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  • Sam

Interior Design for Rental Properties

My interior design passion started with revamping my own apartment with the intent to rent it out on Airbnb to make up the gap in what I needed to pay my mortgage (yes, a single girl in NYC, even in affordable Queens, still doesn't make enough to cover living expenses on her own professional salary. Welcome to NY!).

Through that design process, and staying in Airbnb properties around the world, I learned a ton about what attracts bookings and keeps your rental property making revenue. Aside from the right amenities and ease of check-in / check-out, the single most important factor is GREAT pictures, and within those has to be appealing design.

Staying in other people's properties made me realize that not everyone has a flair or passion for great design, even though they are otherwise amazing hosts. For those folks, wouldn't it be great if you could give someone else a budget and let them create a unique & standout design for your rental? Someone to take care of all the necessities guests expect combined with a pleasing design to get people's attention when they're scrolling through options online?

Whether you've got a spare room or an entirely separate income property, if this sounds like you, I'm at your service!

What makes for great design in a rental property?

In my opinion and experience, you need a blend of neutral basics (to appeal to the broadest audience), with a few POPS of unique and interesting color / pattern or kitsch to stand out.

Of course guests expect the basic necessities, but no reason why those basics can't have personality! Ideally we'll create an inviting living area to relax in, luxurious and comfortable bedrooms, a well appointed kitchen and dining area, and of course a clean and bright bathroom,

Additional things to consider, are:

A functional work space for business travelers; Kid friendly and handicap accessibility; and any unique entertaining areas ... PLUS if you have outdoor space - YOWZA! Now we're cookin'!

There are a few Airbnb's I've stayed at that are GREAT examples of awesome design - check out the linked images below:

The "Seattle Lakeside Lovenest"

I stayed here and was BLOWN AWAY by the incredible design. Turned out they cheated a little... Genevieve Gorder (from Trading Spaces fame) actually designed this place for the Netflix show, Stay Here (PS - watch it!).

I was so in love. The best advice (from the other professional on #StayHere, Peter Lorimer) on the show was to think about the unique aspects of your city and/or neighborhood and tying that into the experience. In this case, a welcome treat of local wine, cheese and smoked salmon made this amazing HOUSE BOAT feel SO very Seattle luxurious. The hosts really embraced the local flair and it made it so special for guests.

On a totally different vibe...

Austin TX. I stayed here while working ACL Music Fest a few years ago and this adorable couple turned a spare space into a backyard accessible cottage appointed with everything guests need (kitchenette, clothes storage, bed, living and workspace) with a funky, fresh totally Austin decor. They even had pet pigs guys! (not even kidding. Loved it.).

Lastly, I also loved these international spots in Zermatt, Switzerland and Oslo, Norway where my friend and I spent New Year's 2017/2018. They reflect the clean and modern vibe of that part of the world but captured the coziness visitors want when they stay in a winter wonderland.

Zermatt - absolute hygge in the best skiing destination in Switzerland. So.darn.cozy.

Oslo - clean, modern Norway winter escape:

I'm in. How's it work?

So, if you're ready to get started with help from The Blue Room, we can start with a FREE e-consultation and / or video chat to see the space you have and determine what you need. It might involve simple addition of accessories to a couple of rooms, or we might consider decor + minor upgrades like paint or taking out a wall. I can advise you through any and all of it!

Then based on the level of input you want, we'll have some quick back and forth based on your style, or you can hand over all the reigns to me! I'll come back with a vision board that will serve as the inspiration we'll use for the design, and then provide you with two design options within your designated budget (kinda like these, below, for example):

The best part? Once you approve the design you want, I'll provide a full shopping list and layout plan for you to easily fulfill the plan - or if you prefer, I can even purchase, ship and arrange staging services through local vendors so you don't have to do a thing!

Lastly, let's find a local photographer to take professional pictures and then BAM get that listing up and start raking in the $$$...I mean guests :-)

Ready to get started? Feel free to pursue some of the design boards in this post that I've put together for other clients to get you inspired, or my Pinterest board for rental properties HERE.

Then fill out this CONTACT FORM and let's get this party started!

Happy hosting (and designing),


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