Meet the Design Team

At Hostmaker, we pride ourselves on hiring the best and brightest pigeons from around the world to make sure that in whatever way we service your home, we have a terrific team of people behind it. That’s just one of the ways we live up to our award-winning standards!
This month, we’re shining a spotlight on our dynamic design team: Laura, Siri and Georgina. From soft furnishings to complete interior makeovers, this tip-top trio have got you covered from start to finish. Take a look at some of their other wonderful creations, and find out how they can transform your own home here on our new interiors website.


Laura Ward

Hostmaker Designer since August 2016

Laura initially studied set design at Nottingham Trent University. She first worked for a creative team for  a design, interiors and lifestyle PR company based in Covent Garden for a year and a half.

After the world of design piqued her interest, Laura took a course in interiors at Chelsea College of Arts, and then worked for a traditional interior design company out in the Oxfordshire countryside before joining the Hostmaker team. We may be a bit biased, but we think it’s the best decision she’s ever made!

“I love working at Hostmaker for the freedom to imagine creatively for each exciting new space, and to bring vitality and personality to homes. The styling and final touches before the shoot is my absolute favourite part, and last minute buys at this stage means that I have got to know so many more local hidden gems of London, while seeking out florists, boutique shops and interior spaces.”

Favourite place in London: Upper Street & Camden Passage. It’s the perfect place for an inspiring stroll with all it’s unique design stores – and my favourite interior designers place – Abigail Ahern’s shop.

Current interior design trend that you are obsessed with: Nordic luxe. I love scandinavian design but the trend has become so much more sophisticated recently. Designing darker interiors with luxe metallics and dark paint colours is so much more appealing and allows for a far more dramatic and moody aesthetic. The streamlined shapes too make for harmonious but edgy interiors.

The home that you are most proud of: Davinder’s home in West London


Siri Thomassen

Hostmaker Designer since February 2017

Siri grew up in a small town in Norway, not too far from Oslo. Bit by the travel bug at a young age, Siri has also lived in Rome and Argentina. After finishing school, Siri decided to come to London to study Production for Film & TV at UAL for her bachelor’s degree. It was here, through her work with set design, that she discovered her passion for interiors.

“I love being a part of the design team. I’m pretty sure we will conquer the world at some point (just kidding!). But seriously. I love working with the girls – we’re always bouncing ideas off each other and we share the same vision of what we want Hostmaker design to be. As a team, we compliment each other so well, and we’re never scared to challenge ourselves and dream big. ”

Favourite place in London: I love east London, especially the Hackney area with its artsy vibe and all the independent shops. I can never get sick of Broadway Market on a Saturday morning, and walking along Regent’s canal, soaking in the sun, looking at all the beautiful house boats.

Current interior design trend that you are obsessed with: As a true Scandi I love natural, raw elements in design – neutrals & wood never fails. Having said that, Laura has lured me over to the dark side this summer… I’m totally in love with the dark and moody style (à la Abigail Ahern). It’s so fun playing around with dark and intense colours, mixing in really quirky accessories & plants.

The home that you are most proud of: Deepti’s luxury 3 bedroom flat in Kensington. We went really dark and moody, creating the perfect autumnal home!

Current interior design trend that you are obsessed with: The rustic lodge look, with large leather couches and sheepskin throws! It makes you want to dive in and snuggle up.

Quick design tip: Large lamps with Warm light bulbs always make a living room feel homely and welcoming!


Georgina Haslam

Hostmaker Design Project Manager since April 2017

After graduating from Loughborough University, Georgina started her career at a property management company, project managing the design of homes in their portfolio. Seeking a new challenge in a faster-paced environment, she came to the team wanting to utilise her skills in a company who really understood the importance of good design. Lucky for us, Hostmaker Design was the perfect fit!

“I love my team – they really make me look forward to coming to work everyday! They are very talented and I love helping create beautiful homes for our portfolio. I learn something new at every shoot we do – I loved interiors before, however, since joining Hostmaker I am beginning to gain a better knowledge of design, and the importance of putting thought and love into everything we do. It really shows in the final photos”

Favourite place in London: Angel – I had never been there before until we worked there for a few months over the summer and the girls showed me some of their favourite interior shops. I could wander the little alleyways in search of beautiful pieces for our projects for hours!

