Here now, The Airbnb Diaries, a Renters Week mini-series chronicling firsthand what it's like to bunk (via the vacation-rentals site Airbnb) in some of the most architecturally interesting dwellings on the planet. Next up: a tin shed in Australia.
When Airbnb user Katie arrived in Sydney a few months ago, she needed a temporary place to stay while getting to know the city and looking for a permanent home. Having used Airbnb to stay all over the world, in some cases in nontraditional homes (a warehouse apartment in Tel Aviv, an "ancient-feeling stone-walled apartment in Paris"), Katie found the look of the Tin Shed "stunning" and "striking," she says, and "was drawn to that immediately. Yet hiding behind the exterior—built from an old tin shed "with varying degrees of rust" in the owner's backyard—is actually "an incredibly modern studio," Katie says.
Admitting she "had never seen anything like this before seeing the listing online," Katie recalls how the rustic feel of the cladding related to the house's surroundings:
"In the lot next to the Tin Shed, the old rusty tin fence continues and I love they way they kept in all intact," she says. "It makes the shed kind of camouflaged. Jane [the owner] said they took the whole thing apart piece by piece, then did the construction and then put it all back together just how it had been. I love that they put so much care and thought into the design and wanted to keep the original look and feel of the shed, which has been in the neighborhood for decades." Katie's no stranger to mixing aesthetics; in fact, she remodeled her Washington DC condo with a sleek, industrial kitchen (Smeg fridge and all!) while maintaining as many of the original 1920s details as possible, including the old floors and the claw-foot tub. "I have an eclectic style but am definitely drawn toward a more modern, industrial feel," she says. "I love that the Shed combines a really, really rustic exterior, with super-neat interiors." Inside, the studio, basically one large room with a small kitchen, sitting area, a dining table, and a bed, felt "pretty spacious, and overall just comfortable."
Their five-week stay behind them, Katie and her boyfriend have settled into their "permanent" rental, a terraced house with a traditional exterior and a renovated interior. "I am trying to embrace the local feel and style of Sydney, which I think the Tin Shed personifies," she says. "Really casual and laid back with a mix of kind of odd, industrial, Bohemian things and then really fresh, modern influences with bright colors and lots of light and plants."
Photos via Airbnb