This Shoppable Small Space Airbnb Is Full of Clever Storage Hacks You’ll Want to Copy

updated Sep 29, 2020
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Eating area designed by The Sursy

Shoppable Airbnbs aren’t exactly new, but Lauren Richardson, founder of The Sursy, has taken this concept to a new level with her three Colorado rentals. Not only does she decorate using pieces travelers can take home with them, but her properties also offer more than their fair share of design inspiration, too, especially when it comes to maxing out small spaces.

Take one of her latest Denver homes, a former railroad worker’s house built in the 1880s, for example. Richardson fell in love with the home and saw its design potential. “It was obvious that it had been restored with care over the years,” she says. In fact, the home was previously owned by architect Nicole Delmage of ShelterBelt Design, who had gutted the place, brought back in period-appropriate details like double-hung windows, and began a full reno to max out every inch of the roughly 600-square-foot space, culminating with the creation of a sleeping loft that could be used as a second bedroom.

To underscore the home’s newly-restored good bones, Richardson focused on a design plan that would emphasize storage and function. A small desk, which is tucked into the front entryway, “was an intentional way to create a dedicated workspace that wasn’t just a kitchen table,” says Richardson. The shelving above the desk area acts as linen storage, and she even converted the dining area’s built-in seating into a storage bench for extra odds and ends. There’s also a super long shelf that runs from above the sofa to the kitchen, which was actually all Delmage’s doing. “It’s one of my favorite things in the house,” says Richardson. Beyond being a functional element, this feature draws the eye up and makes the home’s rooms feel more connected.

Strategic furnishing choices made a difference, too. Even though the small home is open-concept, a sense of separation between the kitchen, living room, and dining area still exists, thanks to furniture placement and locally-designed pieces like the Alta Design coffee table, Masaya Co. armchairs, and a Protea & Pine console. Opting for a CB2 sleeper sofa in a lush green velvet helps accommodate extra guests in the living room without missing a beat, stylistically speaking.

Credit: The Sursy

A tiny wall-mount circular tabletop takes the place of a bulky nightstand in the main bedroom, making sure the layout doesn’t lack an ounce of function. Richardson also managed to squeeze not one but two wall-hung cabinets in the bathroom for storage. For the warmer months, a Shelter Co. glamping tent sits in the backyard, which is a fun, unexpected way to sleep outdoors in an urban setting.

For those looking to take a “sursy” home—after all, Richardson’s firm takes its name from a Southern term for souvenirs—one can buy the work of local artist Meredith Steel that hangs in the bedroom. Rugs and pillows, which add a hit of color and pattern to the space, are also available. You can even purchase the bed, an organic cotton, latex, and hypergel mattress from Sage, if you find you like sleeping on it. The best “sursy,” however, just might be the smart small space ideas scattered throughout the entire home.