If you are planing to rent out a home or property as a short-term vacation rental on Airbnb or other home-sharing platforms, you’re probably wondering how you can set up the space. The goal of furnishing your airbnb is to impress your guests and maximize profits. However, furnishing a home for short-term rentals isn’t always simple. In fact, there are more factors to consider than just putting furniture into it. The needs of a weekend visitor might be different than someone living at a property long-term. Also, you need to account for a wide range of tastes of your guests. While you might love hot-pink wallpaper, this may be a unique taste of yours that won’t appeal to most guests. At the end of the day, you want to create the best guest experience at your Airbnb.
The easiest way to set up an Airbnb
Hire help! Most Airbnb hosts are part-time hosts. If you’re to do everything yourself, your time spent on finding everything and coordinating the logistics may end up costing you more. Check out our handy cost calculator here to estimate how much it may cost to furnish your Airbnb and to see whether your time is worth the work.
Alternatively, you can let us furnish the whole unit for you in a single day. No need to take days off to wait for deliveries. Just submit a design request, and our designer will send you a proposal with a few designs for all the rooms in your unit.
Don’t forget to ask about the move-in kit! It will include all the kitchen essentials (pots and pans, utensils, cookware, flatware, etc.), beddings and towels for your guests. It will get your guest move-in ready!
Airbnb Furnishing Checklist
Assuming you’re managing the furnishing yourself, here are the key tips to be keep in mind.
1. Avoiding Clutter
One of the challenges of furnishing an Airbnb is that you have to balance guests’ distinct needs. You need to provide enough furniture to serve everyday living. At the same time, you need to avoid creating clutters with too much furniture.
It is crucial to choose furniture that’s efficient in its use of space and also provides a clean minimalist appeal. Because of that, it is especially important when you are hosting travellers with large luggages. They will spread out the luggages and their belongings throughout the house. If the home is cluttered before they even arrive, it’s only going to be downhill from there.
Choosing the Right Furniture
Choosing the right furniture goes a long way. It helps determine how successful and appealing your living space will be. Not only should it be stylish and visually appealing, it needs to also provide everything your guests will need for a comfortable space during their stay.
Keep in mind that while choosing unique and character-rich furniture can give your Airbnb a unique, quirky vibe, that direction can sometimes backfire. Your safest bet is to choose restrained but still stylish pieces for the living space. That way you have the best chance of appealing to a wider range of guests.
Providing ample seating space while leaving enough space in the room is vital. In fact, it’s a careful balance that will require you to get a little creative with your sofa and chair selection. Therefore, we recommend going for a two-piece set as opposed to a sectional, as this is more flexible and allows for pieces to be moved to adjust the space.
If you do want to go for a sectional sofa, make sure to choose one with the right configuration for your unique space. For example, your living area might be suited for a sectional where the point of the L-shape is on the right, as opposed to on the left. Ideally, you can choose a sectional that can be adapted and rearranged if you find that a certain arrangement isn’t working for your Airbnb.
We definitely recommend using a pull-out sofa bed. Adding another sleeping option allows you to list additional sleep allocations on your Airbnb listing and bump up your price.
Maximizing Tables & Surface Areas
Next, you want to provide enough areas for dining, playing games and other activities. Tables and large-enough surface areas will serve this purpose. When choosing how much table area and seating to provide, think about the maximum number of guests your Airbnb can hold. If it only sleeps 4, you likely will not need a dining space for more than eight guests. You don’t want to overcrowd your space with an unnecessarily large table.
In regards to choosing the right table shape, we recommend circular tables. Circular tables can be space-efficient because there are no angular corners to cut into pathways. Circular tables are also a more casual option perfect for the board games and hang-outs, which are a hallmark of most Airbnb stays. That doesn’t mean square or rectangular tables are off-limits—they might be better suited for your space than a circular table if tables need to be placed into corners.
2. Entertainment Gadgets & TVs
TVs need to be in all major rooms, not just the living room. And we need these to be wifi-ready SMART TVs. You can mount the TVs directly to the wall to optimize space or placing them onto an entertainment console or other TV stand.
The two main types of TV mounts to consider are either fixed or adjustable.
- Fixed mounts keep the television in a set position that can’t be altered by you or your guests.
- Adjustable mountS can be turned rotated, and adjusted for the perfect viewing angle. Adjustable mounts are obviously more flexible, and can allow your guests to view the television clearly from various spots in your rental. That being said, it’s no surprise that an adjustable TV stand invites guests to adjust it. They might not all be as delicate and respectful as you, and this could result in damage to your mount or the television itself.
If you do opt for an entertainment console, choose one with opaque doors that will let you hide away electronics and other peripherals to avoid clutter.
TV Sizing Guide
As far as the TV itself, there’s no need to go for a mega-huge option. We recommend to choose the right size for each room based on the most common viewing angle and location. Take a look at this TV viewing distance guide. For example, a typical living room that is 8′ deep where the sofa is against the wall and the TV is against the opposite wall, the optimize TV size is 55″ to 60″.
