The Airbnb co-founder on his favorite things

My personal style signifier is a pair of Nike Space Hippies – a modern marvel of sneaker design. They’re made from recycled materials – plastic bottles, T-shirts and post-industrial factory scraps – and I love that they’re low environmental impact, incredibly comfortable and distinctive. I have them in high and low versions, in gray and orange. With my titanium Ressence watch, these are my everyday basics.

Joe Gebbia’s titanium Ressence watch © Beth Garrabrant

The last thing I bought and liked was a set of Syng triphonic loudspeakers. I like to get to the end of the day, when I can blast some music. They are evenly spaced around the room to create a sound bath – the sound quality is a revelation.

syng speaker, from $2,399

Syng speaker, from $2,399 © Beth Garrabrant

I recently rediscovered my love of live sports. Since moving to Austin, I’ve partnered with the San Antonio Spurs, and being able to go to basketball games again – sitting on the court, feeling that energy, watching people come together – has been wonderful. .

His meditation cushion – a gift from a monk

Her meditation cushion – a gift from a monk © Beth Garrabrant

The best memory I brought home is a meditation cushion from a Buddhist monk in Oita, Japan. He’s an Airbnb host and he gave it to me when I stayed at his temple. I was able to experience the life of a monk on this trip – meditating at 5am, cooking meals in his kitchen, following the village where he performed rituals in people’s homes. I still use it often.

My style icon is Haider Ackerman. His designs are unlike anyone else’s, and his work reflects that – informally and formally.

2008 Box of Obama O's Breakfast Cereal

2008 Box of Obama O’s Breakfast Cereal

The best gift I’ve given recently were cereal boxes, which I designed for our early investors and every member of our management team, to commemorate our IPO. Each had that person’s likeness on it. I made about 40 boxes, so it was a very time-consuming project. It was a tribute to our 2008 Obama O’s breakfast cereal, which we sold to keep Airbnb afloat at the time.

The last music I downloaded was the album battle lines by Canadian electronic duo Bob Moses. It’s a mix of nostalgic lyrics, pop beats and synths.

One of his bespoke sketchbooks
One of her bespoke sketchbooks © Beth Garrabrant

The objects I would never part with are my sketchbooks. I custom made these in three sizes and with thick paper so the ink doesn’t bleed through the pages. I first sketch concepts – for example, for Neighborhood, a line of furniture I did with Bernhardt – and I also draw people, so that I have a written and visual record of the meetings.

The living room of his Texas home with some of his mid-century chairs

The living room of her Texas home with some of her mid-century chairs © Beth Garrabrant

i have a collection of mid century modern chairs. Many pieces are by Charles and Ray Eames as well as Dutch designer Gerrit Rietveld, who broke the mold of what furniture was meant to look like. I have Rietveld’s red and blue chair, as well as his Zig Zag and Crate chairs. And I have an Eames daybed they made for director Billy Wilder, who used it to nap on movie sets.

In my fridge you will always find maple syrup and butter for making pancakes on the weekend. I have a wide variety of syrups – all grades, all light and dark versions – and love to make pancakes for whoever is staying with us. I also have Hello Pure croquettes for my puppy, Belo.

Opal webcam, from $300

Opal webcam, from $300 © Beth Garrabrant

The thing I couldn’t do without is my Opal webcam. It’s beautiful and of the highest quality – they’ve kind of packed DSLR-level quality into a camera that fits in your pocket.

Installation Arc de Triomphe wrapped, 2021, by Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Installation Wrapped Arc de Triomphe, 2021, by Christo and Jeanne-Claude © Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty Images

An indulgence I’ll never give up trip to see a Christo and Jeanne-Claude installation all over the world. I was recently in Paris for the installation of the Arc de Triomphe, and at Lake Iseo for The floating docks before that, and in New York to see The doors in Central Park in 2005. I find it to be the most profound public art. There’s one left to do – The mastaba in Abu Dhabi – which will be bigger than the Great Pyramid, and you can bet I will be there.

The cabin essentials that I never part with include my Porter-Yoshida & Co briefcase, a black nylon model with many compartments. It also contains important items such as my Manta Sleep Eye Mask, which has an adjustable Velcro strap so no light slips through it and is as smooth as butter. I also never part with my 16-inch MacBook Pro – it’s got a big screen and is super-fast – and my Leica M10so that I can bring back memories.

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a Dolce & Gabbana Killer polka dot silk jacquard three-piece suit. I wore it to the Met Gala this year.

