How to Design a Boutique Airbnb: Making of Casalona

Are you dreaming of owning your own short term rental or unique Airbnb property? Or perhaps, you’re a sucker for authentic interiors and a holistic approach to design (like me!). If you want your Airbnb to stand out from the crowd, here’s how to design a boutique Airbnb. 

Today I’m sharing details of my work: Casalona. She is my lovely short term rental and photography space in the natural beauty of South Dakota. 

As a professional interior designer, it’s been my dream to create a space and be able to share it with so many fellow travelers as well as creatives in the community.

Simply put, here is what guided the vision for Casalona with some tips on how you can create your own boutique Airbnb which will attract more clients.

Indoor swing seat in a sunny spot - Online Interior Design Service from Chelsey Home

Honor the Period: The Authentic, Mid-century Home

Period homes are a piece of history. They are these hidden treasures, waiting to be valued for what they are. It was important that I not only celebrate the original features inside the home but also incorporate furnishings that honored the architectural style of the home. Staying authentic to the period of the home also allows your home to stand out in a sea of other Airbnbs, meaning you’ll get more bookings!

Global Design Influences

As an avid traveler and someone who likes to understand and be inspired by other cultures, I wanted to incorporate some of my favorite global design influences. The living room consists of a vintage 1950’s Japanese coffee table, Moroccan furnishings and a warm, Sahara desert color palette. Scandinavian influences are also found throughout the home. Choosing key pieces will help your Airbnb stand out in a crowd. 

Shelfie styled with cacti and Moroccan artefacts - How to Design a Boutique Airbnb on a Budget - Interior Design Service from Chelsey Home

Minimalism in Short Term Rentals

Minimalism changed my life personally and not only did I want to incorporate it into my rental from a holistic perspective, but also functionally. With fewer items, cleaning becomes easier, it’s easier to spot if something is missing and most importantly our guests have far less questions as to where something might be.

Sustainability in Short Term Rentals 

Sustainability is extremely important and while we might not be perfect, small choices and changes go a long way. Think of the amount of people that come through a single short term rental. That’s a lot of use! For Casalona it was a priority to have quality items that hold up and clean well. I also pledged to only use safe, non-toxic cleaning products for my guests and eliminate as many plastic products as possible. I have had a subscription to Grove for 3 years and love having products shipped directly to the home for guests and my cleaner. Try Grove for yourself and get a free gift using my referral code

Ideal Guests

Are you worried your home would get destroyed by guests? You’re not alone, I was too! Then I reminded myself that this was no standard super-8 quality motel for just a night’s rest. This was an experience. Quality design and choices means more investment up front but it creates more income long term and quality guests. Plus, it improves the value of your home! 

Low Budget 

When I say low, I mean I spent under $6,000 to furnish (and low-key remodel) my entire home. Does that account for the countless hours I spent scouring Facebook Marketplace and standing in line at estate sales? NO. Time is money. If you have the eye and the time, go for it! Thank the heavens above for second hand pieces and my wonderful family and friends’ energy and time for some DIY work. This was my very first home as a single woman and one who had to work for everything she ever owned. You bet your bottom dollar, I was as thrifty as I have ever been in my entire life. My dreams have always been too big to let my finances stop me. You don’t have to spend a fortune to design a boutique Airbnb – it all comes from knowing where to spend your budget. 

Tan sofa and Moroccan inspired pouffe - How to Design a Boutique Airbnb on a Budget from Chelsey Home

Creating affordable, luxury spaces is what I do, and if you have any questions about my online interior design services, or how I can help you design a boutique Airbnb on a limited budget, get in touch

Anddd… Casalona was born. Today we have a 4.95 rating with over 400 reviews on Airbnb. It doesn’t even seem real. My guests have been incredible. The stories that come from their stay, the kind words and the thoughtful gifts all fill my cup so much. I never saw myself in the hospitality industry but I love it and how effortlessly it collides with my passion for interior design. 

If you’re thinking of starting an Airbnb and have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out on Instagram or via email. We are working on something super special for you and for now we want to know all the questions you have and want to help in whatever way we can! You can also check out this blog post about How to Start a Short Term Rental Business and get some Interior Design Tips for Airbnbs here.

And for the cherry on top of it all – here’s my FREE GUIDE in which I share my 25 secrets for creating a successful short term rental as an interior design professional and 18x Airbnb superhost.

Thanks for being here

xx Chelsey   

Casalona Studio in Sioux Falls, South Dakota from How to Design a Boutique Airbnb on a Budget - Chelsey Home

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