Whose ready for Part II of the Blue Star Collections, the staging project of a historic four plex apartment building?
THANK YOU for coming back! For those that might have missed my first blog at bluestarbinocular.com titled “Right up my Alley”, this is a continued story of a 1916 Vintage Four Plex apartment building Blue Star Collections staged for Airbnb rentals.
A two week timeline and limited budget, this staging project was on the countdown. There was no renegotiating of time or money, the Airbnb already had bookings! Blue Star Collections needed to get in and out to get the job done!
So, lets carry on with the fast pace staging story ~
Each time I pulled up to the curb of this marvelous , historic building my heart always did a little pitter patter. Finding new things in this old building was just amazing. The building was recently refurbished a few years ago so it made for a perfect clean slate to stage.
The beaded, worn door knobs were all original catching your eye with its beauty. These knobs made my mind wonder of how many hands must have opened these doors in the past years. Walking up to the front door presented such a grand entrance upon entering. White paint was used exterior and interior giving way to the appealing eye and strutting its refreshed look. Black accents popped a sexy look and made it stand out in the historical neighborhood.
My wheels were in motion for two solid weeks as we completed this project. My journal filled up with list after list of ideas, costs and drawings of what the outcome might look like. Each day I did a tally of my budget starting with the necessities. I also dreamed each day adding those splashes of interesting accents making a difference but still keeping in mind this would be a working property.
The building was convenient and secure as you entered in and out of the doors. The four apartments had their own codes, bells and whistles making it a no hassle for keys or calling ahead for access. Each time a renter moved out, the touch of an iPhone could change the codes. How easy ~
I had unwelcome meltdowns popping up wondering if this or that would fit in each apartment which lead to carrying around a tape measure at all times to ensure my numbers were correct. There was no extra time or room for errors on this project. Often the shops where I did my business had no refunds and limited exchanges. I needed to make sure my choices were spot on! The budget was dwindling down and time was of essence.
Brian my partner in crime and significant other was a trooper to put up with me. Tracking along my side, giving me support as well as offering ideas. If more furnishings were needed to fill the hole or something I had spotted earlier in my shopping, he became the “runner” of goods. Each day I counted my blessings, how lucky I was to have his patience.
Not only did the beds, living/dining room and baths need to be set up, the kitchens needed to stocked. For those of you have recently purchased dish and silver sets you know the expense. Reminding myself again to keep a neutral palette. I scored a couple second hand sets of white dishes with serving pieces that fit the needs and I was able to get 25% off to boot. Score!
A few pots and pans were added just in case there were a few cooks that might want to nest in for the night and do their own cooking. Everyday glassware as well as a few wine glasses was a must. After all, this was an Airbnb and having that “splash of wine” in a real wine glass makes us all feel special.
I constantly had to remind myself this was a complete Airbnb set up. Paper products, coffee, storage containers, etc. and the list grew. I quickly found that buying in bulk saved several dollars and took the pressure off making it a one stop shop.
The goal was to give each apartment a different look. To be honest, having three of the same sofas, chairs and tables would have bored me to death. I offended referred back to my journal reviewing my lists and drawings noting what furniture piece was going where. Sticking to the rule of thumb, less is more and reminding myself to make your pieces work for you ~ don’t let them rule you.
Ohhh yes, we often bought furniture for one room and after set up it finding it was more becoming in another room. This happening a few times, I thought Brian was going to string me up by the days end. I had to pick my battles and stick with them as I was breaking the rule of our timeline. I thought it was more important to have the look come together no matter how much muscle power it took. Each night we went home to a dose of Aleve. Whew ~
The delivery trucks were showing up when then said they committed to. Also, a few of my wonderful vendors offered a discount for bulk shopping offering great savings and stretching the dollars. Things were starting to fill in place.
We thanked our lucky stars we both agreed to have everything delivered. Our past experience of setting up Blue Star Collections shows we knew the muscle it would take to complete this job. For this project we were saving our muscle power to get the job done.
