Furnishing a Vacation Rental for Beginners

Furnishing a Vacation Rental for Beginners

Before building a vacation rental website or receiving professional photos of your house, there is one key hurdle to overcome: furnishing your vacation rental.

Many people are puzzled about choosing the ideal furnishings for their rental home. Having an empty property may be the dream of some homeowners, but selecting the right vacation home furniture may be a daunting task for others.

As the short-term rental market expands and gets more competitive, its interior design is essential in ensuring your house stands out from the crowd on online platforms.

Don’t worry if you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. We’re here to assist. Our guide will coach you through the essential stages for outfitting your rental home to make it stand out and attract reservations.

What is the cost of furnishing a vacation rental?

Purchasing vacation rental furniture may be expensive or inexpensive, depending on the kind of holiday rental. Some business owners spend upwards of $100,000, while others spend very little. The cost of equipping your vacation rental is determined by various criteria, including location, brand, condition, and inventory, to mention a few.

To clarify on the first point, the cost of furnishing your short-term rental may be significantly influenced by the location of your house. Shipping and delivery costs may be unreasonably high if you own a cabin rental that is far from the nearest town. Even if your place is physically accessible, small door frames or hard-to-reach houses, such as a treehouse, may need special delivery and handling, which always comes at a premium. Seeing which possibilities are nearest to you and which ones you’ll have to outsource or pay a professional for can help you figure out how much everything will cost.

Depending on your target demographic or personal taste, choosing well-known brands may be necessary for effectively decorating your holiday rental. If your home is located in the Garment District of New York City, for example, you may want to consider selecting furniture that your visitors will recognise. On the other hand, if your home is geared toward the outdoors or the genuine appeal is found in the surroundings, the name brand may not be as important. Your vacation rental brand should be reflected in the furniture brands. If the logo is important to you, you’ll need to factor in the cost of more expensive, name-brand furniture.

Try purchasing gently used furniture if you want to go for a more “recycled chic” look. Buying used furniture may save you a lot of money, but it’s important to consider if it’s worth it. If the item is already worn, it may make your home seem shabby. Furthermore, if it’s in a high-traffic area, you may want to purchase new to avoid the hassle of having to replace it sooner.

While second-hand shops and private sellers have a lot of cheaply priced, good-condition things, there’s no assurance you’ll discover precisely what you’re looking for. So, plan your budget based on retail costs, and you could be shocked if you discover a better deal somewhere else.

Vacation rentals are often furnished, either completely or partly. Even though the flat is completely furnished, it may not suit your taste or be outdated. If that’s the case, make a list of what you need to get rid of or what you need to add. Make a note of what needs to be changed or if any empty spots need to be filled with an ottoman or two.

Also, consider any duplicate things you’ll need to purchase. Spare beds are unlikely to be needed at home, but many towels, linens, dinnerware, and silverware are a must!

Putting up a budget for vacation rental furnishings

It’s time to start crunching statistics once you’ve taken into account all of the factors that are specific to your property. Budgeting for your property is critical since if you aren’t careful, the bottom line might be deducted from your salary. To prevent the costly error of going over budget, be honest about your spending plans.

Depending on your outfitting demands, there are numerous methods to structure your budget. If you’re simply replacing or adding a few items, organising your budget by room and stating the spending range for each item or set of furnishings per room may be helpful.

If you’re beginning from the ground up, you may want to prioritise your money. Separating the must-haves from the nice-to-haves might also help you stay on budget. Also, be liberal with your spending budget. Because you’re dealing with so many variables, your total expenses might be all over the place. Realistically implement your budget’s low and high ends.

The price of furnishing an Airbnb

If you want to be an Airbnb Plus or Superhost, you’ll have to pay in advance. Of course, the investment will pay off in the end, but to achieve celebrity status, you’ll need the room to back up your claim to being a superstar host. Your property should exude luxury in every way. Ratty, worn-out furniture isn’t going to cut it.

Airbnb’s main clientele is described as “head-first explorers,” implying that customers are looking for distinctive and experiential vacations. Having a carbon replica of some common brand furniture won’t provide the “wow” factor with your visitors are searching for.

How to choose furnishings for a short-term rental

Even while it isn’t as difficult as selecting a holiday home, the process of outfitting your rental might be overwhelming at first. Fortunately, having a plan for where to begin, go, and end the process helps organize and streamline the process.

