How the right wallpaper can boost your AirBnB holiday rental

How the right wallpaper can boost your AirBnB holiday rental

Standing out in the bustling world of holiday rentals where thousands of options are at your fingertips and potential guests look at and discard properties within a few seconds is not a luxury but a vital necessity. Whether you advertise your holiday apartment on AirBnB,, VRBO, TripAdvisor or Expedia, the rules of the game have changed. The days when you could attract guests with a clean, affordable place are gone. It's no longer about simply providing a place to stay; it's about creating an experience, selling a concept your guests can visualise.

A generic, uninspired space might secure bookings, as long as it’s well positioned and cheaper than the competitors, but it won't leave a lasting impression. Competing solely on price is a race to the bottom that ends up compromising the quality of your guests' experience, something that will be reflected in their reviews. What can you do, as an AirBnB property owner, to stem the tide and make your holiday home more appealing without investing large sums of money? With years of experience in helping landlords and small hospitality businesses, my professional advice is to go creative and embrace the art of interior design. Rejecting conventions and creating a unique look that your guests will remember long after they checked out is the key to capturing their hearts and moving beyond the price battle! The goal of this article is to guide you through various ways to put together appropriate concepts in an effective yet budget-conscious way, providing you with step-by-step instructions to carve your own space in the busy rental world.

Make your AirBnB property more inviting with a wallpaper

One thing must be made clear: to truly resonate with your guests, it's crucial to align your property's aesthetic with their expectations. You need to create a visual effect that will make potential customers stop browsing and say, “wait a minute, this place looks cool”. There is a variety of ways to achieve this, but the one that brings the most bang for your buck is incorporating a striking patterned wallpaper in your design to create a unique feature wall. A well-chosen wall décor can instantly bestow personality and provide a narrative, from elegant patterns that provide a touch of luxury to vibrant prints that capture the essence of a locale.
However, this does not mean that you can just hop online, buy the first wallpaper you like and hope for the best results. That would be too easy… I am afraid you will have to do your homework and indulge in a spot of market research to understand the demographics and preferences of your typical guest. I recommend that you take a good look at the insights from AirBnB analytics, competitor analysis, and local attractions to inform your design choices. Don’t forget that your wallpaper should not only appeal to your personal taste but also cater for the desires, requirements and aspirations of your guests.


The psychology of colours in wallpaper also plays a profound role in shaping the guest experience. Patterns add to the impact, with florals creating a tranquil atmosphere and geometrics injecting a sense of modernity. Consider the mood you wish to evoke in each room and choose accordingly. Complement your choices with considered lighting (natural light to create a sense of openness and artificial light to highlight the wallpaper details), ensuring that the overall ambience supports the general narrative of your property.

There is a lot more to discuss on this topic. If you are interested in further details or professional tips on how to use wallpaper to increase the appeal of your rental property, I strongly recommend you read the following article: “Make your AirBnB rental feel more inviting with the help of wallpaper”.

How wallpaper can make a small AirBnB rental property feel more spacious

A change in the design of your rental property might be driven by reasons that go far beyond mere aesthetic appeal. Some of the areas in your AirBnB could be too small, too narrow, with low ceilings. On the other hand, they might be too big and unfocussed. A cleverly selected wallpaper design can help significantly, influencing your guest's perception of space and making each room look bigger or more spatially balanced. Considering the transformative effect it has on most spaces, I feel this unique power is sometimes underappreciated! Let’s see in more detail how you can turn a single wall into a magic trick:

Strategic wallpaper placement creates depth

If a room feels too cramped, a strategically placed wallpaper can create an illusion of depth, a well-documented effect of feature walls. For instance, choosing a wallpaper with a receding pattern or image, such as a monochromatic cityscape or a distant horizon, can visually 'push' the walls outwards. This visual trickery makes the room seem larger than its actual dimensions. To enhance this effect, select a wall opposite a natural light source for the wallpaper; this maximises the depth-creating interplay of shadow and light, creating a sense of spaciousness.


Balancing wallpaper patterns with furniture placement

While the choice of the right wallpaper is key, achieving a harmonious balance with the furniture is an essential part in optimising the perceived size of the room. A common mistake is allowing large, bulky furniture to dominate the space, which can hamper the effect even of the most carefully chosen wallpaper. Opt for furnishings with a lower profile; pieces that don't rise too high can help the room feel more open. Allow the wallpaper to function as an anchor for the room's theme and choose pieces that complement it without competing for attention. In smaller rooms, consider furniture that can double as storage to maintain a clutter-free environment that showcases your wallpaper choice.

Wallpapers creating an illusion of space

Some wallpaper designs are better suited than others when it comes to creating the illusion of space and making your guests feel like they are staying in a house larger than the actual floor space:

  • Vertically striped wallpapers
    Vertical stripes tend to always raise the ceiling height, at least visually. By drawing the eye upward, these stripes make the walls seem taller, creating the illusion of a more spacious room. This effect is most pronounced in rooms with limited square footage or lower ceilings.
  • Nature landscape wallpapers
    Using wallpapers with nature landscapes, especially those with depth of field, can significantly open up a room. A wallpaper mural featuring a forest path, ocean view, or mountain range invites the outdoors in and extends the room's perceived depth.

