For modern motel owner and Airbnb host April Brown, a big mix of artful accents adds up to one dreamy little bungalow.

By Betsy Goldberg
Photographs by Alpha Smoot

An updated take on traditional subway tile, this larger, four-by-four-inch version has a graphic look, especially with dark gray grout instead of the usual white. The blue cabinets are from the Sarah Sherman Samuel line at Semihandmade, a company that makes custom doors for IKEA cabinets. “I love the color for a lake house, because it’s equally fun and tranquil,” says Brown.

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. …

Easy, healthy recipes, how to keep the kids entertained, and more tips for a destination gathering from chef Eden Grinshpan.

Photographs by Peden+Munk
Concepts and styling by Randi Brookman Harris

Chef Eden Grinshpan (second from left) preparing food with friends at an Airbnb home in Coxsackie, New York.

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…

Meet a trio of creative Italians who infused their Airbnb Plus homes with painterly details and personal touches.

Photographs by Ambroise Tézenas and Adrianna Glaviano

Superhost Marco Vido in his Airbnb Plus Home.

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.

Gallery-like Getaway

Location: Como
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…

Check out this Airbnb Plus home makeover — a room-by-room update, no remodeling required.

Photographs By Nicole Franzen

Globe lights soften the room’s sharp angles. Walnut cheese board, $95 for set, and white Starter Eat Bundle dining and serving set for four, $495; Luna pendant cord with shade, from $239 each; Raawii jug, $75, and grid towel, $28;

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…

Punchy patterns, poppy colors, and other bright, bold details turn this Airbnb Plus home into a happy oasis.

Photographs by Jessica Sample

Sophie Loghman found prints for the portrait wall at vintage stores and on eBay and Etsy. Her layout strategy? “Fill the space floor to ceiling, and don’t line them up too perfectly — that adds character.”

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.

Here’s how to pull off a polished-looking space that’s also set up for little ones.

Photographs by India Hobson

Host Marit Folland, a design blogger and Instagrammer, with her son, Magne, 2.

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.

Curate the toy collection

“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.”

Define an out-of-the-way kid zone

Interior designer Cortney Novogratz’s Berkshires Airbnb is filled with treasured finds from her family travels around the world.

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.”


At some design-centric Airbnbs, you can buy practically everything but the kitchen sink (and sometimes even that).

For the den of his Montauk beach house, host Robert McKinley chose “a rich, enveloping color” Cassis by Domingue: “I like having one room in the house that’s a cocoon.” Photograph by Nicole Franzen.

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.

Modern Beach House

Photographs by Nicole Franzen

Location: Montauk, New York…

A few easy decorating moves can take a space from standard to spectacular. Try these expert ideas to give your rooms a refresh.

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.

Put a Statement Piece Above the Sofa

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…

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.

Betsy Goldberg

I am a deputy editor at Airbnb Magazine, and previously was a deputy editor @real_simple and HGTV Magazine.

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