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Turning A Home Into A Sanctuary

Turning A Home Into A Sanctuary

When it comes to styling an Airbnb this winter, make it a latte, writes Mary-anne Tobin, of Design Addiction.

By: Mary-anne Tobin

20 June 2024

How do we turn our homes into a sanctuary during these frosty winter months? How do we make our investment properties more attractive to stay alive and vibrant in a market which is moving slower than usual?

The amber tones this year seem to be drawing my attention. Amber glass products creating a warmer palette will be the key to uplifting your home or investment property this year. As mentioned in my blog, 2024 a Year of Nostalgia, I talk about how we will see more moody depths, deeper browns and those warm, inviting tones.

There is now a word for this, and it’s referred to as “latte decorating”. This is exactly how you would imagine: beautiful warm tones of cream, light brown through to rich brown hues. Think velvets, boucle and textured fabrics.

Fireplaces can be complemented by soft furnishings that warm the room.

When styling your winter property this year, a fashionable way to achieve this would be to use the latte decorating concept. Here is an easy guide to revitalise your investment property.

1. Sheepskins

We are incredibly lucky here in New Zealand – sheepskins are easily accessible and come in an array of colours. These woollen beauties instantly add that feeling of warmth. Hawthorne collections do a beautiful mid-brown in a single, double and quad size.

2. Scented Candles

Again, very accessible. Try leaving a home store without buying a candle (or is that just me). Amberjack do a beautiful amber hue glass candle and at a very affordable price. Try using a few together at different heights for visual interest. You can also add in diffusers and room sprays to keep the stale winter smells at bay.

A selection of “latte” colours for a great winter room.

3. Cushions

No easier way to add a quick refresh, linen cushions are a good option. Baya and Weave do great styles. Cocoa and oatmeal hues pair nicely together, and if looking for a lighter option with more colour, then opt for sage – it’s always a popular choice.

Soft throws are an inexpensive way to add a sense of warmth to your short-term rental.

4. Thick Throws

For a simple glow-up add a woollen throw, but not just an ordinary throw, think thick and snuggly. Consider your guests: would they enjoy relaxing next to the fire, under a snuggly throw while reading a book or watching TV? Colours such as off-white, copper and cocoa will add depth and warmth. My favourite is the Sorrento throw by Baya; it gives a mohair feel – simple affordable luxury.

Extra styling luxe in the bedroom can really make a bedroom shine.

Bedroom Makeover

Extra styling luxe in the bedding arena can help soften a room. Consider changing out the bedspread if it’s showing signs of wear and opt for new cushions. Explore playing around and restyling the pillow layout. Pillows can be stacked either on top of (or beside) each other.

For example, a queen bed could have four standard pillows, with two cushions (550mm cushions are popular and affordable). The key is to have feather inners, if you have a 550cm cushion then insert a 600mm inner; it makes the cushion appear more luxurious. You can add a couple of smaller cushions or a lumber in front of the larger cushions. The best thing to do is fold back the duvet/comforter before adding the cushions, and don’t be scared to fold back the duvet as much as it takes.


If you are unsure how to place a throw on the corner of your bed, pinch/pick it up by the middle of the throw, and simply “throw” it.

“Fluff” like cushions, pillows and blankets, can add texture to a room.

Add the Fluff

When I see a room looking flat it’s usually a lack of fluff, which I see as decorative cushions, pillows, throws and blankets. Also, if there is a spare corner, consider adding an armchair. If there are timber accents in the home already why not continue this warmth inside with timber accents, such as a timber side table or stool. Style this with a couple of hard cover books, sit a candle on top or a small pot plant, add a cushion and throw, and you have created a warm reading nook. If you can fit an ottoman – a bonus!

The same can be applied in the living area if there is an unused corner.

If you can afford it, why not add a coffee machine to your investment property. Claim the expense and depreciation and let your guests enjoy a warm latte – just don’t forget to add marble coasters.

If you are seeking an interior designer for your next investment property, contact Mary-anne Tobin, designaddiction.co.nz