Getting the appropriate furniture is crucial, but it’s never permanent. Try your hardest to furnish sensibly, but bear in mind that any problematic seating arrangements or table selections may be readily changed when the time comes to remodel (for now, don’t worry about that).

1. Make a checklist for “furnishing a rental unit.”

As a first step, make a list of all the furniture you currently have — unless you’re starting from scratch, of course! However, as previously said, most of the time, you’ll already have some pre-owned items.

After this understanding, you may make a simple checklist for equipping a rental home. First, make a list of the vacation home furnishings you still need to acquire to fully equip your accommodation for future visitors.

The second portion of the checklist follows. As soon as the necessities are addressed, you may make a list of the vacation home furnishings or decorative items you’d want to acquire as a bonus. You may use it as a long-term furnishing wish list that you can cross off as you go.

2. Be aware of your intended audience.

It would be a lot simpler to make furnishing selections if you know your target market from the start. It may be a perfect location for families with small children, depending on the size and style of your house. In such a situation, choosing kid-friendly short-term rental furniture might be beneficial.

If your home is smaller and cozier, you can consider selling it as a romantic getaway for honeymooners and other couples.

Regardless of who you designate as your ideal group of visitors, you’ll want to keep them in mind throughout the process of outfitting your home, as it will influence your furniture choices.

A 10-seater dining table isn’t much use if your rental only sleeps four people and doesn’t allow visitors.

3. Look for ideas on the internet.

You may start brainstorming ideas for the overall appearance and style you want to accomplish at your vacation rental at the same time you’re preparing your budget.

Interior design ideas abound on the internet, particularly on social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest. Follow all of the home retailers, interior publications, and design studios you can think of on social media. Then you may start saving, pinning, or favoriting all of the photographs you think would be useful for your vacation home furnishings.

You may also use these channels to see what your rivals’ homes look like and make it your aim to make your rental appear even better!

4. Define your style.

Your vacation rental’s personality is determined by your personal preferences, the property’s location, and the budget you have available. While picking a major subject (or themes) is a wonderful idea, keep in mind that you want your property to appeal to a diverse group of visitors.

That includes avoiding headache-inducing color palettes and keeping decorations and baubles to a minimum.

Many vacation rental owners choose to decorate their properties to reflect aspects of their surroundings. For example, blue colors, seaside-inspired décor for coastal properties, and rustic, wooden elements for mountain lodges or cabins are replete with thick, knitted blankets.

Simply take a walk around your neighborhood to get ideas for the topic of your vacation home furnishings and unique ways to decorate the inside.

5. Invest in high-quality, long-lasting furnishings.

Because of the constant influx of guests, furnishings in a holiday rental will wear out faster than in a typical house. Mattresses, for example, are simpler and less expensive to protect than other types of furniture.

However, for big items that are more likely to be damaged by accident (such as dining tables and couches), investing in practical, long-lasting furniture is a good decision that will save you money in the long term.

Bonus tip: Setting a damage deposit for vacation rentals is typical to practice since it makes visitors feel more responsible for the home they’re staying in.

6. Store a lot of stuff.

Storage is an essential component to consider for any holiday rental. It may not strike you as the most creative part of designing your house, but it is an important factor to consider for any vacation rental.

If visitors are expected to stay for a week or more, ensure there is enough closet, drawer, or clothes rack space to unpack and feel entirely at ease. Numerous elegant solutions may also function as a design element, so even the most basic rentals don’t have an excuse.

For example, in the Netflix series Stay Here, presenter and designer Genevieve Gorder creates a “dressing room” inside the master bedroom using ancient doors, a hanging rack, and an antique dresser, as shown above.

7. Make use of lighting to create a sense of spaciousness.

Whether inside or out, in a bedroom or a living room, bright or dim, the lighting in your vacation rental significantly impacts how visitors perceive the place and how they enjoy it.

Not only can you utilize lighting to create the appearance of space, but you can also experiment with various fixtures like hanging bulbs, table lamps, and spotlights to highlight different areas of your house.

Furthermore, energy-efficient lighting options, such as LED bulbs, are worth investing in since they last longer and are more environmentally friendly. This can also help you prevent disasters like a bathroom light going out in the middle of the night on a Saturday night!

8. Hide any imperfections.

During an interview with Build Brunch, Peter Lorimer, the other host of Stay Here, states, “If you find yourself wondering, ‘Are visitors going to notice that?’ — they will notice that.” That’s why it’s critical that your rental’s paintwork is spotless, that there are no threadbare couches or soft furnishings, and that everything functions well.

