I am in the process of remodeling a home for my first air bnb. Pretty much everything has been custom made for the home. I design and build costom furniture and am involved with a group, Local Trade Az, that uses local artists, craftspeople and furniture makers to stage homes to promote their work. I have several people involved interested in putting their furniture art extra in the house. Idea is to create a catalog with profiles on everyone submitting their work and have everything in the home availible for purchase as well as info for custom orders if someone likes a certain persons work. Local Trade AZ is on is tag ram if anyone wants to see examples of the type of furnishings. I think it is a cool idea that could set my place apart would like opinions. Am I asking for trouble using handmade one of a kind furnishings throughout the home?
How is this going to work?
Are you paying for the items of furniture? If not, how what sort of insurance cover will you have in place to cover potential damage.
Are you assuming most of your visitors will be from your country so you can arrange delivery easily.
Personally I wouldn’t put expensive, one off items in an Airbnb.
I have 2 brand new beautifully upholstered ottomans in gold - today I find that they have been used as pizza box holders…they are stained with grease, tomato paste and look terrible. No more good stuff for the rental!
Auto correct is not my friend. Local Trade AZ is on instagram as well as my site Chris Cullers Design. Should give a idea of the furnishings I am taking about.
I work with these people all the time. Items are put in on a consignment basis with me not being liable for damages. We all deal with shipping on a regular basis, it would be better for people with smaller items than larger, last table I did went from Phoenix to Florida shipping alone was $900. Larger items usually don’t sell but generate custom orders.
This is a cool idea. But you really need to communicate this as an experience in your ad.
Charge a premium in your area. ANDD be prepared to lose some items. You probably will not recoup your money on items lost - it’s part of the cost of being in this business.
Be selective about who you allow in - only highly recommend guests I’d say. Even then, you will have some problem guests. Signage to explain that these are for sale, on consignment, and not the property if yourself might help prevent damage to the items. Maybe indicate areas where food isn’t allowed and such. You really have to spell things out for people. 9 times out of 10 you will be fine, but if you’re not prepared for someone to get drunk and break a chair, maybe rethink this.
I like the idea. I would want it to still feel like a home if i was staying there and not a showroom.
Like others have said, expect some damage to items.
Clever way to have a stay unique experience. If you hire a professional room photographer, it can be a great way to showcase the goods.
Wondering if you can leverage it into an Airbnb experience “work with local crafts people to build a one of a kind item made from locally sourced products”? Of course it would have to be Small items like a short footstool/plant stand.
About shipping, if you open an Amazon or ebay store, you may can get better shipping rates
Yes expect damage. Most guests will treat you home & furnishings appropriately but all it takes is one fool.
Interesting idea. I hope it works for you. However, like others here, I fear that there will be damage which will be unacceptable – items that cannot be repaired/cleaned and sold as showroom pieces.
As @Brandt mentioned, I wouldn’t really care to stay in a “show home” either. One place we stayed at in Iceland was like that – beautifully decorated like a staged home. I was half afraid to turn the bed back or boil a kettle of water for fear of messing something up.
No I wouldn’t use this in my rental but I could see it working or even being expected in some places. High end places would probably benefit. For example cabins that have log furniture. The vacation rental I stayed in last summer had a live edge table that would have cost $10,000 in the US. And yes it did help me choose that rental.
Oh dear @Debthecat how sad, Airbnb unfortunately makes you understand how little respect people have for other people’s property and homes.
I would answer: No, as long as you put in furniture/items that are not too fragile. And everything should be easy to use (correctly).
Do expect the occasional breakage for smaller items, and wear and tear on the furniture: Which is totally normal for wooden furniture anyway and only adds more character.
I think it’s a great idea, and personally I would not be bothered to stay in a “showroom”. I would not be bothered by a beautiful catalogue with a price list next to it either, I wouldn’t even be bothered by small price tags on the furniture/art/decoration.
As a guest I would expect to be able to use everything in a normal way, I wouldn’t appreciate being limited “The table is beautiful but don’t touch it”. But unless you would specifically tell me, I wouldn’t feel inhibited to live my life the way I want to, regardless of how beautiful, special, exclusive, minimalist, maximalist, showroomy … the interior is.
I’ve been thinking about the hand-crafted furniture.
I don’t know your market. Asheville NC USA has a large artist community type of draw. Several of the homes there quietly belong to famous actors.
In a market like this, your custom furniture furnished Airbnb could have tremendous appeal (as long as it is livable).
This subject is right up my alley. It’s called “Design Driven Travel” by some. I have have had to, by necessity, design and make several custom features including furniture for our vintage trailer. I have had a lot of fun, frustration and satisfaction building them. I hope that my str photos are going to be so different from the average, that they will attract the kind of traveler that will seek and care about a special place.
When I open ( it’s about 1 month away Yeah<><>), I know some of them will be carelessly wrecked, and that is ok. I will likely at that point use less time and dollars in the refurbishment or replacement of those items.
To the op I think that custom stuff is fabulous and the mix of showroom and special place to stay can be made and desirable to the right crowd. Looking all “staged” or store-like could be a drawback, however. Also if its a needed item such as a coffee table or a set of chairs, be sure to have a replacement / back up set ready in case of sales. Just be very clear with your creators all the pricing and possible losses etc.
best of luck. You should set the prices high because this would be a luxury home. I personally wouldn’t put any luxury furnishings because people don’t care. Well, many do but some don’t and it’s enough that one person does something irresponsible and your custom made furniture is ruined. You will need insurance on this.
I think Murphy’s laws apply here: if something might be broken it will.
Thanks everyone for the feedback. Seems like most everyone thinks the concept is a good one aside from the risk of damage. I am in a unique position, I own 2 sawmills and work with the materials from when the tree comes down to a finished piece of furniture and supply lumber to the others thar would be contributing. If something was damaged beyond repair it would not be a lot of money out of pocket, mostly time. I am going to go for it and see if it works.
I think you were always going to go for it anyway
The issue here won’t be for you if you are happy pay for replacement/repairs. But third parties whose furniture/items might be damaged by your guests.
Do make sure you have a contract to confirm you have no liability for any damages caused to third party items being used in your listing