Zen. In a world that is increasingly noisy and busy, how can we find more zen?
Many people are using Airbnb to find their inner peace, carving out a weekend to go away on a personal retreat. Whether your rental is beside a babbling brook or a bus stop, it’s easy to create a restful space that appeals to this category of guests.
Don’t worry – mindfulness is not just a fad!
Recent data shows that meditation and hiking activities are among the most trending Airbnb Experiences based on bookings, this year over last. And Airbnb’s 2019 interior design trend predictions point to a similar trend toward nature and mindfulness, like Green Is the New Black and Stay-in-imalism.
1. Use aromatics like candles or essential oils to gently activate the senses. Remember that each guest will have a different sensory preference so you may wish to offer a basket of scented items rather than spritzing them yourself. Let your guests choose which scents to utilize. To set the tone, you could add a note about fragrances in your welcome letter.
2. Choose natural materials for your furnishings, like wood and bamboo. Look for wooden tables, wooden spatulas, or small wood sculptures. Even a simple tray of pebbles can serve as an invitation for your retreating guest to breathe a bit deeper.
3. Plants can make your space feel fresh and calm. They are a design trend for a reason! Plants clean the air and bring aesthetic interest to what could otherwise be a stuffy space. For those with a black thumb, even fake plants help give the appearance of a lively retreat haven. A small bouquet of fresh flowers can do the trick, too.
4. Books about mindfulness. When a guest spots that meditation book or collection of Buddhist poetry on the shelf, they might feel extra inspired to relax.
5. Avoid appropriative decor. As you look for items to create a more peaceful environment, it may seem counterintuitive to avoid deity statues or calligraphic illustrations. But if you choose items, not from your culture, you run the risk of offending guests who are from that cultural background. It’s not a hard and fast rule. We live in a multicultural world, after all, and we can all appreciate items of beauty. Just remember that objects you find inspiring may have a completely different meaning for someone else.
6. Use natural light wherever possible. By adding sheer curtains behind heavy curtains, you give your guests the option to enjoy natural light in privacy. Try moving a chair or couch so it’s oriented towards the window. Arrange your space as an invitation to relax.
7. Soft furnishings provide serious comfort to retreat-goers. High-pile rugs, throw blankets, and soft robes give that extra dose of physical luxury. By providing items that help your guest’s body to relax, you help their mind relax, too.
8. Minimize overbearing electronics and tuck away cords. If you have a big TV, buy a simple cabinet to hide the flat screen. Tuck less-used kitchen appliances into the cupboards and leave a note about how to find them. By keeping electronics and cords out of sight as much as possible, you make it easy for someone on a retreat to focus on their inner state.
9. Negative space is a busy person’s best friend. The trend towards minimalism is here to stay! Rather than arranging knick-knacks together on a shelf, you might try displaying just one or two items, leaving lots of space in between. Look over your space with an eye towards clutter. What do you have more than five of? Can you reduce it to three and still serve your guest?
You can trust that mindfulness is a growing trend among many demographics, no matter your location. Cities are still a major destination for Airbnb guests, with the most popular North American cities in 2018 being New York City, Orlando, and Miami. Airbnb also announced a growing trend towards “more rustic and non-traditional digs” like nature lodges and yurts.
After all, relaxation and well-being will never go out of style!