We moved to our new Harden Home with the intention of developing an artist residency where artists ‘pay’ with art and in between putting the apartment on airbnb. It has taken a lot of renovating and repairing and redesigning but we are finally there. I hadn’t expected to be homeschooling when we launched but, as we are, we designed to design a lesson around setting up the bnb.
LM has stayed in a lot of hotels with me, in my former work life and with her Dadda still. She loves them and has valuable ideas about what makes a place good to stay in. So we started with gathering her ideas. I left the room, she grabbed a clipboard (she loves a clipboard) and began writing a list. It was comprehensive and brilliant. Ranging from having spare bed linen under the bed through to having yummy snacks available. So, together we set about working on implementing all of her ideas. Well, most of them. I couldn’t install a bath.
After that we needed to create our airbnb listing. So again, together we sat down and selected, cropped and re-coloured photos. LM also helped me with the wording on the site – she writes wonderfully. We then reviewed our listing and space to ensure that we provided everything we claimed to.
With our first guests arriving the next day, we realised that we still didn’t have a bathroom door installed! Argh! There wasn’t time to restore one before they arrived so we decided to sew one out of vintage tablecloths and tea towels. LM helped with the selection to ensure that they were aesthetically pleasing and then I did the stitching – I’m sure she’ll be confident enough to sew soon.
The internet has a plethora of ideas about how to provide a good airbnb and so we took a look at some to see what we might have missed. It seems that a welcome ‘guide’ was needed that outlining how to make the most of the little house and little town. We considered printing them out but then realised that there is no need to make a new one for every guest, so instead I hand wrote it and we put it in a plastic sleeve to save paper.
Our first guests arrived the next day – five of them! They were three hours earlier than expected so we weren’t quite ready. LM was quite happy to make deliveries and personally welcome them, which was lovely.
With our guests gone the next morning it was time to do the door. We found a perfectly sized door in the backyard door stash that we had bought cheap from a nearby salvage yard. It needed to be deconstructed, scrubbed, sanded and then reconstructed. This was a great chance for LM to pick up some of her grandfather’s building skills (he died before she was born so this is a lovely way of establishing a connection between them). I taught her how to safely use a hammer to pull out nails, how to do hand-sanding and tried to teach her the patience to scrub all the grime off – the latter wasn’t that successful. She also counted all the removed using tally marks.
Phew. We still have to actually hang the door and write a daily checklist, but LM already makes a fine business manager.