The Ultimate Airbnb Furniture Checklist: Decor to Wow Your Guests

Lizzie Griffin
Lizzie Griffin

December 4, 2023

You could have the most beautiful beachside cottage or a stunning A-frame cabin in the woods, but if you don’t fill it with the right furniture and decor, you won’t wow your guests. However, furnishing your Airbnb isn’t as simple as installing a good-looking bed, couch, and kitchen table and calling it a day. 

To ensure you’re getting the right furniture and decor for your unit, you need to consider: 

  • Your ideal guest profile
  • Guest comfort
  • Originality and aesthetics
  • Practicality
  • Safety

That’s why in this article, we go in-depth about what to consider when furnishing your short-term rental, plus give you a template for a complete Airbnb furniture checklist to ensure you don’t miss anything. 

We spoke with Airbnb interior designer Erika Dike, as well as the team at House Designer, to get expert insights on how to deck out your rental to provide a stellar guest experience.

Simplify your operations to more efficiently maintain your properties & assets
Breezeway’s features, like automated task scheduling and digital cleaning & maintenance checklists, help you keep your carefully curated furniture in quality condition.
Learn more

5 factors to consider when furnishing your short-term rental property

Having the right decor and furniture at your Airbnb rental plays a big role in ensuring your guests have a stay that exceeds their expectations. Check out these expert tips on what to keep in mind when deciding how to furnish your short-term rental.

Image of an Airbnb designed by House Designer

Your furniture and decor are the first things your guests will notice when they step foot in your unit, and they also have a big impact on how successful your listings are.  

1. Your ideal guest profile

When furnishing an Airbnb, “the key is to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere that caters to your ideal guests,” says Erica, principal designer at Erica Ooh Designs. You won’t need the same furniture items for young families as you will for digital nomads or business travelers, so always keep your ideal guest profile at the front of your mind when picking out your furniture. 

If you cater to large groups, that may mean bunk beds, large dining areas, and plenty of seating in your living room. If you want to target couples planning romantic getaways, provide a cozy outdoor seating area with a fire pit, plus a king-size bed in the master suite. 

2. Guest comfort

When your guests check in to your property, there’s one thing that’s always important to them: Comfort. “Focus on nailing the sleeping situation with comfy beds and clever arrangements, while also ensuring common areas offer plenty of comfy spots to kick back and relax,” says Erica. 

She also emphasizes the importance of properly planning out the space so the furniture isn’t too big for the property, allowing your guests to move around freely. Added bonus—this will also ensure the space photographs well for your listings.

3. Originality and aesthetics

Don’t be afraid to be original in your design and definitely prioritize aesthetics—think coherent color schemes and materials that go well together. The team at House Designer, a UK-based interior design platform with experience in Airbnb furnishing and decor, says: 

“Airbnb hosts should focus on creating a consistent theme throughout the space while incorporating some local art and decor elements. Also, add some personal touches to help guests feel welcome and at home.”

But remember that you’re not designing this property for you to live in—this goes back to thinking about your ideal guest profile and what they’ll be drawn to. 

“When it comes to curating your Airbnb, stay away from your personal style and tune in to what will make you the most money,” says Erica. “Create a unique home away from home that guests can’t wait to book and rave about in their review.” 

4. Practicality

While we hope guests treat vacation rentals as if they were their own home, we know that’s not always the case. Says the House Designer team, “Select furniture pieces that can withstand regular use, since Airbnb properties often have a high guest turnover.” That means picking items that can handle wear and tear, in addition to functioning seamlessly and being space-efficient. 

That’s not to say you have to sacrifice aesthetics. Rather, look for items that are durable and functional while curating a unique and appealing design. Also pay close attention to fabric types and colors, as you’ll want to pick materials that will age well and are easy to clean.

5.  Safety

Sofas and kitchen tables may not strike you as dangerous items, but you still need to consider your guests’ well-being when picking furniture for your vacation rental. The House Designer team emphasizes the importance of ensuring all your furniture meets safety standards, so while those antique dining room chairs may look lovely, consider how well they will hold up and if they could possibly fall apart under a guest. 

These safety concerns are especially relevant if you plan on hosting families with young children. In this case, avoid furniture with sharp edges, or childproof your units, highlight that as a key feature in your listings. 

