Welcome Home – The Air BnB
Four stylish locals have opened up their front doors and taken us on a tour of their stunning homes. From a 90 year old Queenslander with a rich history, to a minimalist family beach home turned Airbnb, each has its own unique story. We spoke to the owners about their abodes and how their personality and lifestyle is reflected in the spaces they have carefully created.
Based in Sunshine Beach, the aptly named Longhouse is the home of creative business owner Jaharn Giles and her partner Jason. The pair made the risky decision to share their architecturally designed home on Airbnb once they realised material possessions weren’t as important as their eight month old son Dusty and they could make a nice little income off the property to support their love of travelling with him.
Profile: What do you do?
Jaharn: I own a creative brand agency called Your Creative Start and I work from my studio at home. It’s my purpose to help creative brands get started and become known for their ‘something’ through social media, website design and branding.
Profile: How long have you lived on the Coast
Jaharn: I moved to the Coast almost three years ago now to live with my fiancée Jason from Sydney. Before before that I lived in London and Brisbane.
Profile: Did you buy or build the property?
Jaharn: My parents bought the 1000m2 block over 15 years ago with the intention of building here one day. But they have properties elsewhere and decided to sell the land to myself and Jason. It was a very generous gift and we feel very blessed to live here. We built our house in early 2017; it was designed by Majstorovic and built by our friends at Watt Building & Construction. We moved in when I was 30 weeks pregnant, so it was quite a busy and amazing time for us!
Profile: Did you buy it with the intention to use it as an AirBnB property?
Jaharn: We always toyed with the idea of putting our house up on Airbnb but as soon as we moved in we couldn’t imagine having people stay in our house. However, over time, we realised that things are just things, and that Dusty (who is eight months old now) is the most important thing to us. It’s a really great way to earn some extra income and do some travelling ourselves; something we’ve always done and continued to do with Dusty since he was born.
Profile: What is home to you?
Jaharn: Home is where we feel content. We designed the house with our architect for the single purpose of filling each space with as much natural light as possible. Every room has large windows of varying sizes and is flooded with natural light, so even on gloomy, rainy-filled days, it feels light and bright. And this is what makes us very content.
Profile: How would you describe the home?
Jaharn: Our home is one level and very long, hence the name The Longhouse. It’s part-family, part-retreat, part-entertainer’s home. We have four bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms; a large open planned living area, which features the living area, dining area and kitchen, so it’s a great space for when our family (or Airbnb guests) stay. We have two large decks, one looking out over Sunrise Beach, and one deck out the back overlooking our native garden; both are perfect for entertaining. As our house is surrounded by natives, including banksia, wattle, bottlebrush, gum, eucalyptus and balga grass plants, every window is framed by beautiful trees and plants. It’s quite the sanctuary – especially having a bath in the master bathroom.
Profile: What is your favourite feature in the home and why?
Jaharn: I love the retractable window in our living room. It folds back almost six metres and when we sit on the couch, all we see are native tree tops and blue skies. It’s also possible to leave this window open when it rains so it makes it feel like we’re outdoors, when we’re not. The cross breeze – another important element in the design of our house – comes through this window meaning we rarely need to use our air-conditioner; it’s heavenly.
Profile: Do you live at The Longhouse?
Jaharn: Yes, we live at The Longhouse. It’s our home and we hope our Airbnb guests treat it as if it was their own also.
Profile: What advice would you give to those who want to run an Airbnb property?
Jaharn: If you live in your Airbnb full time, make sure it’s always ‘Airbnb ready’. This is some advice a friend gave us and it’s been so helpful. This means our house is always ready for any last minute bookings. We have sets of sheets for our guests and sets of sheets for us, so that helps with laundry. We have also created a welcome pack with all of the information we could think of that guests would need.
We wanted to go the extra mile, so we created an Instagram account and built a website to compliment The Longhouse profile on Airbnb. Because social media and websites are so important for businesses, we wanted to make sure we created beautiful content that really showcases who we are, The Longhouse and the beautiful area we live in. We treat The Longhouse as a business, and because of this, and our busy lifestyle with Dusty, we focus more on getting bookings during the school holidays. Jason is a primary school teacher and I can work anywhere, so this is the best time for us to host Airbnb guests. Our parents love it as it means we stay with them during our bookings and they get to spend lots of quality time with Dusty.
Profile: Are there any other interesting stories you’d like to tell us your home?
Jaharn: We are getting married at home in June. It’s a total DIY wedding and we’re so excited to say ‘I do’ in our forever house. The ceremony will be at the front of the house and the party will be at the back. We’ve got our talented wedding florist friends (one of my bridesmaids and her mum) decking the outdoor areas with native florals, our mates at Dead East Bar Co. are taking care of all the cocktails and drinks. We’re doing the cheese boards and desserts ourselves, and we’re serving paella for the main. I’ve also been practicing making cakes as I would love to make ours for the wedding – lemon and elderflower is my goal! I’d love it to be 3 tiered with French vanilla icing, and natives surrounding it for decoration. Unfortunately baking is not my strength, but I am throwing everything I can into it. We’re also celebrating our honeymoon in Europe with Dusty for four weeks. We know it’ll be tough with a one year old but we love him so much and can’t fathom going without him. Lucky kid!