Tips and Advice for Furnishing your Holiday Home

When you furnish your holiday rental property it is important to remember that you are creating a living space for two parties, yourself and your guests. You should furnish your property with your guests in mind because the furniture you provide will make a difference to your guest’s holiday experience. This doesn’t mean that your private home has to become a boring, one size fits all cardboard box – that’s what hotel rooms are for. Travellers often choose holiday rentals over hotels because they enjoy spending their holiday in an individual property which reflects the destination, and a desired lifestyle. However it’s important to remember that the space will have to keep all sorts of customers within your market happy.

Many travellers choose a private holiday rental over a hotel stay because they enjoy having the comfort and conveniences of home to hand when they are away. At the very least they will expect the accommodation to be furnished to the same standard as their primary home or to a higher standard if they are coughing up for a high end holiday property. The Holiday Home Equipment and Facilities Checklist has a complete list of the items of furniture you need to provide.

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When you are furnishing your holiday home, keep these simple guidelines in mind.

Buy furniture that is durable

Remember that over the years your holiday letting is likely to receive hundreds of guests.  Try to buy items of furniture that are easy to clean and maintain. Fabrics such as suede get dirty very easily, and are difficult to clean. Delicate items (such as lace tablecloths) which can’t be machine washed will also require more work. Light coloured sofas and carpets look great, but remember they can be stained or damaged more easily.

Comfortable Living Room
Opt for good quality

It’s important to provide your guests with good quality furniture, so they feel they are buying into a quality holiday experience. Furniture in a holiday home has to be replaced more often than furniture in a primary home, so it’s advisable not to break the bank on a once in a lifetime purchase.

Create a comfortable environment

Travellers go on holiday to enjoy themselves and relax. The sitting room should be a place where they feel happy enjoying a drink together at the end of the day, watch a film or read their favourite book.  It may be tempting to buy wicker furniture, futons or sofa beds rather than proper sofas and armchairs, but they’ll make your guests feel cramped and uncomfortable. The same goes when buying furniture for bedrooms and dining rooms. We recommend spending a night sleeping in each of the beds you provide. If they aren’t comfortable enough for you, they’re not good enough for your guests.

Create a safe environment

People tend to switch their brains off when they’re on holiday, and are more likely to injure themselves when they’re not familiar with their surroundings. This is especially important if your property is popular with families with young children. Having a cover for your swimming pool is a good idea. Anything sharp or easily breakable isn’t. For your personal security we wouldn’t recommend having anything of particular personal value to you, in case it gets damaged.

Reflect the holiday destination

The furniture you choose will add to the overall holiday experience your guests will have. Travellers often book holiday homes because they want to experience the local lifestyle. Creating a home that has a feeling of authenticity is important.  Think about why they have chosen to stay in a holiday rental in your area. For example, if you have a city centre apartment, contemporary style furnishings will go down better than traditional interiors that you’d find in countryside properties. And seashell print curtains might be cute in a beach house, but will look completely out of place in holiday cottage in the Lake District.

Reflect your rental rates

Again and again travellers complain that they pay high end rental rates for a property that’s marketed as a luxury holiday home, and then arrive to find it’s anything but. If you booked a stay at a five star hotel to find nylon sheets on the bed and flat pack furniture you probably wouldn’t be amused. If you market your property as high end your guests will expect high quality furnishings, linens, appliances and entertainment systems. Similarly if you cater for the middle income family market, there’s no need to put Persian rugs in the children’s bedroom. It really pays to know your customers.

Nice Bedroom with lots of Storage Space Please note: Customers on can leave reviews. If you mislead a customer about the quality of your holiday rental and overcharge them, they are likely to leave a negative review.

Create storage space

Your guests don’t want to have to live out of their suitcases whilst they’re on holiday. Make sure that each bedroom has enough wardrobe and drawer space for each guest to comfortably store their clothes and belongings. Remember to provide a reasonable number of coat hangers in the wardrobes as well.

Copyright, June 2010

The Holiday Home Equipment and Facilities Checklist


If you want to rent out your holiday home, you need to equip it with some standard items before you can open your doors to the public. Here’s our comprehensive Equipment and Facilities Checklist of everything the customers will need. The “must haves” are essentials, whilst the “extras” are suggestions that will help you gain the edge over your competitors.

And if your second home is in an area with great food markets, or is popular with foodies, simply use the included Kitchen Checklist to stock up, and watch those budding chefs start queuing.

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