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”:
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!
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!
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.