Furnishing your vacation rental: The ultimate Airbnb furniture checklist

To make sure you’re not missing out on any guest essentials, follow this Airbnb furniture checklist. Just keep in mind that every unit is unique, so some of these items may not be relevant to your vacation rental, or there may be some items that you want to purchase that don’t appear on this list. 


Image of an Airbnb bedroom designed by Erica Ooh designs

Notice all the essentials in this bedroom—bedside tables and lamps, a floor-length mirror, white linens, and a comfy armchair. 

  • Mattress (“Invest in high-quality mattresses to maximize guest comfort,” says the House Designer team.)
  • Bedframe and headboard
  • Mattress protector, sheets, comforter, duvet cover, blanket (Opt for white—this gives a hotel feel and can be bleached if necessary, plus you can add some color with accent pillows or blankets.)
  • Pillows and pillowcases (Shoot for two pillows per person.)
  • Nightstands with charging stations (“Charging stations on the nightstands or built into furniture add a layer of convenience and prevents guests from moving things around or unplugging other devices,” says Erica.)
  • Rugs
  • Dresser or closet with shelving and hangers
  • Luggage rack
  • Alarm clock
  • Chest of drawers
  • Full-length mirror
  • Curtain rods and window treatments (Black-out curtains are a nice touch for guests who want to sleep in late especially if they’re traveling from abroad and dealing with jetlag.)
  • Trash can
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Laundry hamper
  • Fold-up crib (can store in closet)

Pro tip: Erica recommends installing “layered lighting” in your bedrooms, and perhaps the living room as well. If one guest wants to stay up reading while the other wants to go to bed, they’ll appreciate a small lamp on the nightstand.
Download the Airbnb Furniture Checklist

KitchenImage of an Airbnb kitchen counter designed by Erica Ooh designs

Providing a fully-stocked coffee bar elevates the guest experience, making it clear you went the extra mile to provide an exceptional stay. 

  • Kitchen table and chairs (one for each guest you can host)
  • Highchair (if hosting families with kids)
  • Overhead lighting
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Oven
  • Microwave
  • Toaster
  • Coffee maker
  • Kettle
  • Blender
  • Enough plates, bowls, and utensils for the number of guests you can host (No matter how many guests you can host, be sure to provide them with enough dinnerware and cutlery that they don’t have to wash things every time they use them.)
  • Glasses and mugs
  • Mixing bowls
  • Serving platters
  • Assortment of cookware (Many guests specifically host an Airbnb because they want to cook, so make sure they have the right pots, pans, and utensils to do so comfortably.)
  • Cooking utensils (spatulas, slotted spoons, wooden spoons, ladles)
  • Chopping and carving knives
  • Cutting boards
  • Miscellaneous kitchen tools like bottle opener, corkscrew, can opener, and measuring cups
  • Basic pantry items like salt and pepper, cooking oil, coffee, and tea
  • Cleaning supplies like dish soap, sponge, dishtowels, dishwasher detergent, and paper towels
  • Trash can and recycling bins

Pro tip: To make your guest’s stay extra special, go beyond the basic pantry items and provide a welcome basket with local products, whether that’s a nut mix, olive oil, wine, or jam. 
Download the Airbnb Furniture Checklist

Dining roomImage of an Airbnb dining room designed by Erica Ooh designs

Instead of a centerpiece in your dining room, you can use a statement lighting fixture as a focal point for the space. 

  • Dining table and chairs (one for each guest you can host)
  • Placemats and/or tablecloth
  • Place settings (one for each guest you can host)

Pro tip: While many Airbnbs won’t have a dining room, make the most of this space to wow your guests if you do have it. You don’t have to break the bank on table settings, but get creative. You can even consider doing seasonal centerpieces or surprising your guests with fresh flowers. 
Download the Airbnb Furniture Checklist

Living room

bImage of an Airbnb living room designed by Erica Ooh designs

Even if you don’t have much room to work with, you can give your living space some character with the right living room furniture books, candles, plants, and other decor.  

