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Airbnb Furnishing

Airbnb Hosts’ Furnishing Checklist to Reach Top Search Listing

If you’re thinking of renting out a home or property you own as a short-term vacation rental on Airbnb or other home-sharing platforms, you’re probably wondering how you can set up the space in the best possible way to attract airbnb guests and impress them when they arrive. But furnishing a home for short-term rentals isn’t always simple. There are more factors to consider than just style. That’s because the needs of a weekend visitor might be different than someone living at a property full-time. You also need to account for a wide range of tastes. You might love creative touches like hot-pink wallpaper, but you’re less likely to attract a large number of guests with unique choices like that.

The most vital are of all when furnishing your Airbnb is the living room. This is where your guests will spend much of their time during the day, and its crucial that you nail the décor and functionality of the space. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most important elements of an effective Airbnb living area.

What’s the easiest way to get an Airbnb unit ready?

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 guide for the cost of furnishing an apartment to see whether your time is worth the work.

Or 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. 

Start Design Request

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.

Avoiding Clutter

One of the challenges of furnishing an Airbnb is that you have to balance two distinct needs—providing enough furniture and seating to serve your guests, while also avoiding a cluttered and overly compressed vibe in your living area.

Victorian house with contemporary living room

That’s why it’s key to choose furniture that’s efficient in its use of space and also provides a clean, somewhat minimalist appeal. That’s especially important when you consider that short-term travelers are often laden with luggage and other items that will be spread throughout the house during their stay. If the home is cluttered before they even arrive, then it’s only going to be downhill from there.

Choosing the Right Furniture

Choosing the right furniture goes a long way in determining how successful and appealing your living space will be. Not only should it be stylish and visually appealing, but it needs to also provide everything your guests will need for a comfortable space during their stay.

Modern dining room in a vintage brownstone home

Keep in mind that while choosing unique and character-rich furniture can give your Airbnb a unique, quirky vibe, that direction can sometimes backfire. The more distinctive your style, the greater the likelihood that certain guests who don’t share your sensibility will be turned off by your choices. Your safest bet is to choose restrained but still stylish and contemporary pieces for the living space. That way you have the best chance of appealing to a wider range of guests.

Seating

When it comes to living room seating, remember that providing ample seating space while leaving enough space in the room is vital. It’s a careful balance that will require you to get a little creative with your sofa and chair selection. 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.

Living room with sectional, colorful rug and colorful wall arts

If you do want to go for a sectional sofa, ensure that you choose one with the right arrangement 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 considering 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.

Tables & Surfaces

Providing enough areas for dining, playing games and other activities is absolutely crucial. When choosing how much table area and seating to provide, think about the maximum amount of guests your Airbnb can hold. If it only sleeps 4, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to provide dining space for eight guests at a time. You don’t want to overcrowd your space with an unnecessarily large table.

In regards to choosing the right table shape, we suggest taking a page from King Arthur’s book. Circular tables can be the most space-efficient, removing angular corners that can cut into pathways and living space. That doesn’t mean that square or rectangular tables are off-limits—they might be better suited for your space than a circular table. But if space is at a premium, a circular table can be a great way to offer ample seating without commanding a large area of floor space. Circular tables are also a more casual option than rectangular tables, perfect for the board game sessions and hang-outs that are a hallmark of most Airbnb stays.

furnished living room and kitchen

Television/Entertainment

Consider mounting the living room television directly to the wall rather than using an entertainment console or other TV stand. This will keep you from taking up more space than is necessary for your television, and also adds a high-class vibe to your living room. There are two types of mounts to consider—fixed or adjustable. Fixed mounts keep the television in a set position that can’t be altered by you or your guests. An adjustable mount 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.

As far as the TV itself, there’s no need to go for a mega-huge option. But guests will also be turned off if all you offer is a 12” tube TB from 1995. Nice, relatively large digital TVs are fairly cheap these days.

Should you opt for a more common (and inexpensive) LED TV or a 4K Ultra High-Def option? That’s your call. Personally, considering how impressive even mid-range LED TVs have become, we’re not sure springing for a more expensive 4K option will be worth the cost for you or your guests. But that’s a call you’ll have to make on a case-by-case basis.

Couple watching a movie
Back view of couple watching wildlife movie on television in living room

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. If you choose options that provide multiple arrangements or uses while still remaining stylish and contemporary, you’ll be rewarded with a more spacious, appealing Airbnb that will land you more guests.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most common multipurpose furniture items and how you can use them to expand your living room space (as well as other spaces in the home) for maximum appeal.

Daybed with Storage

If you don’t opt for a pull-out sofa, a daybed with storage can be a great alternative. A comfortable seating option by day and an additional place to sleep by night, some Airbnbs feature daybeds in their living rooms in lieu of sofas. They also offer the added benefit of providing storage in drawers or shelves underneath, increasing the flexibility of your space and reducing clutter throughout the home.

A daybed is worth considering for a living room space, particularly if you’re in an area that caters frequently to large groups and you want to absolutely max out the amount of guests who can sleep in your rental.

Pull-Out Couch

We already mentioned this above so we won’t go into too much more detail. However, 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.

Extendable Table

Whether it’s a coffee table or dining table located in the living room, choosing extendable surfaces is a great way to maximize the available space. Some 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, but then 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.

Moveable Surfaces

Speaking of flexibility, choosing surfaces with wheels or ones that are lightweight enough to be easily moved can greatly increase convenience for your guests. When they have the ability to quickly move a table aside or arrange seating around a board game or other activity, your guests will feel more at home in your rental. Using furniture with wheels will also help prevent scraping and scratching on your floor.

