15 Short-Term Rental Decor Mistakes

Decorating a short-term rental, such as an Airbnb or vacation rental, requires balancing functionality, comfort, and aesthetic appeal. Here are the most common mistakes hosts make when decorating their short-term rentals.

The most common mistakes in short term rental decor | TheMediterra.com

Key Takeaways

  • Clutter Confusion: Less can be more in vacation rental decor.
  • Trend Trap: When chic design sacrifices guest comfort.
  • Cultural Miss: Overlooking local flair could be a booking blunder.
  • Over-Themed Spaces: When your beach house feels more like a beach set.
  • Modern Missteps: Being updated doesn’t always mean being in style.

The Most Common short-term rental decor mistakes

The Most Common Mistakes In Short-Term Rental Decor
The Most Common Mistakes In Short-Term Rental Decor

1. Thinking Simple (Or Outdated) Furnishing Is Enough

In today’s age of digital reviews and online marketing, guests often choose rentals based on photos and past guest experiences. If a property is furnished too simply or with outdated items, it might not attract as many guests or could result in negative reviews.

Visitors are often looking for a vacation home that feels both comfortable and stylish, offering them an experience that might be different or better than their own home.

With platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, and others, the vacation rental market has become highly competitive. Properties with current, high-quality furnishings generally have a higher booking rate and can command a higher rental price.

2. Over-Personalization

While it’s essential to add a personal touch, overdoing it with personal memorabilia (family photos, heirlooms, etc.) can make guests feel like they’re intruding into someone’s private space rather than staying in a rental.

Remember this: even if your guests appreciate the personal touch, they still expect a hotel-style experience. While it might not manke any sense, travelers today are very picky what comes to vacation rental homes. They want it to be a memorable experience, and a place that feels like like a luxury home to them. This means: yes to personal touches, no to private touches.

Also, when you are creating a short-term rental, the decor style is less about what you personally like, and more about what your guests appreciate. You might not know that yet, but you can be sure that guests appreciate a home that is well-designed and thoughtful.

3. Skimping on Quality

Investing in high-quality furniture and amenities can not only enhance the guest’s experience but can also reduce long-term costs due to wear and tear. Cheap linens, uncomfortable mattresses, or fragile furniture can lead to negative reviews.

In fact, one of the most common complaints guests make is the bad quality vacation rental furniture. So, gone are the days with hand-me-down furniture and cheap mismatching finds.

Investing in high-quality furniture and amenities will increase the short-term rental home guest experience
Investing in high-quality furniture and amenities will increase the short-term rental home guest experience

4. Over-Theming The Vacation Rental Guest Experience

It’s one thing to have a subtle beach theme for a coastal property or a rustic feel for a cabin in the woods. However, going overboard can make the space feel kitschy or gimmicky, which might not appeal to a broad range of guests.

If your home is close to a popular destination such as Disney World, then by all means – go Disney crazy. But, try to avoid overly spaced up spaces.

5. Lack of Practical Amenities

While aesthetics are important, functionality should not be compromised. Forgetting essentials such as ample lighting, storage space, power outlets, or blackout curtains can inconvenience guests. Other amenities that vacation rental guests appreciate are:

  • Comfortable beds with quality linens
  • Fresh towels (both for bathing and for pools or beaches if relevant)
  • Basic toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, and toilet paper)
  • Hairdryer

6. Ignoring Local Culture and Environment

Incorporating elements of the local culture, art, and crafts can make the rental more appealing. Ignoring these can lead to a sterile, generic environment that doesn’t resonate with the location.

People come to the location for a reason – and oftentimes it’s because they love the local culture and vibes. If you have a rental property in the Mediterranean, your guest likely love the Mediterranean lifestyle. Add elements of the lifestyle to your guest experience!

7. Cluttering All Spaces

It’s essential to strike a balance between decoration and open space. Overfilling rooms with unnecessary decor items can make the space feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s better to opt for a minimalist, clean look that allows guests to bring in their own belongings without feeling overwhelmed.

Try to keep your space cozy and intentionally decorated but free of clutter. Unfortunately small objects have a tendency to dissappear along the guests.

8. Not Considering Maintenance

Using hard-to-clean fabrics or materials, placing delicate items in high-traffic areas, or choosing light-colored carpets that stain easily can lead to increased maintenance costs and time. It’s essential to consider the durability and ease of cleaning when selecting decor items.

