Owners Guide to Furnishing a Vacation Rental

Last Updated on September 27, 2022 by Kravelv

The rise in the popularity of short-term rentals is attracting investors far and wide to make a profit. However, if you plan on catching the eye of destination travelers, you must work to make your rental appealing. How quirky do you want your property to look? Is a washing machine a basic amenity or luxury? With staycations gaining notoriety, you must carefully consider your property’s aesthetics.

woman choosing a sofa

Are you a property owner looking to furnish your vacation rental? Do you need some much-needed tips for working on a budget? If that sounds like you, join us on this ultimate owner’s guide to furnishing a vacation rental.

Owners Guide to Furnishing a Vacation Rental

Know Your Target Guests

It would be best to keep your target guests in mind when furnishing a vacation rental. You may appeal to different guests depending on your location, neighborhood, and activities. For example, rentals near Disneyland would get a lot of families traveling together. And some beaches would attract tons of college students during spring break. Once you can identify your primary market, you can better cater to their tastes. Whichever tenants you attract, expert property managers can protect your investment property.

Create a Furnishing Budget

An unspoken rule is that a vacation rental must be fully furnished. Thus, it would be wise to create a furnishing budget to help you stay on track. The last thing you want is to run out of money when your kitchen and living room are still bare.

The best way to avoid such a scenario is to create a checklist of the necessary items you need in each room. Note that what you consider a necessity would vary depending on how luxurious your rental is. For example, fast Wi-Fi would be necessary if your target audience is working professionals.

Balance Functionality and Personality

modern gray sofa

When choosing furniture for your vacation rental, you should balance functionality and personality. Going for aesthetically pleasing lights that poorly illuminate your rooms would be impractical. Likewise, throwing a multicolored couch in an otherwise neutral room would be inappropriate.

Hence, you must ensure that every piece of furniture or tool belongs to the environment. Try to keep a design theme in mind when decorating, as that would guide you in choosing pieces.

Keep it Neutral

Whether running a long-term or short-term rental, keeping your design neutral is best. A generic palette might seem uninteresting, but it also appeals to many more people. Besides, vacationers are often around for a few days to a week and feel no need to imprint their style.

Thus, it would be best to remove all personal touches from your rental and stick to more practical pieces. If you’re renting out your second house, you should also take out all your belongings. You should leave your photos, clothes, and other devices for strangers to access.

Opt for Durable Furniture

Another point to consider when decorating a rental is to opt for durable furnishing. Vacation rentals tend to see a lot of wear and tear. Depending on your location and marketing skills, you could have as many as 100 guests in a year. That much foot traffic also means your furniture is bound to take a beating. Thus, investing in durable pieces that will last a long time would be wise.

Tips for Furnishing on a Budget

Shop Around

As a vacation rental owner, you don’t have the luxury of engaging in furnished vs. unfurnished apartments. Instead, you have to install furniture in your rentals. However, if you’re on a tight budget, this can be a difficult task to accomplish.

One of the best tips for shopping on a budget is to shop around. Don’t limit yourself to high-end furniture houses around. Instead, try different markets and thrift stores for hidden treasures.

Turn on Sales Alert

Like the tip above, it would also help if you turned on the sales alert. Find out if furniture stores around you are running sales any time soon. Black Friday, Christmas, and other festive periods are prime times for such adverts. It would help if you also took note of electronic brands, as you could get a discount on appliances like dishwashers, coffee makers, and refrigerators.

Refinish Old Furniture

If you have some old furniture that isn’t too shabby, you could refinish it for a revamped look. You’ll be surprised how new a fresh coat of paint can make your worn-out pieces look. Also, you can replace the old hardware on your cabinets, closets, and doors for a more modern touch.


That concludes our owners’ guide to furnishing a vacation rental. We hope you have picked up a few things and are ready to implement them. If you would like someone to help you see you through the process of furnishing your rental, you should hire a property management company. A property manager with sound knowledge and experience can make your job a breeze and allow you to maximize profits.

Kravelv is a full time digital marketer and part time furniture and cabinet maker. During his free time he would like to create something out of recycled woods, this varies from toys, furnitures plant boxes etc. Follow him on Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook