Be part of the Qanvast Trust Programme!Find out more
RM50K Qanvast GuaranteeRM50K GuaranteePersonalised RecommendationsExclusive PerksPerks
Find out more

How to Transform Your Home Into A Designer Rental Property

July 17, 2020

GIVEAWAY: Don’t miss the chance to win a 1-night stay at Insterior designer loft for 2 pax and free consultation and interior design service worth RM1,000! Head over to our FB page for more info.

Turning your home into an investment property is one of the best options, especially when the current housing market is less than desirable if you were to sell your house. As such, opting to go the rental route can help to generate a fixed income over time while waiting for the housing market value to rise again.

Insterior Design

However, homeowners are also faced with a competitive market as the percentage of rental properties available outnumber the amount of potential tenants. So how do you go about transforming your home into an attractive rental property and compete with other bare or partially furnished units?

We spoke with Rui Ong, Executive Director of Sleepy Bear & Insterior and an experienced Airbnb host who has successfully transformed hundreds of properties in Klang Valley for owners to share some insightful tips on how to turn your home into a lucrative rental from short stay to serviced homes and co-living rooms.

1. What are the main things that homeowners should consider when renovating a rental property?

Before converting your home into a rental property, homeowners need to take into account these important aspects:

Insterior Design

First of all, time is money! You shouldn’t spend a couple of months researching and going from shop to shop to find suitable furniture to match your budget as this can be time-consuming. Remember, the lesser amount of time you spend on renovating your home for your guests or tenants to move in, the faster you will receive your return on investment.

Secondly, scientific studies have proven that emotion is what really drives your purchasing behaviours, and also, decision making in general. There are hundreds to thousands of identical units available in your building, so the aesthetic of your unit is your biggest weapon to trigger the emotion of your tenant, other than a competitive rental price.

Insterior Design

Finally, homeowners should also consider maximizing their return on investment (ROI) before renovating their rental home. To do so, when furnishing your home with basic amenities such as a dining table, a sofa, etc consider how it would look good in your home besides its practical aspects. For example, instead of installing a bulky built-in wardrobe, opt for a Muji style open wardrobe that will not only make your bedroom look visually spacious, costs less but also stands out.

2. What are the keys to designing a home that’s standout on pictures?

Play with colours and colour contrast. Understanding colours (warm/cold tone, colour palette and matching etc) and choosing the right colour may be difficult but if it's done right, it can create an aesthetically pleasing look. But make sure that you get the right expert to help you achieve the desired result!

Insterior Design

Details are everything. Adding home decor will enhance the overall look of your home, just like adding a little garnish on the plate makes the food presentation look classier. Homeowners should highlight the space with decorative details that look aesthetically pleasing such as indoor plants, throw pillows, rugs, etc.

Insterior Design

If you want your home to be more personalized, you can include unique elements such as eye-catching decor or furnishing to make your home feel special, memorable and truly yours.

3. What is your best advice in choosing the most suitable design theme for a rental property?

Interior designs can be complicated and tricky to understand but I’ll simplify it to two most important aspects, which is colour theme & interior theme.

Insterior Design

Colour theme is one of the best tools to make your home stand out among other cookie-cutter units.

Selection of colour needs to consider the ambience you wish to bring out for your unit, or a certain space in the unit. A warmer tone like red, orange, yellow can give tenants and guests an uplifting and welcoming feel. Meanwhile, cooler tones such as green, blue, and violet give a more calming and serene feel to the home. Earthy tones, and the recent trendy Morandi tones, are warming, relaxing and retro. You can also mix and match between these tones by choosing a warmer tone for your living room and entrance, and a cooler tone for your bedroom.

Insterior Design

Meanwhile, the property environment and surroundings should influence the selection of your interior themes. For example, a luxury condo located in the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur may not look suitable when it is decorated with rustic or industrial interior style. Imagine passing by a luxurious and elegant lobby to home to a rustic industrial theme with raw pallets and metals. Usually, I would suggest homeowners to go for more popular interior themes such as Scandinavian, Modern, European or Minimalist for their urban home.

4. What are the things that homeowners should avoid when renovating a rental property?

When renovating a rental property, homeowners should avoid installing materials that are difficult to clean and maintain such as glasses, marbles, wooden floors as they are prone to scratches.

Insterior Design

Homeowners should also avoid the excessive use of wallpaper for rental properties. Although wallpapers are generally faster to install and can create an effect that cannot be achieved through painting, they are more troublesome to replace compared to painting. Besides, your choice of wallpaper pattern may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

You should also consider avoiding too many fixtures and things that are difficult to find a replacement like unique floor tiles or kitchen backsplash.

Insterior Design

Although I did mention about not being too stingy with home decor when renovating a rental property, don’t go overboard and purchase expensive art pieces or art collection for your rental unit as it does not translate to a good return of investment (ROI).

5. What is the best way to renovate a homestay without imposing too much of the homeowner’s personal taste?

First of all, you should know your target, and who you want to attract. Understand what they like, instead of what you like. For example, if you are planning to rent your home for people with a family, you may not want to renovate your home with industrial design style although you enjoy spending a lot of time at hipster industrial cafes.

Insterior Design

Aside from that, you should also get the right expert to help you get the most cost-effective investment for your rental property.

Looking for professional help to style your rental property?

We have the right expert to help! Insterior is the first #Ins Style interior stylist in Malaysia. And while it usually takes time to get a home ready to be a rental, Insterior can help to speed up the process for you at an affordable price!

With Insterior, you can choose from a list of popular styles (ie.Scandinavian, Modern, Minimalist) and have your home renovated within 3 to 4 weeks upon sign up. This will ensure that you’ll be able to list out your property for rental as soon as possible, hence maximising your return of investment.

Insterior Design

On top of that, the company’s rental management arm can also help you find tenants and guests so you don’t have to worry about the risk of getting your home unoccupied for months.

Sign up with Insterior today and receive a free TV as a special treat! No special terms and conditions required. To find out more information, visit their website at or their FB page at @insteriordesign.

*#Ins style is the new ‘in style’

Meet interior designers. Get quotes. Based on your requirements, we will recommend you up to 5 firms with the Qanvast Guarantee. Get Free Quotes

Preparing the next article…