How to make the most of your rental property with design

Whether you’re renting to tenants or tourists, short term or long term, simply putting up your property on a listing site like OpenRent or Airbnb isn’t always enough to attract the right interest. We’ve partnered with Homewings to get their top interior design tips to make the most of your investment property.

If you’d like to unlock the full potential of your property and need help furnishing it to stand out, get in touch with Homewings. You can get a free room design with the code HABITOROOM.

Increase your occupancy with good design

In an increasingly competitive market, setting yourself apart in the eyes of consumers is the best route to long-term viability.

A thoughtfully put-together interior can make a big difference in attracting interest. Good design makes properties more desirable for consumers – in fact, it has the largest impact of all attributes on how much people are willing to pay for rent.

Designing a rental property is a bit different to designing for your own home – you have to appeal to lots of different people and personal tastes.


When it comes to walls, think neutral and nude. Going for lighter toned paint colours will draw in tenants as they will see it as an opportunity to put their own personal stamp on the place. Neutral walls are also cost effective and easily touched up.

If you want to add more personality, consider a feature wall. Opt for a dark neutral or a muted colour over bright wallpapers and paints.

For mouldings, skirtings and ceilings, keep it simple and easy-to-maintain by painting them white.


Avoid light carpets or anything with a thick pile that’s easily dirtied. Instead, consider a medium-to-dark neutral carpet with a lower pile, which is easier to keep clean. Stay away from brightly coloured carpet, which can be a turn-off for tenants.

If your property already has an undesirable carpet, all is not lost – you can make the best of it by getting it professionally cleaned. But if a deep clean won’t make it presentable, consider replacing the carpet entirely with something like laminate – it’s cost-effective and easily wipeable.

Furniture & decor

The biggest worry for many landlords is that the furniture will become ruined or soiled. You can think ahead by picking furniture that’s as resistant to damage as possible – for example, for a couch, choose a darker colour and a more durable fabric. Often, you can find couches and chairs with removable fabric covers, which makes cleaning and repairing a breeze and can mean avoiding having to replace them entirely down the road.

You can also try selecting pieces that have a rustic feel to them already. Industrial-style pieces with knocks, dints and marks can add a lot of charm, as well as reduce worry about minor damage.

When it comes to personal design touches, stay away from real plants if you’re not ready to take on the extra maintenance – if they’re not cared for properly, they can become an eyesore. Instead, opt for dried grasses, good quality faux plants or a combination of both.

One of the biggest trends right now is neutral, textural and minimal design, which means that a lot of potential renters will be looking for property than has minimal fuss, is smart, clean and neutral.

This also goes for selecting artwork – go for pieces that are minimal, with clean lines and a nude or neutral colour pallet that can be mixed and matched.

Be clever about your property’s quirks

Every room in a property can’t be perfect. There’s almost always bound to be one or two aspects of your property that need some TLC or extra design direction – but there’s also almost always a clever trick you can use to overcome them.

Not enough natural light

When there’s limited light in a space, it can affect the perception of the area, making it seem smaller, unappealing or dated.

You can maximise the light you do have by using mirrors to reflect any light from windows around the space. In a dark room, it’s best to stick with a close-to-white colour scheme, using neutrals that are as bright as possible to open up the space work to reflect the minimal light.

Extra small spaces

For those particularly small rooms, you sometimes need to get creative to open it space up. Although dark colours can be useful to make a place feel cosy and intimate, they can also make it feel closed off and accentuate the limited space. Opt for lighter colours that will help create a sense of space and airiness.

When buying furniture for smaller spaces, consider its purpose. Avoid buying multiple single-purpose pieces and opt for pieces that are multi-purpose or fold up or away when they’re not being used.

There’s a common misconception that you shouldn’t have empty space in your home, but when it comes to making your small space look bigger, you need empty areas to create the feeling of spaciousness. Avoid pushing sofas right up against the wall – it can make a room feel cluttered and smaller than it is. Instead, pull them away by a few inches or even a few meters. This will create pockets of space, making the space appear larger. This trick also works with furniture height. For example, choose a sofa that’s raised with space underneath it to allow light to wiggle its way through.

Encourage positive reviews of your short term let with a comfortable space

If you’re setting up your property as a short term or holiday rental, comfortable, and clean spaces leave a great impression on visitors and lead to better reviews – a key differentiator on the big listing sites like Airbnb.

For holiday lets, your main competition is hotels, so don’t skimp out on the important comforts, like beds and sofas – they’re the most important elements of a vacation home.

Want some help getting started, or ready to spruce up your space? Get a free room design from Homewings with the code HABITOROOM.