If you have a minor hole or chip in your wall that is difficult to fix, for example, you can simply conceal it by hanging a painting over it. What you may see as a defect may be a genuine reflection of your property’s past that visitors would appreciate.

A home in Barcelona, for example, could include original tiles from the past. However, some may have been damaged during repairs, or not all of the floor is suitable for its intended use. Keeping a small portion of the original tiles and combining them with new ones may give an ancient floor new vitality while retaining its historical value!

9. Don’t go overboard

While filling every surface with artifacts and keepsakes, maybe how you prefer to design your own home, it may quickly become overwhelming and congested for a visitor on vacation. Minimalism has been popular recently because it makes a place seem clean and may even help people relax.

Keep worktops as uncluttered as possible and space away decorations like mirrors, paintings, and plants to allow visitors to appreciate your holiday home.

10. Mix and match antique and modern furniture.

We all know that places like IKEA and Pottery Barn are fantastic for obtaining daily stuff, but you’ll need to go a step further to give your rental that special touch that none of your rivals will have.

A quick browse around antique markets or thrift shops may quickly turn up one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture or decorations that you can mix and match with store-bought things to create your unique style.

The best vacation rental

You’ve already laid out your furniture strategy, but the voyage isn’t quite complete. Selecting the right furnishings for your vacation rental will guarantee a positive guest experience and repeat bookings. “Best” is a strong word, so let’s define it by dividing it into the most often used house areas. Keep in mind that the finest furnishings are in line with your rental prices as we discuss each room.

residing room

This section might be referred to as the home’s heart. Many vacationers want to spend time with their families, and the living room is a great spot to do it. So, what are the characteristics of excellent living room furniture? Here are some things to think about in this area of the room:

  • Comfort. Will visitors wish to stay for a lengthy amount of time?
  • Capacity. Is your capacity restriction in line with the number of seats available?
  • Flow. Are the furniture and arrangement appropriate for the space’s needs?

You’ll locate the ideal living room furniture for your vacation rental if you answer some of these questions and look for appealing, comfy items that complement your property.


The first time you lay down in a hotel room with a nice bedding set, you felt as if you were sleeping on bricks. You should take vacations to unwind. Your vacation rental bedroom must thoroughly support this concept.

The greatest vacation rental bedroom furniture achieves a mix between comfort and usefulness. In addition to the value of a good mattress, superb vacation rental furniture goes well beyond that. It’s also crucial to have a functional bed frame and nightstands. Let’s pretend you mostly host workcationers. A little nightstand created for aesthetic rather than utility will not accommodate the necessities of that specific visitor, such as an alarm clock, a phone, or any reading material.

Room to eat

Similar to the living room, the dining room is designed to bring people together. This is a spot where holidaymakers may spend time and have meals together. While the living room is all about comfort, the dining room should be functional and welcoming. Remember that you’ll be entertaining a large group, and your dining room furniture must withstand stains, spills, and scratches. The ideal dining room set should be both pleasant and long-lasting.

Bathroom and kitchen

When it comes to prioritizing your spending, the kitchen and bathroom are excellent examples. What precisely do we mean? If your budget forces you to prioritize furnishings, the bathroom and kitchen should be at the bottom of your list.

The fundamentals should be present in every normal bathroom or kitchen (appliances, built-ins, etc.). Anything you choose to put in here, such as an island, vanity, stool, or a chaise, should be regarded as a bonus. Consider what would be ideal for your customers if your budget allows for these extras. Furniture items that complement a spa-like experience will be ideal if your customers are looking for one.

Furniture for a Vacation Rental’s Backyard

If your house thrives during the summer, it may be worthwhile to invest in outside furnishings. It’s a terrific method to raise the value of your home and, as a result, offer you the ability to ask for a higher daily rent if you have the room and funds.

Once again, the majority of your backyard furniture will be determined by your customers. If you usually invite couples, romantic dining set up under a gazebo may be ideal. Larger families may want more entertainment areas, which you may provide by adding furniture.


The most enjoyable element of furnishing a vacation property is decorating it. Finding elements that add value to your visitors’ stay is a great way to get into your creative side. It may be satisfying to watch all of your hard work pay off and make your property appealing to all of your guests.

Connect with one of our sales representatives to learn more about how Lodgable is able to make all of the difference in your business. 

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