The importance of colours

The colour palette of your wallpaper also has a significant impact on the perception of space. Light hues and pastels help brighten a room and reflect more light, making the space feel open and airy. Darker shades create a cosy, enveloping effect but might also make a room feel smaller. In other words: for smaller rooms or those with limited natural light, stick with softer colour schemes.

Choosing the right model and ensuring its pattern complements the size and style of the furniture while maintaining a cohesive look that enhances the overall spaciousness of the room is the secret here.

If you are curious to find out more about this topic, you can head to my post on how to pick wallpapers for high walls and ceilings or, if you are dealing with a narrow hallway, you can check out my article Visually enlarge a narrow hallway: Tips and tricks when using wallpaper.

Can a wallpaper selfie wall promote your AirBnB rental?

It’s astonishing how much impact social media have in shaping a wide range of businesses, including the travel segment. Industry research shows that over 40% of respondents indicated that social media influenced their travel decisions, with financial services, retail, and healthcare following (at 25%, 22%, and 21%, respectively). This is even more pronounced among younger generations, as millennials are far more likely to rely on social media for advice and inspiration. As the owner of a holiday property in this digitally driven landscape, you must come to terms with this shift and take advantage of it, creating spaces that aren't just comfortable but also visually captivating, for instance 'instagrammable' wallpaper selfie walls that will appeal to social media-savvy guests.


A unique designer wallpaper is an easy way to create a photo-ready corner that guests are eager to share, thus amplifying your online visibility and integrating your space into the narrative of their travels. However, the right wallpaper is just the starting point, as lighting and colour coordination are key elements in setting the scene for that perfect guest selfie. Be proactive and think about anticipating the best camera angles and positions to capture those special moments, subtly guiding your guests to the perfect shot. Once you have generated some buzz online, it’s important to develop a social media strategy, creating a compelling narrative for your property, crafting unique hashtags, and engaging with guests to foster a sense of community around your AirBnB.

There is a lot to cover and if you are curious to find out more, I suggest you head to the following article “Can a wallpaper selfie wall promote your AirBnB rental?

How to best present your feature wall in an AirBnB listing

Having worked out all the details on how to spruce up your property and create an attractive space, it’s now time to discuss how to show it off to your potential future guests. If you have been in the rental business in the last ten years, you should know why some properties get snapped up faster than others: it's all in the pictures!
Studies show that guests often make their decision within seconds based on the visuals of a listing. How to get the best possible pictures for your new feature wall is a crucial point we should discuss in detail:

  • Should you pick a professional or go DIY?
    Should you hire a pro photographer or just rely on DIY? Here's the thing: professionals bring expertise in capturing the essence of a room. They understand how to use light to make your wallpaper look vibrant. It’s an investment I feel is worth making! However, if budget is a concern, consider investing in a good quality camera and learning some basic photography skills. Quick snapshots from your camera phone are not going to cut it…
  • First impressions count
    Think of the first picture in your listing like your front door: it should provide a ‘wow’ moment that invites guests in. Choose a room to adorn with a striking wallpaper that sets the tone for the whole property. Living rooms or bedrooms are usually a good option.
  • Angles and perspectives
    The right angle can dramatically alter how wallpaper looks in photos. Try shooting from corners to give a sense of space and depth. Avoid direct frontal shots as they can make the room look flat. Experiment with different heights and angles to find the most beneficial perspective for your wallpaper.
  • The subtle art of accessorising
    Accessories can make a room feel homely and lived-in without cluttering it. They should complement the wallpaper and not compete with it. For instance, if you picked a bold motif, go for subtle, neutral accessories. If your wallpaper is more understated, a few carefully chosen, colourful accessories can add personality.
  • Props that sell the dream
    This is where you can get truly creative. Imagine the best possible holiday experience your property can offer and provide props that reflect this lifestyle. A pair of chic coffee mugs on a balcony table, a book by the window, or wine glasses by the hot tub all suggest relaxation and comfort, inspiring guests to imagine themselves in the space.
  • Avoid personal photos
    Here's a tip - don't include people in your photos. This can actually be a turn-off for potential guests, as they need to envision themselves in the space, and other people can disrupt this mental image. Focus on the rooms and its features instead.


  • Embrace minimalism
    When it comes to taking photographs of your space, less is often more. Clutter distracts from the main attractions – your wallpaper and the room's best features! Use furniture sparingly, allowing the wallpaper to stand out. Think of the room as a gallery showcasing your wallpaper.
  • A secondary colour focal point with a local flavour
    Alongside your main wallpaper, you could also incorporate a secondary colour focal point to add depth and variety to the visual palette. Choose something that reflects the local flavour of your neighbourhood or local culture, it will help making the space feel more grounded and less generic.

