When it comes to buying furniture for your Airbnb rental, your personal taste and style mean everything. But choosing furniture to optimize the space in your short-term rental means putting yourself in the shoes of your potential houseguests. By focusing on the design and functionality, you can design a vacation rental that results in not only happy guests and great reviews, but also repeat bookings.
Preparing a home for Airbnb can be intimidating, especially if you have no decorating experience. Whether you’re outfitting an empty home from scratch or putting the finishing touches on an existing home, these decorating tips will help you create a desirable rental without breaking the bank.
Start by identifying your ideal guests. What type of people do you want to host in your property? Is it families, business travelers, local residents looking for a weekend getaway, or tourists?
Understand the needs of your core audience and create the type of home they will find irresistible. This leads to more bookings and a higher Airbnb income.
If you’re not sure who your audience is, get to know the type of people who visit your area. Why do they visit your area? You’ll start to notice trends in the type of traveler your property will attract.
Once you understand your audience, invest in items that will appeal to them. For example, business travelers will appreciate Wi-Fi and a quiet place to work. Families with small children cherish entertainment items like cable television or even a video game system for the kids.
Think about how guests might use your property and what extra amenities would enhance their stay.
Rental Decorating Tips
When it comes to getting a vacation rental ready, first look at each space and consider how the room might be used. For example, a great room connected to a kitchen might be used for eating, watching TV, playing games, talking or sleeping. All of these activities require the appropriate furniture, such as:
- Dining table and chairs
- Pull-out sofas or sectionals
- Coffee table or large davenport
- Easy chairs
- Side tables
The lighting should be bright to accommodate all possible activities, so consider investing in some floor and table lamps in addition to any overhead lighting. Dimmer switches are a great affordable option that allows your guest to adjust the brightness to any activity.
Next, use the furniture to create groupings. Placing two easy chairs and a side table at one end of the room, the sofas and sectionals near the television, and the dining table and chairs near the kitchen can break up any space into clear gathering spots.
Select a Theme
Not everyone is excited about the idea of shopping for throw pillows or selecting nice color schemes, but it’s worth making the effort to create the perfect ambiance for your guests.
Choosing the right colors, styles, and fabrics for the walls and furniture in your vacation rental help create a calming atmosphere and optimize the natural light of each room. Keep furniture colors as neutral as possible and provide pops of extra color using pillows, throws, area rugs and wall accent pieces. Furniture fabrics should be durable as well as comfortable to avoid needing to purchase replacements each year.
Airbnb guests are looking for a unique experience. They aren’t looking for a boring, cookie cutter hotel room. If they were, they’d go book a room at Holiday Inn. Your goal with decorating should be to create an authentic and inspiring getaway. You can do this by integrating aspects of creative themes or the surrounding area into your rental property.
Home decor stores like Pottery Barn, Kirkland’s, Pier One Imports, or Cost Plus World Market offer colorful and eclectic collections of furnishings, draperies, throw pillows and accent pieces to give your rental a faraway and exotic feeling. Even stores like Ikea and Target can give you just the right touches for your taste and budget. And don’t forget to wander through local artisan shops or specialty stores for paintings or photos of surrounding scenery to add a taste of the area’s personality to your vacation rental.
Those Little Extras
Offering extras like Wi-Fi, Netflix, Hulu, or even a video game system keeps your guests connected and entertained while on vacation. Add blackout curtains to bedrooms to ensure quality sleep for those who like to sleep in on weekends. Provide a blow dryer in each bathroom and keep an iron and ironing board in one of the bedroom closets (these are necessary essentials if you wish to cater your rental towards business travels). Each room should have a good quality mattress, pillows, along with extra blankets and sheets in each closet; make sure each bed has a fresh mattress pad, too. For spills and other mishaps, keep a vacuum cleaner, mop and bucket, and a broom and dustpan in the closet nearest the kitchen.
The Comforts of Home
The key to furnishing your rental home is comfort. Touchable quality creates a relaxed “home away from home” experience for all your guests. When guests are comfortable, they’re happy. Happy guests leave great reviews, which lead to increased bookings and repeat stays for your property.
Decorating a place for temporary houseguests is much easier and cheaper than decorating a private home. The goal is to appeal to the greatest number of people at the best price.
Here’re some final thoughts to help you complete this project with amazing results:
- Select neutral colors for walls and natural woods for furnishings. This ensures your decor appeals to the greatest number of people. Avoid loud, bright colors when selecting wall paint and furniture pieces.
- Choose accent pieces that add character. Start with one statement piece such as a painting, colorful piece of furniture, or pottery item. Use this piece as the starting point to select complimenting colors for other items in the room.
- Use a variety of textures to add extra interest. Decorative fabrics can be used in throw pillows, slipcovers, window coverings, and wall hangings.
- Maximize your beds to increase rental income. For example, have a futon or sofa sleeper in the living room. If you have the space, include two full beds in a spare room. These can be pushed together to accommodate two kids or a couple. Get the biggest mattress you can for the master bedroom. And consider offering an air mattress or cot to further increase your maximum number of guests.
- Make sure your property passes the smell test, by adding potpourri near the front entrance and near the bathrooms.
- Don’t clutter entryways and foyers. Leave plenty of hallway space from the front door to the room(s) so that baggage doesn’t bang against walls and furniture.
- Provide sufficient electrical outlets and extension cords. Make sure you don’t block access to electrical outlets for those guests who will be traveling with their own electrical devices like iPads and computers.
- Place a doormat by exterior doors to save your floors and carpet. This especially comes in handy during rainy weather.
- Hang mirrors in strategic spots to add light and make your place appear more spacious.
- Eliminate unnecessary clutter. You may have a collection of action figures, but chances are the number of guests who will admire being surrounded by it is miniscule.
- Remove personal items such as family photos, clothing, toiletries, trophies, and awards.
- Avoid any religious or political pieces. The goal is to make every guest feel comfortable and at home. You don’t want to get a bad review because a guest felt offended by your personal beliefs.
- Never invest in antique or high-end furniture. While you want to provide a comfortable space for all your guests, you don’t need to spend a fortune on furnishings to achieve this. Plus a total stranger is not likely to give your furnishings the same tender loving care that you would. Think more about creating a functional space with furnishings that pop in photographs. And less about how you would decorate your dream home.
Good luck and have fun creating the perfect space for your guests to enjoy.