Unique Architecture- How to Make Your Vacation Home Stand Out

With more homes entering the vacation rental inventory every day, it’s easy for your short term rental home to get lost in the overcrowded shuffle on AirBNB and VRBO. Finding a way to make your home stand out on booking platforms is a challenge. But with the right mindset and a little imagination, it can be a fun one! 

The experts at Eden Crest have put together a list of ways to make your vacation rental home more marketable and desirable by incorporating unique design elements into your home. Read on for creative tips and tricks to make your short term rental a booking magnet.

Unique Architecture Features 

Exterior Design

Your home’s curb appeal is important. So incorporate some exciting exterior details. Elements like multiple level porches and differing rooflines evoke a sense of interest and uniqueness to your online photos. So make sure to highlight them.

Take a few steps back and get a wide-angle view of your home from the street. Perhaps you could add some contrasting paint colors to bring out trim details. Or add more landscaping. Even little things like freshening up the house numbers or adding shutters will go a long way. You want your potential guests to pause on your exterior photos, and to wonder what is inside!

Loft Spaces

Some homeowners treat a loft space as a pass-through area— like a hallway space. If this is you, you’re missing out on a unique opportunity to add more interest to your home. Think of your loft space as an additional, smaller living area or seating area. Highlight a loft space by adding seating, a pool table, and some cool design elements. 

Give your loft space a shout out in your property description. Mention that it can be used as a cozy reading nook. Or a place to chill with a cocktail at happy hour and listen to some jazz. Little details like these can help your home stand out to potential guests.

Stair Design

Stairs are an easy and fun way to add an eclectic vibe to your home. If you’re considering remodeling your stairs, go with a cool “floating” design— or add an interesting metal banister. 

To revive a tired staircase, add colorful tiles to the risers. Or paint them each a different color. Your staircase will look beautiful and interesting in photographs, which will make your home memorable to guests. When deciding where to stay, they will remember that “house with the cool staircase.” 

Flooring and Walls

Adding an accent wall will freshen up any room quickly. Accent walls also help frame and focus the room’s photography. Add a rough wood plank wall behind a bed for a dramatic, rustic vibe. Hang funky wallpaper in a powder room. Paint one wall an accent color that highlights the artwork hanging there. 

Spice up your flooring, too. Add dramatic wood-look tile or waterproof laminate for a beautiful— yet highly durable— finish. An easy way to change the design of a room is to replace the area rug. Add a rug with a bold splash of color for eye-catching photos.

Fireplaces and Firepits

For a rustic destination like the Great Smoky Mountains, potential guests are daydreaming about the crackle of a roaring fireplace. So make sure your fireplace situation is on point. 

Add natural stone elements to the hearth to add a feeling of substance and depth. Or go with a modern, industrial design that is sleek and elegant. Outdoor fire pits are ideal for relaxing with a glass of wine. Or making gooey s’ mores after dinner. Mention these sensory activities in your description.

Deck Design

Spend time and effort in designing a deck that entices and invites your guests to relax, unwind, and soak in the view. Don’t scrimp on the furniture out here— make sure it’s comfortable, cozy, and inviting. 

As we mentioned above, providing a fire element can really help tie the deck together, and helps travelers envision themselves on the deck. Make sure the fire pit is lit when you photograph it, for an extra-sensory photo that will have people pushing the “book now” button.

Unique Home Types

Adding unique design elements to your vacation rental home is crucial to your marketing success. But why stop there? To get even more inspired, here are a few uniquely designed home plans that really stand out from the crowd. 


A-Frame homes have steep rooflines that start at the foundation line and meet at the top to form the letter “A.” They are ideal for winter climates— since no snow can accumulate on the steep pitches. 

Most consider the A-Frame to be a “modern” style of design, even though they gained most of their popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. These days, the retro feel of the A-Frame house makes it very popular for short term rental travelers looking for Instagram-worthy digs.

Tree Houses

Eclectic and fascinating, tree houses offer guests an amazing adventure experience. Treehouse rentals are a huge draw in temperate areas. Imagine spending your vacation in a home straight out of Swiss Family Robinson!

Treehouses are designed to be nestled among the treetops, with some of the support coming from the tree limbs themselves. While not ideal for a primary residence, short term rental treehouses are a breeze to market. They are often booked up months in advance.

Tiny Homes

The tiny home trend is a social, environmental, and architectural movement for people who desire to live simply in a smaller home. Tiny homes are generally 400 square feet or less. They’re built to be efficient, streamlined, and leave a smaller footprint on the planet.

For people interested in building a tiny home— but aren’t ready to take the plunge— renting one is the next best thing. It allows tiny home enthusiasts to try out the lifestyle. And get some great ideas to use in their own tiny home one day. This type of rental is super-popular with eco-tourists. 

Sprawling, Resort-Style Homes

The flipside of the tiny home, these mansions offer enough luxurious square footage for giant groups to spread out and relax. 

They also have private pools, hot tubs, multiple bedrooms, spa-like bathrooms, and game rooms. They are great for family reunions, group getaways, or corporate retreats.

Log Cabins

These traditional homes have a rustic, mountain vibe that is ideal for the eastern Tennessee rental market. They are less finished and sophisticated than a traditional home. 

But today’s log cabins offer all the amenities of a luxury home. Check out The Lodge of Gatlinburg for some major log cabin inspo.

Unique Design is the Key

Investing in a unique home is the simplest path to easy vacation rental income. Home designs like the ones we mentioned here are a dream to market— and they stand out easily on crowded booking platforms. They photograph beautifully, grab attention, and speak to a traveler’s sense of adventure. 

We hope this article has inspired you to look at your own short term rental in a new light. And add some design updates to your home that will excite, amaze, and delight your guests.

For more help updating your short term rental— or choosing the vacation rental home style that’s right for you— contact the experts at Eden Crest today.

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