Furnishing an Airbnb rental from scratch is a great way to curate a unique space. As a host, you want it to be perfect for potential guests. However, the process of furnishing the space can be overwhelming and costly if not done correctly. 

Ensuring that the space feels inviting and comfortable for your guests should always be a priority, but you don’t have to sacrifice your budget. You don’t have to overspend and splurge on expensive items to please your guests. 

With a bit of research and planning, you can transform your Airbnb rental into a memorable home-away-from-home for your guests — all while sticking to your budget!  That said, here are some tips and tricks on how to furnish an Airbnb on a tight budget.

modern living room

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Things to Consider When Furnishing Your Airbnb

Before furnishing your Airbnb, there are several things to keep in mind. The overall goal is to create an attractive space that is functional and comfortable space for your guests. That said, here are the things to keep in mind when furnishing your space:

Understand you Audience

It is important to understand who you are trying to target and whom your Airbnb rental will attract. Think about your target guests and the kind of atmosphere they are most interested in. For example, are you targeting families with small children, girl or guy groups, couples, business travelers etc?

All these different types of groups will have specific needs that you will need to consider when furnishing your space. 

Checklist for Furnishing an Airbnb

Start by creating a checklist of all the furniture, decor accessories, supplies, and other items you may need to furnish each room on the property.  The right pieces can add warmth and personality to the room, so carefully considering the new furniture you buy is important.  A sample checklist might include the following by room type:

  • Kitchen – Coffee maker (Coffee Pot or Keurig), Air fryer, toaster, pots and pans, cookware, knife set, and other kitchen utensils.
  • Bedroom – Mattress, bed frames, nightstands, lamps, sheets, pillows, blankets, etc. 
  • Living Room – Couch or Sofa, Chairs, coffee table, television, side tables, etc.
  • Bathroom – towels, soap dispenser, shower curtain, bath mats, etc. 
  • Dining Room – Dining table, chairs, centerpiece, etc. 
  • Accessories – throw pillows and blankets, rugs, wall art, and plants
  • Suppliestowels, cleaning products, toilet paper, etc. 
  • Security – security system, smart lock, or lockbox

This is not an exhaustive list but a starting point when creating your checklist by room. When choosing the best furniture for Airbnb, try to pick durable and long-lasting items, as they will endure lots of wear and tear over multiple guests.  

pots and pans furnishings

For a more comprehensive checklist, download the Airbnb host checklist today. 

Style and Design

Think about the design style you would like to create in your space. Consider the style of décor you want for the short term rental property and midterm rental. Think about the theme, color scheme, shapes, size, textures, and materials.

Are you going for a – rustic, modern, or eclectic look?  Once you have a clear design direction in mind, it’s easier to start shopping for furniture and decor items that best fit that style. 

Decide on a Budget

You must decide on a budget for your furnishings. Determine your maximum upfront budget. This will help you decide on furniture, fixtures, and appliances you can afford.

Tips on How to Furnish Your Airbnb on a Budget

Shop Used Items Online

bedroomWith the popularity of Facebook Marketplace, Offerup, Craigslist, and Nextdoor, you would be surprised to find all types of treasures that people are trying to get rid of – some used and some brand-spanking new. These platforms have everything from sofas to bedroom sets, dining tables, and dressers.  Shopping on these platforms can be a great way to find unique pieces that may add character to your space. 

Look for firesales happening in specific Facebook groups. With the growth of Airbnb hosts come market saturation and growth in competition; many people are jumping in and out of the Airbnb game, often selling off their furnishings to the quickest and highest bidder.

However, it’s important to remember that this way of shopping may require much flexibility, time, and patience. Nonetheless, it is still a great way to shop for second-hand or used items from local sellers and find specific pieces you might need.

I have been lucky enough to find an entire bedroom, dining room set, and side tables for under $400 – both have only been used for less than a year. 

Thrift Stores

thrift store signThrift Stores can have lots of unique finds and hidden gems. You’d be surprised what you can find at a thrift store online or in-store. Most thrift stores have a home decor section that sells art, bedroom, and bathroom items, pottery, and furniture for cheap to furnish the entire home.

Although some thrift stores have larger aisles and selections than others, there’s no limitation on what you can find – it simply depends on what is available in your area. I made a few trips to Goodwill and the Salvation Army, where I found unique lamps, wall decor, glassware, books, baskets, music records, and much more. For even more deals, be sure to go on special discount days.

Dollar Stores

dollar tree sign A dollar store is an excellent place for finding budget items. Dollar stores such as Dollar Tree and Dollar General are my go-to for finding kitchen accessories, dinnerware, silverware, dishes, and mugs.

