I was just reading a past thread where Yana and others were discussing their place being reviewed as “outdated”. I get the “outdated” comment from time to time. Even though we’re a small agricultural community, buyers from the city have come in, bought up the houses, gutted them, and put in rainforest showers, marble counters, etc. I’m the opposite. I love repurposing furniture and I love my old country gate (which has a typical country gate latch that some guests from the city have never seen before). However, I have brand new windows on the house and the paint is in great shape, a new toilet and vanity . No air con (I’m right on the harbour, but there are hot days in July and August where guests have to depend on ceiling and floor fans). It’s silly, but I feel hurt when a millennial couple calls my place “outdated”. Does anyone have ideas about how to describe a home in a positive, attractive way but that alerts the guest to its “outdatedness” ?
Use descriptive words such as cozy, quaint, homey etc in your description. Make sure your photo’s show the true nature of your home etc. Both of our homes are listed in such a manner and most of our guest say it has a homey atmosphere. However, I would caution not to make it too cluttered, keep it simple if you are not living there.
I use the word “vintage” to describe my old furniture in the guest room and people always remark on how beautiful it is. Perhaps you could say something along the lines of “Charming, vintage cottage with modern amenities provides you with a unique country experience.” Modern amenities include hi-speed wifi, Roku…(whatever you supply)
I just straight up say “This place is a 1950’s middle class home and some things are original such as the woodwork, floors, vents and windows. If you want something big or new, this isn’t for you.” Some guests actually prefer a sea of carpet and popcorn ceiling to character. I don’t!
This was quite some time ago:
Guest: This place is pretty outdated isn’t it?
Me: Well Bill, you and I might call it old-fashioned but the youngsters today call it retro, you know. Very desirable too.
I then proceeded to give him a two minute history of the place.
Half an hour later I heard him on the phone saying “Oh yes, our Airbnb is lovely. A very nice retro place”.
Without some pictures it’s hard to give suggestions. If you’re willing to share your listing (publicly or privately) that might help.
It sounds like you’ve updated some fixtures. Are people pointing to your gate or AC as part of the “outdated” feel?
What does the rest of the decor look like? Do you have country blue geese from the 80’s? Laura Ashley floral wallpapers? If you have that kind of thing going on maybe you could describe it as “Granny’s attic chic” or “X-decade throwback”. You either embrace it or identify what’s at the root of the “outdated” sentiment and change just those elements.
I admit I’m a bit of a design snob. We stayed on Mackinac Island last year and every soft furnishing in our room had a Victorian floral print. I thought I was in that “Yellow Wallpaper” novela. They could have kept the victorian feel by leaving the wallpaper and replacing the bedspread with something solid colored…and nixing all the lacy edged throw pillows. It was too much for me.
Thanks, Cindy. Would you care to share a link to your listing so I can appreciate how you’ve done it?
Love this, Terry! Very helpful.
Well played, Jaquo. I’m learning from you.
Thanks, Allison. Here are some pics. The rooms are nice. It’s not that. It’s that the “capitalist ABB listings” are providing brand new garden furniture every year, complimentary wine and beach passes, and the aforementioned. I have two listings. Here’s the first:
After getting some reviews of our place being dated (and small!), I changed our description to start off with, “This is a small house, 1000 square feet, built in 1961.” It didn’t slow down our bookings, and hopefully no one is disappointed by our little old house.
I like that idea of being succinct and right-of-the-top. Ty.
I like cozy and vintage . I would be your perfect guest.
That is the definition of outdated. Just old and icky, not quaint, cute or vintage. I’ll be removing the popcorn from the airbnb room when I update it next. I wish I’d done it when I remodeled.
Your rooms are clean and bright and I like your pops of color and plants!
I disagree that you have to be a Capitalist ABB listing with brand new furniture every year to avoid the “outdated” designation.
What I think people are reacting to is that it’s a thrifted collection that isn’t brought together cohesively. By that I mean there’s a mix of leg styles, tones of wood, the art and textile choices don’t “go” together. Some pieces are really unique, like the Victorian loveseat, but when paired with $10 end table it looks meh.
It’s totally up to you whether you want to react to your guests’ feedback. Your photos show a great listing and guests can decide whether it’s “for them” as-is. If you want to address the things guests find outdated, check out some design blogs. I relied heavily on “One Chic Retreat”, and Reddit (/r/cozyplaces and /r/amateurroomporn) when I put my place together.
Things don’t have to be expensive to look good. My place is also at least 90% thrifted or DIY, but I get lots of nice comments on the decor. (even though my night stands are $3 crates bolted to the wall)
Your place is beautiful, and you make a great point about my place’s lack of cohesiveness. Ty.
PS if I painted the mismatched furniture (until I find more cohesive pieces), do you think it would help in the meantime or is it a low rate of return for my effort?
Id paint them. I redo LOTS of furniture to make them more “now.” The golden oak side table look is done… but restain the top dark and do white legs and youve gone more of a “farmhouse vibe.”