Living room with white walls, grey sofa, wooden coffee table and butterfly chair

Extra Tips to Consider

We’ve covered some of the considerations for maximizing your space and providing an effective, homey and stylish Airbnb. But let’s take a quick look at some additional last-minute tips that will help your living space translate into more bookings, higher income, and less costs down the road. You’ll 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. 

Washability

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.

Durability

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.

Neutral vs. Unique

We touched on this a bit already, but let’s talk about style. Balancing the level of personal touches in an Airbnb is a delicate art, one that many hosts have a hard time mastering. You might absolutely love the quirky appeal of your armchair shaped like a swan—but many of your guests may not feel the same. That being said, you don’t have to erase any semblance of uniqueness or personality from your unit altogether.

book a design call and your room could look like this

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. But you can then 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.

Photo Factor

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.

Bright colored Persian rug

Key Take-Away Points

Overall, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of your living room or living space when it comes to attracting guests and impress them once they arrive. Keep the space clutter free, implement multi-purpose or adjustable furniture, and keep quirky or personal touches to a minimum while sticking to primarily neutral and contemporary furniture choices. This will allow you to achieve great reviews and hopefully, your investment home will be fully booked per month!

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 space, target guests, and budget, then impeccably decorate and furnish your listing to maximize bookings and boost your list price. 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’ve furnished many short-term rental homes in cities and by the beaches. The decor and furniture in a unit need to complement the style of the home and the neighborhood it is in. If the unit is in a city, use more contemporary finishes with 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. 

Furnish Your Airbnb Now

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Airbnb Furnishing Design Tips Furnishing 101

Airbnb Host Checklist for Room Design

Airbnb Host Checklist for Room Essentials

Here is a checklist to help you design an Airbnb space that’s beautiful and accommodating! Because amazing room design = amazing prices.

 

 

  • For instance, a decent studio in New York City can be rented for $150-350 for a night.
  • Not only that, but a rental that sleeps more than 6 can net $650 or more per night.

It’s a fact that we regularly see high ROI (return on investment) in furnishing Airbnb rental units nicely. We might be biased, since we ourselves have furnished a number of luxury short-term stay homes and Airbnb rental properties over the past three years. But it’s true that branding your unit as a luxury retreat can help you generate more profits in the long term.

 

 

You may think that cleanliness is the biggest influence on a customer’s ratings. It’s true that cleanliness is the baseline to your guest’s comfort and a 5-star review. But having decent looking and comfortable furniture is another major factor on your rental prices. Consider people traveling to a big city like NYC for fun or for work. They want the entire trip to be a positive experience! Thus, the interior design quality of their accommodation can take their whole experience up a notch. Not only that but many successful short-term stay companies like OneFineStay and Sonder have shown that Airbnb guests will pay big bucks for nicely designed homes when on vacation.

 

 

Regardless, this Airbnb host checklist provides you with a detailed description of the furniture, accessories and essential items you need to set up an Airbnb property and earn some extra money.

 

 

A final tip: Even if your unit is in a great location, terrible photos can make people skip right over your listing. It’s no wonder that Airbnb has started offering photography services for hosts to make sure they have decent photos. So — once you complete the checklist below, don’t forget to go get some high quality photos taken!

 

 

Happy furnishing!

 

Glamorous living dining room

Airbnb Host Checklist: Furniture and Accessories

For the Bedroom:

 

an Airbnb bedroom furnished

  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 broken 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 to 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 a decorative item so find one with an 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 color matching or color 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 colors and patterns to the room.
    • The nice and thick rug will keep their feet warm and soft in the morning.
    • Though they are optional, rugs do add the luxury touch to any bedroom

For the Living Room: 

Vacation Home in Tybee Island - Furnished with sofa bed airbnb

 

  1. Sofabed (with pull-out mattress)

    • Increasing occupancy in the unit increases rent, so a sofa bed is essential to increase your return on investment.
    • It’s also important to differentiate a sofa bed with pull-out mattress and a fold-down futon.
    • Sofa beds 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 sofa beds 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 sofa beds 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!
  4. 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 Airbnb Amenities and Essentials

Toronto Yorkville AirBnb 

In addition to furniture, you need to provide other living essentials and basic amenities 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. In particular, if they love your unit, they will return next time and recommend you to their friends.

Our Stylish Over-the-Top Welcoming Kit

close up photography of person wearing pink house slippers

  • Universal phone chargers for androids, iPhones and other brands
  • Outlet converter (for travelers from outside of North America)
  • Flip flops or slippers
  • Bathrobes
  • Yoga Mat
  • Speaker for music
  • Chromecast
  • Safe (combination)
  • Airbnb Guidebook

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 a rental home isn’t your own home! You do not have the luxury to take your time to shop for furniture and each item with care.

 

 

 In other words, the more time you take to set up the home and take nice photos of each room, the more money it will cost you. This is exactly why people hire us!

Furnishr Review: Furnished Airbnb Design

a west village airbnb furnished by Furnishr

 

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, high quality Airbnb rental and charge  $800-1000/night to rent out his entire home. The cost of furnishing the whole home was paid off within the first half of the month

 

 

With Furnishr’s help, you can soon be on our way to receive great reviews with your Airbnb fully booked each month.

Jason's west village airbnb living room with a fireplace, coffee table, a chair and a couch

Jason's west village airbnb guest bedroom

Jason's west village airbnb in another guest bedroom furnished by Furnishr