The Complete Guide to Furnishing a Holiday Home in 2023



The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
December 11, 2022

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The Complete Guide to Furnishing a Holiday Home in 2023

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Furnishing a holiday home can be tricky. You need stylish furniture, but you also want it to be practical and sturdy enough to withstand the wear and tear of multiple visits from different people. You need to find pieces that fit your target guests' style, budget, and space. 

You know, no guest wants to be satisfied with 'average.' These holidaymakers will always expect their holiday home to measure up to or be better than their home. Hence, as a host, you need to know how to furnish a holiday home to create a cosy and inviting atmosphere that will make a long-lasting impression on your guests.

Contrary to what you might be thinking right now, furnishing your holiday home doesn't have to be daunting; with some planning, it can be a fun and rewarding experience. And that's why you have this ultimate guide to inspire you. 

This guide covers several holiday home decorating ideas to help furnish your space with stylish, practical, and durable pieces. You'll also learn how to choose the right furniture for your property.

Table of Contents

6 Things You Need To Know When Furnishing a Holiday Home

1. Space Planning and Layout

Space planning and layout are critical aspects of your holiday cottage furnishing. Your arrangement determines how comfortable and relaxing your holiday home will feel: whether you want a bright and airy feel or a more cosy and intimate atmosphere.

When planning the space and layout of your holiday home, you need to consider how each space will be used. Will it be for entertaining guests or a place for them to relax and escape from the everyday bustle of city life?

More importantly, how much space does the property have? Acknowledging the size of the property, in general, determines how you go about other holiday home interiors. Ensure that the space available is sufficient to comfortably accommodate what's on your holiday let inventory list.

Here's a list of the things you should consider when planning the layout or furnishings of any space.

  • Measurement: Always measure a space before you start buying furniture. You don't want to buy something too small for the room or too big that it takes over the space. Also, opt for furniture of similar shapes and sizes, as this can create a sense of harmony and balance in a room.
  • Accessibility: Design your rooms so people can move easily through them, with a clear path from the door.
  • Study the room's structure and note any areas that would make great focal points, such as a fireplace, bay window, or a piece of statement furniture.

2. Choose a Subtle Style

When furnishing your holiday home, it's essential to choose a subtle and relaxing style. This choice will help guests to feel more relaxed and at ease when spending time in your holiday home. It will also make it feel more like a home and less like a hotel.

You can also draw your style inspiration from the location of your property. For example, for a holiday home in a coastal area, you can apply a beachy theme with nautical touches, warm colours like white and pale blue, and light-coloured furniture (such as rattan). 

If you are situated in a rural area, you may want to go for a more traditional style with antique furnishings for your holiday cottage. Whereas, if you are in a more urban area, you may opt for a more contemporary style. A subtle style is also a great way to showcase your personality and create a sense of individuality in your holiday property.

3. Choose Low-Maintenance Flooring

Low-maintenance flooring is essential for your holiday homes because you don't want to spend the entire holiday worrying about flooring that's been stained or damaged. Remember, the holiday is a time to relax, so your guests will need low-maintenance flooring that is easy to clean. Ideally, you can arrange for a professional maintenance service.

Low maintenance means that it will last longer and hold up better in high-traffic areas than other types of flooring. So what are the best types of low-maintenance flooring to put in your holiday let? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Laminate flooring is popular because it's affordable and looks like natural wood. It's also water-resistant and easy to clean.
  • Vinyl flooring is another excellent option that comes in various styles and colours. It's also easy to clean and water-resistant.
  • Ceramic tile is a classic choice that's both durable and water resistant. However, installing it can be challenging, so you may have to hire a professional to do the job for you.

If you're using ceramic tile, ensure the tiles are rated for exterior use, as they will be exposed to high traffic. No matter what type of flooring you choose, measure the space carefully and buy enough flooring to cover it completely.

4. Good Quality Furniture is Essential

When furnishing your holiday home, the main thing to remember is that quality should be your top priority. Those cheap pieces might look good now, but they are likely to break sooner rather than later. When guests are on vacation, the last thing they want is a broken chair or bed.

Not only that, high-quality furniture for cottages also gives your space a more luxurious feel. The right pieces can contribute to your overall design making your home look sophisticated and optimising your listing at the same time. You will often find that the investment in quality furniture pays off in the end—especially when the pieces last for years and still maintain their original condition.