Make sure the wallpaper is immaculate for your photo shoot: no peeling corners or marks. Also use as much natural light as possible. Nothing sells a room like it being bathed in the warm glow of the sun!

Using wallpaper to give your AirBnB a unique identity

As we discussed above, in the current AirBnB market it's not just about offering a place to stay; it's about providing an experience that resonates with guests. Creating something special and impressive infused with a local vibe yet able to appeal to international guests might seem a tall order, especially when you only have a tight budget to play with. But fear not: the right wallpaper can transform an ordinary room into a space with a story, an atmosphere, a vibe that guests connect with, creating the sense that this is a place that they can't find anywhere else. This doesn’t just mean slapping on any old wallpaper; it requires thoughtful consideration of many details, e.g. aligning the design with both the property's location and its overall look. It's about creating a consistent theme without breaking the bank, repurposing what you already have, and giving the place a fresh feel.

Coordinating wallpaper with existing décor

Most holiday homes come with existing furniture, and the trick is to make it all work together. Start by assessing your current setup - the colour palette, style, and patterns. Then choose a wallpaper that complements and emphasises these elements. Whether your space has a classic charm or a modern edge, there's always a wallpaper that will fit the bill. The right accessories (like cushions, throws, or artwork) can tie in with your wallpaper, completing the theme. Remember, it's about harmony, not a complete overhaul.


Go creative with the theme

When it comes to themes, there's a world of options and picking the right one for you depends on both your creative juices and, of course, the type of rental property you are trying to market. For example, for a beachfront property go tropical with ocean-inspired wallpapers paired with light, delicate furniture and beachy accessories. In city environments, embrace urban chic with industrial-style wallpapers, complemented by metal and leather accents. For a countryside feel, classic wallpapers paired with vintage décor create a warm, inviting space. Don't forget the power of a single standout design piece to anchor your theme, whether it's a unique light fixture or a striking piece of art. The key is balance - you want your guests to feel at home, not overwhelmed by the theme.
If you would like to know more about and be inspired by a variety of possible themes and matching accessories that might fit your AirBnB, I discussed this pivotal topic in more detail in the following article: Using wallpaper to give your AirBnB a unique identity.


How do I keep the wallpaper in my AirBnB rental property clean?

If you have followed the steps above, you have placed yourself in an excellent position to improve your standing amongst a crowded competition and let your property thrive. However, like all things in life a good start is only half the race. A wonderful and unique selfie wall only remains attractive as long as it’s properly cared for. Keeping the wallpaper in your AirBnB property in pristine condition is paramount to ensure it remains attractive and marketable. I understand this is not always easy, as holiday homes are subject to a level of wear and tear far higher than a normal home. Guests come and go, luggage scrapes along the walls and people tend to care a little less about the environment they are in when they are on holiday. Here are a few tips that will help you keep your creative space in the best possible shape:

  • Get some luggage racks
    Invest in good-quality luggage racks to provide a designated space for guests to place their bags and suitcases. It's a practical solution that prevents luggage from resting against your wallpapered walls causing scuffs or tears. Place these racks in bedrooms or entryways, making it convenient for guests while also protecting your décor.
  • Dust your walls between guests
    Just like any other surface in your home, wallpaper can accumulate dust over time. To maintain its appearance, use a soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to gently remove dust and dirt. Be sure to do this carefully, especially if the wallpaper has a textured surface, as it could be damaged by overly vigorous cleaning.
  • Invest in robust wallpaper for high-traffic areas
    Consider using vinyl or scrubbable wallpapers in high-traffic areas like corridors and entrance halls. These models are specifically designed to withstand the rigours of frequent cleaning and touching. They are more durable and can be wiped down with a damp cloth, making them ideal for areas like hallways and living rooms.
  • Help carry your guests’ luggage when they check in
    Offering to assist with luggage during check-in isn't just showing hospitality; it's a strategic move to protect your walls! By helping guests, you control how luggage is moved through the space, preventing bumps and scrapes that can occur when guests carry heavy bags. They will love the help and you can use the opportunity to offer some guidance and do some bonding!
  • Deal with damage to the walls in the right way (and straight away)
    When damage happens, it's crucial to act immediately. Small tears or marks can often be cleaned or repaired without the need for replacing an entire section of wallpaper. Keep a small repair kit handy, including matching wallpaper scraps, adhesive, and a sponge for cleaning. For more significant damage, don't dilly-dally and patch up or replace the affected area immediately to ensure your property always looks its best.

Implementing these steps will not only help maintain the visual appeal of your precious instagrammable areas but will also demonstrate to your guests that you take pride in providing a well-cared-for space for them, which will reflect positively in reviews.

If you found this article interesting and would like to take a closer look at some of the topics I touched upon, you can click on the following links: