The trip to IKEA turned out to be somewhat of a bust. However, the discovery of ModerNash was a blessing for us. It was now time to decorate an Airbnb. Putting together IKEA furniture is fairly simple. However, the most labor intensive part was putting together the kitchen cabinetry. All items come with their own set of instructions. Do your best to follow line by line. If possible, have someone assemble with you. To see the paint we used for the space check the previous post To IKEA and Beyond.
We searched Craigslist for the kitchen appliances and found some great choices. If you are on a budget check out the Sears Scratch & Dent Outlet too. If you are buying appliances around a holiday check out the local stores to see what sales they have. When buying multiple appliances you can get a great packaged deal.
Individual shelving units were installed with galvanized piping instead of using upper cabinets. There are six shelves total. Each shelf is supported by two 1″ galvanized piping and flanges. These items can be found at your local Home Depot or Lowes. We used toggle wall anchors for support to allow us to hang the shelves anywhere on the wall. The advantages of these anchors is that they spread the load far beyond the hole in the drywall itself. While the hole may be prone to crumbling, these anchors rest on an area of solid drywall, from about 1 to 2 inches around the hole. This gives the anchor much more strength to deal with outward loads of medium duty, as well as shear strength. This also allows to hang anywhere on a wall without having to find studs.
One of my favorite stains is Kona by Rust-Oleum. It is oil based so have a few rags on hand to wipe up any excess. Let the stain penetrate the wood for 5-10 minutes before applying a second coat (if needed).
Another feature we added to the kitchen was a Coffee Corner. To save on counter space and to keep it less congested all the coffee supplies were situated together. This is a great feature to add for your guests who are avid coffee drinkers. This space can also double as extra storage for those who do not drink coffee. And since we did not build an official pantry extra table space was necessary. However, to accommodate guests that stay for a longer period of time we purchased a Shelving Cart.
The Living Space
It is important to create a comfortable and inviting living space, especially so for your Airbnb. Our living space is open to the kitchen. We wanted to increase comfort and functionality so we bought an L-Shaped sectional from Pottery Barn. It is not a sleeper sofa but long enough to sleep someone comfortably.
A living space is not complete without a television. The size of your space will determine the size of the TV you should use. Some people will argue that bigger is always better when it comes to TV size. However, that can make the space look crowded.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when selecting a TV for your Airbnb space.
- Bigger Is Not Always Better – keep your TV size proportional to the sitting space.
- HDMI Port(s) – this allows to connect devices (cable, dvd player, game consoles, streaming “sticks”). Make sure you have at least one.
- Simple Remote – for those who do not have a cable service get a remote that is easy to use. The less buttons or steps for your guests the better. Not all remotes are created equal so keep it simple.
There are four support beams in this space that we had to contend with. Two were covered up by drywall but the other two sit in the middle of the kitchen and living space. In order to make them pleasing to the eye we painted them with Worn Navy by Rust-Oleum. Then we added trim to the top and bottom.
There are numerous design ideas to use if you have support beams in your home. Check out Support Beam Designs for a list of great design photos. Painting can go a long way for a quick and simple fix.
Hopefully I do not need to tell you that the mattress and bedding are crucial in the success of your Airbnb. Luxury hotels have mastered the art of providing a 5-star sleeping experience to their guests. You should treat your Airbnb no different because if you would not want to sleep in the bed neither will your guests. However, you can create your own luxury bed concoction with the right ingredients.
- Size – preferably Queen/King
- Mattress Topper – foam, feather, etc
- Mattress Pad – protects the mattress / keeps sheets from sliding around
- Sheets – must be fitted
- Duvet/Down Comforter
- Extra Blanket
- Pillows – at least two per guest
- Accent/Throw Pillows
Mix and match to get the style and look you want. Adding layers and thickness is key. When you decorate an Airbnb the bed is one of the most important factors. Use this list and you too can have a luxury style bed that your guests will love.
For your business travelers provide them with a work station. Instead of using the standard wall outlets we used USB Wall Outlets. Provide a surge protector and good lighting as well. If you want to really step up your game provide a wireless printer/scanner/copier for less than $100.
Keep a handful of hangers in the closet. If there is room provide a small dresser or shelves.
Things To Consider:
- Black Out Curtains – provide your guests with the gift of darkness. Or at least install good window blinds and curtains.
- Oscillating Fan – A tower fan is great for background noise and will also keep the room cool.
See Design A Bathroom for the tutorial on our bathroom creation.
Just like bed sheets are crucial to the bedroom towels are crucial to the bathroom. A low quality towel will irritate your guests so make the investment on higher end towels. Remember that if you would not want to use it neither will your guests. White is recommended. It is easier to clean and gives a more crisp clean look to your bathroom. Add a luxury feel in the shower by using a three chamber dispenser for shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
- Blow Dryer
- Cotton Balls
- Disposable cups
- Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash
- Hand Towels
- Face Towels
In case of emergency:
- First Aid Kit
Have fun when you decorate an Airbnb! Make it stand out by adding your own personal touch. If you create a space that you are proud of and would want to use others will too. As a host I am always humbled to hear my guests tell me specific details they loved during their stay. It makes the hard work that went into creating the space worth it.
After a few more decorating touches here and there our Airbnb was nearly complete. What is great about hosting an Airbnb is that it does not have to be perfect starting off. And to be honest, it will not be perfect. There will be things you forget or did not even think about in the beginning. There is definitely a learning curve. But you will grow and get better as time goes on. One way to grow is by guest feedback. Do not take feedback for granted. It is a sure-fire way to make or break your Airbnb.
After weeks and weeks of preparation our Airbnb was ready for professional grade pictures.
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