Decorating do’s for your short-term rental

Household 2 min read

You’re almost ready to post your place and get your first booking, congratulations!

It’s probably been somewhat of a long road getting your property ready, checking out various hosting sites, setting your price, etc., and now you’re itching to recoup your investment. Before you push the launch button, take the final steps to make your place shine among the rest.

A few simple “decorating do’s” will not only make your photos pop, they’ll make guests feel right at home.

Stage to sell

Take a tip from your realtor friends and stage your rental.

You want to appeal to a broad audience of travelers who are looking for a vacation experience that is special for them. Nicely arranged furniture, sitting areas, accessories, and lighting will convey a luxury environment that will help you get top-dollar.

There are tons of resources out there for inspiration and tips from professionals that will help you pull it all off! We particularly like the Houzz app with augmented reality that lets you try out items in your own space before you purchase or decorate.

Think of a theme

Guests are seeking a unique experience. Create an authentic, local getaway by integrating a bit of your local vibe into your rental.

Is your place by the sea? Go for a beach bungalow feel. In the mountains? Aim for a cozy cabin atmosphere. More urban? Try historical black and white photos that show the city. Small touches go a long way—don’t overdo it. Keep it simple!


Get rid of most of things your guests won’t need. Put them in storage, box them up and tuck them in your attic or basement, or sell them on Craigslist.

If it doesn’t fit your theme (see above) it’s clutter. Sorry, Grandma, your Lladro Angles are headed for eBay.

…including photos!

No personal photos. Guests are creating their own experiences and their own memories. You want your short-term rental to promote and encourage this, not remind guests that they’re in someone else’s home. Like a luxury hotel room, you want your space to be clean, charming, and inviting, but a bit of a blank slate, too.

Speaking of hotels

You don’t have to be completely devoid of personality. In fact, the best hotels are the interesting ones with local flair!

So keep your theme for sure, but add some hotel-style extras, too. What do you expect when you travel and stay in a four- or five-star hotel? Consider a luggage stand, free Wi-Fi (and password), plenty of outlets to charge devices, a desk or work area, and other amenities.

Take a final walkthrough and scan for anything that wouldn’t look good in a photo, is dated or doesn’t fit your theme, or just isn’t necessary, and remove it. Then toast to yourself for a job well-done, hit the launch button, and watch the reservations roll in!

And as always, be sure to keep your rental property protected with Progressive. 

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