In 2018 Airbnb launched two new programs: Beyond by Airbnb and Airbnb Plus. These programs focus on providing some ultra-fancy listing options specifically developed for vacation rental businesses that offer high-end amenities and services. Going one level higher than the basic listing options, both programs play a vital role in delivering “the trip of a lifetime”, as said by Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky.

Although Airbnb already acquired Montreal-based Luxury Retreats International—which explains the recent shift from “everyday” hosts to more professional accommodations—and is planning to provide more standardized accommodation options in an effort to expand its high-end vacation rental offerings and travel services, the company remains true to its original concept, identity, and core values.

This means that the new programs haven’t been developed to favor the professional hospitality providers, but to recognize the best hosts operating on the platform, while also allowing travelers to get the kind of experience they want. What’s more, any vacation rental property or lodging business, regardless of how small or large it is, can qualify for Airbnb Plus. But the question is: How difficult would it be for a short-term rental host to gain the Plus badge?

In this blog post, we’ll focus on the first aspect of the criteria that a vacation rental property must meet in order to be admitted into the Airbnb Plus program: Thoughtfully Designed. Here are a few basic principles that thoughtfully designed interiors should comply with. 

Cohesive Interior Design Assorted with Personal Touches

Currently, cleanliness and certain amenities, such as fully equipped kitchens, are some standard requirements that lodging businesses must meet in order to get the Plus badge. However, qualifying vacation rentals must pass inspections from approved decorators and photographers, who will judge each property based on its aesthetics. As a result, short-term rental hosts must follow specific instructions in order to ensure their properties display a consistent sense of style across all rooms.  

This doesn’t mean that a vacation rental property cannot feature its own design elements that reflect a unique personal style. But to have a lodging business admitted into the program, the host needs to have a keen eye for interior design in order to create a decor that elevates the overall look and feel of the property. In a nutshell, the interior design of a qualifying property must display complementary colors, which create a cohesive and refined color palette in each room. The easiest way to accomplish this is to have a monochromatic palette sprinkled with little pops of color here and there.

The good news is that you don’t have to hire an interior designer to comply with these requirements. You can find different Airbnb interior inspiration ideas on Pinterest and articles, like the one we wrote to offer some easy tips on how to accomplish what Airbnb is looking for.

In addition to carefully designed interiors, Airbnb likes thoughtful touches—just like your guests! Whether it’s a welcome basket, a small gift, freshly cut flowers in the room, or a personalized note that wishes them a great time celebrating a special occasion, personal touches should be the heart and soul of any lodging business.

Furniture for the Best Guest Experience

Almost everyone in the vacation rental industry knows that attractive interior design can drive more bookings. Conversely, impractical and unappealing interior design can negatively affect your occupancy rate and revenue.

When choosing furniture for your vacation rental, remember that an abundance of living space is an important characteristic of thoughtfully designed interiors. Because too much furniture can make a space feel small and overcrowded and negatively impact its flow, make sure you don’t add too many pieces of furniture. Keeping your rental property neat and organized is another requirement you must meet. By purchasing some affordable storage baskets and different space dividers and organizers, you can easily make your vacation rental look tidy and clutter-free. For a thoughtful furniture arrangement, we found this article especially helpful.

Art Pieces for a Cohesive Look and Feel

Abstract wall art, black-and-white photography, large-format photos, 3D sculptures, thoughtfully curated gallery, and other art pieces allow you to create visual interest and tie your rooms together. By doing a little research, especially online, you may find some lovely things that could work well in your space while also being authentic to you. Equally important, wires and cables should be hidden from sight.  

Objects on Display Should Add to the Aesthetic or Serve a Purpose

When adding different items, focus on creating clutter-free spaces that feel balanced. Although counters, shelves, consoles, and coffee tables look great when styled with decorative objects, artwork, or plants, don’t forget to leave enough space for your guests to use in the bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen. 

That’s about it! But since this is only the first set of standards, will getting the Airbnb Plus badge be worth it, considering there are some other requirements you need to meet?

*This blog has been recently updated since its original posting.