Current interior design trend that you are obsessed with: I am really excited about the festive season coming! I love christmas and everything about it – I can’t wait for the furs, warm colours and open fires.

The home that you are most proud of: Lisa and Adam’s gorgeous home in Islington. The whole process went so smoothly and the hosts were always so helpful in picking out particular signature items. We had lots of space to play with including a lovely terrace!


Take a look at some of their other wonderful creations on our Pinterest portfolio, or read about other hosts who have been left delighted with their design services.

Tips to make your guests’ trip a summery delight

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If you’re lucky, you’ll be escaping to some guaranteed sunshine over the summertime (even perhaps to a Hostmaker home in Rome, Barcelona, or Paris!). This leaves your home empty and ready for guests, the height of the high season – the perfect time to put your home to work and earn a little extra pocket money!

At Hostmaker, we’re all about making sure that your guests are happy – after all, happy guests mean more 5* reviews, and a happy host! So, why not make sure that your guests’ summer holidays are just as lovely as yours? We asked our Guest Experience team and the team over at Hostmaker Design to give us their top tips on how to make your guests’ trip a summer-y delight.

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Lighten and brighten up your bed and sofa

Pick loud, on-trend, botanical print cushion covers and pair them with other muted tones to create a nice balance.Soft linen blankets are a lighter touch to add for the sunny months, keeping things comfy and making sure your seating still looks inviting and luxurious.

Become one with nature

Buy some recycled glass vases to fill up with your favourite summer florals – guests love fresh flowers and bold sunflowers are always a favourite. Or, mix plentiful gypsophila with white roses for an elegant but affordable touch. For something extra special, go for rich purple sweet-peas. Read more about our love of all things green here.

Be the host with the most

Welcome your guests to the UK in proper British fashion by including all of the fixings to make Pimms, and strawberries and cream in your welcome pack! They’ll be sure to serve you some ace reviews in return!

Add some summery scents

We’re big fans of reed diffusers and candles here at Hostmaker. This summer, look out for ones such as ‘sea air’ or ‘spring blossoms’, to dot around your home.

Encourage your guests to take the view from the top

Summertime in London means only one thing – taking in the views of the city from one of its many rooftop bars! Make a special list for your guests of all of the best places in town to grab a sundowner or two – our personal favourites are the Rooftop Bar and Grill at The Boundary or Proud Camden.

Look outwards instead of inwards

If you have a garden, terrace or patio to look out onto, rearrange your lounge furniture away from your fireplace or TV, and towards the great outdoors. Maybe even string up a few fairy lights in the trees, or take that old barbecue out of storage. Encourage your guests to take advantage of the longer summer days!

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If you’re looking to put your home to work this summer, use our pricing calculator to see how much you could make! Or, if you’re looking to transform your home, contact our team at Hostmaker Interiors at interiors@hostmaker.co!

Transforming your home in 2017

Our in-house interior design team are always looking out for the latest global trends in interior design, so that they can continue to wow our hosts with their fabulous creations. However, at Hostmaker we believe in going the extra mile. Which is why this week our design pigeons took off their paint-splattered overalls, and put on their thinking caps, and are proud to present to you: top trends to transform your home in 2017.

Ladies – take it away!


Sometimes taking inspiration from all the trendy ideas that are piled on Pinterest (or Pinterest’s trendy sister Tumblr)  can become overwhelming. What’s going to make your home stand out and get that superhost status we all strive for when you are wading through millions of pictures of things you desire?

Look no further than these 6 trends that are becoming the looks to have in your home this year! While some are newcomers, others have stood the test of time in 2016, and are exploding with more pizazz into 2017.

