We are closing on a condo in New Orleans for personal/ family and friends to use. At this time we are not considering using it for STR but it meets the city rules for eligibility if we wanted to later.
My dilemma is this. We are in Maryland with limited time to spend in New Orleans. I take that back-- I can spend time there, but my husband can't. With our Airbnb here, we need to be hands-on more than not despite the fact that we are off site hosts. So we have a couple of weeks blocked off for travel and to paint/furnish the place. Its a logistical nightmare as we try to coordinate delivery dates for large items to arrive when we plan to be in town. in the future, we can do more planning to create time in our schedules, but we are so booked up with guests and other obligations for the next few months its really tough at the moment. Bad timing on our part as many things that were delayed came to fruition at once (for example, our master bath is in the middle of a remodel while this is all going on. That was supposed to be completed in February.)
I know that many hosts have places in other states or other countries and have had to figure out how to make them comfortable and attractive to guests. In this case, its people we know but the considerations are still the same. Any tips for someone going through this? Lessening stress? Favorite resources for furnishings that has scheduled delivery and is reliable?
Keep in mind that it doesn't all have to be done at once, @Laura2592. My parents bought a place in Canada 4 years ago and are still furnishing and buying pieces every time they visit. It's fun for myself and other family members to arrive and see whats different or what's been added. I have one Airbnb that I wouldn't yet consider "finished" and the listing has been live and accepting guests for two years now. I just haven't found the perfect pieces yet.
@Emilia42 yep I am sure that will happen and we will find awesome stuff when we visit over time. But right now I want the "anchor" pieces-- like beds, sofas, table and chairs etc. Rugs! Its hard to get everything coordinated from afar. This is the kind of stuff they don't tell you on "House Hunters International" or "Beachfront Bargainhunt."
@Laura2592 Ikea? I know that's not really your style, but not all their furniture is pressboard instant apartment for 20 somethings. You could start with that for the basics so you don't have to run around to a bunch of different places.
@Sarah977 there isn't one that is convenient in New Orleans. And the apartment has 12 foot ceilings, a huge balcony facing the street, walk-out windows and french doors, etc. Think 1850s Creole townhouse. I am good at decor but Ikea there would look like grandma in a tube top. I am trying to get some cool antique-y things locally as much as possible but the big stuff needs to be in place.
@Laura2592 Rugs can be either the first piece, the anchor piece that dictates much of what's in the room, or the last piece, chosen to work with what's there. So if it's not going to be the first piece, you can take rugs off your immediate list.
I've found Room & Board to be incredibly reliable in delivering and setting up furniture over the years. West Elm is good. CB2 pulls it off but you're not always sure it's going to happen.
Apartment Therapy has a great service where it reviews all the online retailers' furniture for you, too. For instance: https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/where-to-buy-the-most-comfortable-sofas-239959
We were in the very same boat as you with two properties in completely different states. After arriving at each, we had 2 weeks to furnish and outfit them.
I love looking for items that are eye-catching, whimsical, or otherwise unique, but 2 weeks just wasn’t enough time to dilly-dally. As @Emilia42 said, you can add the unique, specialized items over time.
I pre-ordered 2 of the beds online, and scheduled them to be delivered while I was there. They have these beds these days that come in a box and expand when you lay them out. The high-quality ones are super-comfortable. One place not to cut corners is beds. A good night’s sleep keep your guests in a good mood to enjoy the rest of their stay.
I found a leather couch and loveseat on Facebook Marketplace, and hired a small company to deliver them. They were like new. I felt it was a fluke that I found something so nice out of the classifieds so quickly.
Besides IKEA, Wayfair is another place to buy end tables, shelving, side chairs, and other smaller pieces of furniture. I haven’t bought from them for our rentals, but we have couple of practical pieces from them in our home.
Most of the rest of the main furniture, beds, area rugs and a couple of wall art pieces we got through small and large local furniture stores. Much of our time was spent hunting down and selecting items from these stores. This is not the most economical choice, but we felt it was doable in the 2 weeks we had.
And then there are all the small appliances, kitchenware and utensils, bathroom items, linens, towels, and toiletries if you provide them. Don’t underestimate the effort it takes to create lists and make sure these items are covered adequately.
Also, since we live remotely, we have a co-host that is local to handle any immediate problems that arise. If for some reason a delivery had been late and we would have had to leave, I would have asked my co-host to handle the delivery. We got lucky, though, and the items were delivered successfully while we were there.
It was a whirlwind trip, both times. Tensions ran high, but I must say it was a lot of fun. Very few times (well, actually, never) in our lives have we been able to go on that level of shopping spree.
We spend at least a month in both properties every year, which I highly recommend. It has given us insights and time to really make sure our places are practical and comfortable for our guests.