When it comes to designing your personal residence, there are a few things you put a lot of thought into – how to make your space reflect your personality, what ultra-soft and cozy materials to go with, which drawer will be designated for “junk” drawer (professional organizers everywhere just cringed)… 

guest workspace

Your home, your rules!

When it comes to Airbnb design, however, there are some rules and hospitality standards that need to be adhered to.


Because the goal is to make your home appealing to everyone, regardless of personality/beliefs. Comfortable guests = consistent bookings. 

Time to learn how the best Airbnb design comes from NOT designing it like your home! 

Pssst… I’ve also created an Airbnb checklist for you so nothing gets missed – you’re welcome :)


Imagine you’re checking into an Airbnb. The house is beautiful but upon walking in, you’re met with an already-full coat closet and a wall of family photos – is this the right place? Awkward right? How are you supposed to relax when you feel like you’re totally invading a stranger’s space? 

While one of the first rules of staging a home to live is to design it to mirror your personality, Airbnb design is the total opposite – less is more! Airbnb guests don’t want to stay in YOUR home – they want to stay in a beautiful vacation property. Your rental needs to have a soul and a brand, but it shouldn’t be specific to you.

So, away with the personal mementos and decor, because the best Airbnb design is one that is de-personalized. 

Durability & Cleanability 

Listen, no one is going to love your home more than you. The fact of the matter is that not every one of your guests is going to treat your space exactly how you would like them to. 

kitchen chairs

When it comes to primary residence design, the average homeowner doesn’t consider the “technical” design of their furniture. However, with such a steady flow of different people, Airbnb hosts definitely need to make sure that their furniture selections are sturdy and durable in addition to comfortable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing. 

Perhaps going with more structurally sound furniture means that you have to sacrifice a bit of style, but you can find comfort in knowing that you’re investing in pieces that are built to last and can hold up to consistent wear and tear of any number of guests. 

PS, if you’re worried about your furniture potentially getting harmed with all the traffic, you probably won’t want to go too expensive! It is a balancing act to say the least. Something that is not too expensive in case you need to replace it, but something that is a quality piece that won’t need to be replaced often. 

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that your design includes materials that are cleanable. Why do you think Airbnb’s always go with white linens? Bleach of course!


Remember the junk drawer? 

Every house has one, but your Airbnb shouldn’t. Your guests don’t want to check every shelf for a single pan.

Every design choice needs to be super purposeful. And organizing, especially in the kitchen, needs to dictate design.

The best Airbnb design takes the guesswork out of ‘living’ by being extremely intuitive. As an Airbnb host, you should become best friends with a label maker. 

Bedroom Count

primary bedroom before design
primary bedroom after design

In the industry we call it ‘heads in beds’ This means that the more bedrooms and beds, the more profitable your Airbnb will be. The example above shows how we converted the owners ‘hobby room’ into an additional bedroom.

In a personal residence, you may not feel you need a bunch of guest rooms – especially right now – and so you have the flexibility to convert those guest rooms into craft rooms, workout rooms, zen rooms, offices – whatever additional bonus space you want! But when it comes to rentals. These rooms are what up the guest count and the amount you can charge per night – so these rooms need to be bedrooms. Simple as that.

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Many of our clients have styled their Airbnb’s like a personal residence, but have learned that hiring a designer to break the space out of that danger zone is what makes for a successful short-term rental.

Working with the right designer who specializes in Airbnb design and decor will help you turn your personal slice of paradise into a welcoming, comfortable oasis for everyone.

Ready to create the best Airbnb design? Take a peek at our 5 star Airbnb service list and book a short term rental discovery call to discuss your project. Let’s get you booked solid!