Series: Owners

How to Furnish a Rental Home

Posted on Oct 27, 2020

If you’re a vacation rental owner with a recently purchased investment property, it’s time to start designing! From a kitchen with all the essentials to a relaxing outdoor space, in this article, we’ll show you exactly how to furnish a vacation rental home.

With a little bit of imagination and the right furnishing tips, you won’t even have to think twice about how to find renters. When it’s done right, decor helps guests feel comfortable, taken care of, and instantly at home in their furnished rentals.

Bring your flair for design, and let’s dive into how to furnish a rental property.

Before You Start

Before you embark on furnishing your vacation property, there are a few things to consider. Implementing these tips will help to keep you, as a vacation rental owner, organized, and guide you in the right direction.

Make a Budget

It’s easy to overdo it with one too many prints for the walls or the extra sets of towels that aren’t entirely necessary. A few dollars difference here or there—or the occasional splurge—on things like glassware, sheets, and furniture can really add up. When it comes to budget, remind yourself this is an investment property, after all, and the key is to conserve the funds and make an income. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make your rental unit cozy, comfortable, and even luxurious while still maintaining your budget.

  • Check out thrift stores for treasures (particularly kitchen items and vintage decor)
  • Ask around to see if any family or friends may be getting rid of furniture
  • Don’t be afraid to give things a second life with a coat of paint or a DIY project
  • Shop discount stores, which can often have beautiful linens and decor for less
Create a Checklist

As part of your “before you begin plan” make a checklist. A mental checklist can make you feel scatterbrained when you’re a property owner trying to jazz up a rental property. Instead, put a pen to paper or bring up a notepad on your phone or tablet. This can help you think about what you already have and what you need to purchase.

Craft a Mood Board

Furnishing a rental and making it cozy, and well-decorated for its upcoming vacationer can be a fun, creative experience. If you’ve never done it before, it’s okay to feel slightly overwhelmed. A good place to start before you dive into purchasing is to craft a mood board. Essentially, a mood board helps to bring a concept to life. It can include images clipped from magazines, inspiring text or quotes, and any other visual elements that will help tell the story of your space. This is also a good way to consider the theme or style of your rental. A lake house or beach house, for example, will have a different vibe than a modern city apartment or a mountainside cottage.

How to Furnish a Vacation Rental Home: Room by Room

As it turns out, the best way to figure out exactly how to furnish a vacation rental home is by doing it. Here are some simple guidelines to get you going on things to include in the kitchen, bedrooms, bathroom, living room, and outdoor space.

Kitchen

One of the best parts of a vacation rental property is the kitchen. In fact, it’s the reason why many vacationers opt for homes instead of hotels. Starting the day with your favorite coffee and ending it with a home-cooked meal is often hard to beat as a vacation home guest.

Here is a list of kitchen necessities:

  • Bowls
  • Coffee mugs
  • Coffee maker
  • Wine glasses and wine opener
  • Assorted glassware
  • Serving dishes
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Knife set (or at least a selection of knives for chopping)
  • Assorted cutlery
  • Skillet
  • Saucepan
  • Pots
  • Colander
  • Cutting boards
  • Blender
  • Pancake griddle
  • Dish soap
  • Towels and napkins (paper or cloth)
  • Tea kettle
  • Grill tools (if your property has a grill)
  • Appliances

It’s also nice to stock your vacation rental with the basics, like oils and seasonings. Some owners like to keep canisters with flour or leave their guests with some shelf-stable ingredients, like dried pasta and beans.

Bedroom

The bedroom should be a place of coziness and peace. It’s often the spot where guests will notice if things aren’t done thoughtfully and with attention to detail. Soft, clean bed linens and organized clothing hangers in the closet will instantly put a traveler at ease. If you want to go the extra mile, we’ve seen some vacation owners put out fresh candles and pillow mist. The key to the bedroom is to keep it minimal and tidy.

