How to Make a Mood Board for your Vacation Rental

Having a mood board is so important to help create consistency throughout your vacation rental project so that you have the same look and feel translated throughout. Let me show you how!

Are you thinking about renovating, or upgrading your space into a vacation rental? Do you have many ideas that you can’t quite narrow down? A mood board gives you a foundation to work from so that you can see what works together and try different ideas.

Mood boards help keep you on track with a visual queue of how you want a room to look like. Something that you can keep referring back to when it comes to making decisions on furniture, décor, fittings, fixtures, or colors.

After trying a few different styles you’ll find there is one image or piece of furniture that you keep coming back to. Maybe it’s a coastal-style bedroom or a warm and crisp kitchen that you found on Pinterest.

living room mood board design

How to Start a Vacation Rental Mood Board

There are lots of places you can make a Mood board for free. I suggest starting with Pinterest, where you can find so much inspiration. If you don’t have a specific design style in mind, create a board of “Vacation Rental Ideas” and just add any pins you like for decor and design spaces. In this phase, you can just keep it very loose and pin anything that attracts your eye. You can later use a free mood board site like Style Source Book to find furniture, decor ideas and swatches. It’s based out of Australia, but you can use anywhere in the world to nail down your ideas and create a final mood board to work from.

How to Narrow Down your Style

Popular styles for vacation rental that work well are fresh and bright designs that fall into the style of Modern, Minimal, Bohemian, Mid-Century Modern, and Coastal. When referring back to your board, you’ll start to see a trend of colors and styles and rooms that you like. Look up kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms, and any other areas in this style and start to pin them to another board.

Tip: I encourage hosts not to shy away from making bold design choices that will surprise, delight, and deliver the unexpected to their guests. Have fun with your vacation rental mood board create some just to play around. You may like it the most!

Pulling it All Together

Having a mood board for each room will really help you stay on track/ Then when you are shopping you know exactly what to buy. I love using Style Source Book, it is a design tool that many professional interior designers use.  I like it because they have a huge library of furniture styles that you can just drag and drop onto your board.

If you are renovating and looking for specific fixtures, tiles, vanities, and paint chips, they have a ton of images. They also have a section you can browse and see designers’ mood boards and you could just use one of those as inspiration!

kitchen mood board plan

Be Unique

In my opinion, choosing a unique design theme that sets you apart from competitors is crucial, especially if your location is over-saturated with high-end vacation rentals. The best way to do this is to look at competitive listings on Airbnb and try to find a niche that no one else is doing (or doing well). Remember this when creating your vacation rental mood board.

Find your why—your hook. What sort of novel experience would make your target guests choose your property over others, even if it means they have to splurge or book months in advance?”- Advice from Kristi, the Superhost of Starship Landing a Sci-Fi themed Airbnb

bedroom mood board plan

Be Instagrammable

Kristi also recommends designing photo-worthy backdrops in various spaces throughout the property. Stage each different area as if you’re setting up a movie set, using items such as stand-out furniture pieces (for example, a swing chair), eccentric wall art, dramatic fixtures, walls painted with art murals, or other fun props that tie to your theme. 

By making your vacation rental more “Instagrammable”, you’ll attract the type of guest who is likely to take photos at your property and share them on their own social media accounts—which means free promotion and user-generated content!

luxurious bedroom mood board plan

Tips for Decorating your Vacation Rental

When planning your vacation rental purchases, think about what makes you comfortable and impressed when you stay in a hotel. Guests want to feel at home and comfortable in your home, so try to curate the best possible experience for your guests. Throw in some fun decor elements to your vacation rental mood board and go the extra mile with your vacation rental essential items.

Where to Shop

One of the most creative and fun parts of hosting is decorating your space! There are key elements and pieces that every successful vacation rental should have. For hosts, Amazon is great for checking off all those essential items! I love amazon for the ease of just ordering items, that can 100% be returned. From basics to unique decor finds use my list to make your place an amazing place to stay. 

For higher-end brands like Article, West Elm, Lulu & Georgia, CB2, and Urban Outfitters, you can use Minoan, a free platform where hosts can get steep discounts on over 200 brands.

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This article originally appeared in ​​​Andrea’s Mamma Mode Blog.

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Andrea Clarkson

Airbnb Ambassador and Designer

Mamma Mode is the place for hosts to elevate their hosting game, increase bookings and spark creative ideas! Andrea is an Airbnb Ambassador and Designer who loves to teach new hosts how to confidently and powerfully start their own Airbnbs. If you are planning to start your hosting adventure, or are a seasoned host, you’re in the right place! Andrea also has an online shop filled with useful templates for new hosts that you can find on her blog! 


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