Finally, good quality sofas for cottages UK will come with warranties from the manufacturer and ensure that any issues can be addressed promptly. This added layer of protection gives you peace of mind – especially if you're going away for a while and need to monitor your Airbnb remotely.

5. Add a Touch of Luxury

Adding a little luxury when installing your new holiday home decor can make your home feel special and give your guests an extra sense of comfort. Fortunately, there are a few ways to achieve this without breaking the bank.

  • First, consider splurging on quality textiles, pure cotton towels, and the best bed linen for holiday lets. Or perhaps a quality carpet or rug. These items will add comfort and luxury without investing too much in country cottage furniture or fixtures.
  • Second, bring the outside in with natural materials like plants to bring some life into the home. Decorate with wood accessories like wooden beams to add texture and warmth. Add a thick area rug to liven up the space even more.
  • Another option is adding artwork and holiday home decor pieces that speak to your style. These pieces could be anything from classic art pieces to fun holiday-themed decorations. 
  • Finally, remember the lighting. Mix up overhead lighting with lamps and wall sconces at different heights for visual interest—this will create ambience while also providing functional illumination in dark corners of the room. With these tips, you can make your holiday home extra special for you and your guests!

6. Always Have Your Target Market in Mind

Who will be staying at your holiday home? Although this is the sixth point, it is one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself before furnishing your property. It will help you determine what type of furniture you need, how many pieces you need, and the perfect welcome packs for your holiday let.

For example, if it is going to be used as a family getaway, then it makes sense to put in kid-friendly furniture such as bunk beds and beanbags. And avoid using delicate furnishings as they may not be suitable for younger guests. 

Alternatively, if you're looking to host romantic couples, consider investing in some elegant furnishings for special occasions. And for a more romantic and homely feel, try using upholstered chairs in the dining room instead of hard-backed ones. In the lounge, you could add an accent piece such as a plush upholstered sofa or a 'snuggle chair' to provide extra cosiness.

How to Furnish Specific Areas of Your Holiday Home

1. Improving the Entrance

When guests come to your holiday home, they first see the entrance. This is your chance to make a good first impression, so it's important to furnish it in a way that represents your style and personality.

How to Furnish Specific Areas of Your Holiday Home

Here are six tips for improving your home's entrance:

  1. Place a welcome mat by the front door to add a touch of personality and keep your guests' shoes clean.
  2. Add a coat rack or bench so guests can take their coats off and leave their bags there.
  3. Place a rug at the door to warm the floor and add texture.
  4. Hang art or a mirror above the door to create an interesting focal point. A mirror is a great addition to any entrance as it reflects light into the space and makes it seem bigger than it is.
  5. Use light fixtures to create a welcoming atmosphere.
  6. Use plants or flowers to add some colour and freshness.

2. Furnishing the Living Room

You'll need a bit more furniture in this space. Depending on the space available, sofas, coffee tables, and entertainment units are popular choices on the holiday let inventory list.

When choosing furniture, it's essential to think about the style of the room. If you want a modern look, go for sleek and simple pieces. And if you're going for a more traditional vibe, choose furniture with classic lines and embellishments.

  1. Choose a colour scheme and stick to it. This will help tie the room together and make it more cohesive.
  2. Remember functionality. Ensure furniture serves a purpose. A couch should be comfortable enough to sit on, and a coffee table should have enough room for drinks and snacks. Also, position the seating in a way that would allow for easy conversation. 
  3. If you have a fireplace, make it the focal point of the room. This is a great way to make the room feel warm and inviting.
  4. Add some artistic touches with photos, paintings, and knick-knacks. Soft furnishings also add texture to the space.
  5. Finally, make sure to add some lighting to the room. This will help to set the mood and create a cosy atmosphere.

3. Creating a Cosy Bedroom

A cosy bedroom is a space to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the outside world. Here are some tips to transform this room into an oasis:

  1. Start with a comfortable bed. Ensure it's big enough to accommodate people of various sizes and small enough to fit into the room without eating up the entire room. 
  2. Choose soft and cosy bedding. Consider adding layers, with a mattress protector, mattress topper and a thick blanket or quilt, to keep guests warm on chilly nights.
  3. Hang some curtains. Curtains can help add warmth and privacy to your bedroom.
  4. Add some cosy accessories. Think about adding a rug, pillows, or a soft lamp to create a homey feel.
  5. Decorate with nature. Bring in some plants or flowers to add freshness and natural beauty to the room.
  6. Add some artistic touches. Find pieces that give you joy and mount them all around. It could be wallpapers or paintings.

