Did you know that Canadian Airbnb’s have generated a whopping $7.1 BILLION since 2010?

With numbers like that, it makes sense why the amount of Airbnb listings is on the rise year-over-year in Canada. Obviously, it can be very lucrative. 


Choosing to become a host is one thing, but trying to decide on the perfect short-term rental (STR) Design is a whole other ballgame. While you might think that you can stage your short-term rental property exactly as you would a typical residence, there are a handful of design differences that you’ll want to keep in mind. 

If you’re interested in listing your property on Airbnb, we have a few design pointers to make sure that your property is always booked solid.

Make your life even easier by downloading my Airbnb checklist with product links!


When it comes to short-term rental design, casting a wide net is only going to get you lost in the sea of Airbnbs. 

Properties with stronger personalities rent more, and the most successful Airbnb hosts have created a brand that they can build upon. This brand is showcased throughout their property, which makes it more marketable. 

The personality of your STR can be strengthened through knowing how to market it online, but it also comes from personal touches, such as a guestbook, local treats, custom feature mural walls, etc. 

I once stayed at an Airbnb in New York, and when I entered my room, there was a polaroid photo of the local street art waiting for me to take home – talk about a thoughtful personal touch! 

Don’t Go Too Niche

If your STR property is located in a serene, chill beach town, you’re not going to want your guests to walk into a Vegas-themed space with old slot machines and neon lights blasting them in the face. Think about the lifestyle your guests are trying to live when they visit your area! 

Creating a theme gives your rental unit personality, but be intentional. Choose design inspiration from the home’s surrounding environment and elevate it. 

That said, if your property is next door to Graceland, there’s nothing wrong with turning your Airbnb into the Heartbreak Hotel, as the guests who would be booking it are likely mega Elvis fans. 

In that case, go Elvis. Full on, lip-curling, leg swangin’, Jailhouse Rockin’ Elvis. Capitalize

The just of it is, unless you are located near a MAJOR tourist attraction, don’t go crazy niche. 

Don’t Go Too Basic

Many times, staging a residence is all about appealing to the masses. For example, when I’m staging to sell, I always recommend that my clients keep a neutral palette to appeal to more people in order to sell their homes for more, faster. 

That said, beiges and greys won’t do you any favours in Airbnb Design.

It all comes back to personality. When you are staging to sell, the goal is to rid the home of personality so potential buyers can envision it as their own. You’re not trying to sell to your Airbnb guests (or maybe you are, in which case, I’ll need to write a different blog!). 

You’ll want to create an interesting and memorable experience for your guests, which certainly isn’t achieved through beige. Think, “instagramable”. 

Before airbnb design
after airbnb design

Remember, people are coming here to get away from their everyday lives – whether it is home or vacation – so you want to give them something that they probably don’t get in their own home, while staying true to the ‘less is more’ mentality. Push the limits and go bold (without offending any of the 5 senses). Be an inspiration for their lifestyle.

The Key? Strike The Perfect Balance 

In today’s world, where social media reigns supreme, the perfect Airbnb is one that is designed with balance in mind – not too niche, not too basic. A beautiful, yet functional layout.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, you’ll need the space to be styled to the nines and magazine-worthy for online pictures to get consistent bookings. But, at the end of the day, the goal is for your Airbnb to be even better in person than it is in photos. Designing around a subtle theme will help you create that signature “wow” moment for your guests and force them to do a Tiktok video walkthrough immediately upon arriving. 

In addition to overall design and decor, you’ll need to consider the finer details as well, such as:

  • Furniture: needs to be sturdy
  • Soft Goods: stain resistant, water repellent materials
  • Shelving: organized, minimal 
  • Cupboards: what’s inside matters – a LOT (again, our Airbnb checklist covers what you need)

Check out this Airbnb tour, where I discuss how I gave the space purpose and function!

Unlike staging, there is no “one size fits all” recipe for designing an Airbnb. There are a variety of factors that influence the look and feel including location, personality, and branding. 

The right designer will consider all of these factors and guide you in the appropriate design direction, making your Airbnb a one-of-a-kind experience for your guests.

Ready to create an unbeatable Airbnb Design? Check out our 5 star Airbnb service list and book a short-term rental discovery call to discuss your project!