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Furnishing your French Property

Posted by Chez de Chez on October 22, 2014
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Here’s a suggested list of the fixtures and furnishings you’ll need to set up your holiday property in France

Most of these items are the basics but I’ve also suggested a few little extras you might want to consider that will help to make your holiday property stand out from the crowd.

I also have a little piece of advice that will save you time, money and probably a bit of stress too:  As tempting as it may be, please don’t fill your house with lots of pretty trinkets!  You’ll be annoyed when they get broken or go missing and your cleaners really won’t thank you for making their job even harder.  Therefore, try to strike a balance between practicality and design, making the overall comfort of your guests your top priority.

 Kitchen

  • White goods essentials
  • Cooker
  • Fridge
  • Freezer
  • Microwave
  • Washing machine
  • Kettle
  •  Toaster

White goods optional extras

  • Dishwasher
  • Tumble dryer (remember this is the south of France, the sun shines a lot and electricity costs are high)
  • Freezer with ice-making facility.  We had one and it used to get rave reviews, so it can certainly add a wow factor

Kitchen equipment

  • Covered bin
  • Crockery – 2 matching sets
  • Cutlery  – 2 matching sets with teaspoons
  • Serving spoons 2-3
  • Serving dishes and or casserole dishes x 3
  • Roasting dish and baking trays/oven trays
  • Set of saucepans  – min of 3
  • Frying pans – 2 of different sizes
  • Sieve and colander
  • Storage containers
  • Chopping boards 2-3
  • Cooking utensils
  • Table cloth and placemats
  • Teapot and coffee maker
  • Corkscrew, bottle opener and can opener (good quality ones)
  • Egg cups and possibly a toast rack
  • Scissors
  • Cheese grater
  • Good quality knife set (everyone hates blunt kitchen knives)
  • Mixing bowl that can maybe double up as a salad bowl
  • Salad bowl
  • Good sized mugs – 1.5 – 2 per number of maximum guests your property will sleep
  • Oven gloves
  • Glasses – tumblers, wine, beer, champagne and possibly liqueur.  Buy enough to leave out 1-2 per how ever many your property will sleep and then have spares locked away for you or your cleaner to top up through the season as they get broken – because they will.
  • Water jug and possibly a milk jug
  • Measuring jugs x 2

Hospitality pack

If your guests will be arriving on a Saturday and as shops in France are in the main closed on a Sunday, you might also want to set up a small hospitality pack consisting of the following: (please note however, that these don’t need to be full packs but just enough to get your guests through the first couple of days)

  • Washing up liquid
  • Washing powder
  • Dishwasher tabs
  • Refuse sacks
  • Toilet paper
  • All purpose cleaner
  • Disposable dishcloth or sponge

Optional – You could also provide tea, coffee, sugar, milk, wine and maybe a snack.  We used to do this and finally settled on a jar of pasta sauce and a bag of pasta.  If your guests arrive late or there’s no restaurant nearby (or their just too tired) then at least they can have a drink and a light meal before falling into bed.  However, this is optional, it really depends on your circumstances.

Utility equipment

  • Bucket and mop
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Broom
  • Drying facilities  – preferably internal and external
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Tea towels
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Washing up bowl
  • Spare light bulbs  – Leave a couple out for guests but have a batch locked away so that only you or your cleaning company/maintenance team can gain access to them.

 Living/Dining room

  • Comfortable seating for all occupants.  Due to space restrictions you might need to get creative but comfort is the key word here
  • Additional lighting
  • Coffee table
  • Dining table, again with the correct amount of seating
  • High Chair – one should be sufficient.
  • TV/DVD player
  • Hifi system
  • Selection of books, games, DVD’s and CD’s would also be worth considering

 Bedrooms

  • Good quality beds with new and comfortable mattresses
  • Waterproof mattress protectors  – sadly you’ll need these for the adult beds too but get good quality ones and your guests will hardly notice
  • 2 pillows per bed (remember that French pillows are different sizes to the UK, so if you buy pillows in France you’ll need to buy pillow cases there too)
  • Suitable togged duvet per bed
  • Bedding  – minimum of 2 sets and preferably 3 sets of everything.  This is a far higher expense than most people imagine.  Assume you can get a pack of bedding for around £50.00 (pillow cases, bottom sheets, top sheets, duvets) and you have a house with 7 beds (sleeping 8), this means £350.00 for just one set of everything
  • Throws – these look nice and can be practical for cooler, low season nights but if you decide to have them, make sure they’re machine washable
  • Suitable storage for each room giving your guests the ability to store clothes that need hanging and folding
  • Bedside tables and lamps
  • Mirror for each bedroom and at least one full length mirror somewhere in the house
  • Cot, or if space is tight then a folding travel cot is normally acceptable
  • A waste-bin for each bedroom

 Bathrooms

Firstly make sure the door locks and there’s appropriate ventilation

If there’s a window make sure there’s a blind or frosted glass

Bath or shower curtain – or glass door.  All options are ok as long as they’re good quality.  If you go for a curtain, make sure you’ve got a spare so that it can be washed at least once through the season

  • Electric shaver point
  • Shelf or storage cupboard
  • Mirror
  • Toilet roll holder and toilet brush
  • Easy to clean bin
  • Toothbrush holder or cup
  • Towel rail – heated if possible
  • Towels  – As with the bedding you’ll need at least 2 sets (hand towel and bath towel) per person
  • Beach towels – by providing these you have less risk of your bathroom towels ending up on the beach but these are optional

Garden

  • For larger gardens  – sun loungers, enough for half the number of maximum guests your property will sleep is normally sufficient
  • For all gardens and terraces – garden chairs – enough to cover the maximum number of guests your property will sleep
  • Barbecue and utensils.  If you take a security deposit, by putting a little note in your guest book, explaining that you’ll charge extra if the barbecue isn’t left as it’s found at the end of the stay is normally sufficient to ensure you and your cleaners don’t spend hours cleaning this each week
  • Outdoor dining table and occasional tables.  As dictated by the space available
  • Solar cover for your swimming pool – this is optional but has the advantage of not only helping to keep the pool warmer but also reduces the amount of leaves etc.. from getting into your pool

Security equipment

  • If you have a swimming pool, firstly be sure you’ve complied with the latest legislation regarding pool security by providing a certified fence, alarm or pool cover
  • Sufficient smoke alarms for the size of the property and also consider emergency lighting that comes on in the event of a fire
  • Stair gates

Miscellaneous

  • Fans and heaters making sure your guests are comfortable depending on the season
  • Visitors comments book
  • Visitors information book on what to do and see in the area
  • Visitors user manual on how to use all the key appliances in your home

****Property letting. Furnishing inventory – this is a PDF version that you’re welcome to download.

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