In the post-pandemic era, how you furnish your Airbnb will play a critical factor in your brand and how you market your Airbnb business. Not only can stylish furnishings elevate the Airbnb experience, but the type of Airbnb furniture that you decide on can also help to improve the overall cleanliness of your short-term rental.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to break the bank to make your home look inviting. From garage sales and Facebook marketplace to IKEA Airbnb furniture, there are many places where you can shop at amazing prices if you’re on a tight budget.
To help future hosts furnish their Airbnbs, here are important considerations and practical tips that will wow guests and attract more bookings time after time.
How much does it cost to furnish Airbnb vacation rentals?
The cost of furnishing your Airbnb will depend on various factors like your chosen style and the size of the property. For example, if your goal is to create a luxury vacation rental, it’s not uncommon to spend as much as $100K.
On the other hand, if you already have a few items and your style is less luxurious, you can expect to pay about $10,000 to $15,000 for an average-sized home.
Should you hire a professional interior designer or DIY?
In some instances, hiring the services of a professional interior designer is the better course of action. This is especially true if you have a set deadline.
Even if you’re not working against the clock, it can be a good idea to hire a designer instead. As you’re decorating for the average traveler and not catering to your own personal preferences, it’s best to get the opinion of a third party too.
Professional interior designers have an expert’s eye and will bring their extensive experience and expertise to the table. This means that your property will be able to benefit from a professional’s touch.
What to know before you furnish your Airbnb
1. Know your audience
The type of guests that you’re marketing to will play a key role. For example, ample beds will be an asset if you’re targeting big groups or families. On the other hand, solo travelers will likely happily settle for a sofa bed or basic bedroom.
Likewise, knowing your audience will also impact your styling options. If you’re going for a romantic couple’s getaway, you will use romantic furnishings and color palettes. While if you’re catering to business travelers, you’ll opt for a more modern and simplistic style.
2. Set your budget
It’s easy to spend a small fortune on furnishings for your Airbnb listing. So, to help you not go overboard, it’s key that you set a budget beforehand to avoid your Airbnb business starting with unnecessary debt.
One strategy that works great for this type of project is to create two checklists: one for must-have items and one for nice-to-have items. This way, you’ll ensure that the most important furniture gets bought first. Then, if you still have some money left, you can turn to the second, nice-to-have list.
Setting your budget will also inform you where you will be able to shop for your Airbnb furniture. Bigger budgets mean you could hit the higher-end stores if you want to, while smaller budgets mean you’ll need to go treasure hunting at more affordable stores like IKEA furniture, or at second-hand furniture stores or garage sales.
3. Choose your theme or color palette
Even if you plan on partnering with an interior designer, you’ll need to have a theme or color scheme in mind. Social media platforms, like Pinterest and Instagram, can be great sources of inspiration for your Airbnb property.
You could also look at photos of other homes on listing platforms like Airbnb. This will give you an idea of which styles, themes, and colors are most on-trend.
4. Give yourself a time frame
The best time to furnish a new Airbnb listing is before the peak season begins. That being said, make sure that you add a few weeks’ leeway, in case of unforeseen issues. The last thing you’ll want is to lose out on valuable weeks that you could’ve rented out your listing for a higher nightly rate during the high season.
How to furnish your Airbnb rental like a pro [11 tips for success]
1. Know what your spaces can accommodate
While you want to optimize your space, especially if you have an apartment, you shouldn’t overcrowd rooms with too many items and accessories.
To help you, it’s a good idea to refer back to your floor plan. This will give you the best idea of what your space can accommodate.
2. Work with a checklist
Working with a checklist to furnish your Airbnb helps you not to forget the essentials. To help you, you can use this basic Airbnb host checklist with the essentials for each room:
Living area essentials
- A large coffee table / two small coffee tables
- Indoor plants
Dining room essentials
- A dining table and chairs
- Adequate lighting
- Spring mattresses
- Mattress cover
- Matching pillowcases
- An extra blanket
- A wardrobe (be sure to add a few hangers too)
- Bedside table
- Ironing board
- Full-length mirror
- Coffee maker
- Electric kettle
- Cutting boards
- Food storage containers
- Wine opener
- Bottle opener
- Can opener
- Trash can
- Cleaning supplies
- Hand towels
- Bath towels
- Bath mat
- Toilet paper
- Toilet paper holder
- Trash can
- First-aid kit
- Toilet brush set
- Outdoor dining table
- Patio chairs
3. Ensure all the furniture is the best quality you can afford
Durable, high-quality furniture will last longer. If you need to choose between buying cheap furniture brand new or buying a high-quality piece second-hand, opt for the latter approach. When done right, vintage or good-quality second-hand works well too.
