Yanglin Cai

Home & Garden

This East Dallas Bungalow May Be a Rental, But It Feels Like Home

Interior designer Ashley Dalton filled her first Airbnb with soothing hues, affordable decor, and multifunctional furniture.

Ashley Dalton dropped out of art school and practiced law for years before pivoting back to her true passion. She now owns and operates a Dallas-based interior design firm, which offers everything from architecture consultations to art commissions. 

Dalton describes her design style as modern meets classic, and her most recent project embraces that aesthetic in every room. In October, Dalton purchased an East Dallas bungalow to transform into her first-ever Airbnb. An extensive renovation began in November. Dalton changed the entire layout, added an additional bathroom, and brought in new light fixtures.

Both the interior and exterior are now adorned with a mix of cool greens and blues, whites, and grays. This color palette was no accident; for a successful rental property, says Dalton, it’s best to stick with soothing, serene hues.

“The goal is to reach the masses and to attract,” says Dalton. “Neutral colors, grays, whites, with wood tones to warm it up… nothing that is a divisive color. It’s got to be clean and make me feel like I’m in a spa.”

Making the best use of space is everything when it comes to rentals, continues Dalton. To counteract the Airbnb’s small square footage, Dalton used purposeful furnishings and a smart layout to create multifunctional spaces.

“We tried to create many different places for people to sleep,” says Dalton. The ability to accommodate larger groups will translate to a higher nightly rate on Airbnb, she explains. The bohemian-style primary bedroom sleeps two, while the second bedroom has a set of double beds.

Each room also includes ample seating. In the living room, Dalton added a daybed purchased at an estate sale; by day, it’s a place to lounge, and by night, it can accommodate an additional guest.

“I don’t know what I expected,” says Dalton. “We’d never done an Airbnb before. But I knew that if it looked nice and had good pictures, and if we could be responsive and keep it clean, it would do well. And it really has. I mean, we’re pretty much always booked!”

Check out the gallery below for more photos of Dalton’s rental.

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