I love buying these items at the dollar store because they often go missing or break in my short-term rental. I also purchase many art and craft pieces, picture frames, storage cubes, vases, and other small decor items. And the best part about it is that it was only $1 plus tax.

Shop Large Online Retailers

You can purchase a wide range of items from Amazon to Walmart and Ikea in one place. With many good deals and discounts online, it’s easy to find stylish yet cheap furniture and decor to give your rental that perfect look.

And the best part is that most offer free shipping so that you don’t have to worry about getting the item into your home, especially large bulky ones. 

Additionally, you can easily compare retail prices and good reviews when shopping online to better understand this specific piece’s quality and durability.

Shop Clearance Sections

Don’t be afraid to shop the clearance aisles at your favorite department stores. Clearance sections can offer pieces that add personality and style to the space without breaking your budget! 

Declutter Personal Space 

living room area Declutter your personal space by sifting through your own belongings. There are often items in our personal space that you no longer need or use that could be a beautiful addition to your vacation rental. And as the saying goes – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

And the best part about this is that it’s free to declutter your space. I removed many unused items from my home, including old wall paintings, picture frames, accent chairs, pillows, side tables, curtains, and other small figurines. I even removed a small sofa bed and added it to my Airbnb property.

Opt for DIY Projects 

Get creative with DIY projects, as they can help personalize a space while staying within budget. Consider ways to add more character and curate unique finds from thrift stores or yard sales, refinishing and cleaning old furniture.

A little bit of elbow grease and spray paint can completely transform any piece of furniture. Maybe even consider building a blanket ladder with scrap wood in your garage or upcycling an old side table.  This can all save you lots of money.

Get a Professional

If you are feeling overwhelmed or don’t have enough time or know-how, hiring the services of a professional interior designer or a furnishing company is still a viable option. Look for companies providing comprehensive Airbnb furnishing services, as they will work with you one-on-one to curate pieces that fit your style and budget. 

These companies will furnish your space and tailor it to your guests’ needs rather than simply following your own personal aesthetic preferences. They have the knowledge and skill to provide expert tips on everything from color selection to furniture layout so that your property looks professional, inviting, and stylish. These companies often offer wholesale furniture packages allowing you to buy reasonably.

A popular company that does this is Minoan. The Minoan Experience allows you to purchase Airbnb furniture packages or pieces a la carte creating your own comprehensive package. 

An alternative to Minoan is Showroom Wholesale. Showroom will help you get your listing up and running quickly. They work for you by creating a professional design and curating the furniture that fits your design and budget. In addition, Showroom often offers hosts free stuff from bedding to towels and toiletries for your guests. 

Browse other Listings

Make sure you look at your competitors to see how they are furnishing their spaces and what guests say about them. Take note of the features each successful rental utilizes, and try to incorporate similar styles and elements into your own space. Pay attention to the furniture, lighting, artwork, and accessories.

airbnb listing

How much does it cost to Furnish an Airbnb?

Depending on the size of your space, you could spend between $2,500 – $50,000 on furniture and decor to create the perfect Airbnb listing. This average cost can vary based on the property size, budget, desired style, and luxury level.

Generally, if your style is simpler, you will likely be on the lower end of the scale, and if it is a bit more luxurious, you will be more on the higher end of the scale.  With the cost of furnishings, it’s also essential to consider the cost of labor to move pieces into your space. This should be a part of your overall budget and how to decorate Airbnb on a budget.

Does the Airbnb have to be Furnished?

Absolutely. A major factor in having an Airbnb listing is ensuring it is furnished. Each Airbnb unit should include a bed, mattress, and seating area with chairs and couches. Other items may include a desk, dining tables, and kitchen supplies (pans, utensils, etc.).

Guests book an Airbnb rental home for a comfortable stay with certain amenities. Whether renting out a full house or just a room, you should ensure it’s stocked with the essentials and key amenities.

living room with blue couch

Furnishing a property for an Airbnb rental can be an exciting project. But it requires careful consideration to ensure the home is comfortable for guests and offers the basic amenities they need.

When looking for furnishings for an Airbnb, remember to choose materials that are aesthetically pleasing, functional, and easy to maintain. Once it is all said and done, take quality photos to show off everything you’ve done.

Other Airbnb hosting ideas you might like:

Please comment below to let me know what you think of this article. Feel free also to follow me on my social media pages – Pinterest and Instagram or subscribe to my mailing list for other design inspiration, DIY projects, and home decor ideas.

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Tamara White is the creator and founder of The Thrifty Apartment, a home decor and DIY blog that focuses on affordable and budget-friendly home decorating ideas and projects. Tamara documents her home improvement journey, love of thrifting, tips for space optimization, and creating beautiful spaces.

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