What's New at the Barn?
Well, what isn't new? Since transforming the Red Barn Happy House into an AirBnB and hosting our first guests on January 17th—just one short month ago—we have definitely added many things. But to be fair, we began our journey with most everything brand new.
We started with the master bedroom. Comfort is a priority around our house, and we don't think anybody would fight us on making that a priority at the Barn. My husband and I are picky when it comes to mattresses, so we bought the most comfortable queen mattress we could find. Adding a beautiful headboard & frame, soft sheets, new beautiful bedding with lots of pillows, a decorative mirrored tray, sleek USB bedside lamps, gorgeous barn artwork, sweet smelling lavender pillow spray, and brand new valances, made our master bedroom not only luxurious, but over-the-top comfortable that regularly contributes to a consistent 5 Star rating. Guests are appreciating the extra care we have put into making this room amazing.
Logically, we moved into the master bath, making sure the comfort and luxury extended into this adjoining space. It really wasn't hard to make this a wonderful spot to relax in, since the almost new tiling in the shower is still as gorgeous as ever, with the beautiful wood tile carrying all the way back into the walk-in closet. Simple touches were added including a cute little country lamp, thick, absorbent, and amazing bath towels, and even makeup remover with round cotton swabs. I couldn't resist picking up a brand new red hairdryer, and the medicine cabinet has been stocked with everything you could possibly need and use at home, and the shower is ready for business with shampoo, conditioner, and soap.
The Barn Bedroom
The first thing we worked on for this bedroom was something to sleep on. We bought three different sleeper sofas that were delivered and did NOT fit. Oh the frustration we went through watching these poor delivery guys try so hard to go around a 90 degree corner with a long couch. It finally dawned on us that the solution was a FUTON. So we found a beautiful and comfy red futon from Wayfair. Problem solved!
The next thing we needed was an entertainment piece to go underneath the large Smart TV. Couldn't pass up one that looked like a barn. From there we added some beautiful barn art for the walls, an adorable barn lamp, some sconces with twinkle lights, and a gorgeous barn night light given to me from an old college friend. This is how we appropriately dubbed this bedroom "the Barn Bedroom."
With its white and red theme, this room was easy to decorate and add to. We purchased red bowls, a big red crockpot, red kitchen utensils, red wine glasses, a cute red tea kettle, red baking dishes in various sizes, and other red things to keep with the theme. We already had beautiful red and white dishes in various patterns that we like to mix and match with, but added some beautiful natural woven placemats, some red and white checkered napkins, and some beautiful wooden napkin holders. And rounding everything off, we just added a beautiful IKEA cutting board. What kitchen wouldn't want that?
Beautiful and comfortable new couches were carefully chosen for the living room, with the larger of the two being a sofa bed. With that, of course, came all new comfortable bedding and pillows, just like the other bedrooms. Our gorgeous coffee table was a find from our handyman, who spruced it up with a gorgeous dark stain. It's probably the heaviest piece of furniture in the barn, and completely indestructible, which is perfect for an AirBnB.
Another new item in the living room is our big and beautiful electric fireplace, which sits just underneath our large Smart TV. This offers cozy ambience and warmth, and can be controlled by a remote found on the coffee table.
Other smaller additions to the living room include our big beautiful (and red) "antique" clock on the wall, and some miscellaneous decor throughout the built-in shelving. All in all, the living room is cozy and comfortable, and will suit any guests just perfectly.
The goal for the back porch can be summed up in two words: ambience & view. With a gorgeous view of the immensely popular Topa Topa mountain range—a literal front seat for the spectacular "pink moment" show that happens almost every day at sunset—this space is one that just has to be experienced. Personally, I've spent many hours on this back porch as an editor. It's quiet, it's comfortable, and when the drudgery of editing other people's words get to me, all I have to do is look up and take in the beauty that surrounds me. As a bonus, at dusk, the beautiful outdoor twinkle lights which we just installed come on automatically to give you some beautiful lighting for eating dinner, reading a book, or just enjoying being outside. It's covered, of course, so it's a perfect spot to enjoy the rain (when we have it) with a cup of hot chocolate or apple cider (which is provided in the kitchen). This is truly one of my favorite spots to park myself when I am at the barn.
