What goes into curating a unique and stand out property? That was the burning question on our mind the second we got our hands on this property. This was our first Airbnb purchase, so we were jumping into something new (and admittedly had no idea what we were doing), but nonetheless ended up creating something pretty neat. Here is the slightest toe dip into some things we learned along the way...
First up, finding a space that spoke to us.
We wanted to feel something when walking into the home – inspiration, creativity, opportunity. We wanted to be able to have a vision of what we could create design-wise, while also making sure the logistics were in order. There were obviously particular factors we weren’t willing to budge on (location, occupancy size, price, stand out amenities, etc.). Luckily, this space checked all the boxes (and then some). But it was important to us to look at what was going to make the property stand out. So, here’s what we noticed…
To be honest it’s a little weird and a little “maze-like,” but magically, from almost any room of the house you can see the view of the mountains and that felt uniquely special for this type of property. Not to mention, the way the bedrooms were set up allowed for some privacy if multiple families were renting the house together.
The amenities and size.
In ground saltwater pool, huge yard and entertaining space, fireplaces, 15 acres for guests to explore, and A LOT of opportunity to grow in our amenity capabilities over the years. Also room for future growth with additional garage spaces and an open field in the back.
Surrounded by butterfly bushes, wildflower and vegetable gardens, a fruit and nut orchard, gorgeous views, a huge empty field off to the side of the backyard (that we later found out used to have a power producing windmill on it!) — there were many aspects of the property that added charm and had a story hidden inside.
Discovering the story, and determining a unique theme.
Our best advice is to take time to observe and notice the little aspects of your property that make it special (hopefully you've found one that has these features!) and take time to make connections with those that know it well (if that's possible for you!). Both of these things helped us discover the history of this space and decide our overarching vision. We wanted to utilize our surroundings and focus our energies into a specific theme that not only made sense to the history of the property, but that was also fun! Through talking to our neighbor as well as other maintenance workers who knew the house and the previous owners well, we learned the story of our property.
The previous owners were a German couple who were known and beloved and poured a lot of love into the house and property. One of the first things we noticed about the property, was that there were butterflies are all around! Thanks to the Buddleja bushes that surround the house, we got our initial inspiration. But to be honest, we wanted to go outside the box, (can't discriminate from those overlooked critters!), so rather than just focusing on butterflies, we went full on “bug” theme. Focusing on a funky nature theme made sense for the house, helped us stand out from other properties, and got us excited!
Bringing the experience to life with thoughtful design.
One of the first ideas we had to bring this theme to life in a stand out way, was the curation of a bug mural. I recommend getting yourself an artistic friend like ours, Nou Moua (or just hire her), because she made our vision come to life. Her design felt just right – the colors vibrant, the images hidden within one another, and something unlike anything you'll find when you search "bug mural" on Pinterest. We had a huge detached shed in the backyard that made for the perfect canvas, and voila – a gen z-ers instagram dream and a work of art for a millennial to appreciate (all other generations of course equally welcome to love on our mural!).
Nature is full of vibrant, striking colors and the wallpaper options out there these days are amazing. So naturally, throughout the interior, we brought in bold and interesting wallpaper – each with hidden aspects of our theme from mushrooms, to inconspicuous beetles, to abstract flowers. When bringing your theme to life, it’s all about the details and the fluidity. From art, to pillow cases, to taxidermy bugs (yes, we went there), this is where the magic happens. There’s a harmony between subtle additions and very obvious focal points. The goal was tie in the theme throughout the property to bring cohesion and intention to the design.
Pick a name!
Names are memorable. Names tell a story. Names are fun! And...picking a name can be so stressful...but well worth it when you find the right fit (I promise!). Thinking back on this part makes me chuckle. There is so much pressure that comes with picking a name (and this is not where my creativity lies), but honestly once we simplified what we wanted to get out of it, we knew which one felt right. Here is a fun list of all the options we were considering…
Bugg Haus beats them all, am I right?
There are many, many other aspects of designing an airbnb property, but we’ll save those tips for a different post. In the meantime, we’d love to hear what else you want to know about our process and our property!
Mural by Nou Mou
Design by Meredith Pace