Dark colours to create a moody atmosphere

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Jim’s home in Baron’s Court

Dark green is said to be the frontrunner for all things hip this year. We’re suckers for a dark green velvet couch, but this isn’t exactly budget-friendly, so maybe wait a few bookings before buying the sofa of your (our) dreams.
Instead, why not try getting some dark green velvet cushions to complement any sofa you already have. Or get your hands dirty and paint a dark green feature wall in your lounge, to add interest to the room and change-up those old white walls. Why not go all in and paint a whole room to create a super moody vibe? Bring in some floor lamps and wall lights with warm bulbs, and you have a sophisticated room all of your guests will rave about.

Bring on the textures!

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Lucy’s apartment near The Shard

Mixing and matching textures is always in. It creates a depth to a living room or bed, and tjuzes the space up a bit. Put a chunky knit throw on a smooth leather chair, or three different textured cushions on a bed to add contrasting layers; it will make your guests want to dive on in, cosy up and feel right at home.

Funky lighting

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Rehan’s flat near West Kensington

Lighting always seems to be an afterthought when it comes to decorating a home, and in 2017 we want to change that for the better! Why not make the lights a feature in your home, bringing in an unexpected fun element that also brings warmth to the whole room?

Sputnik lights are always fun, and class up any space. A dominating floor lamp as an interesting piece can really give a room some oomph, and make it just as interesting as the guests coming through the door! Don’t forget to always use a warm bulb. This is a must, as it omits a warm ambience and makes your space feel homely and welcoming.

Fabric upholstered bed frames

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Rajeev’s home in Baron’s Court

If you’re wanting to go with more of a vintage vibe in your home, this is a simple way to pull your bedroom together, add a luxe feel and move away from the wooden frames that everyone seems to have these days.

An element of surprise

How to decorate your flat for Airbnb
Tamsin’s flat in Notting Hill

The word ‘home’ evokes a sense of safety and familiarity, and that is what we want for your guests when they arrive at your home. However ‘travel’ is associated with adventure, discovery and escapism. At Hostmaker, we always want to create a contradiction between comfort and discovery with our designs.

Comfort is always key, and relatively easy to achieve. However, adding an element of WOW can help give a home an adventurous side… just like your guests! This can be as simple as a bright yellow cushion in a room with dark painted walls – something that immediately grabs your attention when you walk in the room.


Taking these trends and making them your own is the best process in creating an interior you will love! We love to look at the surroundings of where our homes are and take inspiration from the atmosphere these locations provide, to help your guests feel like they are truly living like a local.

Tip of the week – creating a gallery wall

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times (and we’ll say it once more): when it comes to decorating your Airbnb, personality pays off. While it’s second nature for most hosts to try to emulate the design of their favourite five-star hotel, it’s a look that Hostmaker-designed homes try to avoid. Just remember – if your guests wanted to stay somewhere that looked like a hotel, they would have just booked a hotel!

Instead, your guests have made the incredibly wise choice (if we do say so ourselves) of booking a stay in your home, which we believe should reflect the unique style of yourself as the host, and the city that you live in.

Gallery walls are a quick, easy, no muss, no fuss way of adding a little extra pizzazz to your already beautiful home. And luckily, there are an infinite number of ways that you can achieve this modern interior design look. Here are a few of our favourites below!

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Take a lead from Sian. Don’t be afraid to mix colours, sizes and textures – the more the merrier! See more photos of her beautiful home here.

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You don’t have to stick to photographs, paintings and prints: why not frame a few of your favourite magazine covers to showcase to your guests your own personal interests?

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Despite the name, gallery ‘walls’ don’t actually have to be mounted on the wall; take lead from Paul, and layer them up against one another. A perfect solution for those who are constantly redecorating!

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Mixing colours doesn’t have to be reserved to just the prints. Using different colours of frames can help a blank wall pop that little bit more! See more photos of Ian’s home here!

Flowers and cacti and plants, oh my! Tip of the week

Roses are red, violets are blue, what is Hostmaker’s tip of the week for you? In case you haven’t already guessed: decorate your home with some flowers or a couple of potted plants.

If you’ve already spent a lot of money on furnishing and preparing your Airbnb for your guests, but it still feel like it’s missing something, this is a quick and easy way to help your Airbnb feel much more welcoming.