While we were sprucing up the barn, we decided to plant some white alyssum in the cute wooden planters on the front porch. These (unfortunately) have to be watered every day, so I have left an adorable red watering can in hopes that our guests will think to give them some water. 😃 But in between guests, I make up for their thirst and give them a good drink, so they are actually doing very well.
Our front door decoration will be changing with the seasons, but currently we have a beautiful find from Kirkland's there, which is a duplicate of one we have on our own front door just down the driveway. Sweet balls of what I believe to be hydrangeas. Love them.
Just today, I picked up two conversational chairs complete with side table and pullouts for the feet. So cute, and so comfy! Guests will enjoy sitting in the front amidst the beautiful roses and front lawn with arbor and scalloped white fence.
Our patio has undergone quite a few changes to create the best outdoor living space possible. We have added a beautiful Weber BBQ, complete with BBQ utensils and a nice black cover. And for those who love sitting outside by a fire, we have a wonderful propane firepit to sit beside at night. More furniture has been added, as well, including a black wrought iron dining table with six chairs, four thickly cushioned deep seated chairs, and a nice chaise lounge for those who love to sun bathe. With the new solar lamppost coming on at night, along with brand new twinkle lights wrapped around the white picket fence and arbor, the ambience is amazing and will add much to any outside meal or conversation.
One of the best things we added right away to the barn is a self-check in key code lock on the side door. This is perfect for guests who want to just come and go as they please, especially those guests who categorize meeting their AirBnB hosts as awkward, ha. Our family understands that, but also welcomes the opportunity to engage with guests if they want. One weekend, we had guests who loved playing basketball with my husband on our tennis court/Bball court. Another weekend, I was able to have a wonderful conversation with some guests who were enjoying the barn as one was recovering from knee surgery. We leave all engagement up to the guests. We're here if they want anything, but they can choose to not engage at all, and that's perfectly fine. The key code lock definitely helps add independence to the whole experience.
Last month, we decided to buy AppleTV for the barn. This way, our guests can access their HULU, Amazon Prime, and Netflix accounts to continue watching their favorite series. But not only that, we purchased a Barn membership for Disney+, so the younger ones visiting will enjoy their favorite movies, as well. Gotta keep everyone happy!
Coming soon is a reverse osmosis system for our kitchen. The Red Barn water is already delicious, as we have well water, but we want to cover all of our bases. So, along with a water filter we already have for the water dispenser on the refrigerator, we're adding another filtering system for those who choose to use it. Our handyman is scheduled to install it as soon as our next few reservations are done. We have back to back guests starting tomorrow through a week from Tuesday, so this will have to wait until there's a 2 day break. But it's coming! Sweet!
As a bird lover, it was only a matter of time before I added a hummingbird feeder. Just love hummingbirds! They're so beautiful, so delicate, and add so much visual interest to a landscape. The hummingbirds haven't found it yet, but we're hoping they will, soon.
One of the very first things we added to the barn before listing it on AirBnb was a beautiful (and practical) long bench right outside the side door. Look at this beauty! This bench serves a dual purpose—it covers our water pipe system, which was pretty unsightly, but also it offers a place to sit, or a place to stack your luggage, groceries, packages, or whatever. Our handyman did an expert job matching the style and colors; it looks like it was part of the original build a few years back in 2015. Just love it.
Other honorable mentions for new items at the barn include entry & exit rugs, a car mat that helps catch any oil that might leak from guests' cars, no smoking signs (which we have had to insist on due to allergies), a smart phone holder at the desk, a cute metal star just above the side door, a brand new red French Press as of today!!, a beautiful new cheese grater (because everybody needs one of those!), and the ever important guest book, which I continue to hope that every guest will write in. So far we have some precious and priceless notes from dear guests that I will always treasure. I sure appreciate when a guest takes the time to write in our book.
And with that, I believe, you are all caught up on what's new at the barn. I'll be adding more new things as they arrive in much smaller blog posts in the future. Thanks for reading all the way through! ❤️
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