Not being familiar with the protocol of the delivery services, neither of us realized the breakdown of how the charges were calculated. An additional charges were put in place per set of stairs involved and each piece of furniture. We had several pieces and three sets of stairs! We reminded ourselves as we watch the young, strong men haul these pieces in and up the stairs, it was worth every penny hiring the delivery company. The neighbors would have been picking us both up off the curb, and who knew how many inappropriate words might have been spoken in the process.
Taking on this project I knew there would be lots of decisions to make. Visualizing what and where each of the working furniture pieces would best be placed. Each piece had a task to complete and also be eye appealing.
Shopping for nine beds proved to be a challenge. Even though I wanted to use doors or other interesting architectural pieces for headboards, it wasn’t time or budget effective. I wanted that punch of presence but it needed to be elsewhere in the mix.
Shopping for accent pieces is always fun. Adding the interesting splashes always made my mind wander and brought smiles as we hung them each of them offering that pop of color. I wanted to follow that sense by adding a piece of art or unique element to “catch attention” to the eye.
This canvas print was simple and yet sophisticated offering the punch of interest and color I was looking for. What do you suppose she was about to say hiding behind those sunglasses? The deep red lipstick draws your eye in wouldn’t you say?
I loved putting these two things together. The newspaper print paper mache used forming this zebra bust I thought went well with the typewriter print making it a statement. How different they both are but how they were tied together in many ways.
Each apartment I felt needed a clock and mirrors in each bedroom. When you have three bedrooms but not three baths many times there is competition for the bathroom to get ready. By adding a mirror in each room I hoped to make it easy for guests to get ready having their own space.
After putting in thousands of steps around Minneapolis in search for the special pieces, it was time to marry these things together. For better or worse ~
Welcome ~ come in and take a peek at these three finished apartments just waiting and hoping to catch your attention for your next Airbnb!
Keeping in mind that adding durable and hard working furniture would be best not only for clean up but making it eye appealing. Area rugs grounded the groupings and adding comfort. The beautiful hardwood floors just enhanced the setting.
Mixing and matching needed to be harmonized knowing additional seating would be pulled into group settings.
The bedrooms offered a bit of home with fresh linens and comfy new mattresses. Often Airbnb’s are offered to renters not strictly by the night but also offer weekly and monthly which calls for dresser storage and more.
As I shopped for pieces I told myself I didn’t have time for paint overs. I was hoping not to find something that would catch my eye but needed that new look. There just wasn’t enough time in the schedule waiting for paint to dry. Well I did make a couple exceptions, one of the exceptions was this fun sleigh bed. It was the right size, the right price and it was calling out to be painted black.
Next on my list was finding three dining room sets. I sat in many chairs making sure they were sturdy enough to handle a many butts, sorry no punt intended but the truth was to find good, used sets that weren’t worn out and looking good at the same time.
Over the two week time I knew the path well to this property. It was such a pleasure to meet a few of the neighbors. As they peeked out their windows wondering what was to come of this residence, many of them were excited to know this was being set up as an Airbnb. They often had family events such as weddings, reunions and needed extra overnight space and this Airbnb would offer just that!
The sweet, intimate front porches were also turned into sleeping quarters. The location was close by were several colleges. This Airbnb could offer accommodations for families to come check out the area and be a bonus to host several family and friends together under the same space.
I loved how the mirrors took on their own presence showing off several elements of the apartment. Hauling these heavy pieces up several stairs paid off. The room reflections shared a great exposure.
The kitchens were seamless with their white, clean and smooth finishes. Who wouldn’t want to prepare a fun charcuterie board or host a fun gathering working with this ease of layout.
As we were finishing up this project I knew I would miss hanging out here. The location was great, the bones of the property were awesome and having such a fun project was more than fulfilling.
Many thanks for following me through this project. I hope I inspired you to be creative, maybe giving your home a new look for less.
How lucky was I to land this fun gig and have the help from my supportive husband. It was “Right up my Alley” and would I do it all over you might ask? In a heartbeat ~
It’s time to celebrate!