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4. decoration

One of the most common mistakes Airbnb hosts make is to put their old furniture in their rental.  If you hate that old couch or your beloved aunt’s ancient dining set, your potential guests will probably hate it too.  If it looks old and tired to you, it is going to look old and tired to them.

Take some time to surf Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO.  Choose a destination and pick your dates.  Look at the results.  Which ones attract you?  The one with the pretty furniture that looks new and clean or the one that looks like someone’s old dorm room with the wrinkly bed and cheap furniture?

Once guests have chosen a location, amenities and dates, they will rent a place according to how attractive and comfortable it looks.  Your place needs to look good to get guests to stay.

There are plenty of discount furniture stores in your area that are not as easily recognizable as “bargain brands.”  The trick is to find inexpensive pieces that don’t look inexpensive and are easy to replace.  We have bought most of our furniture at local shops and on Amazon, Overstock and Wayfair. 

Where to buy furniture

You can also check your second hand and thrift shop for quirky statement pieces.  Don’t purchase anything that looks too old or that doesn’t work well with the space, but add a little personality to your rental.  If potential guests wanted an impersonal room, they would be staying at a hotel, not Airbnb.

Even though IKEA has come a long way in terms of quality in the last 10 years, we suggest not to go too heavy on the IKEA furnishings.  Despite being of much better quality lately, guests still associate IKEA with cheap furniture and everyone can recognize certain IKEA pieces. 


Sleep is incredibly important to many guests, and your mattress should not be where you try to save a few pennies.  Go with a firm, mid-priced, good-quality mattress.  That being said, not everyone is going to love the mattress and you can’t please all your guests all the time. 

We use  Zinus, and for less than $500 you can get a mattress, frame and even a headboard. We have been experimenting with mattresses in a box and have had great results. They are inexpensive and easy to replace.  Many of our guests seem to like them, and we have not received any complaints.

The mattress in a box--

For rugs, we LOVE EsaleRugs and for art, the prices at—when used with their monthly coupon—can’t be beat.  For light fixtures and hardware, we use

Other furnishings

If you don't know much about decoration, use our Pinterest trick to get inspired and get started


Amazon Prime.  If you haven’t signed up for Amazon Prime, you should seriously consider it as an Airbnb host.  We have bought a number of our furnishings and supplies from Amazon and save a ton with Prime

Amazon Smile.  I know it has nothing to do with Airbnb, but while you’re signing up for Amazon Prime, take a few minutes to sing up for Amazon Smile.  Amazon Smile lets you pick a charity to receive a portion of your eligible purchases.  It costs you nothing and can make a difference. 

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