How to Design a Furnished Rental?

My mom used to tell me either you got the eye for design or you don’t. I, for one, don’t have that eye and struggle sometimes making sense of decor.

While designing your furnished rental isn’t rocket science, there is an art to making a property feel at ease, tranquil and overall, like a home away from home.

Here are some tips to helping design your furnished rental property:

Follow the Inventory Check List. A standard corporate rental has to have everything from linens, towels, cleaning supplies and all kitchen wares. We have a full list of items required of a complete furnished rental in the CHBO User Manual, which you can download online.

Consider Your User. If you have a 4-bedroom house in the suburbs, it’s likely a potential renter will be a relocated family looking for a temporary home. This means some of the bedrooms can have twin beds (for kids) and you may want to have a crib on hand to accommodate for babies. You also will want child-friendly furnishings and you’ll need to eliminate any potential safety hazards by keeping cleaning supplies out of kid’s reach and covering outlets, etc.  On the other hand, if you have a 1 bedroom condo in a busy business district, you may want to have a black leather couch, a small wine cellar and a nice office or desk facing the sites and sounds of the city.

Stay Neutral. Everyone has unique tastes when it comes to furnishings, but the general rule is to stay neutral. Paint your walls an off-white or taupe and use that as your palate. Stick to solid colored couches, linens and towels.  Art work should be subtle as well and avoid using pictures of your family to decorate the home. Envision what you would want to see in a rental home for yourself and let that be your guide.

Use Color to Accent. Color can be used to accent or dress up neutral furnished. A khaki colored couch can be dressed up with some red and orange pillows. A white bedroom set can be dressed up with bright blue accent pillows and a cool green throw over the bed.

Buy New.While it’s tempting to put in grandma’s old floral couch or used toaster oven, resist the urge. It’s better to buy new and make sure everything is clean, modern and matching from the start. A potential renter will not be satisfied with decor from the 1940’s nor with used or worn linens.

Stick to Practical Furnishings. There is such a thing as over-furnishing your home. If you buy an expensive wood desk or dining table, are you going to be stressed every time a user puts a ding in it or leaves a water stain on the table? But things that are durable that you won’t worry about getting a little knick here and there.  The furniture will get used and needs to be practical for day-to-day use.

Get Help. Furnishing a rental property shouldn’t be stressful, so if all else fails, get help. There is nothing wrong with hiring a professional designer to help you maximize your budget and give your rental property a modern and tasteful look. A professional designer may charge you about 10% of your overall spending.  A typical 1 bedroom furnished apartment costs about $10,000 to furnish, so budget an extra $1,000 for an interior design fee. Contact CHBO about design questions.

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