Need to furnish your Airbnb property but don’t know where to start? In this post, we’re going to guide you on furnishing everything from the living room and dining room to the bathrooms and outdoors.
If you’re new to the blog, I’m writing a series of Airbnb blog posts because many of you out there are hosting or are considering hosting with Airbnb but don’t know where to start.
There are very few roadmaps (with limited bias) that walk you through running a successful Airbnb business. As part of a previous Airbnb post, I mentioned that furnishing an Airbnb means truly FURNISHING your Airbnb, and in this post, I will discuss some of those intricacies.
You have likely considered that you have to provide beds, mattresses, and a couch, but everything else might be up in the air. To not overwhelm you with mundane discussions related to the furniture for your Airbnb, I will primarily cover items that you may not think about.
I find that it is important for most people to understand why I recommend certain things when furnishing your vacation rental. My recommendations and insights are based on nothing but my learned experiences in owning and managing long-term and short-term rental properties with Airbnb.
Keep in mind that, like many of you, I didn’t go into this thinking I would start a vacation rental business; it just kind of grew and grew. We purchased one place and it worked well, and we bought the next place while adding traditional rental properties in between.
For that reason, I have a wide-ranging perspective that I hope may be valuable to you when determining what is needed when it comes to furniture for your Airbnb. (Note: When I refer to furniture for your short-term rental, I am referring to everything needed for someone to live in your home, not just actual furnishings.)
How to Furnish Your Airbnb in 2021
1. Living Room Airbnb Furniture
As I said, we will move beyond the understood fact that you need living room furniture because it’s more important to discuss how to choose your Airbnb furniture. Not just for price, but function, design, durability, etc.
Most of you are not designers, and you may not have a great eye for your own personal design, but you still want the Airbnb furniture to represent your Airbnb well while not breaking your budget.
The first step is to consider what type of short term rental you’re providing. If you offer a high end feel in a high-end space and a high-end neighborhood, you will want to spend some money on high-quality furniture.
If you are gearing your rental property to visitors in town for a great time, then Ikea furniture may do the job. For my personal Airbnb’s, we are somewhere in the middle, so our choices are as well.
Don’t be afraid to look in magazines, Instagram, movies, or anywhere you can find inspiration. It is perfectly ok to find a look you like and choose furniture pieces of your own that mimic that look. Similar to how model homes show you what your home could be, use those sources for guidance while making it your own.
Consider patterns and colors that will age well with extensive use and probably some spills. As much as white couches or rugs might look amazing in the design magazines, it is not a viable option for the wear and tear of a short term rental property.
Here and in the bedrooms, you should consider tv, cable, satellite, etc., if you are going to offer those. If you are skipping something visitors might be expecting, you need to be clear about it in your listing.
If not, you may get bad reviews even though it was not your fault. You don’t want to save a few dollars if it’s going to cost you 5-star reviews but to each their own. Simply be clear in your listing.
Don’t forget side tables, lamps, and coffee tables as those are important pieces that will make one’s stay more comfortable. Always think, if I rented this Airbnb, what would I expect, and make sure you are providing that as the host.
The Airbnb furniture, whether Ikea, super high-end, or somewhere in between, should convey the feeling you want your guests to come away with. Don’t be afraid of some pieces with color, such as your sofa, side tables, or wall art.
Put cool stuff on your walls because nobody wants to stay in what might feel like an asylum. If your guests can sit down and watch a movie or a football game and feel comfortable, then you did a good job.
2. Bedroom Airbnb Furniture
Your Airbnb bedrooms or sleeping spaces might not be limited to 4 walls. They could happen in the living room pull out couch or trundle bed. There has to be enough bedding, including pillows, comforters, etc., for your guests.
Bedding costs really add up, but it is important for your guests’ comfort and maintaining your 5-star reviews. The most expensive bedding is not necessarily the best quality or longest lasting.
We usually buy our bedding and mattresses online. However, always have a waterproof cover on your mattresses, and I highly recommend using a duvet cover rather than just a comforter.
If you are a first-timer, you probably want to do white sheets because they look AWESOME!! Our first Airbnb’s were furnished with white duvet’s, sheets, towels, and other items, and they looked fantastic.
Then they got used over and over, and they deteriorated. When we ordered replacements, they were different shades of white. I didn’t know there were so many shades of white. There was a lot of time and money spent cleaning and bleaching to get out stains and imperfections.
After fighting an uphill battle, we switched to a cool modern pattern with a gray base and gray towels. Feel free to go through this phase, but remember this moment if/when you come to the other side. 🙂
Whichever pattern or color you choose, your sleeping quarters need to be a space your guests can be comfortable in while sleeping and relaxing. When possible, I recommend that your bedrooms give a consistent feel with your living area.
You don’t want the bedrooms to feel like they were ripped off another unit and slapped onto your vacation rental. You will have to find a balance between cost and comfort for your guests.
You don’t have to pay the top asking price to furnish your bedrooms well, and you don’t have to buy designer furniture, but you must make smart choices. Among those smart choices, make sure your guests have somewhere to put their clothes. That means a dresser space and/or hanging space with hangers.
Provide an ironing board and iron, as you have no idea what your guest has planned, and you don’t want to be the reason they look bad when they show up to an important meeting, wedding, or job interview.
Hosts should consider what the guest might require or request before they realize it and help to provide that. Replicas of showrooms at high-end furniture stores might wow your guest upfront, but all the little touches are what will get you rave reviews!
Restrooms are small spaces that only require a few simple items, such as toiletries, including paper, shampoo, conditioner, etc. You really should choose your towels wisely, as I mentioned above. If you have a tub/shower, I highly recommend a shower liner inside of any decorative shower curtain. You do NOT want someone splashing all over the floor and leaking through the tile below.
Also, consider some other small items that are helpful. Floor mats for getting out of the tub or shower are always appreciated. Provide at least one blow dryer in your Airbnb. We like to keep them in a handy blow dryer bag you can find online. Throw up a little art or décor and call it a day.
Tips: Clearly state that only toilet paper should be flushed, so you don’t end up with major plumbing bills.
The easiest thing to do is taking inventory of what you have in your kitchen where you live and start there. Hosts want to provide the basic kitchen items that their guests might need to cook a Thanksgiving dinner.
High-end appliances aren’t necessary, but what you do have has to be clean and well maintained. You absolutely MUST have a coffee maker, but it doesn’t have to be top of the line. Don’t forget clean sponges, kitchen towels, and a roll of paper towels.
You must obviously have plates, cups, coffee mugs, utensils, and the basics, which you can find at Ikea or online. However, I also recommend leaving extra batteries in the kitchen for any items around the Airbnb that might need new batteries. Make sure you carry all of the sizes too.
For example, not having batteries for a remote control might be a small inconvenience that becomes a larger annoyance. Make sure you also have batteries for your smoke detectors because nothing is more annoying than that periodic beeping!!
5. Dining Room Airbnb Furniture
Like the other furniture for your Airbnb, the dining table or eating area does not have to be spectacular. You want a dining table that continues your look and fits the size of the room.
You also want something easy to clean with as few cracks and spaces as possible. You can find a wide variety of dining tables for sale on craigslist, Offerup, and Facebook marketplace if you don’t want to pay retail prices. After a few guests, your table won’t look brand new, so it is perfectly ok if you save some money.
If your floor plan doesn’t allow for a table, then make some sort of eating area. To feel at home, you must have a property that has a place you can eat dinner. Airbnb furniture can also be practical, so if you are tight on square footage, you can use the dining area as a workspace as well.
When someone finds the right rental property, they are often willing to be creative with the use of the space if you provide them the tools. Do NOT assume that because you are in a great city or your apartment or house has a great view that people will settle for mediocre.