4. Setting Up the Kitchen

The kitchen is the area where meals are made. Sometimes memories are made there, too: preparing meals with your partner or gathering around the counter with your kids. When furnishing the kitchen, you want to ensure you have all the essentials. Here are some valuable tips:

  1. Make sure you have all the basics, such as a fridge, oven, stove, and sink. You'll also need an adequate amount of cupboards and counter space.
  2. Opt for a durable material like granite or marble for your worktops and add a few stylish accents, such as glass bevels or mosaic tiles, to give your kitchen a unique look.
  3. Choose quality appliances such as energy-efficient dishwashers, fridges, and cookers that won't break down after one season.
  4. Don't forget about the lighting. Install plenty of overhead and task lights in convenient places like over the cooking range or under cabinets.
  5. Remember to stock up on all the necessary cookware and utensils so you won't waste precious vacation time going back and forth to the store for ingredients or accessories.

5. Decorating Your Dining Space

When decorating your dining space, the key is to have a plan. You don't want to start buying pieces without knowing how they'll fit in with the rest of the house. 

  1. The first step is to decide on a theme or style that you want for the space. Then you can choose the dining table furniture and accessories that will match this theme.
  2. Choose comfortable yet stylish furniture, like classic dining chairs or benches for seating. 
  3. Try using different textures and materials for added interest, like rattan chairs or woven placemats. 
  4. Accessories like napkin rings, salt and pepper shakers, and table linens are great choices to jazz up your decor.
  5. Choose artwork that complements your theme. Consider wall art, mirrors, and chandeliers to add a special touch to the dining room. 
  6. Add adequate lighting fixtures so that everyone can enjoy their meals while still having good visibility throughout the space.

6. Making the Bathroom Comfortable and Inviting

When it comes to making the bathroom feel comfy and inviting, you should keep these few tips in mind. 

First of all, you'll want to make sure that the space is well-lit. Opt for natural light if possible, but if that's not feasible, make sure to get a good mix of lighting fixtures – maybe a combination of an overhead light and wall sconces – so that there's enough illumination to make it comfortable.

Making the Bathroom Comfortable and Inviting

Next, you'll want to think about colour. Soft colours like pastels or neutral colours will create a calming atmosphere in the bathroom. Also, consider adding decorations with eye catching colours that will bring warmth and cheer (think oranges or reds). Finally, be sure to add some plants as well—they can breathe life into any room.

Final Thoughts 

Bottom line, when it comes to furnishing your holiday home, it's important to think about the purpose of each room and what kind of atmosphere you're going for. Once you have a plan in mind, choosing pieces that fit the space you'll love for years to come will be much easier.

If you have more expensive decorations, you may consider keeping an inventory checklist to ensure they are not taken away by the guests.

Now, it's one thing to have an idea of how your furnishings should be, but it's another thing entirely to find the best people for the job. Getting a reputable interior designer company is no walk in the park. 

It's advisable you read reviews from their past clients and ask your friends for referrals. Better still, you can contact the best Airbnb management company, Houst, to source and connect you with trustworthy companies. 

Houst can also help you optimise your listings, clean and maintain your holiday let, and also maximise your earnings. You can reach out to our team for more information and clarity if you're confused in any way. 

FAQs About Furnishing a Holiday Let

What Makes a House Look Tacky? 

There are many factors, such as clashing colours, oversized furniture, and too much clutter. You also want to avoid making it look too 'themey,' with decorations that don't quite fit in with the rest of your home.

What is the Most Popular Holiday Decoration? 

Christmas lights are the most popular holiday decoration. Whether it's multi-coloured fairy lights or white twinkle lights, they create a festive atmosphere and can be hung inside and outside your home.

Do Holiday Homes Devalue?

Not necessarily. Depending on your area, it could increase property value due to its desirability as a vacation spot. Nevertheless, if poorly maintained or furnished, it might make your place look cheaper than it is.

What Makes the Interior Look Cheap?

Generally speaking, holiday home interiors that look like they've been assembled from downmarket furniture stores could give off this impression. Try to stick with timeless pieces made from quality materials instead for an investment that won't go to waste.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team provides up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals to help navigate the world of short lets. If you're interested in publishing your content, please get in touch with us at

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team provides up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals to help navigate the world of short lets. If you're interested in publishing your content, please get in touch with us at

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