Furnishing & decorating

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Furnishing & decorating

Once you've made any repairs and done your research about the local area you need to furnish your holiday home and turn it into a real home from home for guests. When choosing your furnishings and equipment, remember that people are choosing to stay in your home rather than a hotel - it's the little touches that can make all the difference, so choose with care.

Before your first guests arrive, if you haven't already done so, take a holiday in your property yourself and you'll soon notice anything you've missed!

All rooms

  • Ensure that any furnishings you use anywhere in the property are flame retardant and comply with any insurance policy conditions and fire regulations.

  • Install a smoke alarm on each floor of the property.


  • Your guests have chosen to go self-catering, so make sure that the kitchen has everything they need.

  • Buy a wide range of pots and pans in different sizes

  • Buy enough cutlery, crockery, glasses etc. for double the number of people your property sleeps.

  • Basics such as a kettle and toaster are expected, but irons, microwaves and washing machines are all appreciated.

  • Stock up on supplies - leave some basics such as tea, coffee, herbs and sugar for your guests as well as things like washing up liquid, sponges, tea towels and washing powder.

Living area

  • Make sure there's enough comfortable seating for at least the number of people you sleep.

  • A decent-sized TV and DVD player as well as books and games should help keep people entertained on rainy days. DVDs, CDs and books can all be picked up cheaply from charity shops.

  • Provide coasters to stop people marking tables and put washable throws on sofas.

  • A games console could be a good investment if you're catering for families.


  • Invest in quality beds and bedding. Have more than one set of linen for each bed to make changeovers quicker.

  • A hairdryer, bedside lamp and an alarm clock are all sensible additions.

  • Make sure there's plenty of clothes storage space and a supply of coat hangers.


  • Provide at least two good quality bath towels per guest as well as hand towels. Think about supplying some medium sized towels for people to dry their hair.

  • If you have lots of families or elderly guests staying then non-slip shower mats are advisable.

  • Bathmats will stop guests using towels on the floor.

  • Keep a supply of spare toilet roll and soap.



  • The garden can act as an extra room outside if properly equipped.

  • Sun loungers, outdoor dining furniture and a barbecue are wise investments.

  • Hammocks and pot plants are great extras.

  • Make sure the garden is well maintained. Use shoulder seasons to tidy things up.

The Extras

  • Consider providing high speed internet access - kids will love it and it is great for people who need to keep an eye on work.

  • Flowers on arrival will make the property look welcoming.

  • Old bikes will encourage guests to get out and about if you're in the country.

  • If your property is near the beach then get some buckets and spades. Pool toys are great for kids if you have a pool.

  • For more information on how to make sure your property is ready to welcome guests have a look at our advice on preparing your property for paying guests.