I think I started out in a unique way. House Flipping. You might recognize this house we renovated 4 years ago. Well, things don't always go as planned, and when it took longer than anticipated to get it sale ready, the market had slowed when cold weather arrived. This is where we went a new direction.
The decision was made to pull it off the market and wait for a better price in the spring, but we would be sitting on a lot of operating costs in doing that. Our answer was to give Airbnb hosting a try! Our son had hosted in his NYC apartment for years, and we had always used Airbnb when traveling, so perhaps this would cover our costs until spring?
And the rest is history! From the beginning I knew I had found the job that was going to bring me joy! Financial freedom and creative freedom, all while making people feel pampered and happy to be there.
We started searching for the perfect house to be our full time airbnb before we even got the flip house relisted! We found it in a 100 year old home full of unique and romantic features. Some updating of the kitchen, fresh painted walls and landscaping and she was ready. Before I knew it the house was booked for everything from photo shoots to visiting families. We even had an episode of a discovery show filmed here.
At the end of my first full year of hosting I was on the hunt for a second location. I knew this was the business I wanted to grow with. And just before Jan. 2020 we closed on the little lake bungalow. We dug in first thing and spent the winter doing updates and filling it up with furniture and decor..... and then Covid happened.
Bookings were cancelling faster than I could contact guests, and I didn't even have the new house live on Airbnb yet. We made the tough decision to sell the larger property to protect ourselves should things get worse, and this house was 3000 and a lot to manage. I trusted that things would eventually turn around....
..... and they did! Another year has passed and here we are back to house hunting! Airbnb became the safer way to travel or work remotely. The bookings took off and and the little lake bungalow has never slowed down.
I can't wait to be able to expand! Hosting is something I think I will do into our retirement years and such a wonderful way to meet amazing guests and hosts alike.
Have you ever thought about hosting guests? It can be simply an extra room in your own home or a separate property, but either way it can be so rewarding both financially and personally! It's easy to learn more and get your questions answered by heading here to airbnb.
I found this cabinet on Facebook Marketplace for $80. Sadly, I didn't remember to take a photo before I removed the doors, but you can see how dark it was. The perfect candidate for sanding down to bare wood!
I first removed the doors then
decided how much to cut out of the center where the caning was going.
I put the caning in a sink full of water
and weighted it down to soak for a few hours.
For this step I first drilled a starting point in the middle
of the door and then used a jigsaw to cut out the door center.
Look at this wood after LOTS of sanding! It's beautiful!
I'm not sure but i think its maple. So while the caning soaked
there was lots and lots (and lots) of sanding happening on the body
of the cabinet. Seeing that color show up was so exciting!
After sanding and then cleaning the credenza, this is the product I used to wax it. This finishing wax keeps that light raw wood look and doesn't darken the finish.
On the back of the doors i used my staple gun to attach the caning. As it dried overnight it
tightened up perfectly!
It's now my favorite piece in the Airbnb!
Remember me? The one who rarely manages to post new things on their blog? I'm Back!
This summer has been busy around the Dunn house, and it was all exterior updates. The most recent was stone and more stones done in two phases.
The stone side walk you see above is actually the final step in last months landscape makeover, but its the part we did ourselves, so I'll start here and work backwards.
Our front yard has always had two problems. 1. it won't grow grass over the majority of it... or even weeds! We reseed and over seed every spr;ing and by summer it's all dead. And 2. we have a long stone sidewalk that cuts down the center of the yard and ends down at the end of our driveway near the street. When guests pull up into our driveway, they literally have to walk back down the driveway to get to the sidewalk. Why on earth it was done this way, who knows... but it's annoying. The photo below shows just a small portion of the sidewalk that needed moved.
So we moved it! We dug up EVERY DAG GONE STONE and carried them up the hill to create a new jigsaw puzzle of a sidewalk! It was like putting together a puzzle that actually has no pieces that fit together! haha!
Now that we're in our mid 50s we work in small bursts, work a few hours, rub on the icy hot. Work a few more hours, moan and whine and quit for the day. So obviously this took us about a week to get laid out. First we spray painted our planned path for new stone steps (thankfully we DIDN'T do those). Next was digging out the pathway approx 4" deep, then pouring in a sand base to help with leveling the stones.
