Password instructions will be e-mailed to you
Confirmation will be e-mailed to you
Lost Password

Share This Post

Vacation Rental Styling

A-List Inspiration (Valentine’s Day Edition) – A Romantic Charleston Airbnb Doing it Right

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! To kick off the most romantic day of the year, we are featuring an Airbnb A-Lister owned by super hosts, Sydney and Will. We can confidently state that they own the most romantic Airbnb in Charleston – Shangri-La.

We spotted Shangri-La on Instagram, increasingly becoming one of the best ways to market your Airbnb. Instagram images reveal both whimsey and narrative, going beyond the typical Airbnb listing photos. This couple is doing it in style.

Let’s analyse why it all works….

1. A clear and cohesive design direction

Sydney and William named their Airbnb Shangri-La and that’s our first clue what they were going for in the overall look and feel.

Here’s the Wikipedia definition of Shangri-La, in case your early 20th century literature background is skimpy:

Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. Hilton describes Shangri-La as a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise, particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia – a permanently happy land, isolated from the world. In the novel, the people who live at Shangri-La are almost immortal, living hundreds of years beyond the normal lifespan and only very slowly aging in appearance.

Sydney and Will love traveling to tropical places, and they decorated with exotic excursions in mind. Wicker, sisal, handmade tribal pillows, and lush houseplants abound. Furthermore, their color palette – bright bursts of color against a neutral background – is exactly the one that attracts big time bookings. People respond to color and want it in their vacation lives especially.

Just say no to beige! They did.

charleston airbnb

The painted pink arch, sisal and Moroccan rugs, wicker and bamboo furnishings, bright, handmade sofa pillows and lush house plants evoke exoticism, retreat and romance.

Most of the artwork, wall hangings and accessories came from Sydney and Will’s travels. We love how they pop against the bright white walls!

decorating Airbnbs

Tribal masks, a wicker sunburst mirror, and the tribal textiles hanging from a wooden ladder, add depth and dimension to the white wall and play into the cohesive design.

2. An alluring outdoor experience awaits

Bright, colorful pillows and cushions, a Moroccan tiled table for noshing, lush landscaping, and brick fireplace make this patio an instant happy place.

airbnb patios to emulate

Don’t you just want to dive in that photo and sip a glass of wine by the fire? Sydney and Will’s patio beckons us with bright colors and “secret garden-ish” landscaping. The outside fireplace is a stunner (and so is adorable Folly, the Corgi).

Let’s not forget the patio with a view! Coffee, anyone?

airbnb 1 chic retreat charleston

Wow! Look at that nice bench lookout. What a peaceful place to sip a morning coffee.

3. Curiosities, books, candles and plants

We can’t emphasize enough how curiosities, books, candles (battery operated ones are ok if you are afraid of fire hazard) and plants play into giving your Airbnb uniqueness. You want your place to stand out, to be like no one else’s, so you get noticed.

airbnb accessories

A mother-in-law plant (indestructible by the way), hardback book, elephant statue, and scented candle add depth of character to the living room side table.

The bookshelf holds whimsical items collected in Charleston and during Will and Sydney’s travels.

airbnb curiousities

Colorful objects adorn the white bookshelf in the living room. Image via KC Doubletake

4. Highlight favorite decorative elements

Stunning decorative elements, such as this Moroccan tile on the patio table, are literal booking magnets for potential guests. The contrast between the brilliant blue, the sagey green succulents, the candle and a hard-to-put- down novel are too much to pass up.

airbnb patio

A close-up photo of the captivating Moroccan tile on the outside patio table serves as eye-candy for spending some relaxing time outside.

5. A kickass welcome basket

You can see that some thought and effort went into curating the welcome basket. Local goodies are especially appropriate, like these local ales and wafers. Yum!

airbnb welcome basket

Instagram caption reads, “We always like to leave a little snack for our guests when they check in and we always like to switch it up. This weekend was @westbrookbrewingco and some Charleston benne wafers. Yummm. This week I think we’ll go for some Palmetto Cheese and of course more beer.”

6. Emphasize the “experience” as much as possible

Your guests will want to live like a local so suggest places and things for them to do. Sydney and Will love the sticky buns at Brown’s Court Bakery and want all their guests to try them. It’s all part of the Shangri-La experience!

airbnb experience

Instagram caption reads, “Sunday morning rituals brought to you by @brownscourt 🙌 These delicious sticky buns are only a short walk from the apartment. But it’s the cinnamon buns that are our favorite!” Our mouths are watering!

7. Last but not least – partner with media personalities to promote your Airbnb!

When you create a truly gorgeous Airbnb, you increase your chances of attracting media personalities who promote you. Sydney and Will hosted bloggers and Instagram superstars, Kenzie and Carol Carter, the Charleston twin sisters, who raved about their stay and wrote a blog post about it.


With Kenzie and Carol’s collaboration, Will and Sydney ran a 3-night giveaway that promoted Shangri-La in a big way.

1 chic retreat kc doubletake

Instagram caption reads, “Guess what fraaands, we’ve teamed up with some of our favorite neighborhood spots and are giving away 3 free nights at Southern Shangri-La! We can’t wait to welcome one lucky amigo to come stay with us on Bogard Street or at our new place on Coming St!!! Check out @kc_doubletake post for details on how to win!”

Inspired? We hope so! Now let’s create some Shangri-La today!

If you guys noticed anything special in Will and Sydney’s Airbnb that we didn’t mention, be sure to leave your comments below. We love to hear from our subscribers!

The post A-List Inspiration (Valentine’s Day Edition) – A Romantic Charleston Airbnb Doing it Right appeared first on 1 Chic Retreat.

Share This Post