Name: Francis Location: Hell's Kitchen; New York, NY Size: 560 square feet Years lived in: 4 years; rented Time Hosting on Airbnb: 3 Months
As a youngster growing up in Greece, Francis says that he was enchanted by Liza Minnelli's classic "New York, New York" - and always dreamed of living there. True to his dream, he became a professional ballet dancer, studied in Europe, and then finally packed two suitcases and a few thousand dollars and set out across the ocean.
Francis now lives in a dream apartment just a few blocks from Times Square, complete with a backyard barbecue and cozy outdoor breakfast nook draped in ivy. He's made some nuanced but jaw-dropping renovations to his rental home, and the effect is modern, expansive, and cozy.
I've been a houseguest before, and there are plenty of things I have wanted to ask of my host that went unspoken in the spirit of gratefulness and generally trying not to be a pain in the chateau. I do want to get invited back, after all. But I've also been on the other side of the coin, and I know that any generous host wants their visitors to be happy and comfortable. Here's the most important thing your guests won't tell you.
Name: Michael Location: Bed-Stuy; Brooklyn, NY Size: 630 square feet (1400 square feet with backyard) Years lived in: 1 years in apartment; 4 years in the same building; rented Years Hosting on Airbnb: 1 Year
Michael is an architect and a designer, and you can tell the minute you walk in the door. Down to the hidden stitching on his collaboratively designed couch, everything in his Brooklyn apartment is hand-sewn, stylish and welcoming.
Ikea stylists are good at showing us common folk how to style our homes in inspirational ways for the holidays. You don’t need to shop at the Swedish giant in order to have a festive and fun household this season. Follow these tips, tricks, and suggestions to do it yourself.
Name: Joey, aka "Joey the Cat" Location: Mission District of San Francisco, CA Size: 747 square feet Years lived in: 4 years; owned Years hosting on Airbnb: Over 5 years
The moment you walk into "Joey the Cat's" Mission District loft, you feel like you were just granted access to a secret world where you're allowed to have fun, even though you are a fully grown adult. It's sophisticated, it's modern, it's bold, and right in front of the big beautiful front windows is a giant skeeball machine right out of your childhood.
Name: Alex Location: Noe Valley, San Francisco Size: 1,738 square feet Years lived in: 17 years; owned Years hosting on Airbnb: 2 1/2 years
Alex's two-story home is situated on a quiet, tree-lined street in Noe Valley. From his upper balcony you can see a stunning view of the city, and on a clear day you can spy both the Bay Bridge and Twin Peaks. With a hot tub on the lower deck off the master bedroom, and a hammock off the upper deck opening off of the dining area, it's an ideal spot and an oasis for any traveler looking to retreat from the bustle of the city.
Party games are a great way to bring people together, break the ice or just provide old friends with new tricks. From easy, no-frills fun to entertaining electronics, here’s a roundup of some of our favorite party games to help you keep your soirees lively and spirited this holiday season.
Everyone wants to be the model host, a vision of perfectly put-together serenity, apron ironed, and not a hair out of place — whoa, whoa, whoa where are we, Stepford??!! Joking aside, we all (women and men, first-timers and veterans) do absolutely want to be the kind of relaxed hosts who can actually enjoy their gatherings. Happy and calm trumps "perfect" any day. With a week until the big day, there's still plenty of time to think and do ahead so that when turkey day arrives, we can focus on what really matters.
You tend to think of a guestbook as something that belongs at a wedding, bar mitzvah or bed and breakfast. But I was struck by the sentimentality of keeping a home guestbook when I spotted the scene above in a recent Boston house tour.
This will be my first December being single in years. I LOVE the holidays, and always love throwing parties, but I don't want to be the only single girl in a sea of couples. I'd love to throw a holiday party to cheer myself up—is it rude to invite my friends without their significant others?