Inviting Airbnb Decor Tips to Make Your Listing Stand Out

Thoughtful design makes a huge difference in occupancy rates. Here's how to make your short-term rental attract attention.

Published January 5, 2023
Luxury tropical resort bedroom

Making your Airbnb stand out among the competition could be as simple as leveling up your decorating game. Entice potential guests with beautiful color schemes, unusual art, elegant details, or photo-worthy features. The right Airbnb decor can give you a leg up on the competition and offer guests a reason to share their stay on social media. Apply Airbnb decorating ideas from an expert and watch the bookings roll in.

In 2022, Airbnb saw a few bumps in the road with a market that's largely saturated, resulting in lower occupancy rates for hosts. With so many options to choose from, guests want to select a vacation rental that feels unlike anywhere else they've stayed before. You can be sure your Airbnb will stand firm in a market that ebbs and flows if you focus on creating an experience that guests cannot find anywhere else. Meet their practical needs and visual expectations with a space that's thoughtfully designed and entirely unique.

Decide on a Style Influence for Airbnb Decor

Make the decorating direction of your Airbnb clear to guests. Choose a design style to follow or to be inspired by so your overall look is cohesive. You can mix styles or even just pull a few characteristics from a style you love for a subtle approach. Use design trends popularized in the past few years like mid-century modern, bohemian, modern vintage, or farmhouse modern. Or, try interior design styles that are just beginning to gain popularity so you can be ahead of the trend. Try styles like academia, 70s retro, 90s neon, coastal grandmother, western, or environmental design.

Select a Color Scheme

Modern holiday villa with beach view

A cohesive color scheme can set your vacation rental listing apart by creating a look that seems professional and designer. Get color inspiration from trending styles, nature, or destinations that you think will draw guests in. A color scheme that's unusual, retro-inspired, bright, dark, or simply fun will give guests all the more reason to photograph and share their stay.

Include Plenty of Sleeping Options

Large luxury tented room with beds

A commonly sought-after Airbnb quality is plenty of sleeping space for bookings with two or more guests. Be the most desirable Airbnb for guests traveling together by providing more than just one bedroom or bed. If your Airbnb has additional rooms, consider creating a master suite with a queen or king-sized bed and including two smaller beds in an additional room. You might also consider full-sized bunk beds or a sofa that converts to a comfortable bed. The more options you provide to your potential guests, the more you will stand out from other vacation rentals in your area.

Use Quality Window Treatments

Window treatments are important details to an overall design. You want a window covering that looks stylish, up-to-date, and high-end. Try drapes in luxury or quality materials like velvet or linen. Give guests control over the light exposure with shades that filter light or have the option to block the light out completely. Roller shades are a great family-friendly option, as they eliminate cords that could be dangerous for children. Quality window treatments add another level of luxury to your listing and show guests that you placed careful thought into every detail.

Make a Bold Statement With Lighting

Modern luxury home interior

Avoid the builder-grade lighting of home improvement stores for Airbnb decor that stands out. Light fixtures are the perfect opportunity to go bold, make a statement, and choose something completely unique. Lighting that gives guests luxury vibes and impresses them enough to snap a photo could be an easy way to set your vacation rental apart from the competition. Try oversized lighting pieces, abstract designs, bold colors or finishes, or vintage chandeliers for statement lighting that encourages guests to book a stay just so they can see it for themselves.

Design a Luxury Bathroom so Guests Can Relax

luxury vacation cabin bathroom

The appearance of and elements included in an Airbnb bathroom matter more to guests than you might think. Potential guests are looking for an experience at every level, including in the bathroom. Give them luxury details that elevate every moment of their stay. Take your vacation rental to the next level with a large clawfoot tub, a beautiful shower tile design, a double sink vanity, ample lighting, and a rainfall showerhead. Choose a tile that's unique and consider adding colorful details in cabinetry, wall color, and art pieces. Guests may also look for more than one bath in their Airbnb. Consider a master bath and a guest bath if possible. If two full-size baths aren't an option, you might add a half bath to your listing so guests still have an additional option when needed.

Add Details That Wow in the Kitchen

Interior of modern kitchen

The kitchen may be the heart of the home, but for an Airbnb, it could be an unforgettable design element. Add beautiful decorative details, gourmet cooking options, or practical items to your Airbnb's kitchen to draw more guests. Focus on eye-catching designs in backsplashes, countertops, islands, and lighting. Try a large apron sink, a slab backsplash with marbling, updated cabinet hardware, and a modern cabinet color to impress your guests. Offer practical items like plenty of seating, a dishwasher, microwave, and cabinets that are fully stocked with dishes and dining ware. Guests might be drawn to the chance to cook in a gourmet kitchen, so add some fun opportunities for a unique experience. Provide high-end cookware, a pot filler, a state-of-the-art range, ample counter space, or a produce prep sink. Throw in a few of your own favorite cookbooks or recipes for a personalized touch. Even with a small layout, a couple gourmet kitchen elements can make a huge impact.

Give Guests a Laundry Area

One of the most important parts of an Airbnb for long-term guests or families is the ability to do laundry inside the unit. If possible, provide a small laundry area stocked with a few essentials like detergent, fabric softener, stain remover, and a laundry basket. You can even purchase a mini washer and simply provide a drying rack if you're trying to stay on budget or save on space.

Don't Be Afraid of Color

A vacation rental may not be the place you want to play it safe with color. Guests love seeing new, bold, and interesting designs when they travel. Take this opportunity to play with color by using bold, rich, bright, and even dark colors. Use bold colors on doors, dark shades on trim, moody and muted shades in bedrooms, and bright colors in unexpected places like dining areas and entryways. Give your guests a colorful stay that they can't wait to share with their social media followers.

