Furnishing Your Vacation Rental Property
Purchasing a vacation home is exciting! Whether you are the proud owner of a lake house, beachfront condo or cabin in the woods, you now have a place to get away from it all — for a few weeks of the year, anyway.
How Should You Go About Furnishing Your Airbnb or Vacation Rental?
Whether you anticipate hosting guests yourself or making your home available through Airbnb or a vacation rental property manager, you’ll want to outfit it with good quality, flexible furnishings that will work for a variety of situations.
Obviously, you know who you’ll be inviting as your personal guests — your besties or siblings, their partners, their children — and can equip your place to fit the needs of your “regulars.” (We previously featured this tiny vacation cottage designed to be shared by extended family. The owners installed a Tango Sectional wall bed to provide additional sleeping space in the living room and a Giro converting console table that turns an otherwise unusable entranceway into an area for study/work or dining.)
But furnishing a vacation rental can be more challenging when you’re making it available to strangers. You’ll want to consider your target guests, look for durable furniture that lasts and use versatile pieces that are both comfortable and visually appealing.
We’ll discuss the best ways to furnish your vacation rental, the average costs for furnishing and provide a checklist below so you know the exact furniture pieces to include in your vacation home.
How Much Does It Cost to Furnish a Vacation Rental?
Depending on your specific rental, purchasing vacation rental furniture can be expensive or done on a budget. Some owners can spend up to $100,000, while others might spend under $10,000. The cost of furnishing your rental will come down to location, condition, brand and personal style.
You can determine a budget based on your target audience. You might choose well-known brands if your rental is in a more expensive area, for example, but name-brand furniture might not matter as much if your property is in the middle of the woods. Similarly, luxury or top-quality furniture probably won’t be a factor if your rental is outdoors-oriented.
You’ll also want to determine how you’d like to incorporate your own personal style. If your tastes are more “recycled chic,” purchasing furniture from secondhand shops in gently used condition might seem like a great idea. However, it’s essential to consider whether buying secondhand furniture is worth it or not. If you purchase a secondhand chair and have a high-traffic place, its quality will more than likely deteriorate quickly. Worn furniture might make your rental look less than ideal.
While you can find many good condition items from secondhand stores or private sellers, consider planning your budget for retail prices so you can find exactly what you’re after.
If you’re aiming for a Superhost status on Airbnb, you’ll want to communicate to guests that you have luxurious accommodations with comfortable and attractive furnishings. Airbnb’s core audience searches for unique travels and stays. Consider quality furniture that stands out among other places to really “wow” your guests.
How to Furnish a Vacation Rental
After planning out a budget, you’ll want to search for furniture. Furnishing your vacation rental comes down to your target audience, creating a cohesive interior design and investing in quality, multifunctional furniture.
Know Your Target Guests
Knowing exactly your target market will make your furnishing decisions that much easier. If your size and layout accommodate families with young children, choosing larger, kid-friendly pieces might be your best bet. If your space is small and cozy, you might include smaller furniture items for couples and honeymooners.
Whether you market your place as a fun stay for families or a romantic retreat, consider your guests as you choose your furniture so they have everything they need for a comfortable stay. After all, what use is a 10-seater dining table if your rental only accommodates four people with no additional visitors?
Update your current furniture or invest in quality pieces that make sense. If you’re marketing to families, invest in furniture that can withstand high activity and slight wear and tear. Search for pieces that convert for multiple uses if you have a smaller stay.
Considering your guests will help you create a practical and beautiful space so they can unwind between travels or stay in as much as they please.
Create a Cohesive Style
Consider your personal style before furnishing your rental. Is it more modern or farmhouse? Eclectic or boho? Additionally, think about your location.
Many vacation rental owners reflect on elements of their locale to design their property, such as blue hues and seaside-inspired decor for a lakefront Airbnb. A rustic theme complete with wooden fixtures and chunky knitted blankets makes the ideal style for a cabin in the woods.
Either way, ensure your selected pieces complement one another in style, color and texture. A cohesive interior design will create a well-balanced rental that’s easy on the eye so your guests feel at ease.
If you’re unsure about your rental’s personality, use the internet as inspiration. Search for pictures of comfy rentals and homes to envision the perfect furniture for your place. Follow home style blogs and collect photos of interior styles on various social media platforms. Look to your competitors’ listings and go the extra mile to make your rental design look even better.
No matter your style, try to keep your colors neutral with the decor at a minimum so you appeal to a wide range of guests. Complementary furniture and decor will ensure your rental stands out from the rest so guests return again and again.
Don’t Skimp. Invest in Quality Furniture.