We’re not saying that you have to turn your home into a greenhouse! Even just a single, simple vase can add a touch of life and personality to any room. Take inspiration from some of our hosts below if you don’t believe us. And don’t worry if you don’t have a green thumb and need to buy fake plants instead – we won’t tell if you don’t!

Rajeev’s home is littered with little green accents that help bring it to life. See more here: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/12939200

Maria’s carefully placed pieces help bring the beautiful greenery from the outside world into her home: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/13844569

Sangita’s Sloane Square apartment takes it a step further by including framed artwork of plants on her walls: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/10072738

Amazing amenities: how to take your Airbnb to the next level

Think about the last time you stayed in an Airbnb.

Now, think about the last time you stayed in a Airbnb and were left wowed by the experience. Why was this? Most likely, it was a combination of things: the quality and uniqueness of the interior design; how you were made to feel right at home by whoever checked you in; your host giving you local shopping and dining recommendations to help you feel like a true local.

But as Airbnb experts, we know that there is one thing that every incredible Airbnb experience has in common: amenities. While these little touches are sadly sometimes overlooked by hosts, they are always appreciated by guests when they’re packing for their trip, and during their stay. Plus, according to one of Airbnb’s co-founders, amenities can also help you pocket a little extra cash per night:

“We’ve found that if you offer a hair dryer, you can make on average $10 more a night”

Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb Co-Founder

While providing simple amenities may seem like a no-brainer, you would be surprised as to how many hosts forget to have them ready for guests in their home, or include them on the Airbnb listing itself! If this is you, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Both of Hostmaker’s service options include all the basics that your guests will need.

Do you already have the basics down, and are looking to add a little extra guest appeal to your home? We like your style! Here are three extra tips for you achieving hosts out there:

Why not save your guests the last-minute panic buy at the airport and curate your own home library for them to use during their stay? Include everything from the books about the city, to the latest murder mystery bestseller.

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Or if you want to give your guests a more relaxing experience, provide some scented candles, reed diffusers and extra-special bathroom products to really help your guests unwind

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But, if you think that the fastest way to a guest’s heart is through their stomach, then we are right there with you. Curate a welcome basket for your guests, filled to the brim with delicious snacks, and complete with a handwritten welcome note! Or, if this all sounds like a little too much work, then consider Hostmaker’s Hands Off Hosting service. Not only will we fully manage your Airbnb home for you, but we also provide a welcome pack for each of our guests and all the amenities that they could need – just like a five star hotel!

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How to make your bed guest ready

As former hoteliers who look after 1,000 homes across four cities, we know one or two things about beds – we make hundreds of them every day! And as they also put one of the b’s in Airbnb, we take them very seriously.

All travellers know that coming home to a beautiful, comfy bed is the best possible way to end a busy day of shopping and sightseeing. As a result, beds can make or break your guests’ stay and even have a huge impact on your reviews.

With so much on the line for all of you hosts out there, we at Hostmaker have gathered our best tips and tricks, to give you a quick guide on how to make your bed guest ready. (You can thank us later!)

How to decorate your flat for Airbnb

Avoid the Hotel Look

This piece of advice comes straight from our Lead Designer herself!

I would actually go against the typical hotel-style bed; give the bed some personality and make it feel more like home” – Lauren Framp

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again (and again and again!) – the reason that guests are flocking to Airbnb for their travel accommodation needs? Not just to visit a city, but to live there. While we understand the temptation to go with what you know and imitate a 5-star hotel bed spread, you can give your guests this same 5-star experience with a bed that has character.

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Three is the Magic Number

The easiest way to do this without compromising on style? According to one of our Junior Designers, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

“Extra cushions and throw pillows will really make the bed feel homely – 3 is the best number as they will add something to the bed without going overboard, and it’ll help keep it symmetrical!” – Becky Marshall

Her other tip? An artfully draped throw or two. Don’t be afraid to mix textures and shades – consider different patterns or fabrics, lights and darks, or adding a bright pop of colour.

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Count Those Threads!

Not literally, obviously. But according to one of our Housekeeping Supervisors, while you may not want your bed to look like it belongs in a hotel, it should feel like it does.

