Airbnb Room Makeover

It’s now been two years since I began opening my home to Airbnb guests. Here’s a little trip down memory lane to show you how I began and the improvements I’ve made along the way. It was a very simple beginning!


July 2014 as I opened up my guest room to Airbnb

I had taken a trip to California by way of Seattle with my daughter, her husband and their baby. We booked our very first Airbnb in Seattle. It was a good solution to find a reasonably priced place for all four of us near the airport. When it came time to fill out my evaluation of the Airbnb place we stayed in, I decided to become an Airbnb host in my own home. To be honest, I’d been thinking about it, but figured I’d better try it out first to see how it works.

Only July 1, 2014, I put words and pictures together to create my listing on Airbnb. By July 4th, I had my first guests. I was worried, because I had listed my place as “quiet” but no one can promise quiet on the 4th of July! My first guests had been on a camping trip across the country. Even thought it was a very hot day at 101 degrees F and a noisy evening, they were in heaven to sleep in a real bed, do their laundry here, and spread out for a change.


Amber and Zebulun, my first Airbnb guests ever, on July 4th, 2014



A few months later – nicer, but basic none the less


One of my favorite changes was this new duvet cover I found on


December 2014, time for an accent wall using “Bitter Chocolate” by Behr Paints


Late December 2014

A fresh coat of paint, lamps, and one of my favorite photos taken from my trip to India of a woman who cooked chapatis for us. The photo was taken in a Bishnoi Eco Village and printed on bamboo by Plywerk, a local Portland company at that time.


Spring 2015

New drapes from IKEA and a desk at the prompting of Blandine, my third guest, who said a desk would be nice addition to the space.


Robes from IKEA for just $19 each which added a spa-like touch.


New desk detail

I bought a handcrafted desk at Main Street Trader, a family run business in Vancouver, Washington. The woman who sold it to me shared that her father had made it. I lined the desk with thick gift wrap paper from Cost Plus World Market keeping the India theme going.


Bathroom before


Bathroom After

Shower curtain that matches the duvet in the guest bedroom and new photo from the Bishnois Eco Village for this space. Costco white towels and wash cloths.


Dispenser from Bed, Bath & Beyond

I installed this dispenser in the guest bath. It allows me to use bulk shampoo, conditioner and Dr. Bronner’s soap and not have bottles around the tub when I clean. Love it!

So know that your room doesn’t have to be fancy. It’s okay to start where you are at and then use the money you make to invest back into your room. I am grateful for the income generated toward improving my home, paying for health insurance and much of my mortgage. Airbnb has been a nice compliment to being retired.

So I will close with a nice surprise I found when I returned home after attending the Airbnb Open event for Hosts in November 2014. Glasses that I use for my guests who left me a message. Airbnb guests are the best ever!


Glasses from Cost Plus Market

I will be doing a post soon on my favorite items I use in my Airbnb. When you wash sheets multiple times a week and clean often, you get to know what works and doesn’t. Stay tuned for that within the next month.

Let me know if you’ve thought about hosting and how you made the transition from guest to host in the comments below. Thanks


  1. Patricia Moak says:

    The paint colors you used are beautiful and add warmth to the room. It has a very peaceful feel about it.


  2. seweverythingblog says:

    Interesting post! I’m looking forward to reading more posts about your AirBnB experiences. 🙂


  3. Victoria says:

    Las Vegas doesn’t allow short term Airbnb without paying approx $1000 in fees in advance. As I understand it they do allow long term over 31 days. So today I filled out a profile and I’m going to see if there’s anyone that would like to stay that long. I am actually doing it because you Kathy have had such a good experience and sounds fun.
    Wish me luck!


  4. bonita davis says:

    What a beautiful, restful space. You used so many creative ideas. Lovely.


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