Recently, in preparation for a month-long return there, I searched Airbnb for a SD rental. Clearly, home decor has evolved.
First, if you have not checked out Airbnb or sister sites like VRBO, their photos reveal how locals define "cool". For example, in the 10 years since I left town, San Diegans seem to have filled their homes with beach paraphernalia, like coffee table conch shells, dolphin-print duvet covers, and dried starfish on top of toilet tanks. Many even prop surfboards by the front door (don't all Nashvillians have a guitar leaning against the sofa in case they break into song?).
OK, I was a science geek in SD. So maybe my friends were outliers. But back then, none of us littered our homes with beach tsochtkes. I never had a Shamu sofa pillow or a "Just another shitty day in paradise!" poster on the wall. I don't think even surfers did.
Well the "sharing economy" has arrived in my (and your) hometown, and vacation rental sites are teaching us how to profit from it. Nashville, for example, is currently salivating to become a go-to travel destination for young hipsters (like in weekend date episode of Master of None). So to cash in, and make more money for CA travel, I will learn to stage my Nashville home for maximum turista buzz.
Based on a quick Airbnb/VRBO survey, I will need:
- Anything BIG shaped like a guitar (coffee table, neon artwork, loveseat, hot tub).
- Cool, framed B&W photos of singers like Lucinda Williams or Billie Holiday. Who knew? Country stars (who btw put this town on the map) seem less effective.
- A garish, retina-bleaching hot chicken poster.
- An assertive wall sculpture spelling out N-A-S-H-V-I-L-L-E.
Contrarian postscript: Just found a VRBO SD rental in Encinitas. Encinitas is a SD beach town, but nary a Sea World poster in sight in the staging photos. In fact, it looks like what real people in Nashville and San Diego might call home. That, in addition to not wanting to find a starfish on the toilet in the middle of the night, is why I chose it.