  • Sofa or couch (Consider adding a sofa bed to accommodate more guests. Avoid materials that are hard to clean, and consider using a washable cover.)
  • Armchairs
  • End tables (with coasters to protect your furniture)
  • Throw pillows
  • Blankets
  • Rugs
  • Coffee table (with coasters to protect your furniture)
  • Smart TV and remote
  • WiFi box with password displayed
  • Shelving or entertainment unit
  • Storage baskets
  • Floor and table lamps

Pro tip: Make sure your guests have the option to sign into their own streaming services like Netflix or HBO accounts on your television. They may want to watch something on their list or pick up a TV series right where they left off. 
Download the Airbnb Furnishing Checklist

BathroomsImage of an Airbnb bathroom designed by Erica Ooh designs

 Little details, like a mounted hair dryer and extra hand towels, can make all the difference for the guest experience.

  • Bath towels and hand towels
  • Washcloths
  • Bathmat
  • Shower curtain
  • Hand soap dispenser
  • Toilet paper (with replacement rolls)
  • Shelves or cabinets
  • Hooks for towels
  • Mirror
  • Trash can

Pro tip: While toiletries aren’t usually an expectation of Airbnb guests, providing your guests with shampoo, body wash, and conditioner will help elevate the guest experience. Store them in pumps that you mount on your shower wall for a more professional appearance (while minimizing plastic waste). 
Download the Airbnb Furniture Checklist

Outdoor area Image of an Airbnb backyard designed by Erica Ooh designs

A firepit, jacuzzi, hanging swings, and lifesize chess—sounds like an Airbnb dream. 

  • Patio table and chairs
  • Patio umbrella
  • Rocking chair, porch swing, or hammock
  • Lounge chair or Adirondack chair
  • String lights
  • Barbeque or grill
  • Firepit
  • Outdoor activities like ping pong, cornhole, or frisbee golf

Pro tip: Depending on where you’re located, guests may not be able to enjoy your outdoor area year-round. Firepits and outdoor heating can help you ensure guests make the most of your backyard even in the cooler months. 
Download the Airbnb Furniture Checklist

Where to save and where to splurge when furnishing your Airbnb property

“When it comes to furnishing your Airbnb, get smart,” says Erica. “Your revenue goals, property size, and target audience should all be at the forefront of your decision-making.” Here are items to save and spend on.  

Items to save on

There are some basic items that will provide a similar guest experience whether you purchase them from Ikea or a luxury furniture brand. The House Designer team recommends saving on basic furniture items (like dining chairs, dressers, and tables), decorative accessories (like vases, wall art, and throw pillows), and lighting fixtures.

But even if you’re trying to save on some of your furniture items, don’t cut corners—make sure everything you buy is still comfortable and useful for guests. ”Don’t just furnish your space with the cheapest items,” says Erica. “Put on your host hat and think about how you can elevate your guests' experience to the next level.

Items to splurge on

Erica recommends you “splurge on items that enhance and add value to your guest experience.” For example, you can save on a fancy dining set to furnish a unique game room, as long as you’re still ensuring you have enough comfortable seating in your dining room. “You’ll see a better return on investment when you choose to spend that way,” she says. 

So when considering what items to go all out on, consider what’s really going to make an impact on the guest experience. That could be a state-of-the-art coffee maker, a smart sound system, or even a pair of massage chairs. These are the types of things that guests will remember long after their stay (and rave about in their reviews).

Ensure your cleaners keep your property and furniture in good condition with our standard property appearance checklist

Provide a better, more consistent guest experience with Breezeway

When you’re intentional about how you decorate and furnish your unit, it shows, and guests will appreciate the little details that give them a more comfortable and enjoyable stay. That’s why you should always choose your furniture with your guest in mind, following a checklist to ensure you don’t miss anything. But all the time and energy you invest in furnishing your unit will be in vain if you don’t properly maintain it.

To keep your furniture clean and property in great shape, use Airbnb management software like Breezeway. The platform’s cleaning checklists let you provide your cleaners with detailed instructions for keeping your property clean and furniture in good condition. 

Breezeway’s task automation and maintenance task management features help you stay on top of tasks that can easily slip through the cracks, like a semi-annual sofa clean, and also ensure that issues like a loose chair leg get fixed right away. 

Not only does Breezeway standardize and simplify property maintenance, but it also ensures your guests always have a stay that exceeds expectations, helping you bring in more 5-star reviews, become an Airbnb Superhost, and get more repeat bookings.  

Simplify your operations to more efficiently maintain your properties & assets
Breezeway’s features, like automated task scheduling and digital cleaning & maintenance checklists, help you keep your carefully curated furniture in quality condition.
Learn more