I was sitting around with my friends Scott and Laura at their lovely Shenandoah Valley home one day this summer when Scott started to muse about one of his visions for the future of his land, possibly building a few additional outbuildings, maybe after retirement.
They already have a fabulous suite over their barn that’s tricked out in a international hunt theme along with references to America’s great National Park system.
With taxidermy, old school park signage, and a cozy lodge feel, “the barn” is a great place to stay but it’s not on AirBnb — yet.
I always tell them it should be.
I was fortunate enough to stay there over one New Year’s Eve when they were off in the Cayman Islands during the holidays. What a treat it was to wake up to the spreading meadows, the wind tickling through through the trees, and the gentle sight of horses grazing and the horizon. It was a paradise for me while they were in a paradise of their own.
Vertical Enterprise Stacking
Now Scott can see building some small, primitive, but cool hunting lodges with maybe a whiskey and woods kind of vibe, the perfect spot for leading duck-hunting weekends, hosting whiskey tastings, or teaching workshops from his years in veterinary medicine and running a farm — bees, cattle, gardens.
Or maybe just hosting AirBnB guests doing their own thing in the Lexington-to-Staunton Virginia area. Those guests sure would love the sloping hills, sun dappling the pond, the gracious Virginia landscape, deer peeking from the grasslands, and the hoots of owls and birds.
A summer of being home more than usual this year as Scott healed a knee meant seeing anew just what a slice of heaven they inhabit on their farm. Maybe that AirBnB vision will come to life one day…
Make Your Place a Standout!
Whatever the case, Scott’s vision inspired me to pour through my collection of vintage fabrics in search of ones with any kind of hunting, country, or outdoors theme — from moose, ducks, and dogs, to plants and foliage, to foxes and hounds and the equestrian life.
Why? Because those kinds of AirBnBs have to be cool!
If I have to scroll through another round of blandly-decorated vacation rentals I’m not sure I’ll ever book another one.
Sure there’s some variety on AirBnB, VRBO, and other rental sites. And some people truly get creative. But you have to admit that so many of the places look like they were decorated after a raid of TJ MAXX for uncomfortable, fake, Mid-Century Modern furniture, art mass produced in a factory, and low thread-count polyester bed sheets. Bland, bland, and bland meets neutral, khaki, and beige.
If you really want your place to stand out to vacationers, it should say something distinctive about your local area, or your visitor property should be themed around attractions and activities that the region is known for. Better to focus and grab enthused fans with excitement about a unique place than to be just one among many forgettable accommodations trying to catch anything in the net.
So if your particular rental property is in a rural area, near places to hunt or fish, close to a national park or defined by an upscale equestrian life, let this collection of hunt-adjacent and nature fabrics inspire you to have pillows or curtains made, cover a screen or stool, make skirting for a sink or counter, or frame up a bit as fabric art.
Many of these fabrics are great for making smaller projects, too, like sachets, gift bags, or totes. Makers in these tourism areas can be hired to build product development — a self-checkout gift buy at your rental property!
Scroll this this slideshow to see some of our vintage fabrics. We add new ones all the time.
Dare to let your short-term rental stand out on AirBnB or VRBO and watch your bookings soar!
Thank you Scott for your vision — I think it’s a great little addition to your retirement possibilities. Men are looking for man caves and your places and weekend theme ideas sounds like they would be the top of the line!
Retreats should be just that — a retreat from the norm and into a different world. For others with similar visions — go for it! Dream, create, commit!
— Lindsay Curren, Lady Virginia VIntage Fabrics