Most rentals are not furnished, but if your rental is near a college, or perhaps a studio or an Airbnb, you might need to furnish.
The following are creative ideas for inexpensively furnishing your rental/airbnb.
- Craigs List
- Your own furniture
- Garage Sales
- Habitat for Humanity
- Rental Companies/Used Rental Company furniture
- Create Your Own Art
- Costco and Big Lots
- Bonus, IKEA
My favorite way to find furniture is through Craigs list. While you might have to do some shopping around on Craigs List, by far, it is the most comprehensive supply of furniture and accessories you will need.
Your Own Furniture
The least expensive approach to staging your Airbnb or rental is to use some furniture from your house that you are not using (great time to buy yourself new furniture!).
Before you do that though, be thinking about your theme. If your theme to your rental/airbnb is seaside – does your furniture match?
Sometimes the sofa, love seat, and coffee table style and color don’t matter as much if you can add in accessories (for instance) that are pictures to match your theme. A seaside theme can have sea pictures and seashells. Just a note; don’t mix and match themes- don’t match a seaside with chic hobo et cetera. If you don’t have a theme and just want a simple clean airbnb there is nothing wrong with that. Just plan ahead BEFORE you start buying your furniture and accessories.
Target has accessories as well as actual furniture. Some of their furniture would be ideal for the more modern themes with simple sofas and chairs. When it come to the average airbnb (we are not talking about the deluxe airbnb/rental – but the average airbnb/rental) a simple design such as target would be ideal – even better if you can catch a liquidating sale.
Not all Goodwills have furniture; you might have to review more than one to find some perfect pieces. Keep in mind; Goodwill is an excellent place to find accessories for the bedrooms, living room, and kitchen. I like to look at the small knickknacks that can be used for decorating shelving.
When it comes to decorating, minamalism is an ideal concept. You don’t want to have every nook and cranny filled in with junk. You just want it to look comfortable and inviting; not like your grandma’s collection of 70 years of “stuff”.
Here’s a trick – buy framed pictures at garage sales. Frames can be expensive. If you buy the picture for the frame, you can take out the picture and put in your desired picture. This picture can be a poster or an actual photo that is blown up. Be creative and have your decor match your theme. You can also spray paint the frame to a different color.
Tip – i also buy small pictures and picture frames and use fabric instead of pictures. Her is an exmple of a kitchen theme I did with lemons. This picture is fabric decorated in lemon with fabric from Joann Fabric. I could have easily turned this into a seaside theme etc.
Habitat for Humanity
The great thing about Habitat for Humanity (as well as assisting a good cause) is if you are a handyperson you can get “parts” for a good price. Counter, shelving, sofas chairs, tables, sometimes book cases. They don’t normally carry decor items.
Habitat for Humanity normally prices their items at 50% of the name brand items (less if it’s damaged in some way). If it’s not a name brand item they will shoot low on the pricing.
Look for their rotating sales. If an item has been there for two months they will normally discount another 25% and if it reached three months they mark it down by 50%.
Normally, Habitat for Humanity does not negotiate discounts; but if you find something that the clerks did not find he/she may be willing to discount a little more – such as a damage in which you have the capability of fixing. It will be the managers that can reduce the price not the clerks.
Walmart is a good place for bookshelves, small end tables and coffee tables.
Also, if it goes with your theme, consider a nook for someone to use their computer. A parsons table is a type of desk that would work perfect.
The quality I found at rental companies is middle of the road. For higher end airbnb you might want to skip furniture rental companies.
It’s better and cheaper to purchase your furniture out right. But if you are unable to do so, the average price is approximately $240 per month for 24 months to furnish a small living room and between $170-$200 per month for 24 months to furnish a bedroom. Of course, at the end you would own the furniture. Pretty expensive if you are looking for cheap – but doable if you are just looking for a cheap way to get started. Crunch your numbers – will it work? For most people probably not and will not be their go to.
AND/ Used Rental Company furniture
A rental company occasionally gets returned furniture when their customer doesn’t want to keep the furniture and finish the lease.
When this happens the rental company brings the furniture (or charges the customer) to the store and they will sell it in the back.
Tip – the reduction is usually the cost of the original minus the number of months the customer had it – I found this to be too expensive. To negotiate the price you will have to request the manager. I found that the clerks were not able to reduce the price; only the manager could.
Create Your own Art
As mentioned above, I often create small picture frames with fabric to match a theme. This is generally for small areas like bathrooms and kitchens.
For larger areas consider framing posters; or creating your own art with decoupage.
In this picture a host created their own shelving for quick food items. It was built out of cheap pine and stained.
Costco and Big Lots
In my town there is a Big Lots as well as another discount store which carries linens. You will want to buy linens in bulk. Don’t tick off your guest by not having enough towels (just a tip).
Big Lots is located through out the US so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one.
When purchasing towels purchase fluffy towels in DARK colors. Either black or navy blue (if the color is appropriate). A dark brown if your theme is outdoorsy is a good choice. While it may sound great to have a clean white color I can guarantee you will regret it shortly if not the first time your towels are used. Makeup can ruin white towels.
When purchasing towels; I like the bath towels at Costco. The dark colors are a hit and miss though on finding them.
If you have more than one airbnb stock up on the same color if you can (keeping in mind your theme). It will be easier to mix and match if you don’t have to think about the mix.
Bed sheets should be white. While it may seem nice to include a theme on your bed sheets, in general it is best to keep white so you don’t have to worry about where a sheet will go. You can apply a sheet to any bedroom and any rental/airbnb.
The exception would be if your theme will have an added benefit by not being white. An example – if your theme is Disney related, and your rental is in the parks vacinity – go the extra mile and do the Disney themed sheets – your guests will enjoy the extra touch.
Note – I don’t recommend furniture at Costco (like sofas and love seats) – it’s realitively good quality – but more for home use rather than the simple furniture you will need for the average airbnb and way too expensive.
Bonus, Don’t Forget IKEA
If your theme is simple modern, IKEA is a good place for furniture and kitchen ware.