Furnishing an Airbnb rental in a professional manner, in line with guest demand in the local market can boost monthly income by 15%-50%. (Source: Awning.com) 

Let’s face it, everyone is judging a book by its cover. This applies to your short-term rental too! Investing in the interior design of your short-term rental can drastically increase your revenue. We can attest to this and have seen this happen IRL for multiple clients!

Don't want to read? Just want to get to the pretty pictures? Check out some of our STR transformations!

Here is the lowdown. Amenities matter for attracting renters to your STR, but design and decor are also crucial for a competitive edge. Renters are looking for a unique getaway that allows them to escape their everyday lives. Think about hotels: a 5-star hotel commands a higher rate not just for more amenities, but also for it’s bougie high-end design and furnishings.

It doesn’t have to be The Ritz! You can approach intentional design for your STR in several different ways. Here are some examples:

  • If you want to go the luxury route, it offers renters the ability to experience affluence, making them feel special and can attract wealthier tenants accustomed to high standards. Think MTV’s Cribs!
  • If you want to keep your vibe more authentic, a home that embraces the local style and décor immerses renters in the true vacation experience and provides an authentic and memorable stay. This will get at those heartstrings.
  • The rule is there are no rules! Fun, extravagant, and avant-garde decor can energize renters. It can offer a refreshing escape from their routine and grant them the freedom to have fun and unwind during their trip.

We recommend not being a sheep, unless it’s the black one! Think about who you are and what you want your rental to convey to visitors, then design around that. This will allow your listing to shine, just like you! 

Example of both embracing the location (Palm Springs) and using fun over-the top decor

Work smarter not harder! Investing in interior design works for you in several different ways simultaneously.

  1. We all like pretty things. Eye-catching photos attract more attention and increased clicks lead to more bookings! (Professional photography is highly recommended to enhance listing visibility.)
  1. Standing out from the crowd and offering a unique and memorable experience boosts reviews and ratings! In general, people are inclined to either rave or rant about exceptional or terrible experiences, not just average ones. Plus, it’s a numbers game! More reviews naturally happen with more bookings.
  1. Simple supply and demand, folks! Since your supply remains the same, as the demand for your rental increases you will be able to increase your prices. 
  1. People talk! People tend to share their amazing experiences and recommendations with anyone that will listen. They will be sure to recommend your home to anyone and everyone.
  1. Makes them want to do it for the ‘Gram! In the age of social media, everyone wants to share ALL their experiences online. A well-designed STR provides the perfect backdrop for guests to capture photos and videos and they are more likely to want to share their experience online.

A little can go a long way! Just like there is no cookie-cutter way to design your STR, your investment level shouldn't follow a one-size-fits-all approach either. We specialize in budget inclusive, livable design and have found this works wonders for STRs! It is understandable to want to be conservative with what you spend on design.

The top two reasons to consider a more conservative budget for design are:

  1. Design is the caboose. STR owners already invest a lot into their property and by the time design comes into play, funds may be tight.
  1. S*** gets ruined. The lifespan of items in an STR are much shorter compared to primary residences.

If you know what you are looking for and where to focus your budget, you can really make a big impact with a little investment. However, if you have the budget we say, “GO BANANAS”!

Items used for this room transformation: rug, throw pillows and blanket, 1 piece of art

Jesus, take the wheel! Although it may seem counter intuitive when it comes to cost, hiring a designer can save you time and money. Plus, the benefits will very likely increase your return immensely. Designers who specialize in STR design know their stuff or at least they should!

But why? (besides the obvious that just because you are a STR owner doesn’t mean you have an eye for design)

  • They know where to find excellent deals on high-quality products.
  • They may receive special pricing from retail stores where you'd typically shop at full price.
  • They know what people want and how to make your STR as marketable in your area.
  • They suggest practical design concepts and design related amenities that will enhance your renters experience draw them in from photos.
  • Most designers provide eDesign which eliminates any pesky proximity issues as you and the designer do not have to be present to spruce the place up!

 And Scene! While I don’t expect you to have reached nirvana from this article, I hope you did get some helpful information and if you are considering upgrading the design of your STR you have some tools to get started!


November 17, 2023 — Lily Zenner