The Guide to Setting Up an Airbnb Rental in New York City

airbnb rental in new york city

AirBnb rental properties have been popping up in New York City, which is undoubtedly the hottest spot for vacationers and business travellers. A decent studio in New York City can be rented for $150-350 for a room on AirBnb. An entire AirBnb rental that sleeps more than 6 can cost approximately $650 and more. Other than the size and occupancy, the nightly cost of renting a room or entire place depends on the location as well as how the unit looks in the photos. There’s no wonder why AirBnb started offering photography services for hosts to make sure they have decent photos of their units.

Airbnb Rental Property in West Village NYC

While cleanliness is key to your guest’s comfortable stay and a 5-star review, having decent looking and comfortable furniture is another factor on your rental prices. When people travel to NYC for fun and for work, they want the entire trip to be a positive experience. The interior design of their accommodation will take their experience up a notch. And as many successful short-term stay companies like OneFineStay and Sonder have shown, guests are willing to pay big bucks for nicely designed homes for their vacations.

We might be biased since we have furnished a number of luxury short-term stay homes and AirBnb rental properties over the past 3 years, but we truly see the ROI (return on investment) in furnishing an AirBnb rental unit nicely to brand your unit as a luxury retreat to generate more profits in the long term.

Furniture and Accessories Checklist for Setting Up An AirBnb Rental

For the Bedroom:

  1. Bed with a nice headboard
    • An upholstered bed gives a warm cozy feeling to any bedroom
    • Don’t use a storage bed because guests are more prone to leave things behind if you give them more drawers in different pieces of furniture. It’ll just become an operational hassle.
  2. Mattress (at least 8” thick)
    • Vacationing and work travels are tiring. Make sure you give your guests good nights of sleep with a decently thick and firm mattress.
    • Memory foam mattresses are more durable than spring mattresses because there won’t be any brokn coils.
    • Soft memory foam mattresses can sag on odd sides over time. You can easily just turn and/or flip the mattress to extend its life.
    • Memory foam mattresses are also cheaper to replace.
    • We also suggest using a mattress case, which is a fabric cover with a zipper used to protect the mattress from bugs and dirt. In the event of messy guests and messy stays, you can just replace the mattress case and keep the mattress.
  3. Dresser or chest of drawers
    • You need at least one storage piece in the bedroom. A luxurious bedroom should not ask your guests to live out of their suitcase.
    • A wide dresser with 6 drawers is ideal since there can be two people sharing this room
  4. Nightstand or side table
    • There needs to be a surface area to put a table lamp, an alarm clock, a book and a phone.
    • If you have a dresser already, you don’t need more drawers on the nightstand. Again, the more drawers you give your guests, the more chances they will leave things behind
    • If your bed is centered in a room, place one side table on each side of the bed to create symmetry
  1. Mirror
    • Everyone needs to look good before they head out so make sure there is at least one mirror in the room, even if there is an attached ensuite bathroom
    • Place the mirror above the dresser or have a free-standing floor mirror
    • The mirror is also an decorative item so find one with a interesting frame
  2. Lighting
    • Some guests might enjoy staying in to read a book or work some more. Make sure there’s ample lighting for the night.
    • Floor lamps and table lamps are both great options.
    • The lamp(s) can also be another design feature in the room so pick wisely!
  3. Bedding
    • For the pillowcases, bed sheets, flat sheet and duvet, use the same set in WHITE. Don’t mix and match from different brands because the WHITE may be different.
    • And let’s not be too creative with the colour matching or colour blocking in the bedding set. Guests want to see clean white sheets on their beds to feel comfortable sleeping in a stranger’s room.
    • Place one simple throw pillow to glam up the bed
  4. Art & Rug
    • Arts and an area rug will add more colours and patterns to the room.
    • The nice and thick rug will keep their feet warm and soft in the morning.
    • Though they are optional, they do add the luxury touch to any bedroom


For the Living Room: 