3. The Power of Multi-Purpose Pieces
Designing an Airbnb with limited space is all about finding the best way to maximize the floor area. That’s why we love adjustable and multi-purpose furniture. Let’s take a look at a few common multipurpose furniture items and how you can use them to expand your living room space for maximum appeal.
Daybed with Storage
A daybed with storage is a comfortable seating option by day and an additional place to sleep by night. Many Airbnbs feature daybeds in their living rooms in lieu of sofas. Also, they offer the added benefit of providing storage in drawers or shelves underneath, increasing the flexibility of your space and reducing clutter throughout the home.
Definitely, a daybed is worth considering for a living room space, particularly if you’re in an area that caters frequently to large groups. It allows you to maximize your occupancy in the house. Larger groups drive higher nightly rates.
It’s worth mentioning that not all pull-out furniture is created equal. Many lower-end models leave you with a poorly constructed sofa and a poorly constructed bed in one. If you do go for a sleeper sofa, choose one that rates highly in comfort both in sofa-mode and once it transitions into a bed. Uncomfortable sleeping arrangements can lead to poor guest reviews and decreases in bookings.
Whether it’s a coffee table or dining table, choosing extendable surfaces is a great way to maximize the available space. Some tables feature side ‘leaves’ that fold out from under the table and lock in place. Others use sliding pieces to extend smoothly from below, and still others are actually two separate pieces. These are designed so that the slightly smaller table can fit under the other when not in use. And you spread out for additional space when necessary. This can be a very flexible and helpful factor in making the most of your living space for your guests.
Speaking of flexibility, choosing surfaces with wheels will easily add more convenience for your guests. When they have the ability to quickly move a table aside or arrange seating around a board game, your guests will feel more at home. Using furniture with wheels also prevents scraping and scratching on your floor.
4. Maintenance Considerations
We’ve covered some of the considerations for maximizing your space and providing an effective, homey and stylish Airbnb. Now, let’s take a quick look at some additional tips that will help your living space translate into more bookings, higher income, and less costs down the road. You will find that expending just a little thought towards these tips and some of those listed above will absolutely transform the appeal and profitability of your Airbnb in a way you never thought possible.
This tip is more for your sake than the sake of your guests. Choose furniture that’s rated highly for washability. Selecting high-end fabric that are impossible to safely clean will leave you with a lot of expensive, poor-looking furniture after just a few guests. Remember, wear and tear on your furniture will be higher with guests than if you were living in the unit yourself. Stick to washable, easily cleaned fabrics to make your life easier.
Along those same lines, we recommend choosing furniture that’s built to last. While you might feel thrifty by choosing cheap furniture with a low-end price tag, you’re likely to end up paying down the road when the furniture breaks down more quickly. Replacing furniture should not be a regular part of your routine as an Airbnb host. Opt for quality and you’ll be rewarded with a low-maintenance living space.
5. Style: The Click Factor
Neutral vs. Unique
We recommend striking a balance. For major furniture items like sofas, coffee tables, and major wall art, try to stick to universally appealing, current and modern styles. That said, you can feel free to season the rental with small, unique touches that will allude to the owner’s personality without it becoming overpowering. A good rule of thumb—if you’re not sure whether a piece of furniture item is too strange for your rental, it probably is.
When you visit a rental listing on Airbnb, what’s the very first thing you do? If you’re like most potential guests, you scroll through photos of the unit. And the living room where you’ll spend most of your time in the unit is at the top of your mind.
That’s why it’s vital to choose furniture that not only looks good in person, but also photographs well in your space. A photogenic listing is absolutely vital to securing guests. We recommend trying different furniture arrangements and taking photos as you go. You might find that something which feels right in person might not translate as well to a photograph. In that case, you may want to consider a new arrangement or removing/swapping a certain item in the living space.
Key Take-Away Points
Overall, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of your living space when it comes to attracting guests and impressing them once they arrive. Keep the space clutter free. Use multi-purpose and adjustable furniture. And keep quirky or personal touches to a minimum while sticking to primarily neutral furniture choices. This will allow you to achieve great reviews and your investment home will be fully booked!
Feel overwhelmed by the thought of furnishing your rental yourself? You can always hire a professional furnishing company to handle the entire process on your behalf. An experienced furnishing organization will analyze your unique needs and the space, then suggest what to use to furnish your listing. Read about how Jason was able to boost his nightly rates.
Don’t do it yourself. Furnish your space in a day with Furnishr.
We have successfully furnished many short-term rental homes in cities and by the beaches. The decor and furniture need to complement the style of the home and neighbourhood it is in. If the unit is in a city, use wall arts that speak to the culture of the city and the host. This shows a personal touch for a city-loving guest. If the unit is a cottage get-away, then mixing different styles of furniture tastefully is the way to go.