this will be your guest’s first impression of you, your home, and what the rest of their experience will be like. 

Make sure there is an area to “drop” everything a guest will have with them by the front door (luggage, cellphone, keys, hats, jackets, etc.). You want your guests to have somewhere to set everything while they take a look around and explore their room options and get themselves orientated with their new surroundings (without lugging everything with them, and possibly damaging the walls, doors, rugs, trim, etc. of your home). This could include a console table, with a bowl for keys, a coat rack to hang jackets and hats, maybe even somewhere to leave their shoes. This is also a good place to leave any directions for your guests (key codes, directions, suggestions, etc.) since they will pass this area everytime they leave the house. 

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Kitchen Decor Tips for Your Short Term Vacation Rentals

The kitchen is often called the heart of the home, since most people gather in this location- so you want to make your short term rental’s kitchen is fully stocked!

Be sure you have the following items:

Dishes- (obviously), but make sure you have the correct quantity based on the amount of guests you are preparing for, and supply extras (2 is usually good) just in case some break, or if guests use dishes for more than 1 meal and need additional dishes.

Kitchen Utensils- including enough silverware for the amount of people who can sleep in your home, but also enough for additional guests too (2-4 additional settings).

Serving Utensils- You should have at least 1 large bowl and one large serving plate as well as serving utencils. (Think thanksgiving dinner).

Spices- provide the basic spices like salt and pepper, but also provide other spices for cooking with- this could be something local too!

Oils- provide cooking and frying oils such as olive oil, canola oil, etc.

Snacks- It’s best to provide items that are fairly universal, identifiable, and non-perishable. For instance crackers, cookies and chips are great options since they don’t go bad for a long time. However, unless you are providing a local favorite, don’t skimp and buy off-brand items, be sure to provide items that are fairly well known to the masses, such as Doritos, Cheetos, Chips Ahoy, etc.

Coffee- it’s almost a ritual in the US for many people in the morning to have their “cup of joe”, so be sure to provide options, and enough to last your guests for the length of their stay.

There are many items that are needed in the kitchen, so be prepared to spend a decent portion of your budget in this room when first setting up your vacation rental. Don’t worry, these expenses are usually a one time cost!  

When selecting the decor and accessories for your kitchen, there is a lot to remember, but if you purchase my e-book “How to Use Interior Design to Increase Your Vacation Bookings”, you can get a full list of all the items needed in your kitchen!

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New Book being released!

Hi There!

Just wanted to let you know that my new e-book “How to Create A Healthy Home” is being released on June 1st. This book will go over all the building materials, furnishings, finishes, and household items like cleaning products can produce a toxins that negatively impacting your health. Air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. In 2012, around 7 million people died, one in eight of total global deaths, as a result of air pollution. 4.3 million of those deaths were attributable to indoor air pollution…. but did you also know that the air inside your home is likely to be 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside your home? Be sure to sign up for the pre-sale of this kindle e-book (available through amazon) to learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and your household.


You can pre-order your copy for 99 cents by click the link below":

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Why you should work with a Professional Photographer for your Vacation Rental

You've probably heard the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”, and that couldn’t be more true when it comes to vacation rentals! Often times people who are booking your home rarely even read the description before looking at the photos. So why would you upload amateur photos with bad lighting, terrible composition, or even rubbish in the photo? Photos are designed to appeal to you potential booking, not deter them. Working with a professional photographer can help increase the chances of someone booking your home versus another home in the same area, putting cash in your wallet. 

I had the pleasure of working with Tori McPherson of VVR Marketing, based out of San Diego, CA who photographed my home. She was professional, quick, and has a great eye for detail and amazing composition of each photo, making the entire experience feel fun and relaxed.

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 Here is what Tori had to say about her experience: “On our first project Krystin went above and beyond to make sure the space had enough variety to provide the photographers dream interior design shoot. She is well studied at interior design, very professional to work with, and she can make the California style come to life in any space. She is very sweet, genuine, and creative. Definitely my first choice for interior designers in San Diego!”

 

Here are some more photos from our photo shoot: 

 

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This photo is one of my personal favorites that Tori took. The composition of this photo is created by using a rule in photography called golden section of symmetry which draws your attention into the photo. It is also well lit and makes this room feel warm and inviting. 

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Tori was able to get the entire living room seating area in one shot, turning my rather drab grey sofa into a lively looking component of this room. 

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in my living room, I was going for a fun but relaxed Californian vibe with linen pillows, palm photos, and accessories which Tori captures perfectly. 

