As a feng shui designer I’ve learned what makes a home welcoming and uplifting, including a rental. I’ve styled a house to rent on Airbnb and I’ve also rented many homes through Airbnb. Here are my tips, in case you’re considering doing either of these things.
When preparing a home as a rental:
All homes are permeated by the energy of the people who live there. This is not a bad thing. However, when converting your dwelling into a rental, it’s important to dial back, as much as possible, your personal flourishes.
I’m sure the people who will be renting from you would think you’re awesome 😊 However, they want to have their own unique experience when they stay in your home, not inhabit your life. Here are some ways to do that.
- Make the space feel as much like a hotel as possible. That will never be totally possible, of course, but the end result will feel like a warm, welcoming space, without too much personalization
- Make the entrance open and functional with entry table, coat hooks, and no clutter. The entry invites positive qi energy into the home. For a visitor, the entry sets the tone for their experience of the space, and allows them a moment to decompress after what might have been a long journey.
- Change out artwork that is valuable or might feel uncomfortable to renters, and replace with pleasant, general images—nature or abstract collages that are soothing to the eye and work with the color scheme.
- Consider swapping out some of your upholstered pieces with unupholstered versions. For example, changing upholstered dining chairs to wooden ones, or replacing a tufted ottoman in the living room with a standard coffee table made out of wood, metal, glass or marble.
- Make sure all sheets and towels are clean and free of stains.
- Ensure everything in the space is functional (all light fixtures must work, window shades should be easy to operate, doors have to lock properly, etc.)
- Have a good supply of basic supplies, which makes people feel taken care of (hand soap and lotion, toilet paper, shampoo and conditioner, laundry and dishwasher soap, Kleenex, paper towels, etc.)
Don’t leave the following in your rental:
- Half used bottles of toiletries
- Food (except spices, see below)
- Anything under the bed
- Family photos
- Anything that is particularly important to you, or which you would be very upset about if it were to get damaged.
- Broken furniture, appliances, etc.
Do leave in your rental:
- Some spices and condiments (make sure they are wiped down and not sticky)
- Gadgets that renters might find useful (vegetable chopper, air fryer, etc.)
- Ample fresh sheets and towels
- An even number of dishes, glasses, and coffee mugs
- A welcome note and/or guidebook with tips which will make it easier for the renter to feel at ease in the space.
Heading to a rental this summer?
The reverse of everything above is true when renting: you want to personalize the space. Small adjustments will make the space look and feel a bit like home and create a deep feeling of comfort.
Do bring to your rental:
- Your favorite home scent (either diffuser, incense, etc.)
- Bed pillows
- House slippers
- Extension cords (outlets might not be where you need them)
- Depending on how long you’re staying, you might purchase a few things that you’d be willing to leave when you go. I’ve purchased slip covers for furniture, a coffee maker, bowls and glasses, etc. (Ask the host if they are ok with you leaving things before doing so.)
- You may want to move furniture or remove items from shelves or drawers to make room for your personal things. ALWAYS take pictures and videos the day you move in, to ensure you can return it exactly to the way it was when you arrived.
Whether you’re doing this for yourself or others, you can create a space that soothes the soul and replenishes the spirit.
Enjoy your summer!