I can’t stress enough that you don’t have to be spectacular, but you do have to be consistent throughout, and consistent stay to stay. You are providing a value people will pay you for, but give them the value they expect.
Personalized tips will vary greatly from one Airbnb to the next, but if you have outdoor space, then use it and let them use it. Outdoor furniture is another thing on craigslist that can really set your rental property apart from the hundreds of other Airbnb properties. This is not one of the furniture essentials, but if you have good weather, this can really set you over the top.
Vacation rental furniture should always be simple and able to handle a lot. I lean toward the plastic wicker style because it does well in hot and cold temperatures compared to metal, wood, or other materials.
Many times you can purchase outdoor furniture new or used and arrange delivery pretty easily. Don’t feel limited by the fact that you may not have a vehicle to transport it in. Like all other furnishings though, keep it simple and solve the needs, but don’t go overboard with extras that will just break or become a nuisance.
Additional Tips for Success
Laundry Facility Tips
If you have laundry facilities, that is great, so make sure you market that, especially for longer stays. If you have that available, you can reflect it in your price for your vacation rental, but it is not a deal-breaker.
If laundry isn’t available on-site or isn’t easily accessible, make sure to note that. I would also highly recommend that you give them a resource to get laundry done locally if needed. You never know when you might have a mini-disaster that has to be cleaned quickly.
If you do it right, you can locate all the furniture you require for your Airbnb without breaking the bank. Don’t be afraid to shop around because there is no specific Airbnb furniture store.
When I furnish a rental property, I will have furnishings from no less than 3-4 different sources. Most of the basics will come from one store with a location that allows me to see the items first hand, take measurements, etc.
You must have an Airbnb furniture plan because otherwise, you can end up with way too much furniture to fit your property or not enough. You are building a business after all, and planning is key to business success.
Consider that no piece of furniture, beautiful floor lamp, giant TV, or gorgeous dresser is going to single-handedly make your renters happy.
These are all just small parts of the big picture. Find what fits your audience and your Airbnb furniture budget, so after that, you only need to fill in the gaps. Like any other business, this is built over time, so be patient but be diligent.
- If you are newly furnishing a place, focus on places that will deliver all your furnishings and new purchases. You will always have more work than you realize, so not having to pick up furniture is among the best time-saving tips. This also saves you the cost of movers.
- Look for sale items, even ones with imperfections, as an Airbnb will take some dings organically.
- Track your receipts from the start, as the expenses can add up quickly. You want to make sure you get the full tax benefits. As with any business, it is vital to know your numbers.
- Document the important info of your property such as filter sizes and location, paint info, specialty light bulbs needed, and appliance information for easy service later.
- While I love supporting small businesses, I find buying large items from big box stores to be the easiest route when it comes to purchasing en masse. Some of the major stores we have purchased from include: Amazon, Living Spaces, Way Fair, Overstock, Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Ikea, Home Depot, Lowes.
- After purchasing the large furniture items, we fill in the smaller items with local finds that are both new and used to add character. Note: Don’t be afraid to ask local stores about delivery even if they don’t advertise it.
- One thing I have failed at but recommend is a mailing list. Mailchimp allows you to create a free mailing list and send professional emails. if you can keep in contact with guests, you can get return visitors. (Note: I don’t know the Airbnb rules, but get the guest’s permission before sending anything.)
- When it comes to purchasing furniture, many stores offer financing and no interest deals if you have good credit. If you don’t have the cash available or don’t want to use your cash, this might make sense. You definitely want to avoid racking up credit cards with high-interest rates that will eat away your profits.
- Renting furniture with a place like Cort is an option if you aren’t totally committed yet. I have never done this, but other bloggers and hosts believe in renting and like to use Cort or CasaOne.
As always, I would like to hear about your experiences from home sharing on Airbnb and other platforms.
What are some great ideas you came across for meeting your Airbnb furniture needs? Have any of you tried furniture rental instead of buying? I am always curious to know how other hosts solve the same problems.