Wake up in a Wes Anderson-themed Airbnb
From the Life Aquatic living room to a replica of Margot Tenenbaum’s fur coat, this movie-themed Airbnb perfectly captures the whimsy and wonder of the iconic Hollywood director.
Words by Jessica Dodell-Feder Photographs by Jake Rosenberg/Coveteur Style by Jodi Taylor
When writer Dayna Winter first bought her Picton, Canada, home, she loved the house style (100-year-old cottage) and location style (charmingly quaint town) but was stumped by the blank interior. Her default: Follow in the footsteps of her parents, who are big antiquers — “Their house is an explosion; think of a ’50s diner on acid,” she says — by filling the space with thrift store finds.
One of those finds was a painting of a fisherman in a red hat who looked just like Bill Murray’s character in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. An idea came to her: Why not design this home in the quirky, vintage-inspired aesthetic of the movie’s director, Wes Anderson? “I love his eye, and I’m inspired by his attention to detail,” Winter says. “I thought to myself, I’m new on the Airbnb scene, and I really want my place to be different.”
Once she started curating the pieces in each room to mimic a particular Anderson film, everything gelled. “Styling around a theme helped me work toward something instead of haphazardly putting things up,” Winter says. She stacked vintage suitcases in the Darjeeling Limited kitchen, installed wood paneling in a camp-themed Moonrise Kingdom bedroom, and painted the stairwell Pepto Bismol pink, just like the one in The Royal Tenenbaums. “In the films, color and font and costume and all of these things get married together. A lot of people would probably never do it that way, but I always have. It was validating to see that things can be kind of crazy-looking but still work.”
“I’m getting guests who are huge Wes Anderson fans and who now follow me on Instagram. It’s really adorable; people get so excited about coming here, and some even dress up.”
Initially her guests (couples on wine tours, 30-somethings on girlfriend getaways) didn’t come for the decor, but within months the Airbnb became a destination for Anderson fans and even a frequent spot for photo shoots. Despite its popularity, the home is still a work in progress, Winter says — not least of all because Anderson’s repertoire keeps expanding. “He’s coming out with another movie soon, but I’ve run out of rooms!” she says. Not that she minds the constant tinkering. “Some days it’s hard because you have to be a little bit fussy to do it right. But the house is a creative outlet, and sharing it with people is what gives me joy.”
Moonrise Kingdom bedroom: With help from her dad, Winter spent days staining the wood paneling and nailing it to the walls to echo the outdoorsy aura of Anderson’s film about a runaway Khaki Scout. Vintage pennants, camp lanterns, and plaid accents evoke a ’60s-era cabin. Winter originally sewed the teepee for her beagle–Boston terrier mix, Archie, but he never used it; now it’s a favorite spot for photo ops.
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou living room: The fisherman painting hangs beside an old surveyor’s tripod; Winter added an IKEA shade (recovered in marble fabric) and used a light kit to turn it into a lamp. The walls’ deep turquoise paint color is a nod to the film’s nautical vibe. “When you’re in here, it can feel like you’re underwater,” she says.
The Royal Tenenbaums bedroom: This space is chock-full of Tenenbaum hallmarks: faux taxidermy, an old tennis racket, clusters of framed pictures, and even a lookalike of Margot’s signature fur coat draped on a vintage dress form. Winter passed on two similar coats (one was the wrong color; the other was real fur) before landing on the third, a faux version from a thrift store. It’s not the only feature she obsessed over — she changed the wall color from red (“It felt haunted!”) to a grayish lilac.
“Pattern on pattern, lots and lots of colors… the way Wes Anderson beautifully meshes these in his films really inspired me.” — DAYNA WINTER, AIRBNB HOST
The Royal Tenenbaums stairwell: A candelabra sconce that came with the house sparked this spot’s design. “I hated it at first, but then I realized it’s exactly like the one in the film,” says Winter, who added art and antlers. “I’m vegan, so I struggle a little with taxidermy, but the antlers are vintage and totally essential to the theme.”
Thrift-shop finds fill an upstairs nook; Winter plays around with a vintage phone from Etsy. “It doesn’t work, but it looked like it could have been on a boat or a train,” she says.
About the author: Jessica Dodell-Feder is a writer and an editor at Food Network Magazine. She’s a native New Yorker who now lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter.