How Do I Make My Vacation Rental Cozy?

When planning a vacation, hotels aren’t the only popular choice for lodging and accommodations. Travelers often choose short term vacation rentals (like Airbnb or VRBO) that can offer amenities and an environment that a hotel just can’t, such as a full kitchen, ample space for the whole family to unwind and privacy to name a few. When done well, these rentals bring all the comforts of home with the fun and anticipation of a new space. Here are some things to consider to make your space feel welcoming and homey to all types of guests.


A cozy home is one that feels welcoming, comfortable and warm, and many people seek this type of environment while they’re traveling. Whether you’re starting from scratch or remodeling your rental space, think about choosing a warm color palette. Color has a profound effect on mood and ambiance, so opt for warm hues like soft earth tones, warm grays, and muted pastels. These colors promote relaxation and make guests feel at ease, and can be incorporated through textiles, artwork, and accessories in addition to painted walls and furniture.

When it comes to furniture selection and layout, choose pieces that are functional, comfortable and durable. Opt for items that are versatile and can accommodate different group sizes to provide ample open space, while still maintaining a cozy feel. Integrate plush textiles into every space from soft rugs and additional throws and cushions to plush towels, soft blankets and luxurious bedding. Utilize a combination of thoughtful lighting sources throughout the space, including ambient, task, and accent lights. Install dimmers to allow guests to adjust the lighting to their preference, and consider using warm and soft bulbs to create a relaxing glow.

Consider incorporating natural materials like wood and stone into your design, through furniture pieces, accent walls, and decorative items. Choose your decor wisely and if you have breakable items, avoid placing them in heavily used spaces.Display artwork that reflects the local culture and landscapes, and add thoughtful touches like curated bookshelves, a homemade guidebook, in-case-you-forgot amenities unique to your guests and a welcome basket with local treats to create a memorable experience and a connection with their vacation destination.


No matter where your rental is located, your underlying goal should be to turn a stay into an experience for your guests. It should go without saying that your home needs to be extremely clean, free of clutter and stocked with staples from the kitchen to the bathroom that anyone would have at home. The extra steps you take to ensure a warm and welcoming space for your guests will be unique to you, the location and your actual guests. Is it a family that will be staying in your house, honeymooners/couples or a working professional? Keep who your guests are in mind and consider catering small touches and details just for them.

Families will likely want large eating and relaxing areas, separate sleeping spaces for adults and children, and activities everyone can enjoy. Parents traveling with small children will be very grateful if they don’t have to pack every single piece of baby equipment. Provide baby cutlery, a highchair and crib in your property to make it kid-friendly. Reliable Wi-Fi is a must, but business travelers may also need a dedicated work area, comfy chair, printer and plenty of electrical and USB outlets.Is your rental pet friendly? Consider setting up a corner with a dog dish, hook for a leash and a dog bed.

When your guests first arrive, greet them with a creative welcome basket featuring seasonal fruits, simple snacks, or coffee, tea and baked goods from a local shop and maybe some pretty flowers. Include a personalized welcome letter and folder with information about the house, phone numbers for every situation, special codes and passwords, info about the area, and a list of your favorite places to eat and “non-touristy” things to do. Also include check-out instructions for easy reference. Think about simple, easy-to-forget things like a hair dryer, toothbrush or phone charger or location specific items that aren’t easy to travel with like a picnic hamper, beach towels or an umbrella and provide them as needed to your guests.

By implementing these tips, and taking the time to anticipate the unique needs of your guests, you can create a warm and inviting atmosphere in your vacation rental, ensuring they have a memorable and comfortable stay. Are you interested in partnering with a vacation rental manager or learning about your property’s rental potential? Give us a call at 888.598.6353 or contact us.