Decorating a vacation rental can be difficult, as it’s quite different from decorating the home you live in. You want your rental to look impeccable in photos and appealing to guests when they first walk in, but you also want it to be comfortable and livable.

Vacations are all about relaxing, and since beds and sofas are the most comfortable parts of your home, they’re what many people will be looking at when booking a rental.

One simple and inexpensive way to spruce up beds and sofas is to add decorative pillows. The guidelines below can help you successfully use pillows to accent your vacation rental–striking just the right balance between form and function.
vacation rental beds

All beds should have at least four pillows (except for twin beds, which should have two).

That includes a regular head pillow on each side, then a pillow with a sham. If you don’t have a headboard, you can use European pillows in the back to create an instant headboard, or use them with a headboard for a fuller appearance. Then add a small decorative pillow in the front to complete the look! (Housekeepers love this extra pillow in front, as it helps to evenly balance both sides of the bed.)

Change the slipcovers on your pillows!

The pillows that come with your sofa in the same color and fabric can look a bit plain, so dress them up with new covers to change things up. New covers are also a great way to easily spruce up the look of a room when you buy new bedding, rugs, or other decor items. You can find inexpensive and easy-to-wash slipcovers on Amazon or Wayfair.
vacation rental couch

Go for an asymmetrical look on a sofa.

Using the same pillows on each side can look stiff and unwelcoming. Try a square pillow on one side and a lumbar shape on the other side. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative. For a sectional, place pillows in the corner spot so guests don’t “sink in” when sitting there.

Choose throw pillows with down filling.

Down pillows can always be fluffed back up and will last for many years, even with frequent use in a rental. Other materials are likely to flatten over time and need to be replaced.

There is no perfect number of pillows.

The number to use depends on the type of look you’re going for. For a minimalist look, you might only use one pillow on your sofa, while a shabby chic look might include three or four different pillows that all tie together. Keep in mind that if you add too many pillows and don’t leave enough room for sitting comfortably, pillows will likely end up on the floor.


How Many Pillows is Too Many For My Vacation Rental?
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Author: Chris Brown

Chris is a Pacific Northwest-based interior designer with an extensive background in photography, operations, sales, and business development. At Vacasa, Chris plays a key role in the company's newly launched design service arm, and has conceptualized, organized, and managed design projects for dozens of company-managed properties from start to finish. Chris also provides design consultation services to Vacasa's 5,000+ homeowners on an as-needed basis.