How to stage a vacation rental: Soft colors of a staged interior home view

How to Stage a Vacation Rental: Helpful Tips & Tricks

How to Stage a Vacation Rental: Helpful Tips & Tricks

written on February 17, 2023Vacation Rental Staging

Whether you’ve had your vacation rental for several years or you’re getting ready to welcome travelers into your vacation home for the first time — you already know impressing potential guests is crucial for getting more attention (and more eyes) on your property.

Now, you may ask: “What is the key to securing bookings for vacation rental homes?” We’re here to tell you that the answer is simple — vacation rental staging. In this post, we will explain the purpose of vacation rental staging, how to stage a vacation rental, and more tips for making positive first impressions on potential guests with your Airbnb rental or vacation home! 

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What Is Vacation Rental Staging?

Once you’ve found the right platforms for listing your vacation rental (Airbnb, VRBO,, your website, etc.) and written a compelling description, there is only one step left before you can begin renting out your short-term rental — vacation rental photography.

You may think your vacation rental property looks great in person (and you’re probably right!). Still, the truth is — making your short-term rental property look appealing in photos is a different story. Just like homeowners invest in the staging process to attract potential buyers before selling their own home, ensuring your vacation rental is staged adequately before uploading your listing photos is one of the best ways to ensure you host more guests and secure more bookings.

Tips for Staging a Vacation Rental (the Right Way!)

So, now that you know the purpose of vacation rental staging — let’s jump right into some home staging tips from an interior designer. These creative ways to spruce up your vacation home before snapping photos of the property will allow your property to shine.

1. Decide on a Theme & Design

How to stage an airbnb: Interior view of a staged small office

When choosing a theme for your vacation rental, it’s important to think of the experience you want to create for your guests and then select your decor and furniture for each room from there. Usually, the location of your rental can help you decide on a theme that may appeal to guests.

For example, a home in Orlando, Florida, may want to create a magical-themed home due to its proximity to Walt Disney World or Universal Studios. Or, a home in Austin, Texas, may choose to decorate with subtle touches of burnt orange and white as a nod to the nearby college campus, the University of Texas at Austin. If you have a home in Tampa, Florida, you may select a subtle beach theme with touches of blue, white, seashells, and wicker furniture.

2. Focus on Natural Light

If the only source of lighting in your home is your ceiling lights — investing in more lighting is an excellent way to create an inviting ambiance. Generally, natural light makes a room feel more spacious, so throw open your curtains, blinds, or window shades before your photographer arrives to capture photos of your property.

However, in rooms where natural lighting isn’t as abundant, focus on adding floor lamps, hanging fixtures, and other types of lights at varying levels. This makes the space feel warmer and removes the dim, shadowy light cast by ceiling fans.

3. Make Your Space Clutter-Free

Removing clutter and distractions is one of the best ways to make your vacation rental look great in pictures. It’s essential to keep it simple — only incorporate the basic furniture and amenities that guests need, with a couple of “fun” items, like decorative pillows. You don’t need tons of pictures, knickknacks, and decor pieces in each space.

Also, if you are converting your own home into a vacation rental, be sure to remove personal items from your home. Guests don’t need to see your college diploma, family photos, and mementos hanging on the wall. Instead, replace these items with decor pieces that have general appeal and match your theme.

Part of removing the clutter should involve thinking about making a great first impression. This starts with the entryway and optimizing it for guests. Check out our tips for vacation rental entryway design ideas here.


4. Spruce Up Your Home’s Exterior

Your indoor spaces aren’t the only ones that need attention. You cannot neglect your home’s curb appeal or forget to stage your backyard and patio.

Consider hiring a landscaper to trim the trees, bushes, and lawn in your front or backyard before photographing your vacation rental. You may also want to consider power-washing your siding or touching it up with a fresh coat of paint.

You should also think of ways to make your outdoor spaces more inviting. Perhaps you could add some lounge chairs by the pool, install a fire pit, or add some lawn games, like cornhole and horseshoes. You know what will appeal to your visitors most — so add the Airbnb amenities to your yard that make the most sense for your target audience. You can get a comprehensive list of outdoor design ideas here.

5. Create a Focal Point

Creating a critical focal point in every significant room in your vacation home is essential. This will help your photographer capture the important features of your home, but it will also make it easier for guests to know what to expect when they book your property.

Choosing a focal point doesn’t have to be complicated. Perhaps in the dining room, it’s the dining table. Or in the master bedroom, it’s the king-sized bed. In the backyard, it may be the heated swimming pool and jacuzzi tub. In the living space, it may be a super comfy couch or huge flat-screen TV. Decide on the best features of your Airbnb, and make those the focal point. If you need some help deciding — your photographer can determine the best features to highlight in each room.

6. Create a Luxury Bedroom & Bathroom Experience

Many property owners focus most on furnishing the kitchen and living spaces — and there is nothing wrong with that. However, it’s important not to overlook the bedrooms and bathrooms in your home. Guests will look for a clean space to shower, sleep, and get ready for the day — so spend extra time cleaning and furnishing these spaces.

Before your photographer arrives, ensure the bed is made, the pillows are fluffed, clutter is removed from dressers, nightstands, countertops, and other furniture, and trash cans are hidden. Make sure the toilets, showers, and sinks are sparkling clean, and if you have any spa-like features, like a waterfall shower head or heated towel racks, showcase these details in the pictures.

Trust the Experts at THE STAGING COMPANY for Airbnb Staging in Florida and Texas

We understand that even with these helpful tips, staging your Airbnb or VRBO properties can still be time-consuming. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it all alone. Instead, hire Airbnb staging experts who are trained to pay attention to the details and provide a spectacular Airbnb staging experience, like THE STAGING COMPANY. We offer professional staging services for vacation rentals, homes, apartment complexes, and other properties in East Texas and Central Florida. We can help make all the rooms in your vacation homes sparkle and shine in photos, so each guest is not only impressed by the pictures — but they also delighted by their stay!

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