How To Furnish a Vacation Rental Home

Check out these top tips and tricks for furnishing your vacation rental.

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The way you furnish your rental can bring in more bookings and make your guests feel right at home. It can make the difference between a mediocre stay and one they’ll be telling all their friends about. That’s the magic of good furnishing. 

If you want to know how to furnish a vacation rental home to create that wow factor and keep guests coming back for more, you’re in the right place. Our guide will take you step by step through setting a budget, choosing your furniture, and the essentials of furnishing your rental property.

How We Make Our Recommendations

Here’s how we decide which products make our top picks list:

  • Feedback from 200+ Hosts: our Vacation Rental Inventory Spreadsheet has been downloaded and used by hundreds of hosts like you. We update it regularly based on the feedback we get.
  • Online Reviews: we scour the internet for product reviews from real Airbnb hosts.
  • Forums and Communities: we spend a lot of time in online forums and communities for vacation rentals, to see which products get recommended the most.
  • Suitability: products you buy for your Airbnb need to be durable, affordable, and easy to clean. We keep all these factors in mind when making our recommendations.

Furnishing Budget

Furnishing your short-term rental can be a significant investment, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. There are smart ways to furnish your space without sacrificing quality or style. Here’s how to approach it. 

Evaluate Your Needs and Consider Location

The cost of furnishing your vacation rental depends on various factors, including location, time constraints, and inventory, among other things. In case your property is located in a remote area or has unique accessibility challenges, bear in mind that shipping and delivery costs could add up quickly. If you’re in no rush to buy or update the furniture, you can take your time, shop around patiently, and snag the best deals. 

Think About Brands and Secondhand Options

Fancy brands might be important for upscale properties, but for most rentals, you don’t need to stress about getting top-of-the-line stuff. Take a look at our blog post on budget-friendly Airbnb furniture for tips on where to find great deals. 

Take Inventory and Plan Your Purchases

If your vacation rental is partially furnished or fully furnished with items that don’t match your style, take inventory of what needs to be replaced or added.

Make a list of essentials and any additional items you may want to include to level up the look of your rental.

Budget Wisely and Set Priorities

Once you’ve decided what you need and what you like, it’s time to figure out how much you can spend. Take a good look at what you’re willing to shell out to avoid going overboard. Break down your budget by room or decide what you absolutely need versus what you’d like to have. We would also recommend giving each item a range that can help you adjust if costs change.

Choosing Furniture

Picking the furniture for your rental can still seem like a big task to tackle. Luckily, we’ve got some key tips that can make things a lot easier.

Think of Your Guests

Who are your ideal guests? Do you typically host families or business people staying for just a couple of nights? Knowing your target guests can guide you in choosing the most suitable furniture pieces for them. 

For example, if your rental attracts families, focus on durable, kid-friendly furniture like stain-resistant sofas or spacious dining tables. For business travelers, provide a comfortable workspace with a desk and ergonomic chair for productivity and comfort during their stay. 

Check Quality

Cheap furniture might seem like a bargain, but you’ll only end up paying twice. Investing in durable pieces upfront means you’ll spend less on repairs and replacements. This is especially important for big-ticket items like sofas or dining room tables. That’s why you should opt for durable pieces built with sturdy construction that can handle frequent use. 

Design For Your Housekeepers, Too

We all know how cleanliness can make or break those glowing reviews. So, when picking out furniture, go for pieces that are easy to clean and upkeep. 

Woman cleaning - The Best Vacation Rental Cleaning Software

Skip those shag rugs that are a pain to vacuum, opt for comforters that can be tossed right into the washing machine, and stay away from furniture that’s impossible to clean under. As for decorations, less is often more as too many knick-knacks can turn dusting into an all-day affair. 

Create a Checklist

Make a checklist for furnishing a vacation home to keep you on track and help you avoid missing any important items while shopping. Keep your checklist handy as you shop to make sure you’re getting everything you need to furnish your rental just right.

Get Inspired

The internet is a goldmine of interior design inspiration, especially Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow interior designers, and home decor accounts, and even check out competitors. There’s nothing wrong with gathering inspiration from others.

The More Storage, The Better

Don’t overlook the importance of storage. It may not be the most glamorous part of furnishing a rental, but it’s super important for guests’ convenience and maintaining a tidy space. Consider getting closets, cupboards, drawers, and other storage solutions to keep things organized and clutter-free. You can easily add extra storage space by choosing furniture with built-in options, like ottomans with hidden compartments, beds with drawers, or shelving units with baskets. 

