Over 118 million people in the United States are renters, and being able to seamlessly move from place to place is key to making these transitions easier. As people move for new jobs and work opportunities, family obligations, and university, the need for furnished housing has drastically increased, especially in big cities like San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.

In this post, we’ll explain and provide a checklist for how to best furnish your property that makes your house feel like your tenants’ new home.

Why does furnishing and decorating your property matter?

Moving furniture isn’t fun. It’s stressful, time-consuming, and expensive. About 65% of people who rent are younger than 35 years old. Many renters are recent grads, students, and traveling professionals who may not own a lot of furniture or don’t want to spend the time or money moving it, especially if they’re living in a short-term rental.

Furnished rentals benefit property managers and owners, too. While there’s an initial upfront cost, furnished rentals can earn between 15–50% more than unfurnished rentals depending on the location and renters’ length of stay.

Quick Tips for Furnishing Your Space

Before you start your quest for stylish comfort, remember these easy tips:

  • Keep it simple. Most of us are not decorators, so stick to the basics. Pick a neutral color palate and add small pops of color.
  • Know your audience. If you’re mostly renting to students, interns, or young professionals, provide a dedicated workspace area with a lighting and a desk.
  • Less is more. Every open space in your room or home doesn’t have to be filled with furniture or things. Allowing open space gives the renter a chance to make the space their own.
  • Don’t blow your budget. Remember that you’re not furnishing your dream home — you’re furnishing a space for many different renters. Find great pieces that will stand the test of time at places like IKEA and HomeGoods. If you’re looking for unique pieces and low prices, cruise your local garage sales, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace.

Light and airy kitchen with white cupboards
This kitchen highlights its light and airiness by focusing on one main color and using small pops of color in its decor.


Average cost: $500

For a lot of people, home is where your food is! It’s important to make sure that your future renters have everything they need. Not including major appliances there are a few kitchen items that will make them feel like home.

Kitchen Basics

  • Dishes: plates and bowls
  • Drinking glasses
  • Pots and pans: at least 1 large pot, 1 sauté pan, 1 frying pan, 1 mixing bowl. Ensembl’s stacking pots are great to save space and will last a lifetime. ($125)
  • Cutlery: forks, knives, spoons
  • Cooking utensils: spatula, grater, kitchen knives, can opener
  • Trash can
  • Microwave

Comfortable couch in simple living room
This space is meant to be lived in! Comfy pillows and adequate seating guarantees a space where memories are made.

Living Room

Average cost: $1500

The key to creating a great experience in your living room is providing the items that will bring ultimate comfort and convenience to your tenants.

Living Room Basics

  • Seating (couches and chairs) that seat up to the maximum that the space sleeps
  • Blinds and/or curtains for windows
  • Lamps and lighting
  • TV stand or entertainment center
  • TV
  • Coffee table


Average cost: $500

Bathroom with classic and neutral accents
These accents are not only classic and neutral, the decorations are provide a little fun without taking away from the available space in the room.

Sometimes the bathroom is overlooked as unimportant, but over the course of a lifetime the average person spends 1.5 years in the bathroom! This room (and the — ahem — experience in it) will definitely play a role in how renters feel about your space. Make sure your bathroom is covered with the following basics:

Bathroom Basics

  • Shower curtain and liner
  • Trash can
  • Bath towels
  • Washcloths
  • Toilet Paper
  • Toilet Brush
  • Plunger
  • Rug

Simple bedroom with accent colors


Average cost: $1,500

If the kitchen is where people feel comforted and the living room is where they entertain, the bedroom is the place where your renters will relax and let go of the stresses of day to day life. Providing a space where renters will feel like they can destress and decompress will be vital for ensuring comfort.

Bedroom Basics

  • Mattress and boxspring
  • Bedframe
  • Sheets, comforter, pillows, blankets
  • Nightstand
  • Lamp(s)
  • Hangers

Laundry room with tables on top of washer and dryer

Laundry Room

Average cost: $1,500

An often overlooked space, a washer and dryer, whether it’s in-unit or in-building, can make a huge difference for a renter and doesn’t require a lot of space to make it functional.

Laundry Room Basics

  • Washer
  • Dryer
  • Iron/ironing board
  • Laundry detergent
  • Bleach
  • Fabric softener sheets

Open closet with items stored in containers

Maintenance or Storage Closet

Average cost: $500

Whether you’re hosting a tenant for an extended stay or short term rental, it’s normal to expect them to perform some everyday maintenance and cleaning in the space. To make this easy for your tenant, be sure to provide them with the materials and tools to do that.

Supply Closet Basics

  • Glass and kitchen spray
  • Mop and mop bucket
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Vacuum
  • Batteries
  • Simple toolkit (screwdriver, plier)
  • Step ladder
  • Extra lightbulbs
  • Air filters
  • First aid kit
  • Extra phone chargers

The key to hosting renters successfully is anticipating their needs during their stay. Furnishing your space doesn’t have to be hard or too expensive. With a little guidance, you’re on the right track to providing a space that is furnished in a way that’s classic, inviting, and functional, you’re ensuring a space that renters will be proud to call home.