It’s tempting, especially after having just made a sizeable financial investment in a vacation property, to want to skimp a little when it comes to furnishings. Maybe you know of a great consignment or secondhand furniture shop nearby. Perhaps you’re thinking about moving some of the furnishings from your primary residence to use in your vacation rental. Better think twice — potential guests make their decisions based primarily on photos and a random array of secondhand furnishings isn’t likely to entice.
Another reason not to go the used furniture route is that if you expect your vacation rental to be occupied regularly, the furnishings may be used almost as frequently as they would if the property were your full-time residence. And while most rental guests will be respectful of your possessions, accidents can and do happen. A bed that collapses under a guest, a table or chair with a rickety leg — chances are these items will become trash before the first rental season is even over.
Consider Multipurpose Furniture Both Comfortable and Beautiful.
Consider investing in a few multifunctional furniture pieces, even when you aren’t cramped for space.
The five-bedroom Floating Farmhouse, a lovingly renovated, 200-year old manor home nestled in New York’s Catskill Mountains, makes the most of every inch of its stunning space. A popular event space rental, Floating Farmhouse, recently installed a Flex sofa in the common area off the kitchen. With several base sizes and shapes available and its moveable backrests, Flex is the ultimate in configurable seating.
A small, unused nook near the stairs was turned into an additional lounge/sleep area with the use of a Tango sofa wall bed. The height-adjustable Dynamic table functions as a coffee table, desk or even dining table for two; it doesn’t need to be moved when the bed is lowered.
Likewise, the desk on the Kali Duo Board installed in a small bedroom does not need to be cleared before opening up the bunk beds. One piece of furniture tripled the sleeping capacity of the room and provided additional value to guests by offering a workspace when the bunk beds were not in use.
Look at the Ella and Louis sofa wall bed for the ultimate flex guest room. Each side opens individually to reveal twin sleepers — when joined together, it becomes a queen.
Vacation Rental Furnishing Checklist
Follow our furnishing vacation property checklist to ensure you have everything you need.
Most vacationers spend most of their time in the family and living room, so you’ll really want to make this area stand out. But what makes exceptional furniture for a living room? For starters, consider:
- Capacity: How many guests will be in the family room for extended periods?
- Comfort: Does your occupancy limit match the number of seating options available?
- Layout: Does your furniture make sense in your layout and for the purpose of your space?
Answering these questions will help you decide on the perfect furnishing that’s comfortable, inviting and complements your layout. If your living room is on the smaller side, look for multipurpose furniture you can convert into additional furnishing.
Living room staples include:
- A cozy sofa or sectional to accommodate your preferred number of guests.
- Side tables for placing books, decor and table lamps.
- A coffee table for a stylish focal point.
- Comfy lounge chairs for kicking back and relaxing.
- An elegant ottoman or bench for resting feet or providing additional seating.
Vacation rentals are supposed to be restful, and you want the bedroom furniture to especially reflect that notion. A comfortable mattress is essential, though you don’t want to forget a decent bed frame and nightstands.
If you’re hosting people hoping to work from your rental space, a desk makes the perfect piece or, better yet, a wall bed that transforms into a desk. Bedroom furniture should strike the perfect balance of comfort and functionality. Guests will enjoy the versatility of your space to meet their unique needs.
Include a few essential items on your bedroom checklist:
- A double-duty wall bed or storage bed
- Bunk beds for the kids
- A high-quality, stylish desk
- Comfortable office seating
- Spacious nightstands
Bathroom and Kitchen
Any standard bathroom or kitchen should already include the essentials, such as appliances and built-ins. If your budget allows for add-ons, consider your style and target guests before furnishing.
If you’re hoping for a spa-like feel, consider furniture pieces that complement this style to create a comfortable bathroom for guests, such as a vanity, stool and chaise. Consider adding storage containers for hair appliances and toiletry items.
For your kitchen, add convenient touches to create a memorable experience for guests, such as bar and counter stools, transforming tables and chairs and countertop containers to fill with snacks, notepads or pens.
Maybe you don’t plan on eating at home very much while on vacation, but don’t overlook the importance of providing a suitable dining area for your renters.
Even without a dedicated dining room, a transforming console (like our Goliath or Outdoor Goliath) or convertible coffee-to-dining table (like the Cristallo or Passo) makes it easy to provide a sit-down meal for the whole gang.
Functional and Gorgeous Furniture for Your Vacation Rental
With furniture that serves more than a single purpose (and a lifetime warranty on all the mechanical parts and hardware for our wall bed systems), purchasing Resource Furniture is almost a no-brainer for the vacation homeowner. Let your rental unit stand apart from the others with furnishings that are beautiful, durable and fun to use.