If you rent out living space on sites like Airbnb or Homeaway (or if you just like to be hospitable to family and friends coming into town), having the right items and layout for your bedroom can make all the difference. Guests already expect the essentials like comfortable, clean bedding, and a place to hang their clothes, but why stop there? Creating a relaxing place to unwind will keep your reviews positive and your renters coming back for more.
First, identify your audience. Is your place made for a professional on a business trip, a couple on a romantic getaway, or a family vacation? What you include and what you leave out will depend on who’s staying at your place. For a family, you want to make sure you’ve got enough of everything to go around, and nothing dangerous for little hands. A romantic couple will love added touches like candles and bubble bath, whereas a business professional probably won’t be as interested in all the extras. Decide where you want to focus, or you can even change things up depending on the type of traveler coming in each night.
Next, decide your budget. Your furnishings should be consistent with your price. If you’re charging higher rates, your renters will expect more luxury in their surroundings. You don’t have to spend a fortune, and there are lots of tips out there on how to get a good deal on furnishings.
Furniture in the Bedroom
Now it's time to decide how to fill the bedroom space. Make sure that you’ve got all the right furnishings to make everything easy and convenient. Not sure what to include, and what’s just clutter? The choice of furniture can be distilled into two factors: function and design.
Function: Think about what pieces of furniture your rental audience will need the most. The basics include what size bed to have, storage for their personal belongings and clothes, seating, and “layout” space. Don’t squeeze in too much – better to opt for a smaller clothes rack than to board up a window to build a closet. Draw up a layout or do some testing to make sure you’re not covering up too much floor.
It may not seem like a good idea, but many pros suggest fitting a sitting area into the sleeping space. You can do double-duty by getting things like cushioned chests that will act as both seating and storage. Make the furniture you include work for you. But even if you’re going for a utilitarian look, the pieces should still be in good repair, look clean, and go with your theme.
Design: The few extra dollars you spend on making something look nice can pay for itself in more bookings. If you know your audience, you know most of them are looking for a memorable experience – in a good way! Consider a theme or giving the space some personality with the pieces you pick. Make sure to focus on the bed, since that will be the center of the space. Keep your target audience in mind when you shop. A family with three kids isn’t going to be thrilled at the white velvet they’ll have to keep clean. Want to keep it simple? Easy upgrades include adding quality nightstands and bed side lamps. However, don’t add pieces just because – the furniture should still be functional so you’re not restricting your renters’ space too much. Avoid things that are hard to use or difficult to operate, and check everything after every stay. Someone’s trip can be ruined if the dresser drawer snags their favorite sweater!
Nothing is worse than a terrible night’s sleep, which is why we made a post focused specifically on getting the right bed in your rental. Take a look to learn about your options and why good support is important.
However, so is the comfort. Don’t settle for the cheapest mattress. Try it out yourself and make sure that a night on it won’t leave you with soreness or a night of tossing and turning. You don’t have to break the bank on a mattress, but make sure the mattress you’re buying would be one you would have in your own bedroom.
The look of the bed is one of the first things your guest will see. Make your bedding choices go along with your audience and theme, but you also want it to be relaxing. Neutral colors are often best, but you can add splashes of interest with pops of color and textures. Try out cheerful, utilitarian sheets and blankets for families in ample quantity - blanket fort or indoor picnic, anyone? Slide in luxurious fabrics for the high-end traveler or romantic getaway, and don’t forget to provide extras so they can snuggle in front of the view or fireplace. You still want to make sure everything is washable though. Chances are if someone can spill something on those silk pillows, they will.
Neutral colors can look just as nice as eye-catching shades, and be more relaxing too!
It’s about more than just furniture and the bed in the bedroom. Look at your target audience and find ways those guests would use the space – then provide it for them. Hang a full-length mirror somewhere close to where the clothes are, so it’s easy for guests to change. Make sure your curtains can block the sun so they can have the luxury of sleeping in. If it’s cold season, set out lots of tissues.
It’s always nice to go the extra mile above and beyond the expected. Put in a speaker they can attach to their mobile devices to play their favorite music. Include a few novels on shelves or next to the bed. For the romantics, put (packaged) chocolates on the pillows; or tuck in little toys and games for the kids. Things that are unique or local are often appreciated, but be careful with allergens like nuts.
Guest Bedroom Don’ts
- Don’t forget the basics. Set up ample, convenient places for lights, charging, and trash. Put extra pillows and blankets in a place that’s easy to find.
- Don’t put away Wi-Fi passwords and instructions for any electronics or other devices (even fireplaces). These should be obvious and available for easy access.
- Don’t slack on keeping up with the bed. If your guests don’t sleep well, all the chocolates and neat décor will be for naught! The sheets and blankets should be cleaned every time, and check to make sure they’re soft and scratch-free. When it gets cold, don’t forget to put out warmer coverings. Likewise, in the hotter months swap out the winter comforter for a thinner blanket (with the option to add on more if the AC is running). Verify that the support is still holding up, and that there are no squeaking springs to wake your sleepers.
- Don’t leave your personal things in the guest space. Remove any clothes, toiletries, photos or mementos. Keep it clean by only including what your guests will realistically need.
- Don’t clutter storage space. Leave plenty of room in closets, dressers, shelves, tabletops, and any other area your renters may need to put their things on.
- Don’t automatically include strong smells. If you do have scents available, make them optional. One person’s relaxing air freshener is another person’s stuffy-headed nightmare.
- Don’t switch packaging on any foods or toiletries. Keep everything with their original ingredients so guests can check for anything they’re allergic to (or ask ahead of time so any offenders can be removed).
- Don’t go over the top on decorating, even on unused wall space. Having too much stuff everywhere can turn off your guests and leave them feeling annoyed instead of relaxed.
Above all, make it a space you enjoy too! Guests can tell what you put in, and will appreciate the labor of love. When in doubt, keep it simple and go for quality pieces, comfort, and convenience over cute to give your renters a refreshing night they’ll rate five stars.