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    Tips from Airbnb Plus hosts: Adding character to your space

    Find out how successful Airbnb Plus hosts set up their spaces with character.
    By Airbnb on Apr 21, 2021
    3 min read
    Updated Apr 21, 2021


    • Create visual interest with just the right amount of decoration

    • Add a wall of color for high-contrast impact

    • Highlight artwork, and consider alternative takes on art

    • Add decor that sparks conversation

    Intrigue and inspire your guests to live as locals by designing your place to feel welcoming and unique. Whether your space is small or spacious, these design tips from Airbnb Plus hosts will get your creativity flowing.

    Create a balanced space

    Decorative mirrors are an effective way to add impact without introducing clutter or compromising the available surface area in a room. Try unique shapes, ornate frames, or smoky glass for a glamorous touch. Place mirrored panels behind shelves, use them as a kitchen backsplash, or arrange them perpendicular to a window to brighten up a dark room. Adding a mirror parallel to a window will reflect light back out instead of in, which creates a more inviting, fresh atmosphere for guests to enjoy the decor.

    Airbnb Plus host Rebecca’s apartment in Bath, England, features art and furniture coming together for a complete look—and the views don’t hurt. “The flat was an inspiring mix of art and furnishings, topped off by an incredible view out over Bath,” says Hillary, a guest.

    Add a wall of color

    Try painting one wall a solid color to set the tone of a room without going overboard. You can achieve a similar effect with colorful wallpaper to add visual impact and highlight texture. Bold patterns are best for smaller spaces like hallways and closet interiors, while simpler prints work well in larger rooms. When choosing a design, think about how it will complement other elements in the room.

    Capture attention with art

    Create visual interest with art pieces such as a thoughtfully curated gallery, large-format photographs, or even 2D and 3D sculptures and other objects. For an alternative take, try featuring old photos, black-and-white photography, pencil sketches, graphic posters, maps, or old charts.

    You can find art everywhere; you don’t need to go to a gallery, though that’s a great place to start. Find unusual pieces at a flea market, abstracts at a student show, or posters at a museum, and feature them with high-quality matting and framing. If you can, avoid mass-produced artwork you might find elsewhere.

    Add just the right amount of decoration

    Create clutter-free spaces to feel balanced, not crowded or empty. Remove any household items that are not intended for guest use to make the space feel peaceful and easy to clean. Leave some space intentionally open for your guests to use on bedroom surfaces, like the nightstand and dresser, as well as in the bathroom and kitchen. Shelves, consoles, coffee tables, and mantels look great when thoughtfully styled with an edited array of books, decorative objects, artwork, or plants.

    Decorate walls with accent items like distinctive artwork, and keep in mind that it’s fine to leave some walls blank, especially if they feature an accent color, plants, unique light fixtures, or large windows. For example, a living room gallery is a great way to create singular focus. If you choose to create one, try to make sure each piece stands on its own and also works well in a group, and consider mixing prints, photos, sketches, and paintings with a shared color palette. One way to find unique items is to look for one-of-a-kind pieces at your local flea market, from vintage radios and bowling pins to apothecary bottles and mahogany trunks.

    Spark their interest

    Inspire conversation with unique, playful, or interesting details. Include artful objects such as vases, collectibles, bookends, candle holders, mirrors, clocks, or lights. In the living space and bedrooms, try including a piece of furniture that’s distinct from the rest in style, color, shape, or time period. For example, if all your furniture is formal, add a pouf with a casual shape.

    Airbnb Plus hosts also mix vintage and modern pieces to add a sense of history and depth. Balancing new and older-looking pieces that work together based on material or style is a great way to add character through visual impact. Another great approach is to use design and furniture to highlight your space’s unique features, such as a beautiful view.

    It’s always exciting to come across something you weren’t expecting, and unique, special pieces help spark conversation. This might be a rhinestone skull on your mantel, or an unexpected paint color inside a closet. Balance the special element with other things in the room to make sure nothing feels out of place.

    Apr 21, 2021
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