Lighting

The lighting sets the mood and ambiance in the rental, so choose wisely. You can mix things up with overhead lights, task lamps, and accent lighting to create a cozy atmosphere. Dimmer switches and adjustable lamps are also handy for creating different moods. And, if you want to highlight cool features and artwork, use spotlights or track lighting to make them stand out as focal points in your space.

Best Furniture For Your Vacation Rental

Picking out the perfect furniture for your vacation rental is all about finding what works best for you. It’s a mix of your property’s style, what your guests like, how long you want it to last, and, of course, your budget. So, let’s look into some suggestions for each area.

Living Room

Let’s start with the living room, the heart of any home. Comfort should be a priority here, especially when it comes to the sofa, sectional, or accent chairs. It should also be made of a durable, stain-resistant fabric since this is probably the room where guests will spend most of their time. To add some warmth, add a rug, throw pillows, and wall art.

Airbnb furniture

Don’t forget to include an entertainment center with a TV to give guests something to do when they unwind at the rental.

Bathroom

The bathroom should be minimalistic, so this is the area where you can save up. You might want to add in some functional furniture pieces, like a small storage unit or a shelving system, to make the most of the space without going overboard.

Check out our complete bathroom inventory checklist for more ideas.

Kitchen

You can apply the same approach to the kitchen as with the bathroom: the less is more. Let’s say that your kitchen already has all the essentials, like the appliances and basic furnishings, then all that’s left to take care of is the dining table and chairs. For these, it’s best that they’re durable, easy to clean, and that they don’t overcrowd the space.

Check out our complete kitchen inventory checklist for more ideas.

Bedroom

The bedroom should be all about comfort. Think high-quality mattress, plush pillows, soft sheets, and a cozy duvet. For convenience, add a bedside table next to each side of the bed. Another element you shouldn’t forget is the dresser or wardrobe so that guests have a space to unpack and organize their things. 

Airbnb bedroom - airbnb bedroom checklist

Check out our complete bedroom inventory checklist for more ideas.

Backyard

Now, let’s not forget the backyard. You want to give your guests a place where they comfortably sit and enjoy the sun. That means that you should get durable but comfy lounge chairs or a patio set. Depending on your space and location, you may also want to add recreational amenities like a swimming pool, hot tub, or fire pit.

Outdoor furniture at Airbnb - best outdoor furniture for Airbnb vacation rental

Check out our list of the best outdoor furniture for options that suit every style and budget. 

Budget Tips

If you recklessly buy everything you like, your furnishing budget won’t last long. Be smart with your money, and consider these tips to stretch your budget further:

  • Prioritize High-Touch Items: Spend more of your budget on items that guests use the most, like coffee tables and sleeper sofas. These pieces enhance comfort and functionality, while you can save money on less-used items such as TV stands.
  • Shop Secondhand: Secondhand furniture can be a wallet-friendly option, but make sure it’s in good condition and fits your rental’s style. Check furniture from thrift stores, online marketplaces, or garage sales. You can often find high-quality pieces at a fraction of the cost of buying new ones.
  • DIY Projects: Get creative and tackle some do-it-yourself projects to save money. Repurpose old furniture, paint outdated pieces, or build your own decor items.
  • Focus on Essentials: Choose the priority items on the list, and once you’re done with those move on to decorative pieces and add-ons. This way, you’re making sure you spend your budget wisely, taking care of the important stuff first and then splurging on the finishing touches.
  • Comparison Shop: Don’t settle for the first option you come across. Take the time to shop around and compare prices from different retailers to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.
  • Look for Deals and Discounts: Keep an eye out for sales, promotions, and clearance events at furniture stores. You may be able to score great deals on quality furniture if you time your purchases right.

Final Thoughts

Buying furniture for Airbnb isn’t just about guest comfort. You also need to think about the durability and functionality of the furniture to ensure it stays in top shape for all your guests. That’s why we hope that this guide helped you find that sweet spot where style meets practicality.

If you’re looking for suggestions on the best pieces, our blog post on the top furniture for vacation rentals. And if you haven’t furnished your rental yet, our furniture checklist can make sure you don’t forget anything.

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