“During my year-long training at a leading hotel group, I learned how to make beds properly. But when I make my bed at home, it never feels the same – even when I use the same techniques! Now I know that it’s the quality of the linen that makes the difference” – Océane Chamoret

We suggest always buying the highest quality linen you can can afford to help tuck your guests in tight each night. Prefer not to make this kind of investment? Hostmaker’s pay-as-you-go housekeeping includes top quality linen that is laundered, ironed, starched and delivered to your home each time you use our service!

All these little things – tip of the week

At Hostmaker, we know that part of the reason that modern-day travellers are choosing Airbnbs over hotels, is the desire to live like a local and have a home away from home!

Hostmaker’s tip of the week? Keep what makes your home unique and cosy; books, magazines, board games, or movies will help guests feel comfortable in your nest!

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Take a leaf out of Sasha’s book: his Hostmaker-designed home in Kensington is full of small details that reflect his personality and make his Airbnb more welcoming

While guidebooks and house manuals do help your guest get acquainted with the house and the area, nothing helps people feel more at home after a long day exploring, than getting comfy on the couch with some scrabble or a colouring book, and having a cozy night in. After all you’ve already shared your house with your guests – why not also share with them the things that help you unwind?

5 tips to decorate your home for Airbnb

You’ve heard the phrase looks can be deceiving? Well, your future Airbnb guests don’t agree. When deciding which city pad to pick for their holiday, guests rely heavily on the listing pictures – and they’ve got a discerning eye. That’s why having your home look its best in listing shots (and having it live up to that image when guests arrive) should be one of your top priorities when sharing your home on Airbnb.

We’ve already told you some of our favourite ways to make guests feel at home. But if your abode needs a little more TLC to appeal to guests – perhaps the decor is dated or too cluttered– allow us to offer 5 easy, quick wins that’ll have your listing attracting scores of guests. And scoring 5* reviews, too 😉

  1. Try a fresh coat of paint
    This is probably the easiest and most affordable way to improve a whole room – the colour of the walls has the power to affect your home’s entire energy. Neutral tones are a great blank canvas for your colourful, more personal touches, and there’s no chance of them putting any guests off. However, if you don’t want to play it safe, some of Farrow & Ball’s bright colours, like Citron No. 74 and St Giles Blue No. 280, are sure to add a whole new dimension to your space.
  2. Roll out a rug
    It’s important that your new home feels lived in as well as fresh – after all, that’s what adds the character that hotel-phobic Airbnb guests look for. A rug can be a great statement in any living space, complementing other furnishings while also adding a layer of comfort. And boldly patterned rugs are also an easy way to enhance a room’s style.
  3. Get arty
    Great art is another foolproof way to add colour and charm to an otherwise plain area – evolving its look and adding interest to attract guests. Pick out one or two key colours from your room, and look for art that has them within its palette. Art should work with a room, not against it, which means don’t choose Andy Warhol prints for your country-chic apartment. And remember to hang them with the centre at eye level.
  4. Shop around
    We’re masters of the home makeover (check out our Pinterest board if you don’t believe us), and we’ve found that the most unexpected places can throw up the best interior pieces. Zara has great statement end tables, eBay is amazing for mid-century modern gems, and Etsy is great for unusual prints and pictures. When shopping for trinkets for your home, don’t rule out any location before you’ve taken a peek – you never know what you’ll find, and what that piece could go on to inspire.
  5. Let it breathe
    We’ve already mentioned the need for your home to look lived in, cosy and comfortable, despite its refreshed look. A good way to achieve an au-natural aesthetic is to allow your home to develop organically over time. Building up a space slowly, adding only the most perfect pieces when you see them, means the overall look will be much more appealing, while also feeling less forced. This will really show in your Airbnb listing photography, and will help tempt lots more guests to make a booking.

If all that sounds like a lot of work, our Airbnb management service offer home redecoration as part of our package. However, if you fancy yourself as a DIY wiz, then give the above steps a go and watch the bookings pour in. Then tag us on social media so we can see your handy work!