Skip to main content

Mar 17, 2022
Interior Design Guide For Furnished Apartments & Short Term Rentals

Corporate housing / furnished rentals Real Estate

These days, the interior design of a successful furnished rental focuses on creating an amazing guest experience. It’s easier said than done, however, so we’ve created this simple guide that introduces you to the essential things you need to know in order to get the best ROI on your furnished rental.

Your goal is to use furnishings, paint, decor, and other touches to create a positive, memorable experience that will make your guests recommend your property to their friends and family. This guide shares our strategy on how to add stylish, welcoming design touches that combine functionality, durability, and usability in perfect harmony.

Why is furnishing a rental property difficult?

With the right approach, it doesn’t have to be! Furnishing your rental is one of the most exciting parts of your hosting business. It’s your chance to exercise your interior design skills and put your stamp on things. If you move away from making it feel like your second home, and instead focus on it as something closer to a hotel, you’ll find the right balance.

However you describe your personal style, just know that your taste may be much bolder and brighter than a lot of people like, which will impact your occupancy rate. The solution is to find a style of interior decor that’s home-like and welcoming, but broad to appeal to the widest possible audience. Our goal is to show you how you can do it with a quick guide that breaks things down one step at a time.

How do you find the perfect colours?

Keep it warm and neutral. Warm tones and neutral shades help make your property feel more open and spacious, which is an important feeling to create especially if your furnished rental is a condominium unit or apartment. Rich shades and bold colours may be exactly what you want to see in your own home, but by keeping things neutral, you can make your property inviting for a much larger range of people – ideal when you want to make your decor really work for you in more ways than one.

To find your perfect colour palette, give some thought to the natural light levels in the property throughout the day. Bring home sample cans of several different shades of your preferred colour and paint small swatches on the walls to see how it works in your space.

Do you really get what you pay for?

When purchasing furniture for a rental property, the temptation is to watch how much you spend at every single point in the process. While it’s important to run it like a business, you don’t want to control costs at the expense of quality. All this will do is deliver a substandard experience for your guests while guaranteeing you’ll have to repair or replace your furniture much sooner than you’d like.

Cheap paint is a classic example of a false economy. You can match a designer shade in a budget brand, and it may look similar when you first apply it to the walls, but it won’t last as long as you want. Buying a mid-range or premium paint will give your property so much more resilience to knocks and scrapes that can easily leave the paintwork looking tired and dated. If in doubt, put durability right near the top of your list of priorities and you’ll never go wrong.

Now that you know how to pick your background colours, you can start thinking about how to fill your property so it has the WOW factor.

How do you pick the right interior design style?

Minimalist, industrial, modern, retro, vintage, even shabby chic; the list goes on and on! Each of these schools of design are fabulous, but they’re also acquired tastes. You want to choose a style that a) works for the widest possible audience and b) looks timeless and on-trend without being trendy.

A great example are the industrial-style light fittings that show off old-fashioned Edison bulbs. We love them at home because they add something unique, but they’re just not suited to a rental property. In a couple of years the trends around light fixtures and bulbs will have evolved, making your striking Edison bulbs look tired and out of date. Save the statement fixtures for your dining table at home, and choose classic, fairly conservative light fixtures for a timeless look that complements and blends in with your design as a whole.

The same advice applies to the rest of your fixtures and furnishings. Go for something that’s contemporary and understated. Don’t have it too strongly connected to any one school of design and you’ll be able to strike the right balance. Your decor won’t look budget or cheap, and it won’t be so trendy that it ages really badly. And if you get the same look working consistently from one room to the next, you’ll create a seamless, welcoming feel that encourages your guests to return over and over again.

How does this apply to furnishings?

When it comes to selecting furniture, you need to consider how style, comfort, and durability work together to create the best possible outcome. Keep the style contemporary and understated, and put your remaining effort into the other two. Having durable furniture will save you a lot of time and effort, keep your property looking as good as new for longer, and will also reduce cleaning times. But don’t trade comfort for pure durability – hard, uncomfortable sofas, chairs, and beds will give guests a bad feeling, no matter how attractive the individual pieces may appear.

Picture a leather couch — it looks great when it’s brand new and you assume it’s a wise choice because it wipes clean. But leather has problems – it’s expensive to purchase, it’s easily scratched and scuffed, and it’s expensive to repair. A leather sofa is a high-end, luxurious touch, but you can’t expect guests to treat it especially carefully. And scratches and scuffs are just normal wear and tear – not damage – and guests won’t be happy if asked to repair or replace a leather sofa.

Vinyl (faux leather) has all the same problems as real leather, plus a little-known surprise: vinyl disintegrates over time through exposure to natural light and sunlight! Microfiber has never lived up to its promises regarding durability or stain resistance, and it tends to look cheap no matter the price tag.

What’s our advice? A durable, stain-treated fabric is always the best choice. And what about the comfort factor? You’re trying to please as many people as possible with a single set of furniture. Opt for medium firmness for every seat and mattress so you’re somewhere in the middle of the range people like.

What are the key appliances your property needs to have?

With a furnished rental, you’re providing an experience and a service that’s supposed to make life easy for everyone, so an in-suite washer and dryer are essential. Likewise, a dishwasher ensures that everyone who stays finds it nice and easy to look after your kitchenware.

A mid-range price point with a focus on energy efficiency and durability will give you the best of everything. A simple, intuitive control panel on the front will be much more useful than a designer layout with a hidden button that no one can find. Unless you want the guest to call you at 9 PM on a Saturday night to ask you how to turn on the dishwasher?

Some of the key things you’ll want to include as standard are: a coffee maker, rice cooker, countertop microwave (if the kitchen doesn’t have a built-in microwave), blender, iron and ironing board, kettle, and of course a vacuum cleaner. This is the bare minimum a guest would expect to have access to, so look for mid-range, durable and easy-to-operate devices that will make their stay stress-free.

How do you add the finishing touches?

No one likes to stare at a bare wall, so make sure you decorate your property with appropriate wall art. Choose pieces that fit the space, and go large rather than small if you’re unsure on the perfect size. That way, you’ll be able to break up the large islands of neutral colour on your walls.

In terms of ornaments and other interesting items, a couple of pieces here and there are okay, but too many will lead to a cluttered look and extra cleaning. Ornaments also depend heavily on personal style, and again, you want to make your furnished rental feel like a space to relax in, rather than your own personal home you’re renting out. Above all else, avoid anything that says “live laugh love” or “bless this mess” or other cliches and trite sayings.

To learn more about how you can put these hints and tips into practice, get in touch with our team and we’ll guide you through everything you need to know. With almost 20 years in business, we know how to furnish and decorate a property to create an amazing experience for our guest and clients, and get the best ROI possible.

You can follow this link for more information:

Hold on, you may also like these.