7 Actionable Tips on How to Furnish Rental Apartments

Furnish rental apartments

Before putting a house or apartment up for rent, you may want to furnish it, particularly if you plan to offer short-term rentals. An attractive interior can make a big difference in whether potential customers choose your property over others.

Today, we’ll share our RoomSketcher top tips on how to furnish rental apartments:

  • Determine your budget
  • Create a furniture checklist
  • Do your competitive research
  • Add decor and accessories
  • Provide plenty of storage
  • Include useful lightning
  • Don’t overdo it

Determine Your Budget

The cost of furnishing a home from scratch can be high. Ideally, you don’t want to spend so much money that it’s years before you can make a profit on the rental. On the other hand, spending too little on furniture can mean it breaks or wears out and requires time and cost to repair or replace.

Apartment furniture budget

Take some time to learn the market, how much you can bring in for the unit, and how much you are willing to spend on the furniture. If you can, build in a little extra in the budget, so you have a buffer for over-budget items or ones that can give your rental an extra special touch.

Keep in mind that for some pieces, you may find reasonably priced, good condition second-hand versions. You can also transform DIY IKEA furniture into extraordinary custom made pieces.

Create a Furniture Checklist

It’s a good idea to create a list to remind you of what you have and what you need to buy to furnish rental apartments.

First, think about any items you have stored in a basement or attic. Then, make a priority list. For each room, start the list with the furniture you need, then list extra items that can increase your rental’s appeal.

Apartment furniture checklist

Before you head out to purchase anything, be sure to jot down room dimensions and notes for the size or color of any furniture pieces you want to buy. Here’s a sample list:


  • Console table to hold keys, etc.
  • Shoe rack – keep it tidy
  • Potential extras: mirror, coat hooks, a chair or bench (if there is room)

Dining room:

  • Dining table
  • Dining chairs (possibly a bench that includes extra storage)
  • Potential extras: area rug, sideboard

Living room:

  • Comfy sofa and coffee table or side table (try to include storage)
  • Wall-mounted TV
  • Extras: a basket for extra pillows and blankets, area rug


  • Bathmat
  • Towel rack
  • Extras: trash can, hooks, laundry basket


  • Comfy bed and one or two nightstands
  • Dresser or wardrobe with hangers
  • Extras: Bedside light, full-length mirror


  • Coffee maker and teapot
  • Complete set of pots and pans
  • Utensils for eating and cooking
  • Extras: Microwave, sugar, salt, spices

After you got all your essentials you can add plants, wall hangings or pictures, throw pillows and blankets, baskets, books, or magazines for that extra oomph.

Top RoomSketcher Tip!

Invest in furniture that is sturdy and easy to clean. Choose fabrics such as faux suede, vinyl, and indoor-outdoor fabrics.

Do Your Competitive Research

Check out similar listings on rental listing platforms. You might just get some great inspiration for your listing, and you’ll see what people are booking in the area.

The area of town and the size of your property also help determine which furniture to purchase for your rental apartment. If your building is small, it may be more suited for a couple or a single traveler. This can help you choose the size of the dining table or the beds.

Rental apartment competitor research

Or, perhaps you have a larger property near a beach or park. In this case, your target group may be families with young children, and you will want to choose kid-friendly furniture.

Take a look at your competition. Look for rentals with a high booking rate and outstanding reviews. Check their photos to see how they have decorated and what is appealing to renters in your area.

Add Decor and Accessories

An effective way to upgrade a rental apartment is to use stylish and decorative elements that suit your target group’s taste and make their stay extra special. Check Pinterest for interior inspiration.

Before you place furniture and accessories, consider painting the walls. Choose a light grey or beige, instead of plain white, which can help your apartment stand out. In the living area, add paintings to the walls, pillows, and a throw blanket on the couch. Houseplants can make the apartment look fresh and natural.

Furnish rental apartments

We recommend you put extra focus on the bedrooms since guests spend a fair amount of time there. A good night’s sleep is the foundation of a satisfying rental experience, so make sure your beds are comfortable.

Use stylish bedspreads or down comforters to ensure the beds look appealing. Provide quality bed linens and extra pillows. As an extra touch, provide bed linens appropriate for the weather – flannel will keep guests warm during the winter season, while cotton and linen are great for warm weather. It’s always nice to place a bedside table on each side of the bed for guests to put a water cup, book, or glasses.

Bedroom rental apartment

Ensure the bathroom is clean and that all fixtures work well. It’s a good idea to have extra towel racks and hooks for wet towels, particularly for a unit with a pool or near the beach. Nice-to-include items include a storage basket filled with toilet paper, a trash can, and a magnifying mirror.

Provide Plenty of Storage

Adequate storage is a definite plus for any rental. First off, your clients will usually arrive with luggage that needs to be stored, and it’s so nice for them to be able to keep it out of sight.

With the creative use of a storage room, you can make a small apartment’s rooms feel more spacious by eliminating clutter.

Apartment storage

Ensure that there is space in the kitchen to hold groceries and an area in the bathroom for toiletries. Choose furniture that does double-duty as storage – for example, a coffee table with shelves underneath for games or books, a side table in the bedroom with drawers to hold clothes.

You can also work with the available space underneath beds (store extra linens) and on top of closets (extra pillows or baskets to contain small items).

Include Useful Lightning

Ideally, create a bright, feel-good atmosphere in your unit. Lighting significantly affects how guests perceive the space and how they enjoy it.

First, determine the amount of natural light in the daytime, both in winter and summer. Is it enough, or do you need extra lighting in certain areas for daytime activities? Then, check out the property in the nighttime and layer in additional lighting.

Whether day or night, you want bright lighting in task-oriented rooms like the kitchen and bathroom. You may want to have extra lighting near key areas such as food prep, dishwashing, or the bathroom mirror.

Furnish rental apartments

In the living room, consider providing a light next to a chair for reading. In bedrooms, provide a light next to the bed so that guests can turn off the light once they are safely in bed rather than across the room. Nightlights may also be useful.

Good use of lighting can help set the mood, for example, making rooms feel extra cozy in colder months. You can add string lights or provide firewood for an extra special glow.

Don’t Overdo It

Too many decorations can make your rental apartment appear cluttered and overwhelming. Don’t use every inch of available space; for example, knickknacks can get broken and take up counter or shelf space that could be used by guests.

Furnish rental apartments

Also, don’t store your extra furniture in the unit – it’s better to leave some space clear and clean. Concentrate on a few higher-quality pieces of furniture. Longer-life quality items can have the edge over inexpensive items – the constant stream of visitors may wear out the furniture more quickly than in a typical home.

Summing Up

To furnish rental apartments or units can be a rewarding but time-consuming task. With our guide, we hope to give you a basic understanding of the key steps and some important tips so that you can create a successful rental property that guests love to visit.

Maximilian Ermert writes about real estate technology and trends. He loves providing people with helpful advice within everything real estate.
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