Staging To Sell Vs. Decorating For (Short Term) Rentals

I spent the weekend mulling over the idea of renting out our condo for short-term renters like Baylor parents who are here for a weekend, Baylor alumni who are in for the big game, business people in town for a conference/meeting, etc.  I also talked to my family about it, and interestingly, they’re all super supportive (and even a bit excited) about the idea!  (Don’t worry…I’ll check the HOA rules first.  But fortunately for me, I don’t think the HOA rules have been updated since…well…they were originally written 40-ish years ago.)

I got even more excited about the idea after spending a couple of hours perusing the AirBNB website that a few of you told me about.  What an amazing site!  I can honestly say that I’ll probably never stay in a hotel again in my life, unless someone else pays for it.

But now, with this new possibility, I’m starting to look at the condo a bit differently.  For example, in order to stage the second bedroom for sale, I didn’t have much planned at all.  The walls are currently painted black (and I never even finished painting), so top on my list for that room was painting the walls.

And then I was still going to put up some curtains.  I bought this chevron fabric specifically for that purpose probably two years ago.

I have no intention of using this fabric at the house, so my “staging for sale” plan was to make some very simple curtains for the window in this room and call it good.

Beyond that, I had no real plans for staging the room other than perhaps keeping the desk in there and maybe adding a few select desk-type accessories that I probably already have in storage.  But the bottom line is that I wasn’t planning on actually spending money decorating the room.

But if my rental plan works out, then my plan for this room will definitely have to change.  Obviously if people are going to be staying here, that room needs to actually be a bedroom.  And since that’s the case, I definitely don’t want to pass up an opportunity to actually decorate the room.  (It’s in my blood!  I simply can’t help myself. 😀 )

So I’ve started putting together a new plan. First, the walls still are going to get a new coat of paint. Honestly, I’ve never really liked the black walls for this condo.  Don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE beautifully decorated black rooms, but it just didn’t seem to flow in the condo.  I haven’t used black anywhere else, so walking into this room with black walls always felt a bit jarring, and in a place this tiny, I think it’s even more important to have the rooms and the colors from room to room “flow” with each other. So the walls will be painted Burley Wood (a Behr color).

behr burley wood paint color

That will definitely “flow” with the rest of the condo since it’s the same color I used on the argyle wall in my hallway, on the chalkboard on the HVAC closet door, and on the small stripes on the curtains that cover the washer/dryer closet.

So I definitely like the idea of carrying that color onto the walls in the bedroom.

I’ll also be sticking with the green and white chevron fabric for curtains.  Only now, I’ll probably do a more professional job than just “turn the edges, sew, hang, and be done.”  I’ll probably make actual lined draperies.  I’m kind of a window treatment snob.  😀  And since we’ll be keeping the place, and I’ll actually be using it on occasion, I want them done correctly.

I’m also still planning on keeping the desk in there (if it’ll fit with a queen size bed — these rooms are quite small).  But I don’t want it to be white.  I’m in the process of painting it with Chalk Paint (my very first Chalk Paint project, in fact) in the orange color called Barcelona.  I didn’t take a picture of the progress, but here’s a table that Erin from How To Nest For Less painted in Barcelona Orange.

Small table painted with Chalk Paint in Barcelona Orange, from How To Nest For Less blog

I know orange isn’t everyone’s favorite, but you have to admit that it’s perfect for the condo, right?  And I think it’ll look amazing against a dark brown wall!!

And then there’s the headboard.  Obviously, the room needs a bed, and obviously the bed needs a headboard.  And obviously if a headboard is needed, I’m going to want to make one rather than buying one.  I’ve just been completely stuck on this.  I spent about three hours (seriously!!) Saturday night looking on Pinterest and elsewhere trying to get inspiration for a DIY headboard that I think will work in that room, and will work well with the colors and finishes I’ve already chosen.

My absolute favorite DIY headboard that I want to try to make is this one from Sarah M Dorsey Designs.

DIY headboard from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs blog

But I just can’t make that headboard “fit” this bedroom in my mind.  I think it’s a bit too refined for this bedroom I’m working on.  Perhaps I’ll make something like that for the house, because I absolutely love it!

So that’s where I’m stuck.  And of course, I’d be stuck on the most important element of a bedroom (in my opinion).  I thought about doing something out of wood, but I might be teetering right on the edge of “wood overload” in this condo, since all of the countertops throughout are wood.  Of course, I could do painted wood.  And come to think of it, if I do a wood headboard, it probably should be painted since the walls will be so dark.

Hmmm…decisions, decisions!

So that’s the plan for now.  I’ve shifted gears so many times on this room!!  This room started out as our bedroom (it’s the one with the connected tiny bathroom, so in reality, it’s supposed to be the master bedroom).  Then it was my office and I was going to decorate it with lots of bright colors against black walls.  Then we were going to sell, and I was going to do some really minimal staging.  And now it’s going to be a bedroom again, and I want it to look beautiful and inviting when it’s finished.

Lots to do.  Thank goodness there’s no longer any pressure of a deadline!



