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Airbnb: from Berlin to Nashville to Trafalgar Square

Do you Airbnb? A year after helping a friend do up his Berlin pad for that purpose, I had my first guest experience at one of the website's homes-from-home last year while on holiday in Nashville

We were lucky enough to be able to stay at the home of a very cool country singer while she was on tour (and where else could you possibly want to stay in Nashville? We got very lucky...).

Above: the not at all glam but seriously cool front porch at our Nashville Airbnb

Above: our host's cowboy boot collection

Airbnb might be getting some bad press this week, but ever since our Nashville stay, and my friend's Berlin success (he's always fully booked), I've been a little bit obsessed with how brilliant the concept is (and this was before I'd seen the company's incredible HQ). I have spent many an hour browsing profiles just for the hell of it, fantasising about holidaying in some of the glam/homely/mad homes advertised. And this year, we're gearing up to be hosts by sprucing the spare room so we can pimp it out with the company.

So I was very happy to learn, earlier this year, that Airbnb is collaborating with the London Design Festival (13 – 21 September) on its Landmark Project this year, with an installation in London's Trafalgar Square (an impression of how it could look, above).

The event, A Place Called Home, will feature the work of four designers – Brit furniture/product creator, Jasper Morrison, pattern obsessives, Patternity, furniture innovators, Raw Edges and Studioilse run, of course, by Ilse Crawford, former editor of Elle Deco – who will be creating a room each, to illustrate their take on what "home" means.

Morrison has promised to present the imagined abode of a pigeon fancier, while Raw Edges are creating something with MC Escher-esque intrigue in its flexible approach to space. Studioilse aims to get visitors to respond to the question "what does home mean to you?" with cute multimedia tricks including a soundtrack of noises such as a kettle boiling, doors slamming and cutlery rattling, as well as a fragrance it is developing specially to evoke homeliness via the nose. Patternity, meanwhile, are going to be getting busy with giant kaleidoscopes. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

Meanwhile, if any of you are seasoned Airbnb hosts, or guests, I'd love to hear your tips for the impending guest room in my house...

Post by Kate


  1. The Nashville house looks very cool - I'm jealous of that cowboy boot collection! It's a shame I didn't know of Airbnb when I visited Nashville 3 years ago.
    I use Airbnb quite regularly (11 times and counting) and have only had positive experiences so far (touch wood). In fact I blogged about the place I stayed in Venice recently, and actually did a round up of stylish Airbnb pads in Berlin ( - sorry I didn't spot your friend's flat!.
    I'd advise keeping the decor fairly classic & simple (white walls are good) but adding character with throws, bed linen, bedside lights etc.- like you did with the Berlin flat really. Also thoughtful touches in the room are appreciated - your recommendations of local spots to eat, drink, etc, facilities to make tea/coffee in the room so they don't feel they have to intrude on your space, and if you can stretch to it a mini fridge is handy.
    Good luck with the venture!

    1. Belated thanks Kath - I love your blog and those Berlin finds are great. I look forward to posting up my own Air Bnb pix when we get the room finished and appreciate the insider tips!

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