In the long run, buying low-quality furniture will only work out to be more expensive as you’ll have to replace these items sooner and more frequently.
4. Keep the location of your short term rental in mind
There are two main reasons why you should keep the location of your Airbnb listing in mind. Firstly, depending on where it’s located, certain amenities, like air conditioning or a heater, will be indispensable.
Secondly, it’s also a good idea to let the decorating style reflect the location of your property. For example, if you have a tiny house, a minimalist style will work better, while providing extra beach towels will make much more sense for listings close to the beach.
5. Stick to furniture that is easy to clean
Guests pay a lot of attention to cleanliness and this is one area where you want to score high marks each time. So, to make it easier to maintain a superior level of cleanliness, it’s best to opt for furniture that’s easy to clean. You’ll be only too grateful after you’ve hosted messy guests!
Plus, you’ll also have less difficulty keeping a cleaning crew, which is one of the biggest challenges related to cleaning that Airbnb hosts face.
6. Don’t be afraid to use a pop of color
Adding bold accents can make a huge difference. Not only is it relatively easy to pull off, but it’s also an inexpensive way to make your property more memorable.
From painting your front door a different color to adding a colorful art piece, there are various ways that you can use to add pops of color.
7. Opt for plants to elevate your spaces
Another way to breathe new life into your property is by adding indoor plants. The trick is to opt for low-maintenance, water-wise plants. Alternatively, there’s also no shame in using fake plants.
If you do plan on buying real indoor plants, though, you’ll need to do some research. Not only do you want to get houseplants that basically anyone can keep alive, but you’ll want to make sure that you don’t end up buying one that’s toxic.
Accidentally ingesting a toxic plant can lead to serious symptoms or even death. So, the last thing you want is for your good intentions to cause your guests, their kids, or pets any discomfort.
8. Keep comfort a top priority
It doesn’t matter if your Airbnb’s furniture looks great, if it’s uncomfortable to use or not functional, it shouldn’t be included in your listing.
When it comes to decorating Airbnb properties, comfort will always triumph over aesthetics.
9. Don’t forget about lighting
Hosts often underestimate the importance of good lighting. Not only is it essential for safety reasons, but it can also serve an esthetical purpose by helping to create the right mood.
You can also improve the lighting by optimizing natural light. For example, one way to bring in more natural light is by strategically placing large mirrors next to windows.
In addition to making the most of natural light, it’s also important that you install multiple sources of light. From accent lights to bedside lamps to pendants, there are various types of lights that can help you to elevate your interior.
10. Make sure there’s enough storage
While your guests might be staying for only a few days, you still want to ensure that they have ample storage space.
In addition to offering a wardrobe for their clothing so that they don’t have to live out of their suitcase, you should also add bedside tables (preferably with drawers), hooks near a door to hang up coats, and a bathroom cabinet where they can store their other essentials.
If space is an issue, the good news is that there are a number of creative storage solutions available. You can, for example, opt for a storage bed over a traditional double bed.
11. Show off your Airbnb with stunning photos of your furnished rental
Furnishing short-term rentals requires time, upfront investment, and skill. So, make sure that your photos reflect the hard work that you’ve put in.
You should aim to upload about 20 – 30 photos in total to Airbnb and the other platforms on which you list your property. Though, make sure that you shoot more photos so that you have a selection from which to choose.
Not only should you take a number of photos, but you should also take photos from different angles.
For example, a panoramic shot is best to show off an entire living room, while a close-up shot can work well for a specific decorative item that you want to highlight.
While the interior of your property will be the star of the show after following all these tips, it doesn’t mean that you should forget about its exterior and location. Potential guests also love to browse photos of the nearby basic amenities and attractions that the neighborhood offers.