Sterile or homey?

Funny, I just read an article in the New York Times that referred to someone staying in a “sterile Airbnb.” I had never thought of describing rentals that way, but yes — that’s pretty much right word for most of them–sterile. On the other hand, B&Bs — the forerunners to Airbnb, VRBO,, etc.- conjure up the words “cozy and homey,” probably in part because B&B hosts usually live in the homes they rent, and they work hard to create the right atmosphere for their guests.

It’s really not that difficult to go from sterile to cozy. For example, look at these three pictures, each one placed all by its lonesome on a huge wall. These would look so much nicer grouped on one wall. They are too small to work individually on these large walls. It’s not “better” to have something on every wall if the somethings are not scaled to the size of the wall. Incidentally, these are also hung too high. Pictures should be placed at eye-level for the average person, not eye-level for a giraffe.

I can’t rearrange these because it’s not my rental, and you may be saying, “is it really that important?” Maybe not. But it will mean the difference between a review that says, “Rental X is an adorable house, beautifully decorated,” and “Rental X is clean and functional.” Which one would you be most likely to consider? Which would you be more likely to pay $10, $15 per night more for?

Stay tuned for more examples! Wouldn’t you love to change the perception of the New York Times? Host for the Most!

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