Saturday, May 21, 2022

Our AirBnB is Up and Running!

   After over a year of working on our basement on free evenings and weekends I finally got it listed on AirBnB on April 16th (though it didn't go live until the next day). You can see the listing here. This project definitely stretched me as I learned how to trim windows, hang doors, lay laminate flooring, trim floors, put mud and  texture on walls and more. I had to refresh my tile laying skills and figure out how we would make this work to have other people (that we didn't know) in and out of our home. Everything - even the fun and fairly easy things like decorating took time. I was so blessed by the many people that helped me out as I worked on this project and the many more that encouraged me. 

   While working on it there were certainly many times I wondered if this would actually work. Would people actually pay to stay in our basement? Was there a need for a place like ours? 

   I guess the answer is "Yes!". Just hours after the listing went live I had an inquiry about someone look to come for the month of August. That one didn't end up working out as our place really isn't set up for long term stays and the guest was wanting a quiet place to write a book and our place might not be that quiet. :-) Then we did got for almost a week without any other interest but then the next Sunday afternoon 4 bookings came in within an hour or so. We have now had 2 sets of guests stay with us and next month is pretty packed with guests and then we have quite a few more booked later in the summer as well. I have also had 2 separate parties talk to me about pretty much filling up the rest of my summer as one is coming here a couple of days a week for work and would like to stay here and the other is interning here and is interested in staying as much as I have open. I said that I would like to meet both of them first before I commit to them being here for so long so they are both coming in early June. We shall see what happens.

     I had decided that if it didn't work to do AirBnB it would still be nice to have a finished basement but I am thankful that God has truly blessed with sending people to stay with us. Our first two sets of guests were super easy and fun to have. If everyone is that easy that will be a huge blessing!

Here are a few (maybe a lot???) pictures....

The eating area. My sister Keren was getting rid of this cute table and gave it to me and my sister Anna did the same with the chairs. My brother Luke gave Aaron this old radio which I polished up and thought it looked cute as a place for the coffee pot and water dispenser. My brother Peter made the coat rack for us years ago and I thought it went well with my look. The bright light in the corner is an old lantern that had some glass broken on it so I was able to stuff it full of Christmas lights for some extra lighting. There is not windows in this room and I thought it was a little dark. I was able to use a couple of photos that Mara had taken for decor in this room.
My Dad had cut this wood "frame" for me when he was cutting up trees from our place on his sawmill. I liked it but didn't know what to do with it. When I was decorating this room I really wanted to use it to go with the Paul and Babe/Logging theme. My niece Heidi suggested that I make a background picture in it to go along with my little birch canoe that I placed in the foreground. I still want to add some 3D Iris and Cattails in the foreground as well but even without it I kind of like the way it turned out.
I made this little kitchenette from scraps of wood that we had on hand. Mom and Dad had this little fridge that they gave to me to use. I found the microwave last summer at a garage sale. God really blessed with that - I don't have much time to go to garage sales but I knew I needed a microwave and coffeepot and so a couple of different Saturdays when I was out delivering wedding flowers I stopped at a couple of sales and I found both of those items and spent a total of $15. I did also get some pretty red mugs for 25 cents each at a sale. My sister Martha gave me a toaster,  my sister Keren an electric tea kettle and a little crockpot came from my neighbor. God so abundantly provides!!!

    The Paul and Babe on the top of the shelf were something I made from Paper Mache to go in the Christmas window scene at Ken's office. When he sold the business I said I wanted Paul and Babe.
I made a new rug for the bathroom. I am loving the bright colors that was have going on in here. The paint I found at the dump. The towels were some my friend Heidi had but didn't need when she moved (they were a whole set and brand new) so she gave them to me. The tile I bought for a good deal at the Habitat ReStore. 

I had to include a picture of one of my favorite helpers!
I found this picture in a Calendar and loved how the colors and subject matter went along with my bathroom and the basement in general so I decided to frame it for a decoration. Eventually I want some photos that we have taken or some art that we or somebody we know has made but for now I am enjoying this picture.
In the bedroom we also have  desk area to work at. I love how light and bright this room is even though it is in the basement.
My friend Christy gave me some rustic looking picture frames. I found some old local pictures (a couple we had from a local museum and the rest I found online and printed out and then rubbed with shoe polish to make them look like an old black and white photo) and put them in the frames. 
The playhouse has been enjoyed by many of our friends little ones and One AirBnB guest and her grandkids have already made use of it as well. It is underneath our stairs.

There is a bit room with ping-pong if people want.

  Once our first guest booked we had to work fast to get all the final things done. That was a week of very little free time and not a lot of sleep but it was so fun to finally get it all done! We had decided that if we had guests we would put up a door between our Kitchen (and the majority of our house) and the Side door that goes into our laundry room and then from there you can go down into the basement. 
 We couldn't put in a regular door - there wasn't a place that there was room to swing it- so we decided on this style of door. I am so grateful for parents who are so incredibly supportive and help me so much! I was going to tackle the door but felt a little in over my head and my kids thought I should get some help on this project too. Dad and Mom to the rescue! They went shopping with me on Monday (after the Sunday booking) to figure out what we needed to get. We managed to get a whole sheet of plywood in my mini van. Then they came over that evening and Dad cut it for me. Then I sanded it that night and put on the first coat of paint. I got up early the next day for painting the other side. Through the day I was able to find a couple of breaks between music lessons to get a 2nd coat on each side and that night Mom and Dad came back to help me hang it. It was ready in plenty of time before our guests came on Friday.
Though I think it would have been kind of fun to get to really know our guests and have them in our main living area more the kids are much more comfortable with this set up so that is good. 

   Our first two sets of guests were really nice and pretty quiet and left our place very, very clean. I am so thankful.  Though I know it may not always be quite this easy I do feel that God is really blessing this experience. He provides for us so well!

  I don't know if any of you have ever thought of hosting with AirBnB but if you think it would be neat I encourage you to give it a try. Their website is super easy to work with too. You just have to upload pictures, answer some questions and add some details. It is pretty nice. You communicate with people through AirBnB and get paid through them as well and it all goes quite smoothly. If you ever think it would be fun to host with AirBnB I encourage you to use this link as it would give you an extra $40 when you get your first booking and I also would be blessed financially if you go through my link.  I would appreciate that! :-)

  Anyway - that is some of what is going on my life and it has been a lot of fun! I was just looking through my pictures and realized there are tons of other things I would like to blog about but there just isn't time to do everything. This coming week will be a busy one as I am teaching Sunday School tomorrow (I have been teaching on the Sermon on the Mount to about 8 boys - and sometimes a couple of girls- ages 5-8 each Sunday and it has been such fun!!!0 and then in the afternoon I have the recital for my music students. 18 of them are playing (quite a few couldn't or wouldn't). The week will be filled with work- at the Florist, teaching lessons and working on Abbi's Bridal Design as I have several quotes to write- and then on Saturday is Aaron's Graduation Open House. So a busy but very fun week!

  I hope your week is blessed!


Amy Riley said...

Oh it looks wonderful! I dream of taking my children to each of the 48 states before they graduate from our homeschool. We love the affordability and fun of AirBnBs as I feel like we get more of a local feel/hospitality than we would get from a hotel. I've added your place to my Minnesota dream travel board. -- We'll be praying over your summer guests and that perhaps the long term renters might work as well.

Abbi said...

Thank you, Amy! I too really like being able to use AirBnB's while I travel. It has saved us a lot of money but you do also kind of feel like you are really getting to know a place a little better as well.
We would love to have you stay with us if you ever come this direction.
Thanks so much for the prayers!


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