Bedroom furniture can get pricey, so if you’re purchasing brand new items, look for furniture packages (which often include the bed frame, nightstands, and dresser). Consider a bunk bed or two in one of the guest rooms, so that your rental can accommodate families with kids. In the master bedroom, if you can fit it, go for a king-sized mattress where couples or travel buddies can have more space to spread out.

Here’s what you’ll need in your bedrooms:

  • Bed linens (many owners opt for white sheets, which always look crisp and can be bleached and easily kept clean)
  • Throw blanket and throw pillows
  • Pillows (soft and firm options)
  • A duvet cover (which can be easily washed, as opposed to a classic comforter)
  • Comfortable bed and mattress
  • Dresser
  • Full-length mirror
  • Alarm clock
  • Nightstands
  • Laundry hamper
  • Clothing hangers
  • Extra blankets
Living Room

When you’re figuring out how to furnish a rental property, don’t neglect the living room. The living room is where a substantial amount of relaxing, unwinding, and entertaining happens. It’s the place where vacationers stretch out to watch TV or indulge in a good book. Living rooms are meant to be lived in, which means they should give off a welcoming vibe and a feeling of comfort.

Here are some things to consider when furnishing your living room:

  • TV outfitted with cable or streaming platforms (like Netflix or Hulu)
  • Fast WiFi (which should also be found throughout the house)
  • Couch with throw pillows
  • Coffee table or end tables
  • Some simply greenery (like easy-to-maintain succulents or plants)
  • Board games
  • Candles
  • Books

If there’s no extra room in the bedroom, the living room is also a good space for extra storage. Shelves or an armoire where guests can keep their emptied suitcases and extra travel gear is always a good idea.

Bathroom

Bathrooms should be a place of zen, where you can wash away the day’s worries with a warm bubble bath or shower. Similar to a bedroom, a vacation rental’s bathroom should be impeccably clean and minimal with a relaxing vibe. Today, it’s a welcomed addition to have some complimentary shampoo, conditioner, and body wash to make your guests feel comfortable.

Here are some bathroom essentials for your vacation rental:

  • Matching towels (large towels and hand towels)
  • Bath mat
  • Toilet plunger
  • Trash can with liner
  • Toilet paper
  • ShampooConditioner
  • Body wash or small bar soap
  • Hairdryer
  • Washer and dryer (a valued vacationer amenity, which can also be located anywhere else throughout the property)

It’s also a nice idea to have a small basket with some extras, in case guests forget their own. Items might include toothpaste and toothbrush, disposable razors, lotion, hair ties, and sunscreen. You can even go the extra mile with hair spray, bobby pins, deodorant, and bubble bath.

Outdoor Space

If your rental property has an outdoor space, think of this as a bonus amenity to your guests. Whether it’s a tiny deck with just enough room for a bistro table or an expansive backyard for the kids to roam and play, an outdoor space is often the hidden gem in real estate. It’s incredible what you can do to easily add some appeal to a deck, patio, or lawn. Regardless of how much room you have, some twinkle lights or lanterns, a cute table and chairs, and some potted flowers will do the trick.

Here are some additional outdoor amenities to attract a vacation renter:

  • Barbecue and BBQ tools
  • Swimming pool or jacuzzi
  • Spaces for kids and pets
  • Pet toys or kids toys
  • Firepit
  • Patio chairs and table
  • Outdoor kitchen
  • Hammock
Furnishing Your Rental with Zeus

If the thought of how to furnish a vacation rental home still has you nervous, consider going with a property management company like Zeus. We’ll take your rental home, make sure it is professionally designed and furnished, and then we will market it to your ideal guest.

Decor and furnishings aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. We get that. That’s why Zeus is here to turn your property into your rental income. From the premium bed linens to the flatware, we’ve thought of it all (so you don’t have to).
If you have any questions about what is a long term rental partnership with Zeus and what does it entail—feel free to reach out to our team today.

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