Staging For Your Vacation Rental

kitchen_kevinmarsh465382501 When professional stagers work on a home that is for sale and create a fabulous look for the listing, they know that after the home is sold, their job is done and they can move all the staging materials out, leaving it bare and ready for the purchasers to put their own mark on the place. With a vacation rental there is a big difference. Whatever a potential guest sees on a listing, they will expect to find when they arrive for their holiday. So, the fancy bed linens, interesting artwork and lush greenery that sold them on the property must remain. This makes vacation rental staging an important and integral part of a marketing strategy, and also makes it challenging.

Keeping that in mind, here’s three tips for staging a vacation rental to the best effect

Clear the kitchen clutter

Clear all the kitchen surfaces and polish and shine stainless steel and all tiles. Put away all small appliances except perhaps one, as long as it is stainless steel and highly polished. Remove dish drainers, dish towels and garbage containers; take down magnets and notes off the fridge and put the dog dishes out of sight.

Lay up a breakfast bar, dining table and patio set

Instead of photographing bare tables, consider laying them up for a meal. Put out juice glasses, a basket of croissants, a bowl of fruit and berries on a breakfast bar; lay up a dining table with wine glasses, candles and matching dinnerware, and an outdoor table with a vase of flowers a bread basket and a wine bucket. These images will create emotion and desire and encourage visitors to your listing to stay around your site.

Create sumptuous bedrooms

It doesn’t take a lot to create a fabulous looking bedroom, but so many vacation rental listings show flat bedding and pillows with tired looking comforters and even sleeping bags or bare mattresses. This does not generate an attractive image for potential guests. Take some time and spend some money to make the beds look appealing with good quality comforters, plump pillows and plenty of throw cushions. Buy or make a headboard; provide matching side tables with matching lamps, and turn the lights on.

Take a lot of photographs paying attention to lighting – try taking pictures with and without flash as well. Late afternoon is probably the best time of day to get indoor photos without using too much artificial light. Enjoy making the place look amazing and you’ll benefit from increased interest in your listing.

Image on Flickr by Kevin Marsh


This post is really great! This will guide me in staging for a vacation rental. How do you make your house attractive and approachable to guests? Thanks a lot for sharing this information to everybody.

Karl Kaufman

I so agree with you on that. I don;t know how many times we were surprised to see vacation home that is very different from the ones in the photos. As if we can still back out! It happens a lot even in some houses for sale. What a disappointment!

Great post by the way. Thanks!

jeremy@Hotels Donegal Town

Hi really nice tips for those trying to make a business through it. A traveler would always have certain expectations while they choose to stay at your place and that is your responsibility to fulfill.

Kendal Cottages

Sleeping bags or bare mattresses??! Do people really do that? Oh dear…

The first point you make about clearing the kitchen clutter… I think that applies not just to dressing the room for a photograph, but ‘always’. I would sooner arrive to a clutter free kitchen that one with all manner of items littering the work surfaces or miscellaneous items stuck to the fridge.


Lots of good ideas here. Keep up the good work.

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