How To Host With Style

It’s time to re-style your holiday house. The world of Airbnb’s and holiday rentals is a very popular one these days so why not? The time is now! Putting a bit of effort into your property could be a great investment (not to mention a fun project too!). And nothing makes me happier when I check into a rental property where everywhere I look delights and surprises. It's the little things that really make a difference, and the ultimate goal is for your guests to leave their stay with a story, a memory, or a feeling they’ve never experienced before.

We have just re-styled our holiday house, The Tasman Secret (@thetasmansecret) which is located in our beautiful quiet coastal town of Manyana NSW. So I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share some tips I've learned along the way... 

If you could imagine your 'dream' accommodation, what would it look like? If you could stay anywhere in the world how would it be styled? How does the space make you feel? What are the special details that have been considered that make you feel that way? The key to creating the perfect retreat is to ensure that the experience (and yes - it must be an experience, not just a place to rest your head) you are creating is as nice or much nicer than where you live - a place that offers a one-of-a-kind, memorable experience like no other.

The experience begins as soon as your guests walk through the front door. That moment of hesitation as you first enter is always a little nerve racking...But this is where first impressions are made - so they need to be good! What is your immediate reaction? What do you see? How does it smell?

Focal points are a great way to bring that wow factor into your home.  It could be anything from a piece of furniture, a clever art gallery wall, or a bold and stylish wallpaper print.  We sourced this amazing large glass Almirah or glass showcase (or I like to call 'curiosity cabinet') for the front entry and filled it with foraged collections and treasures that tell stories of where we have been and what we have found. It was so important that we created that 'wow' factor as soon as our guests entered the front door. We wanted to lure them in, to want to see more... the Almirah and the collections it houses are merely a taste of what is to come...

We have also included curated focal points throughout the house - large, oversized artworks, creative shelf displays, and layers of 'stories'. But another favourite piece is the large oversized floor mirror in the master bedroom that makes for a grande luxurious gesture (you'll have to visit to see that one!).


As you would already know, I love vintage pieces. Pieces that tell a story. Where have they come from? What would they have been used for in their past life? This is what we aim to achieve with our interiors. If your house is feeling cold and stark or lacking that 'personailty' then bring some soul by adding vintage pieces with character and charm. As well as incorporating our one-of-a-kind vintage Indian and Chinese pieces we had collected on our travels and sourcing trips, I had such a great time exploring antique stores and op shops to find other special little treasures. Injecting life and stories into your interior definitely brings warmth to any home. It's all about the 'mix and match', the 'old and new' and bringing these pieces together to create a 'collected', yet curated look. 

In our master bedroom, we used a vintage Indian ceiling panel as a bed head. I found this piece on a sourcing trip through India - it was leaning against the wall covered in dust, and I only just caught it out of the corner of my eye - I knew I had to have it and I knew straight away what I was going to use it for! And I'm so glad I found it! It's always been a talking piece, and the room would not evoke the same feel without it. It is such a grand feature piece that we've balanced out with large woven pendants on either side that had a rounded shape to soften the hard lines in the room.


When in doubt, white on white always looks refreshing on beds. This is always a debateable topic, and although it seems impractical, I find it the easiest to work with as it is easy to clean and maintain because you can always soak it in bleach to remove any stains. Keep your palette relatively neutral and soft, rather than adding in bright colours. Remember, people are on holidays, your goal is to help them relax... It's okay to play it safe with muted tones in the bedrooms!

It's also nice to create extra layers (visual and textural) to create a welcoming bedroom - an oversized throw over the end of the bed, extra pillows (including one with pattern) and a rug under the bed offers an inviting feel. 

I think the beauty of Airbnb is that it can be the complete opposite of cold and sterile hotels. You are able to feel at home in a foreign place. When decorating The Tasman Secret, I purposely didn't want it to feel like a hotel. We travel a lot and I've stayed in a whole range of hotels, and believe me, most are cold, sterile and lonely places - not inspiring at all and I can't wait to get home! This is where the little things come into play... the fragrance, the lighting, the decorative features, the mood... Leave some personal touches like foliage, fresh flowers or thoughtful accents that you normally wouldn't see in a hotel. We've styled items we've collected on our travels throughout the house - everywhere you look there is a story to tell or a question to be asked. A spark of curiosity. You could even go as far as leaving a little basket with bread, local jams and wine etc. We've provided only the best hand soaps, dishwashing liquids, body washes... these are the details that become unforgettable and those thoughtful gestures are what it’s all about- creating a cosy haven your guests won't want to leave!

Ultimately it's all about the experience, the story and about creating memories. We have created The Tasman Secret as a place to 'lose and find' yourself... and it's through all of those thoughtful details that this message is conveyed. If you'd like to experience it for yourself, you can book online here... I'd love to welcome you as your host! But in the meantime, enjoy the process, and never forget what it is you'd like your guests to remember... x