Also, your cleaning team needs to be able to work fast and efficiently between the guests, so make sure your decor allows it!

9. Poor Lighting

Insufficient lighting can make a space feel dreary and uninviting. It’s crucial to have a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to cater to different needs and moods.

10. Lacking Cohesive Design

Mixing and matching various styles without a clear design direction can result in a disjointed and chaotic appearance. While eclectic can be fun, it should still feel curated and intentional.

11. Ignoring Outdoor Spaces

If your rental has a patio, balcony, or garden, leaving it barren or unkempt can be a missed opportunity. Outdoor spaces can be a significant draw, especially in good weather.

The Mediterranean climate is amazing all year around, and people want to stay at your place from summer to vinter. It’s important to create an outdoor space that is inviting for the guests.

12. Choosing Form Over Function

While something might look great, if it’s not comfortable or functional, it won’t serve your guests well. For example, a sleek modern chair might look fantastic, but if it’s uncomfortable to sit in, guests won’t appreciate it.

Also, rental homes are prone to more wear and tear than primary residences. You should keep your furniture highly functional and of great quality!

13. Lack of Privacy

Especially in bedrooms and bathrooms, guests should feel they have their privacy. Sheer curtains in a bedroom or a bathroom window without any covering can make guests feel exposed. This is, of course, even more important if you rent out a room at your house, but even if you rent our a full home, think about how your guests can create more privacy in your home.

14. Overusing Neutral Colors

While neutral colors can create a calming space, an over-reliance without any pops of color can make a space feel bland and unmemorable. Color doesn’t necessarily need to mean lots of saturated, bright colors. You can add calning colors such as blue and green to make your space comfortable for your guests.

15. Underestimating the Importance of Design

The decor and furnishings contribute significantly to the overall feel and atmosphere of a rental. It’s not just about providing a place to sleep but about offering a complete, enjoyable living experience.

If you invest in a rental property and want to make a profit, you need to view design and refurbishing as part of your total home investment budget, not an afterthought. If your home is a new-built, you need a complete set of furnishing, and if you’re bying a resale home, the chances are that you need to do a renovation and replace all the furniture to make it look and feel current and attractive to the renters.

Remember, the goal is to create a space where guests feel comfortable and at home, while also feeling like they’re experiencing something unique and special. Listening to feedback and continuously refining the decor based on guests’ reviews can be beneficial in the long run.

Create And Maintain A List of All Items In Your Vacation Rental Home

When you are decorating your space, you want to create a list, preferably with images, of all the items you put into your home. This will help your maintenance team to check for missing items after each guest, and also quickly replace the items that needed to be replaces. Your room specifications should list every item with images so your maintenance team can put together each room exactly as it shows in your images.

FAQ – Vacation rental Decor Mistakes

Vacation rental Decor Mistakes

Why does my vacation rental look cluttered even after decorating?

This question highlights a common mistake of over-decorating or not using space efficiently, leading to a cramped or cluttered appearance.

Vacation rental Decor Mistakes

Are personal items in my vacation rental decor off-putting to guests?

Many hosts are unsure about the line between adding personal touches and making spaces too personal, potentially making guests uncomfortable.

Vacation rental Decor Mistakes

Why isn’t my themed vacation rental getting as many bookings?

Over-theming can be a pitfall. Hosts may wonder if their commitment to a theme is too intense and thus not resonating with a broad audience.

Vacation rental Decor Mistakes

I bought trendy furniture for my rental; why are guests complaining about comfort?

Following trends might lead to overlooking comfort. This question underlines the balance hosts need to strike between aesthetic and functionality.

Vacation rental Decor Mistakes

Is it a mistake to not incorporate local art and culture into my vacation rental’s decor?

Ignoring local vibes can be a missed opportunity to offer guests a unique experience. Add a touch of local experience throuhg art and thoughtfully selected accessories.

Vacation rental Decor Mistakes

Why do guests say my vacation rental feels dated even after a recent renovation?

This question arises when hosts, thinking they’ve modernized their spaces, have unintentionally used outdated or out-of-style elements in their decor. A newly completed renovation with outdated style or furniture will still look outdated.

Vacation rental Decor Mistakes

My rental has a fantastic view; why do guests complain about the interiors?

Some hosts might focus more on the natural surroundings and neglect the interior decor, leading to this kind of feedback.

The Most Common Short-Term Rental Decor Mistakes
The Most Common Short-Term Rental Decor Mistakes

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