The only artist whose work I would collect if I could is Willem de Kooning. I’m reading his biography right now and he’s had an incredible life; he grew up in poverty, traveled to America, helped define the Abstract Expressionist art movement, and lived the dream. I would like any painting of him Women series.

Davids toothpaste, $9.95 for 150ml

Davids toothpaste, $9.95 for 150ml © Beth Garrabrant

The grooming staple I never part with is David’s toothpaste. It’s all natural, tastes great, and comes packaged in foil, making it recyclable. I like things that aren’t plastic. It also comes with a small tool that you attach to the end of the tube and roll up so you don’t lose anything.

Rothko Chapel, Houston

Rothko Chapel, Houston © Getty Images

My favorite building is the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. It is an octagon that contains 14 of Mark Rothko’s monumental murals.

My wellness gurus are a doctor – Peter Attia – who helps me figure out what I should eat and who focuses on longevity. I also like a good myofascial massage where they dig very deep into your muscles and find all the trouble spots and fix them. And I was looking for a new jujitsu coach.

My favorite site is – close to home –, the non-profit side of our business. We partner with people to house refugees and displaced citizens in times of crisis. Currently, Ukraine is a priority and we have promised to welcome 100,000 people. The catch here – for anyone reading this – is that if you have an extra bedroom, please register. We focus on rooms in Europe – Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany, Denmark, Sweden – but anyone can help. As for applications, I use the Oura App to follow my sleep. I average six and a half hours a night, and no matter what I do, I can’t seem to change it.

Gebbia at her home in Austin
Gebbia at her home in Austin © Beth Garrabrant

In another life I would have been a director. I’m starting to explore cinema by producing a documentary about the IOC Refugee Olympic Team that participated in the Tokyo Games last year. This all-refugee team included 29 athletes, hailing from 11 countries and residing in 13 host countries. Their resilience is inspiring.

My favorite room in my house is my gymnasium. I start my day here and it sets the tone; working out is my form of meditation and I rarely get distracted when doing it. It was a garage, so I just added a skylight and opened the door wide to let in natural light. It is equipped with the essentials: a bench, cables, free weights, kettlebells, a leg press and an elliptical machine. My goal is three hours of cardio per week at a target heart rate of 125 bpm, plus four days of strength training.

The place that means a lot to me is the Eames Ranch in Petaluma, California. Spread over 11 acres in Sonoma County, it’s surrounded by farmland with sheep and a llama. The original house and barn were designed by architect William Turnbull, so it’s an iconic place – and it’s now the site of a non-profit I helped start called the Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity. It contains many original sketches, prototypes, films, books and textiles by Charles and Ray Eames.

Hello Pure dog food, from $7

Hello Pure dog food, from $7 © Beth Garrabrant

Gebbia's puppy, Belo

Gebbia puppy, Belo © Beth Garrabrant

The best advice I’ve ever received was via CNN, when I was in high school. I was watching an interview with Warren Buffett about investing and expected a stock pick, but instead he told me to “invest in yourself”. As a kid, I had never considered this concept before, but it is an important concept.

The next trip I’m looking forward to is in the village of Mezzojuso, in Sicily. My ancestors came from this small hillside village in the country and I visited once before as a surprise vacation for all my family. I worked with the mayor and council members to find old birth records and certificates, and we traced our family back to the 1700s. I threw a party for the village, and we were granted citizenship. honor – it was an exceptional moment, and my father was in tears, being at the place from which his grandfather had emigrated in 1900.

The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships by Neil Strauss (Canongate, £10.99)

The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships by Neil Strauss (Canongate, £10.99) © Beth Garrabrant

The best book I’ve read in the last year is The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships by Neil Strauss. It’s a book of relationship advice and it’s insightful, funny and full of insights into commitment, love and family. We did a conference together at South By Southwest and he recommended it to me. It’s a really hilarious book.

The podcast I listen to is hidden brain by NPR. It’s about psychology and helping us understand why we do what we do. My favorite episode is the one on the placebo effect; it’s fascinating about the power of the mind.

And the best gift I’ve received is a speech given by my co-founder and friend, Brian Chesky, for my 40th birthday. Somehow he managed to capture 22 years of our friendship in a funny, heartfelt and deeply touching toast – in front of 180 people, no less – that I will never forget. The speech is now framed on the wall of my office. Brian is a writer as talented as a businessman.

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