Select High-Quality Furniture

Interior design of the living room

An Airbnb, Vrbo, or other vacation rental might not be the best place for your own second-hand furniture. Look for stylish, high-quality, and new pieces when you can. To stay on budget, reserve larger investments for the most important furniture elements for guests like beds, sofas, and dining furniture. Make sure furniture offers just as much comfort as it does style. Guests will be just as likely to rave about a comfortable mattress as they are about a striking chair. If you're using secondhand or vintage furniture, consider investing in a restoration that creates a truly unique piece.

Include a Desk Space

Many Airbnb guests might travel for work or simply work while they travel. Give them a beautiful space to complete their tasks with a stylish desk. Choose a desk and chair that are practical but striking. Make sure it's near an outlet and add a floor or desk lamp for extra light. Stock the drawers with office supplies and stationary. Add a pillow, blanket, and beautiful view to the setting, and you have a small office space for guests no matter their needs.

Add Machine Washable Rugs

Scandinavian Design Living Room with area rug

Rugs are a must for any space that looks professionally designed. What you don't want is an item that stains easily and is difficult to keep clean. We all know how unsettling it is to guess the mystery stain on the hotel room carpet. Make sure your guests never have to experience that. Choose new, modern machine-washable rugs to keep your Airbnb stylish and clean. Give them a thorough wash after every guest and spot clean when needed.

Make the Space Extremely Organized

Even if organization isn't a priority in your own home, it can make guests feel settled and calm in an Airbnb. Make sure everything in your Airbnb is organized and tidy. Pay close attention to drawers, shelving, cabinets, closet spaces, and pantries. Use stylish organizational products and put professional organization tips into practice to make your Airbnb worthy of a magazine spread - or maybe a social share or two!

Create a Social Media Photo Spot

Make sure there's one spot in your Airbnb that guests will love taking photos in front of. You can have an artist paint a unique mural, feature a sofa that's striking, or include furniture or a section of a room that resembles a classic movie or TV show set. This area should be highly stylized and feature something guests can't find in any other local vacation rentals. Whether it's colorful, avant garde, or just plain cool, give guests something they can only find at your listing.

Give Guests High-End & Luxury Details That Make a Statement

Luxury Interior

Much of your guests' experience will relate to the details of your vacation rental. Give them small doses of luxury where you can and make a statement at every turn. Try luxurious materials like linen, velvet, silk, and satin. Choose unusual wood elements that showcase a unique grain or raw edge. Opt for high-end hardware, door handles, tile, and wall details. Create bold backdrops for photos with brightly painted doors, abstract furniture, and architectural details that wow. Give guests a taste of local talent by using one-of-a-kind art pieces, glassware, and furniture from your home's local boutiques, or source vintage items from antique shops in your area. Create a truly unique experience with a design that can't be replicated by anyone else.

Create a 5-Star Experience for Guests

Other than decorative elements, you want to give your guests a stay they'll never forget with 5-star practices that will entice more bookings. Implement a few hotel-inspired procedures that'll make your guests feel like royalty.

  • Offer a gourmet coffee bar with local ground coffee, flavorful add-ins, and various types of sugar.
  • Give guests plenty of entertainment options like DVDs, access to a streaming service, video games, or an extensive library. You might also include family-friendly board games.
  • Include high-quality amenities such as full-size shampoo and toiletries, essential oil diffusers, hotel-style bedding, and luxury towels.
  • Add all the things travelers might forget to pack. Have extra toothbrushes, hair products and styling tools, perfume, contact solution, and bath salts or aromatherapy items.
  • Include a directory of local spots that guests might enjoy. Try art galleries, coffee shops, restaurants, historical sites, recreational sites, and local shopping.
  • Offer free Wi-Fi. Make sure guests have access to the internet for work, entertainment, and convenience. Don't forget to share the password.
  • Create a snack bar for guests to enjoy freely. Whether it's a fully stocked pantry or a simple basket, make sure guests have something to eat for breakfast on the go or a light snack. Include muffins, trail mix, bagels, fresh fruit, and at least one sweet treat.
  • Include a turndown service. If you really want guests to feel like they're at a 5-star hotel, give them the option for a turndown service. Don't forget the pillow mint!
  • Offer a romantic getaway package. Just like hotels and inns, you can give guests the option to include a romantic getaway package for honeymoons or anniversary celebrations. Offer fresh flowers, Champagne, chocolates, and a beautifully scented candle.
  • Consider hiring a designer. If you're looking for a truly high-end experience for your guests, look into hiring an interior designer for your Airbnb's layout and decor. This will take stress off of your shoulders, and you can assure guests that what they are seeing is done by a professional.

Be Inspired by Trending Airbnb Decor

If you're stumped on where to start, look no further than social media. Find inspiration from some of the most popular Airbnb's that people can't stop talking about. Draw ideas from trending designs, unforgettable amenities, and truly unique spaces.

Get inspired by trending colors, art, and furniture styles.

Replicate luxurious bathroom designs.

Find the confidence to be bold with colors and decor.

Discover ideas for luxury details.

Be the Vacation Rental to Beat

Create an Airbnb that feels more like a destination. Give your guests luxury, experience, hospitality, and a visual symphony with a designer approach. Market saturation isn't a problem for you when you stand out from the competition. Create an Airbnb that guests want to share online and tell all their friends about. A space that is photo and Instagram-worthy will attract additional guests and possibly gain its own small following.

Inviting Airbnb Decor Tips to Make Your Listing Stand Out