The rise of homestay websites such as Airbnb over the past decade has revolutionised the way we travel. Terrifying stories about bookings for baby showers that have morphed into raves aside, it has also offered a handy means of making an income for anyone with a second home, or even just a room to rent. But in a crowded marketplace, how do you make your rooms stand out from the rest?
It’s a question that London-based entrepreneur Nakul Sharma aimed to answer in 2014 when he launched Hostmaker, a property-management company that helps people to increase the profile of their home online (and, Sharma claims, its returns – by up to 39 per cent). The company’s in-house design team, At Home, is key to this, offering anything from advice on furnishing a space to full-scale revamps. It has developed into an interior-decorating service in its own right, with a team of 16. Often working to short lead times of two to four weeks, they make visually striking but not necessarily expensive changes to decorating schemes, to create an inviting interior that will catch the eye. It’s an approach that works for those with a homestay property, but also one that can be applied to creating a welcoming mood in any space, whether or not you are planning to rent it out.