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The Art of Staging: A Guide to Preparing Your Short-Term Rental

Tips & Takeaways

Staging a short-term rental property is like setting the stage for a captivating performance. Just as a well-designed stage enhances a theatrical production, a thoughtfully staged rental property can significantly increase its appeal and attract more guests. Whether you’re a property owner or a host on platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, or, mastering the art of staging can lead to higher occupancy rates, positive reviews, and increased revenue. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the key steps to stage your short-term rental effectively.

  1. Understand Your Target Audience

Before you start rearranging furniture and decorating, it’s crucial to define your target audience. Are you catering to families, solo travelers, couples, or business professionals? Understanding your audience will help you tailor the staging to their needs and preferences. For instance, a family-friendly rental should have childproof features, while a romantic getaway should emphasize cozy and intimate decor.

  1. Declutter and Clean

Begin the staging process by thoroughly cleaning and decluttering the property. Remove any personal items and excessive furniture. An uncluttered space feels more inviting and allows guests to envision themselves in the space. Ensure that all appliances, fixtures, and amenities are in working order.

  1. Neutral Color Palette

Neutral colors create a calming and versatile backdrop for any rental property. Opt for shades of white, beige, or light gray for walls and larger furniture pieces. Neutral tones make it easier for guests to imagine their own belongings in the space and are less likely to clash with personal styles.

  1. Invest in Quality Furniture

Investing in quality furniture pieces can make a significant difference in the overall look and feel of your rental. Consider durable, comfortable, and stylish furniture that complements the property’s design aesthetic. Don’t forget to include essential pieces like a comfortable sofa, a dining table, and a cozy bed with quality bedding.

  1. Add Thoughtful Decor

Decorate your rental property with a touch of personality and thoughtfulness. Artwork, decorative pillows, rugs, and curtains can inject character into the space. Choose decor that aligns with your target audience and the property’s theme. For example, beach-themed decor works well for coastal rentals, while modern art may be suitable for urban properties.

  1. Focus on Lighting

Good lighting can transform a space. Ensure that your rental property has a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting. Install adjustable light fixtures and consider adding dimmer switches to create different moods. Natural light is also essential, so keep curtains and blinds easy to open.

  1. Pay Attention to Details

Details matter in staging a short-term rental. Pay attention to small touches like fresh flowers, scented candles, and books or magazines on the coffee table. These extras can enhance the guest experience and make the space feel more welcoming.

  1. Provide Essential Amenities

Make sure your rental is well-equipped with essential amenities such as Wi-Fi, a fully stocked kitchen with cooking utensils, a coffee maker, toiletries, and extra linens. These conveniences can make your property stand out and lead to positive reviews.

  1. Highlight Unique Features

If your property has unique features, make sure to highlight them. Whether it’s a stunning view, a cozy fireplace, or a private hot tub, showcase these aspects in your listing photos and descriptions to attract potential guests.

  1. Regular Maintenance and Updates

Staging doesn’t end once you’ve prepared your rental property. Regular maintenance and updates are essential to keep it looking fresh and inviting. Address any wear and tear promptly, and periodically refresh the decor to keep up with changing design trends.


Staging a short-term rental property is a combination of art and science. By understanding your target audience, decluttering and cleaning, choosing the right colors and furniture, adding thoughtful decor, and focusing on lighting and details, you can create a welcoming and attractive space that guests will love. Remember that staging is an ongoing process, and regular maintenance and updates are key to ensuring your rental remains a sought-after destination for travelers. Happy hosting!

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