Catrin Stuart Interiors - Furnishing A Holiday Let - Things To Consider

The holiday let market is hugely competitive, especially with the growth of online sites like Airbnb, Vrbo, and so many more. If your holiday let is going to be successful and fulfill those forecast yields then the decor, furnishing and styling are important elements to help your property stand out!

Before you begin there are many factors to consider. 

Ideal Customers

Firstly decide who you want your property to appeal to; this will be affected by the location, size and lay out of bedrooms and your outdoor spaces.

Will it appeal to families, couples, friendship groups, stags, hens, dog walkers or a combination of them all? Furnish, equip and decorate accordingly once that decision has been made.


Catrin Stuart Interiors - Furnishing A Holiday Let - Green bedroom

Bed Configuration

The next decision is the bed configuration.

“Zip and link” beds are available in Super King or King sized, that can either offer double or twin bed configuration. This offers versatility but will require more planning and linen and bedding options.

Bunks and fold out beds or sofas are also versatile solutions for smaller bedrooms or for offering further sleeping space in the living areas.

Catrin Stuart Interiors - Furnishing A Holiday Let - Blue Bedroom - Double Bed
Catrin Stuart Interiors - Furnishing A Holiday Let - Blue Bedroom - 2 Single Beds

Young Families

If you are wanting to attract young families it will be important to offer stair gates, a cot, a high chair, a footstool and plastic crockery and cutlery. These aren’t a necessity but will definitely make the property more attractive to that demographic.


Will the cottage be dog-friendly? Tiled or wooden floors are easier to clean.

A secure outside space will be a definite bonus and an outdoor tap for rinsing paws is always useful. Providing dog bowls and separate towels would also be a popular extra.

Catrin Stuart Interiors - Furnishing A Holiday Let - Dog Friendly

Living Spaces

Living spaces will need comfortable seating for all the guests. Large sofas, occasional chairs and footstools or bean bags will offer versatility.

Cushions and throws or blankets will add to the comfort and give the space a homely and stylish feel.

A (smart) TV is probably seen as essential these days in at least the living space and it’s also a good idea to offer a speaker, cards and board games, along with books and magazines.

Catrin Stuart Interiors - Furnishing A Holiday Let - Seaglass Cottage Lounge
Catrin Stuart Interiors - Furnishing A Holiday Let - Lounge Storage

Kitchen and Dining Areas

The kitchen and dining areas should be adequately equipped and nothing overlooked.

Ensuring there is enough crockery, cutlery and glassware for every guest, particularly mugs and cups for teas and coffees so that not too much washing up has to be done in between each cuppa – always appreciated! 

Many guests like to do their own cooking so providing pots, pans, casserole dishes and baking trays is a good idea along with all the necessary utensils. A sharp knife, scissors and bottle openers are a must. Don’t forget the safety gas lighter for lighting the candles on the birthday cake either!!

Environmentally friendly options do not go unnoticed by many guests so providing recycling bins and bags (with clear instructions), refillable soap dispensers and a “bag for life” are popular offerings.

Catrin Stuart Interiors - Furnishing a Holiday Let - Seaglass Cottage Kitchen
Catrin Stuart Interiors - Furnishing A Holiday Let - Dining Table Set up

Bedrooms and Bathrooms

Guests should have enough space to put away their clothes so a chest of drawers and a wardrobe are perfect if you have the space but a hanging rail or hooks with sufficient hangers are an easy space-saving option if not. Hooks on the backs of doors are also handy for dressing gowns, coats or bags.

Mirrors are seen as really important for guests. A full-length mirror is a good idea along with a suitable area for doing makeup and styling hair (I would suggest providing a hair dryer in at least one of the bedrooms too). 

If you have space for a dressing table and a stool or chair, perfect! (This can then also double up as a desk and work space).

Catrin Stuart Interiors - Furnishing A Holiday Let - Blue Bedroom Dressing Table & Hanging Rail

Bedding should be practical and comfortable; two pillows per guest with a hard and soft option will cater for all tastes.

Providing spare blankets and cushions not only makes the spaces look good but is also practical for offering extra comfort to the guests. Plug sockets with USB ports on either side of the bed are super handy too.

Bathrooms should be clean and user friendly with some stylish touches. The choice is yours to provide the essentials such as soap and shampoo, but will be appreciated by those guests who prefer to travel light – again remembering to offer environmentally friendly options or products in refillable bottles.

Catrin Stuart Interiors - Furnishing A Holiday Let - Seaglass Cottage Bathroom

Other practical essentials

Iron, ironing board, dustpan & brush, brush, mop & bucket, hoover, cloths, tea towels, oven gloves, placemats, coasters, cooking basics (salt, pepper, oil, herbs, coffee, tea, sugar).

House guide and leaflets on the local area and attractions.

Styling advice

Choose a simple, practical yet attractive colour scheme that will provide a cohesive look throughout the home. Due to the expected “wear and tear” of holiday lets, make sure the paintwork can be easily touched up. 

Add simple art pieces, cushions, blankets, throws, plants (faux options are easier to maintain) and ornaments to add texture, interest and identity that will make the home comfortable, stylish and memorable – guests will then remember their stay for all the right reasons!

Case Study @seaglasscottage_mumbles

A 19th-century cottage was bought to renovate as a holiday let in Mumbles in 2021. This house was a great space in a great location but was looking very tired and unloved.

It required a complete overhaul with new electrics, painting and decorating throughout. We knew through research that the holiday rental market in the area was already competitive with similar-sized properties. We saw a definite gap for a 3-bedroom property which offered pleasing aesthetics and style as well as comfort, practicality and value for money.

The cottage is 200 metres from the sea front so it made sense that it should have a seaside feel without being too generic! The bathroom had only recently been renovated and the tasteful patterned tiles were in muted shades of blue, green, brown and white – the colours of sea glass, decision made and the rest of the decor was then planned with those colours in mind. 

It was incredibly important that the cottage would work for our guests; families of all ages, dog owners and single friendship groups. The cottage was furnished and equipped with those guests in mind creating a homely feel but with practical and stylish touches and a strong identity.

So many guests of Seaglass Cottage have commented in the guest book and in reviews on the decor of the cottage – ‘The house is beautifully decorated and very well appointed’ ‘thoughtfully decorated and very cosy’ ‘nice decor and all you need for the family’ ‘the house is very comfortable and had a welcoming feel’ ‘a super cottage! Great location, clean and great decor’ ‘Beautifully designed and a lovely haven for a relaxing weeks holiday’.

Catrin Stuart Interiors - Furnishing A Holiday Let - Things To Consider

The cottage has proved a successful venture on multiple levels offering experience as a renovation and design project, an investment project and in turn experience running a small business.

If you require some help with your holiday let, do please reach out for some advice via the website or direct. Advice can be offered online or in person.

Catrin x