The above right photo was when we hit the halfway mark, which is about 5 days worth of icy hot and heating pads worth.
We reached the landing and damn that felt good! Lastly we filled in between the stones with another sand mix and wet it all down. With each rain we've had this week it's packed much nicer and the dogs love it too!
What Came Before The Sidewalk.....
Remember I mentioned a yard that won't grow grass? We gave up and had stone brought in along with large stones for the steps. Take a look at these before and afters!
Next week new top soil is arriving for a large portion of the yard, and then reseeded. I think we've finally got a handle on the barren curb appeal! Next post I'll be sharing about building our own arbors above the garage doors. A very simple DIY!
From dull and dark to happy and bright on a tiny budget.
A super affordable kitchen update. My favorite kind! The budget is small when you're working with an investment property, and our new airbnb property is no exception. We purchased this 100 year old beauty after someone had updated it to flip it, but the kitchen was an update from the late 90's. Bad lighting from a ceiling fan that was too large, dark cabinets and tiled countertops were a dark khaki green.
To get this look I used only 3 different paints and changed out the lighting. Paint #1 (in two colors), was for the cabinets, which are painted with Valspar cabinet paint from Lowes, and I used the same paint to go over the copper colored backsplash. OH wait! I used 4 paints! I forgot the primer. I did a light hand sanding on the cabinets and used a primer first.
Paint #2 was a tub and tile paint I used to go over the dark tile and grout (wear a respirator!). We've used this many times, including redoing entire tubs, and it works great!
And paint #3 was rustoleum spray paint in a gold that I used for all the copper hardware. I just HAD to put gold with that beautiful blue!
Chris installed the new school house style lights and it made a huge change! I've used this style in other spaces, including our flip house. They are a "vintage style" but look great in more modern spaces too. An update to the little breakfast nook, adding bamboo shade and more open airy light made from hemp twine, make it more casual and I think our Airbnb guests will enjoy eating there.
I think the changes are simple but make a big impact and now I"m on a mission to figure out where I can use that blue in my house. There's got to be a wall somewhere!
I added the schoolhouse style lights to my Amazon Favorites shop, under "renovations/diy". Just select "Amazon Faves" at the top of this page!
If you love the look of a sconce light but: A. can't hardwire one where you need it, or B. think it would be too expensive, then I think you're going to like this post!
I knew I wanted the look of expensive wall lighting for my bedroom makeover, however, I didn't have a big budget. These lights also had to be plug in. My end tables are small, so this would also free up space for all the things that accumulate next to my bed (which includes snacks!).
Previously I posted a video of this process to my Instagram highlights, and I'll include some of those clips here in hopes it will explain things clearer than my rambling typing.
I purchased this sconce on Amazon.
You can really do this with any
plug in sconce style you like!
The sky's the limit.
Let's get started...
You probably noticed the lamp I purchased has a metal shaded is also different color. My bedroom has no overhead lighting, and bedside lamps are my only light source, so while the "downlight" from a metal shade is great for other areas or if you have a well lit room already, I needed as much illumination as possible. I also wanted a new updated color, so I sprayed the sconce as well as the cord cover. We'll cover that, but first we need to talk about cord covers.
I purchased this one at Lowes, but you can find
them at any hardware store. I prefer the style with
a sticky tape back and that are paintable.
In most cases when there is no switch involved
(such as the cord from a mounted TV), I've painted
over them to match my walls so theydisappear,
and you can do that as well. The look I wanted
here was of a brass rod going down the wall
since I did have a switch visible.
Two things about that cover....
I prefer the look of the rustoleum metallics.
I've tried lots of different golds, silvers etc
over the years and this is my favorite
for the softer golds.
We're almost there! I bet you're already looking around your house for where
you can place a sconce.
I hope this inspires you to try your own DIY projects of any kind!
You can find this sconce and others here in My Amazon Faves.
Who Am I?
I've tried it all...hair stylist/faux painter/stay at home mom/jewelry artist/late in life college student/retail shop owner/design consultant/home stager. Through it all my favorite things to do have been sharing DIY ideas, thrifting, and making something out of nothing.