Did you know that leveling up your design is one of the simplest steps you can take to increase your Airbnb revenue? According to one study, hosts who invested in upgrading their interiors found that it brought a 20% or more boost in bookings. Here are a few easy and budget-friendly tips on how to add a punch of personality to your home.
Brother and sister Superhosts Sophie and Saba know how to inject some joy into a space. Together, they’ve merged her whimsical, imaginative design sensibilities with his contemporary, sleek style to transform their 1920s shotgun home into an Instagram-worthy dreamspace that stays booked throughout the year. Here, they share favorite DIY tips on how to level up your interior—and attract even more eyeballs to your listing.
Sophie and Saba’s Tips to Spruce Up Your Space
- Decorate for the guests you want
- Colorbomb a room
- Get organized
- Create a gallery wall
- Make an Instagram-worthy corner
#HAPPYHOUSEDREAMS COME TRUE
Sophie: Whenever I’d travel to cities like Palm Springs and San Francisco, I would always find myself drawn to really colorful houses. Four years ago, I created the hashtag #HappyHouseDreams on Instagram and started documenting the exteriors I’d find. That started my love of happy houses and the dream to own my own someday.
Saba: Sophie was away on vacation when I came across the perfect place in Cabbagetown. She had been in the market for a year and had made a few offers that didn’t pan out. When I saw this place, I knew it was the one.
Sophie: He knows my design aesthetic to the core—so he called me and I put in an offer sight unseen. When I walked in, I immediately saw the vision. I started conceptualizing what the paint could look like and what small tweaks I could make to brighten the exterior to make it my dream. I wanted to bring in the quirkiness that I love with a mid-century vintage feel that was lived-in and cozy. And I wanted to bring people joy.
Saba: When it comes to your space, we encourage people to try to do something different. Guests on Airbnb want a unique experience that they can’t get at a hotel or anywhere else.
Sophie: People are looking to immerse themselves in interesting spaces, new environments, and add a little cheer into their lives—so if you can upgrade your interior in simple ways, you can attract more guests and keep them coming back.
Saba: Here are a few of our favorite tips for how to “happy” your home.
01. Decorate for the guests you want
Saba: We recommend thinking about your audience— why they’re visiting and what kind of accommodations or amenities they would like.
Sophie: Think through what your audience is looking for, whether it’s a girl’s getaway or a romantic vacation. I think my house is super girly, but I made sure to find ways to widen its appeal. As a host, it’s important to understand that you need to reach multiple types of people.
02. Colorbomb a room
Sophie: We. Love. Color. Bright ones, obviously. We’re drawn to the many ways it can elicit an emotion and improve your mood. If I’m walking in a dull neighborhood and I see a pop of color from a wall, or spray paint with a happy message, it immediately lifts my spirits. So if you’re feeling like your home is a bit drab or needs some cheering up, colorbomb it!
Saba: Diving into color can be intimidating at first, but it’s well worth it to experiment. Here’s a simple way to play:
- First, pick a room and a statement color. We recommend keeping one or two predominant colors throughout the space.
- Then, find key pieces you want to match that color, whether that’s a table, a bed, or a couch.
- Use these main pieces to continue to build your color scheme.
Sophie: For me, I used pink and yellow and built everything around those colors. Stay open-minded and flexible with how it evolves. It’s like an ongoing puzzle to find the right mix that feels right. The chairs you wanted to use in the living room may end up in the bedroom, for example. I think what people appreciate about our space is that it’s colorful, but not too overwhelming.
03. Get organized
Saba: If you’re looking to update your design, but don’t know where to start, we suggest creating a mood board on Pinterest. Mood boards are a great way to get organized, discover new ideas, and keep your inspiration all together. When you can look at a visual reference holistically, it makes it easier to make decisions on what your space needs.
Sophie: For me, being organized made it a little bit less intimidating because I already know before I commit to a light fixture or a leather sofa that I understand what it looks like in the greater scheme of things—as opposed to buying a piece and hoping that it will just all come together.
Saba: It can be stressful to decorate a whole house at once, so focus on each room and then think of it holistically so that it feels cohesive.
04.Create a gallery wall
Saba: One of the key pieces that everyone loves is this gallery wall of portraits that we created.
Sophie: I was planning to live here by myself but I didn’t want it to feel like I was alone—so the portraits make it feel like I’m having a dinner party. It’s a simple and inexpensive way to make a bold statement. Here’s how to create your own gallery wall:
- Start by picking a theme. Ours was portraits, but it could be dogs, landscapes, or colors.
- Then, measure your space.
- Next, scour the internet, thrift stores, or flea markets to find art that fits. We found 30 portraits.
- Lay them on the ground first and figure out the best way to connect them, whether that’s through size or color. It’s important to have everything at once instead of doing it one at a time.
- Lastly, put them up! Pro tip: we like to use double stick tape so that we can continue to move them around.
05. Make an Instagram-worthy corner
Sophie: Another way to attract visitors and guests to your listing is to make your space extra Instagram-worthy. Think cute decor, bright colors, scene-stealing elements—anything that could be great for a photo opp.
Saba: People love to share their experiences online and it’s an opportunity to expose your home to a wider audience. Come up with a hashtag so people will do the work of sharing the listing for you. Everyone loves eye candy!
Sophie: We created this house to really bring joy to other people. I feel the happy vibes when I walk in and hope other people feel the same way.
Saba: We hope these tips help you create your own #HappyHouseDreams.
Sophie + Saba
Check out the full #howtohost series here.
Re: How to Host: Sprucing Up Your Space
I have to agree with Robert297.
I would never be able to stomach the clash of colour. And the 'artwork' kinda creeps me out!
However, given your location and target market I can see that it might appeal to a certain demographic.
I am glad you are successful with this project.
Vive la difference!
Re: How to Host: Sprucing Up Your Space
Awesome post @Sj11 !! I believe creating an inspirational environment in your space is key in crafting a lovely guest experience. I encourage all of my clients to do so!! Such a cute cottage and Sophie is a living doll!! 🙂