Vacation Rental Owners

How to Decorate a Vacation Rental Home (10 Great Tips)

10 Tips for Furnishing Your Vacation Rental Property

When it comes down to choosing between two vacation rental listings, furniture and interior design often set the properties apart. Every element of your vacation rental property is important, but the furniture you select plays an especially vital role. Furnishing a vacation rental can be done on a small budget of a few thousand dollars, or it can be a costly endeavor upwards of $100,000. It all depends on factors like the property’s location, the brands you want to use, the condition of the furniture, your target audience, and your own personal taste.

As you jump into furnishing a vacation rental, it can feel like a daunting task. Remember this: Furniture is important, but it’s not permanent. If you don’t like what you’ve done with the property, you can always switch it up in the future. In this article, we’ll cover ten tips for successfully furnishing your vacation rental property.

1.  Take an inventory and create an accurate budget

The first step is to take an inventory of what you already have, what you need to purchase, and what needs to be replaced or repaired. If you’re interested in completing some DIY projects or are especially handy, you might also want to note what pieces you can build or create yourself. It’s wise to prioritize what is most important by creating both a checklist and a wishlist. Fill the checklist with items that must be purchased or replaced, and add non-essential items that you’d like to have to the wishlist.

Next, it’s time to put together your budget. Going into the furnishing project without establishing a budget is almost guaranteed to lead to overspending! The most important thing to remember when calculating your budget is to be honest with yourself about the amount of money you can spend. Always keep your furnishing budget separate from other home improvement projects, like painting or installing new flooring.

Take an inventory and create an accurate budget

Once you’ve calculated your total budget, it might be helpful to split it up room by room. For instance, you might want to put 30% of your total furnishing budget into your living room and 20% into each bedroom. Then you can take each of the individual room budgets and break them down into even smaller budgets for individual pieces of furniture.

Consider these Airbnb furniture selections for your rental property. Another way to lower your budget is to consider secondhand furniture. There is a lot of high-quality used furniture out there at a good price, but there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for. In addition, if you select used furniture that looks visibly worn, it can make your rental look shabby, so choose wisely!

Planning according to retail price is the smartest approach because any secondhand finds will then be a true steal and save you money. Mixing and matching cheap and expensive furniture pieces is also a wise choice that can help you stick to your budget.

2.  Keep your target audience in mind

As you select furniture, always keep your target audience or ideal guest in mind. What type of guests are you catering your property to? What kind of experience do you want to provide for them? Remember to make your decisions based on the answers to these questions, and remember that furniture is meant to be functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.


If you’re catering your property to families, then choose your furniture with children in mind. You might want to invest in a crib and high chair, and it may be smart to avoid expensive furniture that is easily scratched or damaged. Tables and other furniture with sharp edges also present a hazard for small children and wouldn’t be the best choice for a family-friendly rental property.

Guests with Pets

Guests with Pets

A pet-friendly rental property can absolutely be enhanced by proper furniture selection. Consider the types of damage pets typically cause to furniture, and you probably won’t be interested in buying a leather sofa anymore. You could even invest in fun animal-friendly furniture like a cat tree to really appeal to pet owners.


For a rental property that caters to couples, a nice queen or king bed is a must-have! You’ll also want to get a large, comfortable couch that couples can curl up on together if they want to watch a movie or otherwise spend time in the living room area. There are plenty of ways to add romantic touches to your rental property through your furniture choices.


If your rental property is aimed toward businesspeople or remote workers who prefer vacation rental, your guests will absolutely appreciate a high-quality work setup. Selecting a nice desk and an ergonomic chair will definitely increase your listing’s appeal to your ideal guests. A footrest and lumbar support pillow would truly be the cherry on top of this little workspace. Choose functional furniture over expensive furniture–anyone who regularly sits and works at a computer will prefer the ergonomic piece over the fashionable one every time.

3.  Find inspiration

If you don’t have a natural flair for interior design, don’t worry–a simple online search will provide you with plenty of inspiration. Media sites like Pinterest and Instagram have limitless ideas for you to peruse as well. The area where your property is located can also act as inspiration; how many blue, beach-themed interiors have you seen in houses near the ocean, for instance?

It’s also smart to check out your competition’s furniture. You can do this by searching online for other rental properties that are located in your area under the same price range. Take notes on what you like about their furniture and what you think they could improve. Then, set a goal to make your furniture look even better than theirs does!

4.  Invest in high-quality, durable pieces

Invest in high-quality, durable pieces

It’s always best to invest in pieces that are built to last, especially furniture that gets a lot of traffic, like couches. In many cases, furniture in rental properties has a tendency to wear out faster than it would in a regular home because of the constant stream of visitors.

5.  Keep storage in mind

Storage is a design element that is necessary for every vacation rental! You can choose furniture pieces that act as additional storage (for example, there are many bed frames that have drawers) or purchase items such as dressers to ensure your guests have plenty of space to store their personal effects. This is especially crucial if you have guests that stay for a week or more. You don’t want them to have to live out of their suitcases!

6.  Don’t forget the lighting

Lighting sets the mood and adds functionality to every room. For example, adequate lighting in the kitchen is important for safety reasons, and lamps next to the bed are great for those who like to read before going to sleep. If you have a dedicated work area or desk, then a desk lamp is a great addition. Bathrooms, hallways, and living areas should always be well-lit, too.

7.  Don’t overdo it

A dose of minimalism is key when furnishing your vacation rental. It’s not necessary to fill every space in the house with furniture. Instead, a less cluttered, simpler design is sure to appeal to a wider range of people. Spaces without excessive furniture tend to feel larger, cleaner, and more calming.

When it comes to decor, it should be pleasant but not invasive; try to choose items that would appeal to the majority of your guests. Neutral colors are always ideal, rather than bright colors and loud patterns. Finally, be sure to remove any personal items throughout the rental property.

8.  Remember the backyard

Remember the backyard

If your rental property has an outdoor area, then some patio furniture is a lovely touch. A table and some chairs or even a hammock makes your outdoor space even more appealing to guests.

9.  Add small touches

Small additions such as rugs in rooms with hardwood floors, pieces of art on the walls, and curtains on all the windows make a huge difference in your vacation rental’s appeal. Even a few hooks for coats near the front door are an inexpensive addition that your guests are sure to appreciate. Without going overboard, adding small touches to make the space feel complete and inviting will keep your guests wanting to come back and stay at your vacation rental again.

10.   Showcase your furnishings through your listing

Once you’ve furnished your rental property, be sure to take high-quality photos for your listing! You can also include regular updates if you replace any pieces of furniture. Some pieces may even deserve mention in your listing. For example, if your property is family-friendly and you have a rocking chair, crib, and high chair available for your guests to use, include that in your listing. You’re sure to attract more guests to your vacation rental by explaining exactly how your property caters to them.

Main Takeaways

Here’s a quick overview of our ten tips for furnishing your vacation rental property.

  1. Take an inventory and create an accurate budget.
  2. Keep your target audience in mind as you select furniture.
  3. Find inspiration online and check out your competition’s furniture.
  4. Invest in high-quality, durable pieces.
  5. Keep storage in mind.
  6. Don’t forget the lighting.
  7. Don’t overdo it; minimalism is key.
  8. Remember the backyard or any outdoor area.
  9. Add small touches to make the property feel complete and welcoming.
  10. Showcase your furnishings through your listing and photos.
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