A Bungalow, a Victorian, a Tent or an Igloo


Want to sleep in an igloo with 15 of your closest friends?

A bungalow, a victorian, a tent or an igloo — Airbnb’s all about variety

We recently spent a dreamy night on an island in Vermont, about 15 minutes north of Burlington. The night included our choice of two bedrooms or a sleeping porch that was literally one foot from the waters of Lake Champlain. It was easy, informal and a first: it was obtained via Airbnb.

If you’d heard about Airbnb, it’s probably because you’ve used it, or read in the newspapers or online about disgruntled neighbors wary of temporary house guests.

At its essence, Airbnb is a way for the everyday person to rent out their living space.

Not only can you pick from housing all over the United States, but 189 other countries as well. The abodes vary from $25 to sleep in a tent in some guy’s field inSpringfield, Vt., to $795 a night to stay in a castle in Croatia.

Our stay in Vermont, got us to thinking. What a wonderful way to experience the type of building or structure you’d want to call home. Sort of a try before you buy. Also, it’s a wonderful noncommittal way to enjoy architecture itself, just for the sheer pleasure of new surroundings.

Right now there are 189 airbnb rentals in the small city of Portsmouth, N.H. Do you think a bungalow might be for you? How about the admittedly small house that is large on spirit and location? Looking to go even smaller? Small is big now — you can spend the weekend in a first floor studio apartment just steps from downtown entertainment and restaurants.

An 1890’s home within walking distance to Dock Square in delightful Kennebunkport, Maine, features modern updates to both kitchen and bathroom.

As an added bonus, you can snoop home design elements at your leisure.

Some of the most interesting ‘homes’ on Airbnb are featured on the “wish list” pages. They include paying $162 a night to sleep in an igloo in la Plagne, France (it can accommodate 16 and hot wine upon arrival is included.)

Looking to spread your bohemian wings? How about an “artsy and rustic 1927 tree house in LA for $145 a night? Other tree houses can be found in Hawaii, Costa Rica and Cornwall, UK.

Don’t stop there, adventurers: How about sleeping in a windmill, a van, or even a shipping container?

It’s all there to be explored at www.airbnb.com. (Just don’t return home and expect your architect to build you an igloo when you return to the Port City.)

SOMMA Studios is a design firm based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Our specialty is building design with a focus on residential; new homes, additions, renovations and urban living. design@SOMMAstudios.com,

603.766.3760 ext. 12.