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New to hosting: how to decorate


I’m thinking about hosting a small place I have on my property, but it isn’t really decorated that nicely. I’ve been thinking about asking some local artists about setting up a consignment deal: I’ll use their art to decorate, and in return, guests can purchase the decorations/art. I would take a small amount of the proceeds, and the remaining goes to the artist.

Has anyone tried this before? Are there efficient ways to find artists and set up these agreements?

If this is totally crazy, are there better ways to decorate inexpensively?

Thanks everyone!



There’s a new short term rental “makeover” show on Netflix called Stay Here that furnishes one of the listings like this. (Episode 6, Hudson River)
They approached a gallery that the owner had a relationship with and they selected some items that fit with the feel of the home.

Looking at price tags in a place I’ve paid to stay in would irritate the hell out of me, but I’m sure much would depend on how you set it up.

I think you can thrift some pretty wonderful things to decorate inexpensively. A lot depends on coming up with a cohesive feel for the place and decorating around that so it feels purposeful and beautiful and not like Auntie’s discarded attic items.

They do have some excellent ideas for STR in that series. Also check out One Chic Retreat online - she has a lot of wonderful tips for creating a space people want to book.


I think the key is a combination of neutral with pops of colour and character. Personally I would choose artwork to go with the style of the room. Is there a style or colour palette you like? For example one of the things I like is mid century design but with a contemporary twist. I have a dark grey bathroom (high ceilings and big window so I can get away with it), with orange accents which I find really uplifting. Find things you’re drawn to for inspiration, there are so many great images online, one idea takes you to the next!


Interesting, I’ll take a look at that episode and site!

If I went the consignment route, I wonder if guests wouldn’t mind it if I just told them everything could be purchased, but then make a little book they can look through that has more info. That way it can still look like a normal room, not a store. Then, if they have some down time in the evening before bed, they can look through the book and learn a little more about the area (and the art in the room).

But you’re right, it all has to mesh into a good design.!


haha you know way more about design than I do. I’m kind of back-woodsy. My imagination has a room with paintings of wood ducks and deer on the walls, but I am open to expanding my horizons :smiley:


What is the property like? If your “small space” is cabin like or woodsy then you need to consider that. Also what kind of guests do you expect to attract. A cabin on a bit of property in Minn would look odd if decorated in IKEA modern style.

Here in my “neck of the woods” many people go with a southwestern/Mexican/Native American style that wouldn’t fit in elsewhere.


Ducks and trucks and eight point bucks, that’s what little boys are made of …



I made a backwoodsy wolf pillow for my guestroom, hank. We need to talk :wink:


@hank – the downside to doing the consignment art thing is that your place could end up looking too much like a gallery. You don’t want that. You want a place that is warm and welcoming, cheerful, and reflects the area you live in.

Pick a theme. Based on that pick a color scheme of light and dark colors that complement each other. Then go shopping for furniture and accoutrements – Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity shops have some good bargains. IMHO you don’t want to look like a sterile Marriott, so “eclectic” is a good thing.


Is that your listing? I love it!


I have not read all the other responses yet, so I may embarress myself.
My input…model your decor on upper end Hotels .
That is what travellers seek, and expect.


I really like your idea of making a separate book describing the art, with prices (definitely not on the items on the wall!), especially if you’re able to relate it to the local art scene, museums in the area, etc.

As far as decorating, my process was to choose a theme (Maine Vacationland), a decorating style (MCM), and then the color scheme (Sherwin Williams Sea Salt, plus the other three colors on that paint chip, because I absolutely suck at color coordination). A few of the furnishings came from my home, but most were picked up at Goodwill or from FB Marketplace. All my art (lighthouse/lobster/beach images) has either black or painted-to-match-the-trim-color frames ($1-$5 each at Goodwill) so things look coordinated throughout the apartment.

Decorating the STR has really made me aware of how crappy my own home looks, but that’s because my husband and I have very different tastes. “His” stuff doesn’t work well with “my” stuff - 17 years into our relationship, we’re still working it out. At least I was able to get him to understand why it wasn’t a good idea to use the mothball-scented rugs in the apartment…:roll_eyes:


I bing watched the season and then hunted online on how to appear on the show- but ALAS I think you have to be really bad at hosting, and I’m not :frowning:


No that’s one I chose for the OP because he likes ducks and bucks.


Most of my AirBnB has been decorated using EBay. Furniture seems to be one thing people can’t give away and the prices are unbelievably low, far less even than a second hand furniture store would charge. I bought a sofa for $90. Okay i spent $1000 reupholstering it but it was still a bargain. Tables, beds, bookcases all from Ebay.


Sea Salt is a very good color


an efficient way to source these paintings would be an art gallery that sells, or high street art shops, but that could turn into a shopping trip, rather joyless if you want to be the promoter/discoverer of something special. Also, you might not have the amount of footfall that an artist would want, if they want to make sales. Original work can cost quite a bit too! My osteopath has local artist work for sale on his walls, and the same work has been there for years!
Is there a local art college, they might have regular exhibitions, you can get to meet the artists in person, and take it from there.


I take nature photography around my area, print them on a special metallic photo paper, mat and frame and use them to decorate the suite. (I sell them in craft fairs and use them for reference in my oil paintings.)

I list in the manual that they are for sale for $15. I have been hosting for over 2 years and have not sold a single photo from my Airbnb. (I normally sell them just matted at craft fairs for $25.)


I do however get lots of compliments. Here’s one of my paintings from one of these reference photos.


Facebook Marketplace is quite handy too. I furnished a place over the summer, and set myself a goal of doing it well, but all off Marketplace. I turned up to buy a massive canvas print of leaves, and was shocked to see that some of them were cannabis leaves. “looks like cannabis leaves” I exclaimed.
“Are they?”, the seller replied, “I don’t know what they would look like”
“Oh. Nor do I”, awkward silence as I handed over £5.

Turns out they were maple leaves anyway

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