By Betsy Goldberg
Photographs by Alpha Smoot
Robin’s-egg blue is a daring color for kitchen cabinets, but Airbnb host April Brown often makes gutsy moves, even in her career. The Calgary native initially left her marketing job to launch an “adult wine camp” in Prince Edward County, Ontario, with a friend, but when the venue they planned to rent (a run-down lodge) turned out to be for sale, they bought it, renovated it, and reopened it as the trendy June Motel. “We started with a palm-leaf wallpaper and added other retro prints and textiles,” she says. …
Photographs by Peden+Munk
Concepts and styling by Randi Brookman Harris
When you’ve starred in food and travel TV shows, run a restaurant, and are writing a cookbook, family and friends tend to have high expectations for the holidays — even when you’re away from home and you’ve had to toss your tahini into your suitcase. “I’ll bring certain spices, and my knife and mandoline, so I can still put my spin on dishes,” admits Middle Eastern–style chef Eden Grinshpan. But otherwise, she’ll pull off an out-of-town shindig with little fuss or fanfare. “I keep the food simple and seasonal, and I’m all about family-style serving,” she says. With a 2-year-old daughter, Ayv, she’s got a built-in kitchen assistant. Her strategic food-prep schedule: “I’ll get the cake out of the way, and then make the rice and roast the vegetables; you can just reheat them before dinner. Then you put the meat in to braise, and leave it for three hours, minimum.” A few personal touches can spruce up the setting, but Grinshpan doesn’t obsess over plating. “I just want there to be this rustic, bountiful feeling. …
Photographs by Ambroise Tézenas and Adrianna Glaviano
An architect in Como. A painter in Sicily. A designer in Milan. These three Italian artists bring the same creativity and consideration to their craft as they do to every corner of their homes. Each one shares his space as an Airbnb Plus Home, so you too can live the artist’s life for a night or two.
Superhost + Airbnb Plus Home: Marco Vido
The ceiling is 13 feet high and the setting is steps from Como’s center, but it’s the big iron windows that, in large part, sold Marco Vido on this loft in an old factory formerly used for metal parts manufacturing. “They let in beautiful light,” says the Superhost, who worked as an architect for 30 years before becoming an artist. …
Photographs By Nicole Franzen
Former Brooklynites Amanda Judge and Chris Carmody knew their renovated Hudson, New York, home was decorated sparsely in some spots and a little haphazardly in others, but it felt “good enough” — and they weren’t quite sure how to take it to the next level. “Amanda has a great eye, so she found nice thrift store pieces to mix in with the furniture we owned already,” says Carmody — but the two stopped short of tying it all together. “Our rooms didn’t feel finished, and the house didn’t have a cohesive look,” admits Judge.
Enter the AphroChic design duo of Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason, who elevated the Airbnb home with crisper wall colors and simple swaps (vivid art instead of dark tapestries; sleek sconces in lieu of bulky lamps). But not all the tweaks entailed new items. “Some rooms weren’t set up to maximize the space,” says Hays, “so we moved things around for a smarter layout.” …
Photographs by Jessica Sample
For some people, a dream house means walk-in closets, a chef’s kitchen, or a sprawling backyard. For Airbnb Superhost Sophie Loghman, it meant a pink front door and “welcome party” of plastic flamingos — plus a cheery palette throughout, with unexpected elements in every room. “I’m an upbeat person by nature,” says the digital marketing strategist and avid Instagrammer. “Years ago I created #happyhousedreams for my fellow Instagrammers to tag whenever they found pastel, candy-colored homes, and then I fell in love with this one, a shotgun-style cottage in Cabbagetown” in Atlanta.
Photographs by India Hobson
There’s definitely an art to pairing an adult-oriented palette and sophisticated pieces with features that are fun (and comfy) for kids. The good news is, it’s not hard — and it doesn’t have to be expensive. How exactly do you land on that magical mix? Airbnb host, design blogger, and Instagrammer Marit Folland shares her bag of tricks.
“To avoid the ‘noise’ of clashing colors, pick kids’ stuff in a limited palette. We also have toys for every age: teddy bears and blocks for little ones, and some machines for bigger kids, like the old Nintendo.”
“We turned our attic into a playroom. …
Photographs by Jake Rosenberg/Coveteur
When the Novogratz family first bought its vacation home 17 years ago, it was dated, dark, and musty. “The first thing we did was paint the whole thing white to brighten it up,” says Cortney, whose husband, Robert, is also a designer. (The two, who now have seven kids, have hosted decorating shows on Bravo and HGTV.) “We wanted this home to be a sort of showplace for finds from our trips, and an all-white space is a blank canvas. You can add items in all kinds of colors, and they pretty much always work.”
It’s a smart strategy for a family of frequent travelers who always, always bring back furniture and objets — even if it entails an overseas plane ride with a 30-pound bubble-wrapped chandelier on your lap. “Hitting the flea market is the first thing we do in a new place. It shows you so much about an area. In England, my kids learned about cricket from the market. In Buenos Aires, it was polo. And in every country, you’ll find different types of china and glasses.” Not only do their buys evoke memories of their travels, but they also give their space a little spunk, says Cortney. “I love bringing in one-of-a-kind pieces so our home doesn’t look like everybody…
It used to be that you’d go on a trip and come back with a souvenir or two. Now, some travelers are also bringing home their favorite furniture from their Airbnb. Tapping into the desire for good design — and, amid our ever-growing online consumerism, the delight of trying out a couch, a mattress, or a rug before buying it — certain hosts have reimagined their overnight accommodations as livable showrooms, filling them with fresh decorating ideas and pieces their guests can purchase. Here are three who are pioneering this “curated” concept.
Photographs by Nicole Franzen
Location: Montauk, New York
Hosts + Home: Robert McKinley and Kate…
There’s a common misconception that redecorating your home is an expensive, time-consuming endeavor. Sometimes a refresh is as simple as hanging a large painting above a sofa or painting an accent wall with a bold color. Here are some quick makeover tips that will make your home feel new to you.
The sofa is usually the biggest piece of furniture in a room, so your best bet is to pair it with the largest piece of art (or a group of multiples) for a balanced-looking space. A good guideline? “Fill at least two-thirds of the wall horizontally and vertically,” says New York City designer Elaine Griffin. …
Step inside these Los Angeles Airbnb Plus homes where a strong sense of composition plays a starring role.
Photographs by Alpha Smoot
From a Topanga Canyon retreat to a Beverly Hills estate, these Airbnb Plus homes reveal that great design can span a wide range of styles. Whether you’re into rustic bungalows with outdoor showers or glamorous estates with chandeliers and pink velvet sofas, these Los Angeles homes are sure to satisfy the design lover within.