DESIGNING AN AIRBNB RENTAL IN SOUTHEND-ON-SEA

Out of the blue, this summer I was contacted by Fresh Kidz Lets, a company based in Southend-on-Sea who bought and renovated run down flats to then jazz them up and put on the short term letting market (most of the time, Airbnb). Since a) I like designing and b) I love using Airbnb's I was well up for it. I was even more up for it when Yemi, the founder (and now friend), was like 'do what you like. I trust you'. 

WHAAAAT! This is music to the ears of any designer. And trust me he did. I was basically allowed to do what I wanted.

THE BRIEF

Yemi wanted something to suit weekend travellers, couples mainly. Fresh Kidz lets have a theme of naming properties after music, so this one was named 'The Love Below' after Andre 3000s seminal work from 2003 (such a freakin' good album) which triggered the idea for the design scheme. 

The budget was very small which helped me to get creative and made me look at some options that I might not have before! Was a good challenge as a designer I think, even if it can be a little stressful at times. The fact that it was going to be rented out on Airbnb helped me make some decisions too. It meant I could be a bit more crazy - after all people are looking for something that's a bit different to their home and is totally instagrammable!

Now because this was my first flat with his company I didn't wanna go too crazy - because most people's crazy is my version of tame. So I decided on cool, but edgy, and I went for a bit of a boutique hotel vibe. 

These were the plans...

BEDROOM

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In the bedroom I was super keen on doing black glossy walls with bright colour pops for the furniture and accessories. I wanted it to feel cool, sexy and a bit retro in this room, so I went for the dark style with a neon sign to give it a pop. Think 70s sleazy motel but like, way cooler. And Of course I made sure to include a ridiculously comfy mattress from my fave mattress brand, eve. 

Pieces:

Alana gold bed, £349 from Made.com

Arnie clothes rail, £18 from Habitat

Bumble side table, £70 from Habitat

Zans velvet cushion cover, £50 from The Cuzon Market

Custom neon sign, POA, Bag & Bones

Vintage film noir poster, Etsy, from £6.95

eve memory-foam double mattress, £599

LIVING ROOM

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In the living room I wanted something bright and fresh. I decided on ice cream pink walls with a paprika red velvet sofa. Who says that red and pink is a colour clash hey? I wanted to connect all of the rooms in the flat by using the same flooring throughout - I knew I wanted something black and white, perhaps diamonds (I actually ended up going for something slightly different to the above). Even though this was a low budget flat I still wanted it to have some luxe finishes like velvet and brass. 

PIECES

Atworth Red Velvet sofa bed, Willow & Hall, £1320 - Can I just say...  how gorgeous is this for a sofa bed?! I think it's possibly the best sofa bed I've ever seen.. you'd never even know that there was a bed concealed in there! This was definitely the star piece of the whole property. 

Martini side table, West Elm, £159

Crosley record player, Urban Outfitters, £89

Pink cushion cover, H&M Home, £12.99

White geo cushion cover, H&M home, (similar here), £3.99

TILES FOR THE BATHROOM AND KITCHEN

I didn't get heavily involved in the design of the bathroom and kitchen this time round, but I did get to pick out some uber cool tiles from British Ceramic Tile for use in both areas. For the kitchen I chose the from the Feature Floors HD distinction range, the grey matt wall & floor tile which has an incredible marble effect like so... 

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and then I chose the White Gloss Wall tile from the cosmopolitan range and decided to lay them out as demonstrated on their website as I thought it was an interesting adaption to the usual brick style subway tiling we see so often. 

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Now I'll let you in on a little secret... the flat is finished and there are a few more extra fun surprises. Just for a laugh, here's what the living room started out like before the renovation... 

It's like a completely different place now! Here's how it looked before the reno.

It's like a completely different place now! Here's how it looked before the reno.

I'll be doing a reveal within the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes peeled!

S x