America’s 15 Most Stylish Airbnbs
If you are looking for a vacation rental, chances are you want to live like a local. But what if you could also live as an early 20th century social realist painter, a patron of design, or even Frank Sinatra? With Airbnb, it’s possible, and you don’t even have to leave the country (or break the bank) to do it. We’ve unearthed the fanciest and most unique home rentals in America, many of which have architectural significance, rich pasts, or glossy magazine-worthy interiors (and designers!). Whether it’s a digital detox in the desert or a few nights at a Steven Holl-designed retreat, these 15 unique Airbnb listings are destinations in themselves.
A rippling house in Lambertville, New Jersey
Like an “actor actor” or a “writer-to-writer,” this “Wave” home in Lambertville, New Jersey, is aimed at design enthusiasts keen to explore the many layers of the property’s aesthetic history. The house was built by mid-century modern architect Jules Gregory, a contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright, and its owner, DC architect John Thompson, lovingly restored it. Its characteristic undulating ceiling plan stands out dramatically across its 10 acres of nature.
A modern A-frame in Palm Springs, California
Ten minutes from downtown Palm Springs, Calif., This A-frame home has all the playful chic you’d expect from a home owned by the trio of founders of the Echo and Earl creative agency, including photographer and interior designer Caroline Lee. The public spaces are flooded with light, the palette is soft as a sherbet, and the private pool and outdoor patio are ideal for sun worshiping and stargazing.
An original by Steven Holl in Rhinebeck, New York
Dubbed the Ex of In House, this Hudson Valley property was built by New York and Beijing architect Steven Holl, who envisioned it as an ultra-green model for contemporary living. Solar powered and geothermal heated, the house is made entirely from natural materials and has no walls in the fully open two-story interior, which sleeps three on organic Japanese futons. Proceeds from guest stays are donated to Holl’s non-profit architecture and sculpture organization, Space T2.
A charming farmhouse in Bovina, New York
Nestled in the Catskill Mountains of New York in the town of Bovina, this farm, called the White House, was built in 1884. Boasting antiques and rustic chic decor – think the scraps of wallpaper in one of the bedrooms and the clawfoot tub – this property is owned by Iranian-American chef Sohail Zandi and his wife, Sarah, who owns the nearby Brushland Eating House restaurant, known for its seasonal, farm-to-table cuisine.
A classic case study house in San Rafael, California
Built in 1963 as part of the California Case Study House program after WWII, this Bay Area home, also known as Case Study House # 26, is the only remaining property of the business available for hire. Owned and maintained by architect Cord Struckmann and located close to Napa, this Modernist model offers sweeping views of the surrounding Northern California landscape and access to a rich library of mid-century architecture, so that you can study while relaxing.
A desert getaway in Pioneertown, California
Located in Pioneertown, California, just outside of Joshua Tree National Park, Casa Mami is a pueblo-style home designed for contemporary living by owners Carlos Naude and Whitney Brown, founders of Los Angeles creative agency Working Holiday. Surrounded by five acres of desert, the property is solar powered and environmentally friendly – there is no cell phone signal – and everything from Avocado mattresses and Snowe linens to Marcel’s Moooi sofa. Wanders is for sale if you want a souvenir of your stay.
A swimming pool with a view in Hudson, New York
Inspired by designs from the 1950s Case Study Program, architect Mark Bearek sought to bring California modernism to the East Coast with this hudson house. The glass house blends inside and out with a view of the surrounding mountains; a swimming pool, with an underwater bench; a whirlpool; a custom-made concrete fireplace; and exposed Douglas fir details for a rustic, industrial feel.
A ranch retreat in Valdez, New Mexico
Fashion designer Raquel Allegra envisioned the Many Feathers Ranch as a place whose bedrooms feature strategically empty spaces, arched portholes, and high ceilings throughout the artfully distressed interiors to allow guests to stretch out and relax. . Situated on the side of a canyon at the foot of the Taos Ski Valley, the five-acre property offers views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and a variety of ponds, waterfalls, and other wildlife.
A modern beach bungalow in Montauk, New York
If you’ve ever had a cocktail (or five) at the Surf Lodge in Montauk, or enjoyed an ice cream in one of Sant Ambreous’s many outposts, you’ll be familiar with the work of ultra-chic hotel design firm Studio Robert McKinley. You can be the personal guest of Robert and his wife, Kate (also a designer), at their airy 1,900 square foot, three bedroom ranch in Montauk. It’s the perfect weekend for a family or a group of friends. The place is equipped with a deck and four Shinola bikes to explore the city. If you like your stay, you can even bring home some of the holiday vibe: there is a lot of furniture for sale.
Off-grid masterpiece in Pioneertown, CA
Do you really want to get away from it all while retaining some comfort? Look no further than this award-winning 100% off-grid home located in a remote valley in the California desert. The two bedroom retreat, designed and hosted by a Los Angeles-based architect Linda taalman, features calming, minimalist interiors, with stunning views of the sunny landscape outside. It’s the perfect venue for some much-needed digital detox (there’s no TV and Wi-Fi is only for emergency use) and as a liveable case study in sustainability.
A Blessed Getaway to Phillipsport, New York
You can go from the good to the divine at this early 19th-century church, designed and hosted by New York-based firm architect Matthew Bremer Architecture in training. The sanctuary has been converted (no pun intended) into a generous open concept living, kitchen and dining space. Relax in the clawfoot tub, watch a movie on the mezzanine, and enjoy a good night’s sleep in comfortable beds that used to be pews. All souls (and dogs!) Are welcome.
A candy-colored hideaway in Kennebunk, Maine
On the outside it may appear to be a traditional 1878 house, but on the inside, it’s a postmodern (and Instagram!) Fantasy. The escape, located in a historic shipbuilding town in Maine, is an brainchild of Brooklyn-based brand agency An Aesthetic Pursuit, whose founders, husband-and-wife duo Jenny Kaplan and Chris Corrado with their friend Taisha Coomb, have tricked the interiors into a crazy assortment of furniture from their house line, Pieces. This four bedroom, two bath home is the perfect escape for a family or group of pals, with plenty of outdoor space, a fire pit, and a barbecue. We dig the shaded stairs, the rainbow striped rug, and the sherbet-colored dorms. Like what you see? Everything here is for sale.
An airy artist’s retreat in Woodstock, New York
Social realist painter Reginald Marsh may have portrayed bustling 1920s New York City scenes, but he came here to this leafy studio in Woodstock to escape it all, and so can you. This bright home, renovated by an architect / artist couple, features three bedrooms and three bathrooms and the same tranquil atmosphere that inspired Marsh decades ago.
Frank Sinatra’s Pad in Palm Springs, CA
Come fly with me! You can live up to it, in Rat Pack style, in this magnificent mid-century modern gem, built by architect E. Stewart Williams at the behest of none other than Frank Sinatra in 1947. With four bedrooms, this home sleeps up to eight, and features classic Palm Springs decor (think palm leaf wallpaper and wood paneling) and an expansive pool with mountain views. Pack your caftans and treat yourself to an Ol ‘Blue Eyes getaway.
A Victorian filled with art in San Francisco
This classic Victorian mansion in San Francisco is owned by an art curator and photographer, which isn’t surprising given the highly curated array of contemporary furniture and artwork found there. We love how period details – turned banisters, antique coats, and stained glass – are juxtaposed against a crisp, all-white palette and trendy elements, like contemporary Togo sofas. Explore the shops and cafes of this leafy enclave, and don’t forget to walk through Alamo Square Park for sweeping views of the Golden City.
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