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  1. I love the color palette of your second bedroom. Why not paint the headboard that beautiful orange? You could also find a print with the orange in it for the bed pillows. I can’t imagine a Baylor family or a business man wouldn’t love to stay in this sweet condo! Go Kristi!

  2. Kristi –
    I refrained from commenting earlier, but I do want to say I LOVE the idea of you renting the condo out. Our oldest will be going to UTD in Aug. and to have a resource like your condo to rent when we go down would make it much more comfortable…and to have a long term relationship…I really hope it works out for you! I am actually writing to just give you the “yay -go for it!” on the Barcelona Orange desk. My first venture in to ASCP was to paint a desk for my son (who loves all things orange) in this color. It looks wonderful and I actually wish it wasn’t tucked away in his room so others can see it 🙂 What an exciting adventure 🙂

  3. Kristi

    If you are looking to renting to Baylor Alum, maybe you should go with the green chevron and stay away from the orange! lol

    1. Oh, that’s funny! You and I are on the same page with that! Just about an hour ago, I asked Matt what he thought about having twin beds in there. 😀 I think it’s a great idea.

  4. Oh do you have a timeline on when you will be done and renting? We are talking about heading down for Homecoming this year but I haven’t committed to anything. This could be a good option for us. 🙂

  5. I love your plan for the second room. I agree that you might want to steer clear of the orange in Waco. 🙂 Also, I was thinking that twin beds might be better for a Baylor weekend rental. I bet you will make more renting during football season, Sing, and orientation than you would as a full-time landlord and your place should be well care for. Good Luck. Love you blog.

  6. I love your new plan Kristi!! The beauty is that you may even sell the condo to a guest in the end as well. Which is so much better than trying to market it the usual way.
    With the brown and the chevron I see a weathered wood…pallet looking headboard (boards). How about turquoise for the desk? (Since Baylor fans may not be fans of orange.) Something that suggests the teal elsewhere but with a bit more flair?
    Whatever you do…it will be amazing.
    Best wishes with all the details…and have fun too!

    1. Diane, I just realized it was the orange on the desk that was holding me back. I’ve been sitting here for at least an hour (again) looking for headboard ideas, trying to come up with something that would work with the green in the curtains and the orange on the desk. But as soon as you mentioned turquoise for the desk, an idea popped into my head for the bed!! Yay!

  7. Yeah! I did suggest AirBNB because I have used them before when visiting NOLA. Your condo will be perfect! I may have to travel just so I can have a stay!

    1. Nancy, I’m seriously HOOKED on that website!! I find myself looking at homes for rent in places I know I’d never visit, just because some of these places available for rent are so amazing. I’ve even saved a few pictures just for the decorating ideas. 😀 It’s almost better than looking at decorating websites or shelter magazines!!

  8. You might even consider yellow for the desk. You have it on the walls in the living room. It would look bright and cheerful in the brown room. And it would go well with the green. It would also be closer to Baylor’s green and gold.

  9. I love that dark brown color that you’re going to be putting in the bedroom! I can’t wait to see it. We were originally going to do a chocolate-y brown in our master bedroom (bought the color and everything) and then I started getting cold feet!

  10. Kristi,

    I’m excited to see what you come up with. You were so brave to paint those walls black. I love the brown that you have chosen. You know that orange is my fav color so I have to know where I can get some of that Barcelona orange paint! Looking forward to seeing your finished project in this room.

  11. Love the orange, but if it might be “offensive” to some, can see why it would be off the to do list! Since the out-of-towners will probably use this condo for sleeping, a calm, serene atmosphere in the bedroom might be a good thing. The colors you used in the attached bathroom could be flowing into this bedroom. I like your idea of twin beds, also. Oh, you’re going to have some fun with this! Can’t wait to see the results, and the DIY projects you will be bringing to us hungry would-be designers.

  12. Oh, I remember when you posted about that green chevron a couple years back because I loved it, glad to see it making an appearance again! I too love the idea of twin beds for the second bedroom if you are renting it out, I think that will be more practical and appeal to people with kids. I also love that orange dresser, I’ve never tried chalk paint before either and have read so much about it. I’m looking forward to seeing how you like it. I’m going to check out that vacation rental site. I’ve used another one before with good results and really like the idea of renting a condo rather than hotel.

  13. Family Weekend at Baylor starts September 20th. I was just in Waco for my daughter’s orientation at Baylor. I don’t know where you’re condo is in relation to Baylor, but I might be interested in renting it for Family Weekend.

  14. Hi Kristi,
    I left comments yesterday, not sure if you have to moderate.. but we have vacation rentals and one long term rental.. I think you would be very happy with a short term rental for your condo if there are no restrictions.. I would love to chat with you anytime if you need anything..
    God bless,

  15. I think renting out a space you are not using is smart. What a creative way to add to your income. Best wishes there!

    I have never heard of — What an amazing resource!

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  17. Hello,

    I loved this post and came across it while helping a friend decide to move his apartment over to shorter term rentals. I process visiting physicians for a major academic medical center in Pennsylvania and I know that Baylor has an AMC also. I would try to check around their website and see if they host visiting physicians also as this can be a nice additional stream of short term tenants for you. Hope the rentals have been going well!