This week, I am turning into the hostess with the mostest to welcome our latest Airbnb guests, who are coming all the way from British Columbia in Canada. We started hosting on Airbnb just three years ago during the London 2012 Olympics as we are really close to Stratford, and we loved having guests so much, we just continued after the Games were over. Our townhouse has four bedrooms and with only one small person (aka Stella), we rarely use more than two or three rooms at a time so it's great to make the most of our guest room. And of course it doesn't hurt that we make a few bucks in the process, while we meet great people from around the world. Airbnb is a brilliant community of travellers and hosts and has totally changed the hospitality landscape. If you're not familiar with the concept and platform, click here to find out what it's all about.
Before my guests arrive, I usually unleash my inner Monica (from Friends... It's a nickname I earned due to my mild OCD with cleanliness and tidiness...) and get the room ready to compete with a luxury hotel (well, one can dream right?!). So I thought I'd share my 5 tips to add that boutique hotel feel to your own bedroom (or guest room).
1. Invest in a headboard
I do love a headboard, it's so quintessentially British! It creates a focal point and is the first thing you spot when you enter a bedroom. It's also super comfy when you chill in bed reading the papers or watching TV... You can buy a whole bed with a headboard included (ours is from Furniture Village. No, I am not kidding...) or use any old cheap bed frame and just buy a fabulous headboard separately - that way you can keep your existing bed and save a few $$. Loaf have a fantastic range, most under the £500 mark.
2. Work on your lighting
SUPER important. Nothing worst than lying in bed and only have a ceiling chandelier or spotlights as your main light source... Actually there is worse: having to get up to switch off the lights when falling asleep... Two bedside lamps are a must on top of the main light. Dimmer switches are also a nice touch. I would also add a floor lamp to the mix... We had two Muuto pendant lamps installed instead of traditional table lamps and added dimmers and it works beautifully and add a bit of fun to the room.
3. Add a piece of art
It doesn't have to cost the earth, but a funky piece of art really finishes the look of a room. In our master bedroom, I recently added a framed print from The Loft and Us called 'Dream a Little Bigger'. It's on my side of the bed so it's the first thing I see when I wake up, and it sets the tone for my day...
4. Don't scrimp on bed linen
I know it's tempting to go super cheap when buying bed linen (I can get lost for hours in the bedroom section of Ikea alone...), especially if you buy plain white bed sheets, but trust me, it's worth investing. Quality white bed linen feels crisp and soft at the same time, washes beautifully and if you buy a decent one you might even not need to iron it... My favourites are from John Lewis or The White Company.
5. Finish the look with some flower power
I have flowers in every room in the house. It adds colour, texture and brings a little bit of the outside world indoors. If you have the budget to get fresh flowers each week, it also makes the room smell divine. I have faux peonies in our bedroom by the window and it just adds that little freshness to the whole thing.
All photographs of Stella + the Stars' home in this post are by Jonathan Lappin Photography.