Airbnb Design Ideas

How to Furnish an Airbnb: Tips for Your New Rental

We’ve all been there — wishing our rental home looked more like an influencer’s social media page and less like bland corporate housing. Knowing what to do and how to get started can be intimidating. Renting furniture for your Airbnb can have many benefits, including improving the overall look and feel of your space. There is a wide range of other small, inexpensive design adjustments that can also make a big impact.

by Fernish

Should You Rent Your Airbnb Furniture and Décor?

Congrats — you’ve managed to get your hands on rental property in this insane real estate market. You’re excited to start bringing in a steady cash flow to offset the mortgage. You go to list your Airbnb and quickly become overwhelmed by the other listings in the area that seem fairly comparable. 

You start thinking, “What did I get myself into?” “How am I going to compete with all these other listings?” “I don’t have enough money left over to decorate an inviting space.” 

That’s where premium furniture rental companies come in, allowing you to rent, rent-to-own, or buy high-quality designer furniture. By paying over time, you don’t have to break the bank to decorate your place. Even better — there are no delivery, assembly, or pickup fees.

Below, learn some convenient and inexpensive ways to freshen up your Airbnb through premium furniture rental. 

Set the Mood, Starting With Color

Find a starting color you love. Keep in mind cool colors create serenity, while warm colors evoke energy and emotion. Next, choose which combination evokes the feeling you want.


  • Clean and classic, neutral palettes evoke a sense of calm and serenity
  • Use muted tones of whites, grays, beiges, and browns


  • A sophisticated look that uses different shades of the same color
  • Great for adding color to a room while maintaining consistency 


  • Makes a statement by adding energy and excitement to your space
  • Choose colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel


  • Known for being natural and harmonious — think of a sunset
  • A style that pairs two or more colors that are next to each other on the color wheel 

Split Complementary

  • Playful and fun, this palette lets you inject your personality into your space
  • Choose the main color, and then the two colors on either side of its complement

Protect and Spruce Up Your Floors

Rental properties with hardwood floors tend to fetch more demand and higher revenue. The downside is they risk wear-and-tear due to the high number of people coming in and out.

By covering your wood floors with rugs you liven up the space, make it feel homier, and best of all, you protect your wood floor investment. It’s much easier to swap out a new rug than it is to redo wood flooring. If you want some extra cushion and to keep rugs from sliding around too much, you can anchor it with a rug pad. 

A well-placed rug can either amp up or mellow out a room. Add pattern and texture for more excitement, or use a calm neutral to mute loud colors elsewhere in the space. Here’s how to do it room by room:


In a large bedroom, place your rug in front of the nightstands unless your space demands otherwise. If you have a queen bed, opt for an 8×10 foot rug. If your bed is king-sized, use a 9×12 foot rug. 

For a smaller bedroom, place your rug so it extends 36 inches on either side of the bed. Rooms with queen beds work best with 5×8 foot rugs, and those with king beds should have a 6×9 foot rug.

Bed against the wall? Try placing a runner from the nightstand to the foot of the bed.

Living Room

A Persian-style rug is great for high-traffic areas such as the living room where people won’t always take off their shoes. The intricate pattern conveniently hides small imperfections and messes.  

If your living room furniture is by a wall, the front two legs of all furniture should be on the same rug. We recommend using an 8×10 or 6×9 foot rug, depending on the size of your room.

Smaller living areas may need a smaller option. In these cases, put a 4×6 or 5×7 foot rug under the coffee table or another central piece of furniture to define the space.

Dining Room

No matter the shape of your dining table, don’t forget to make sure all chairs still remain on the rug when they are pulled out.

For rectangular tables, use an 8×10 or 9×12 foot rectangular rug. For circular tables, the rug should generally extend 2 feet beyond each side of the table. This usually equates to a rug with a 7- to 9-foot diameter.

Change things up and give your rental a refresh without spending any extra money by easily swapping out rugs from various rooms. A different rug, though a seemingly small change, will breathe new life into a space. Once you have your floors covered (pun intended), you can decorate the rest of your rental from the ground up. 

Elevate Your Aesthetic With Some Quick Tricks

Fernish sat down with Katie Hodges, Principal Designer and Creative Director of Katie Hodges Design, to discuss four simple furniture and décor tips that will give your vacation rental a fresh new look.

1. Accent Chairs

Put a sculptural chair in the corner or a foundational chair on each side of your sofa. Whether basic or ornate, accent chairs offer additional seating without taking up as much space as an additional couch. 

You can change your entire look by switching out your accent chairs. Go for something funkier and more creative for a fresh new look.

2. Lighting

Create a soothing ambiance by replacing harsh overhead lighting with smaller, warmer lights throughout the space. To create the illusion of more space, place mirrors across from a window to reflect natural light throughout your room.

To change your space without updating your foundation pieces, such as your sofa or sectional, use lamps to mix things up. Change your table lamps, swap out your lampshades, or add a floor lamp.

3. Plants  

When selecting plants, vary the size of the leaves to keep the room visually interesting. Contrast a large sculptural leaf, such as a fiddle leaf fig, with a plant that has more delicate leaves. 

For great starter plants that can survive with low light and little water, try a philodendron, snake plant, or pothos vine. Play around with pots and look for vintage scores on Etsy and at local flea markets. If you don’t have a green thumb, at least the vessels will look pretty. 

4. Materials

When it comes to wood, you can mix and match light and dark woods, but stick to either cool or warm undertones and choose a consistent finish (e.g., matte or varnish). 

Next, choose metals that complement your wood tones. Copper and gold are warm; cast iron and stainless steel are cool.

Bonus Tip

Think about your walls and ceiling as valuable assets. Try hanging a large piece of art, a large lamp, or a chandelier in a small space to add drama. Adding mirrors can also create the illusion of more space.

Make the most of vertical wall space for efficient storage in a small home or apartment. Leaning, floating, or doorframe-mounted shelves are great options. Reducing visible clutter will also add to your feeling of calm. Hide cables, remotes, and knick-knacks in elegant boxes or baskets.

Craft the Perfect Guest Experience With the Right Furniture and Décor

Guests want hotel-like convenience and sophistication with all the basic amenities of home. Polished furniture and décor allow you to provide both: the familiar, luxurious comfort of a hotel with a home-away-from-home experience — but don’t forget to provide a coffee maker and toilet paper.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to furnish and decorate your short-term rental. And no matter how you choose to do so, you can make a great first impression when a guest checks in with a dreamy entryway, cozy living room, and zen bedroom furniture.