What is the feeling you want your home to convey to your guests? Is it Joy? Light? Comfort? Coziness? Peace? You may remember my recent Interior Design for your Airbnb webinar with Elle Callanan, Interior Decorator, Life Coach and fellow host.

You can view the video here or read the highlights below.

I’ve Got A Feeling:
Elle asked our March webinar attendees to choose and share their theme word and challenged them to use it consistently as a decorating and hosting touchstone.
Here are some of the words participants came up with

      • Local
      • Sunny
      • World Travel

When you sit in one of your rooms, what feeling does it give you? How can you enhance it.  Elle’s example was her guest cottage feeling Live. It had been feeling a little sparse, so instead of more furniture, she added plants to bring nature in with liveliness and joy.

My private space is a bit dark, so Elle recommended placing mirrors on opposing walls near my windows, which will catch the light and bounce it around the house enhancing my word Comfortable.

A Good Idea:
Elle suggested adding a full length mirror. One of her special few Ikea recommendations. I also like to offer a small make-up mirror in the bathroom or dressing area.

“Peace, Happiness, Love, Joy”
Consider writing your home’s theme word on a chalkboard wall or investing in big block letters (which also happen to photograph well for your listing pics). It’s a cheerful reminder of what you want your home experience to be for yourself and your guests. You can try out different words and envision different kinds of experiences your home can create for you and your guests.

A Sensory Experience:
Take yourself on a tour of your space keeping all senses in mind, remembering that textures and scents are powerful sensory experiences.

Pleasant and clean scents can underscore your home’s theme just as potent or unpleasant scents can overpower it. What is the smell of your home? Consider scented outlet plug-ins, diffusers, and essential oils on sachets. If you allow pets or have pets in your home, be aware of any scent they might leave behind.

Sue, one of our attendees, made a great point:

 “Clean places do not smell.”

Elle shared, “Clean is part of good design. Hold yourself and anyone partnering with you on cleaning tasks to a high standard.”

Invest in good linens and towels. Elle likes Calvin Klein for sheets and Martex for towels which you can find on Amazon. White or ivory linens with a small design like polka dots or gentle swirls hold up best cosmetically through the years. I've been using Target’s brand Threshold and they are holding up well.

Elle also recommends some true wood furniture, even if it’s only one piece.  It adds polish and hominess.  Minimize plastic furniture and decor and don’t go overboard with Ikea. Balance these more manufactured pieces with salvaged treasures, heirloom pieces or Craigslist finds.

My recommendation is good clothing hangers; they’re a one-time expense. They offer more polish and offer a better experience for your guests than wire or plastic hangers.

Remember your space needs to serve its purpose in both design and functionality, so walk into your home thinking as a guest. Consider asking a friend to visit and to be very honest about your home and what a guest’s first impression is likely to be.

Create a great impression:
How can you create a positive, lasting impression for your guests?
If you have lots of business guests, provide a desk with comfortable chairs and power cords to make their work time enjoyable.

Consider hanging a chalkboard or painting a chalkboard wall where your guests can leave you lovely notes and drawings. Take a photo of this living art occasionally, and create a guest book.

Remember that minimalism can be gorgeous, but sparsity isn’t minimalism.

And then The Wow Factor: Make a statement in your home!
Elle hand-painted a headboard on her wall to create a wow factor moment for her guests.

“Be brave and put out into the world what you want your home to be.” Put together a Pinterest or vision board, rip magazine images out and create a lookbook, sketch out the room, get a sense of the home you want. It doesn’t have to happen all at once, in time you will create the home you desire.

To learn more from Elle’s designs and lifestyle coaching, you can visit her on Instagram and at ellehome.com. Partnering with a designer allows you to create an amazing home that you and your guests will love and that prospective guests will be happy to book because of the deep value they know they’ll experience.

What are some of your design tips? Something you love about your home? Tell me below on your comments. And subscribe to find out more tips, advice, and when our next webinar will take place.

Have a great week and happy hosting!

Evelyn & Elle

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