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it’s always fun to be able to mix up bedding, pillows, art and accessories to create an entirely new and unique space. We kept the headboard, and some of the basic bedding, but made it a slightly more feminine room with dusty pink colors and gold accessories.

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This is my living room wall with a built-in bookshelf and our music station with a record player and a rather extensive collection of records stored under the player on this console table.  

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These statues are one of favorite accessories because they have a personal connection for me. My great grandmother made these. I also have a set of zebras that my grandmother made. I love their unique shapes and their antiqued ceramic surfaces. 

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And that’s me!

I hate having my photo taken, it makes me nervous (I get sweaty palms and all!) but Tori did a great job of not only capturing the room I was sitting in, but also capturing my personality in this smile (she always makes me laugh!). I am so thankful to have such a wonderful photographer who is able to bring my home to life in these professionally curated photos. Check out the tab “portfolio” to see more photos! 

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Humble Design : an amazing non-profit organization

I had the opportunity to spend a couple hours volunteering at an amazing non-profit organization that helps create homes for the homeless. I love being able to put my skills as a designer to good use. I have been looking for an organization that I could make an impact on my community and I think I found the perfect place!

The staff at @humbledesign is so kind and have the biggest hearts. Can’t wait to be of help in the future to them!

If you are interested in Supporting them, they are looking for lightly used furniture, art, accessories, toys, etc. for the homes.


They are also one of the non-profits you can support when you shop at smile.amazon.com!

So the things you were already going to buy on amazon now can help benefit this amazing group of people, caring and giving back so generously to our community!

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That’s me, outside their warehouse, just after finishing pulling some items for their next installation (and I got to paint some art!).  

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Creating homes for the homeless! I’m so grateful to this organization for letting me be able to share my skills with my community in a meaningful way. 

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The amazing volunteers at Humble Design creating beautiful spaces for those in need! 

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What websites should I use for my Vacation Rental?

There are several websites you should consider using depending on where your home is and who you are trying to attract.

HOMEAWAY AND VRBO IS FOR TRADITIONAL RESORT EXPERIENCES

If your home is in a ”destination location” like by the beach, in the mountains, or in a desert location, you should consider using Homeaway and VRBO. Travelers searching for vacation rentals in a resort destination often go straight to HomeAway and VRBO. Travelers who are searching for the traditional resort experience are often traveling in a group of family members, friends, or even business partners and usually for several days, or even weeks. So be sure to consider their home needs as they will vary from group to group.

AIRBNB IS IDEAL FOR URBAN DESTINATIONS AND WEEKEND BOOKINGS

Airbnb is the go-to site for millennial’s and young travelers looking for properties in urban destinations. If you have a vacation rental in a city or trendy location, you should strongly consider using Airbnb. Airbnb travelers tend to be more interested in weekend bookings & shorter stays, so be prepared to have a higher turn over rate each month.

TRIPADVISOR AND BOOKING.COM ARE BEST FOR THE WIDEST RANGE OF TRAVELERS AND LAST MINUTE BOOKINGS

Booking.com and TripAdvisor are large international platforms that cover more diverse options for travel accommodations beyond vacation rentals, including hotel options, B&Bs, and more (so you will have a strong competition!). These travelers are often traveling internationally, and the group size can vary, but are usually small groups of 2-5. Think of this group of travelers as more nomadic than Airbnb, VRBO, or HomeAway, so their needs will be a little different and more basic in nature. If a traveler is specifically looking for a vacation rental, these platforms may not be the first place they look, so you may want to use other websites in addition to this option if you are looking for a full booking schedule. Also, be aware that this site has the highest cancellation rates in comparison to other websites, so be prepared.

COLLEGEWEEKENDS.COM IS NEW, BUT OBVIOUSLY FOR THE YOUNG TRAVELER

The travelers who are searching CollegeWeekends.com are usually going to be college students, and often value price and location over comfort. You can think of this website as more like a “hostel” experience. This is the perfect place to list that spare room in your house, especially if you are walking distance to a college campus. The website also caters to family members who want to visit college students, without having to go through the hassle of commuting to and/or from the nearest hotel after a long day touring a campus or watching the late local college football game. If you are going to list your home on this website, be prepared to be booked when school is in session (during the spring and fall), but you may experience some lack of bookings through this website during the winter and summer months as it’s likely that fewer people will be using the site.

These are the websites that are currently dominating the industry, but it is always changing and there are new sites popping up often, so check back in for more updates, and share your finds in the comments below!

Happy Booking!

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