When we work with our short-term rental clients for the first time, we start out by sending them a questionnaire; one question is “have you checked out the boutique hotels in your area?” They almost always say no, whereupon we give them their first assignment –
If they don’t have one in their area, we ask them to google “boutique hotel” in the nearest city or town and study the property images. More boutique hotels open all the time and they get loads of media buzz so there is plenty of design fodder from which to take inspiration and soak up hospitality tricks.
By studying boutique hotels our clients grasp what it takes to be the best. Boutique hotels hire snazzy design firms to brainstorm their pads, outfitting them with the latest and greatest. Being on par with your boutique hotel siblings will ensure you get to #1 on the listing sites, blowing away all your competition.
We settle for nothing less for our clients.
And our bragging right is we do it A LOT less expensively.
So without further ado, let’s dive into some boutique hotel trends and steal some design ideas you can apply to your own Airbnb or vacation rental…
1. Color, Color, and More Color!
As most of you should know by now, WE LOVE COLOR!
It’s amazing how many of our clients come to us asking for a consultation on how to elevate their Airbnb in order to stand out in what is fast becoming a saturated short-term rental market.
What always surprises us is how the majority of their spaces – about 90% – are (wait for it)…..
Beige carpets, beige sofas, beige pillows, beige walls. Who knew there were so many shades of beige?
Does it get more boring than that?
If you have a moment, try an experiment:
- Pick any place in the world to which you’d like to travel
- Look at the short-term listings available
- Take the time to scroll down until you get bored
- Tell us how many of them are predominantly beige (leave the number in the comment section below just for comparison).
I’m willing to bet it all became a sea of earth-toned beiges.
So be different! Embrace color!
Color is the way to go 99.999999% of the time. It gets people’s pulse racing, wakes up their senses, makes them excited. For example, don’t you feel pretty happy looking at this room?
It feels like looking at Friday, right?
One such example is Kit Kemp’s Firmdale Hotels, which simply kill it with color. And her hotels are among thousands more doing the same. Sometimes it’s done boldly and other times it’s employed subtly, but it’s there because boutique hotels understand the power of color on amped up bookings.
People don’t necessarily want that much color in their own home, but on vacation? Bring it on!
2. Wallpaper on the Wall Behind the Bed
This is one of our trademark booking-magnet secrets and it’s a no-brainer.
You take an otherwise basic bedroom, paste an eye-catching wallpaper behind the bed, and suddenly it becomes jaw-dropping. Jaw dropping equals growth-hormone bookings.
Boutique hotels know this secret well, which is why you see it so often.
An awesome benefit of the one-wallpapered-wall technique is it’s not a big financial commitment – less paper and less labor – than doing all four walls.
3. Hanging Bedside Lights
Another way to stand out from the murmuring crowd is to skip the bedside table lamps altogether and put in hanging bedside lights instead.
It’s unexpected and therefore unique and cool and guests want to take photos of themselves in bed and show off next to amazing hanging lights.
Another Instagram opportunity!
You don’t have to necessarily hardwire them in either. Hanging cords are fine, such as the ones found in The Line Hotel below.
4. Space Savings Wall Pegs
Lots of our clients have Airbnbs with small footprints – tiny bedrooms, tiny kitchens, etc. – so we have to brainstorm space-saving ideas. One way to do that is to eliminate closets, which aren’t strictly necessary because guests don’t bring a lot of stuff with them.
What’s the alternative? Thought about wall pegs?
Apparently the Moxy Hotel has. After all, New York real estate has one of the highest per square foot/meter price in the USA, so wall pegs were installed in all the bedrooms. Kind of ingenious, right?
5. The Luggage Rack – a hotel staple
The luggage rack is one item you absolutely must provide for your guests for your sake as much as theirs. It’s the first item guests look for when entering the bedroom. If you don’t have one, guess where people tend to put their dirty suitcase?
You got it – on top of the bed!
Your poor bed linens!!
Luggage racks should be sturdy and attractive. We favor the wood ones that fold up neatly in the closet; when guests are finished unpacking, they can store them away to make more room for themselves.
Be sure to supply one luggage rack per guest.
7. Install a Wainscotting (or the Illusion of One)
Walls can be boring, especially all painted the same color. People crave texture, pattern, and geometric variety.
Wainscotting is one way to jazz up a room.
If you don’t have the budget for the real thing (and let’s be honest, most Airbnb owners don’t), install a faux wainscotting.
Here’s one way to do it:
Embrace two different paint colors (contrast is key), a trim piece and the rule of thirds. By rule of thirds, we mean, paint either the bottom 1/3 of the room one color and the top 2/3’s a contrasting color OR the bottom 2/3’s one color and the top 1/3 a contrasting one.
The Eaton Hotel in Washington DC illustrates this technique well in their guestrooms. Check it out…
8. Include a Hand-Drawn Rendering in Your Listing Photos
Including a hand-rendered drawing of a room in your Airbnb or vacation rental is a stunningly unique way to get eye-balls on your listing and virtually no one does it.
I have never seen it, have you?
Why not be the first?
It’s not even that common for hotels, but the Maison de la Luz in New Orleans has figured it out splendidly.
How to do it: take a good photo of one of your favorite rooms (make sure it’s well-designed) and give it to an art student or find someone on Fiverr or 99 Designs to hand-draw it and voila, you launch yourself into the universe of awesome uniqueness.
There’s loads more inspiration but I’m stopping here
I could go on and on, folks. There are so many design ideas from which to take inspiration. But I don’t want to overwhelm you. And plus, you are resourceful so I trust that you’ll take our advice and start checking out boutique hotel design trends. I guarantee you will find some ideas not included here that you can apply to your own Airbnb.
And when you do, please share below. We all learn from one another!
The post 8 Design Ideas to Steal from Boutique Hotels for Your Airbnb appeared first on 1 Chic Retreat.