  1. Sofabed (with pull-out mattress)
    • Increasing occupancy in the unit increases rent, so a sofabed essential to increase your return on investment.
    • It’s also important to differentiate a sofabed with pull-out mattress and a fold-down futon.
    • Sofabeds with a pull-out mattress means there’s a proper mattress underneath the seat cushions. There is a lift mechanism that lets you pull out the mattress easily. These sofabeds are made to be comfortable for seating as well as sleeping. The mattress, though is thin, is a firm memory foam mattress that guarantees you a good sleep without having to feel the hardware underneath. These sofabeds are at least twice as expensive as futons but they are more structurally sound and are worth the investment.
    • Fold-down futons, on the other hands, are made a simple frame and a gliding mechanism to fold down the back cushions of the sofa to make it into the size of a twin or double bed. There are usually 2 or 3 back cushions and 2 or 3 seat cushions, so you will feel all the gaps when sleeping.
  2. Coffee table
    • A coffee table provides a surface area to place drinks and snacks in your living space.
    • There are many lift-top coffee table designs that let you use it as a workstation which is a nice feature to sell on your listing.
  3. Lighting
    • Many apartments don’t come with ceiling lights. Whether you get much sunlight or not through the windows, you will need at least one floor lamp.
    • You don’t want your guests wandering around in the dark and walking into walls or furniture.
  1. Flat screen TV with a Chromecast
    • For nights of staying in, there should be a TV for Netflix or streaming of music and shows
    • Connected to a Chromecast, your guest will be more choices for entertainment


Other Essentials

In addition to furniture, you need to provide other living essentials for the kitchen and bathroom as well to make this Airbnb rental the “home away from home”.

Living Essential

  • Iron & Ironing board or steamer
  • Hangers for each closet
  • Trash can in each room

Kitchen Essentials

  • Plates, bowls
  • Cups, glasses and wine glasses
  • Utensils
  • Cutleries
  • Can opener
  • Pots & pans
  • Cooking utensils
  • Coasters
  • Toaster
  • Kettle

Bathroom Essentials

  • Hair dryer
  • Bath towels
  • Hand towels
  • Hand soap
  • Shampoo, conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash & disposable cups
  • Disposable toothbrush
  • Air freshener
  • Extra toilet papers
  • Hooks on the door

There are also other welcoming gadgets to make your apartment feels like home for your guests. Especially if they love your unit, they will return next time and recommend you to their friends.

Our Over-the-Top Welcoming Kit

  • Universal phone chargers for androids, iPhones and other brands
  • Outlet converter (for travellers from outside of North America)
  • Flip flops or slippers
  • Bath robes
  • Yoga mat
  • Speaker for music
  • Chromecast
  • Safe (combination)

Finally, you want to get your entire home set up ASAP so you can start making money right away. Most landlords lose out on the rent for the first month because they take too long to set up the home and take photos of the entire place. Just remember that an investment home isn’t your own home. You can’t take your time to shop for furniture and each item. The more time you take to set up the home and take nice photos of each room, the more money it will cost you. That’s exactly why our customers hired us.

An AirBnb Host’s Story

West Village Building

Our customer, Jason, got the keys to this beautiful townhouse in West Village of Manhattan last month and we furnished the entire house the next day. His first guest checked in three days after he got his keys. All he gave us was a floor plan, his budget and how many beds and sofa beds he wanted. We took care of everything else; from deciding on the colour scheme based on his preferred style of the home, selecting the furniture, selecting the accessories, space planning to delivery and setup in one day.

Jason’s budget was $15k for 3 bedrooms, 1 living room, 1 dining room, 1 kitchen, 1 basement studio and an outdoor patio for a total of 8 rooms. The average cost for the living room, dining room, bedrooms and basement studio was $2000 which includes all the furniture and accessories. The outdoor spaces and kitchen cost about $3000 in total.

Although it is a big cost up front, he is now able to brand it as a luxury Airbnb rental and charge his entire home $800-1000/night. The cost of furnishing the whole home was paid off within the first half of the month.



Ground floor of airbnb rental

An open kitchen to living dining room creates the most inviting photo for any Airbnb rental

King bed in master bedroom of Jason's Airbnb Rental

Master Bedroom

Airbnb rental bedroom 2

Bedroom 2





  1. Rita says:

    I spent a lot of time to find something similar to this

  2. says:

    Thanks to the terrific manual

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