Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blogger Haus Exchange

Turn of the century Thonet and Hudson's Bay chairs available in the shop

In a given day I can generate about a billion new business and creative ideas.  Most of them are crazy, and it's impossible to follow through with very many.  But I know an idea is really worth pursuing when it sticks with me week after week, month after month, and instead of beginning to sound totally absurd or far-fetched, it starts sounding better and better.

This is one of those ideas.  A blogger home exchange resource!

If I know anything about bloggers it's that they love to travel, they love to explore one another's homes, and they're very particular about their physical environment.  What is missing in the vacation exchange and rental market is an opportunity for these likeminded design-oriented folks to find one another and make their homes available for vacation swaps!

Not only will the blogger-to-blogger format ensure that you'll be staying in a really cool place, but there's an added layer of trust and protection built in, too.  You're able to verify via their blog archives that the person and their environment are a good match for you, that you feel comfortable with them, that their descriptions and photos of the home are accurate, etc..
And there's little chance that an established blogger would risk their reputation by running off with your silverware (or plastic spork collection?) or trashing your house!

Basic ground rules:

It's free to use!

No commercial vacation rentals.  This is for blogger-to-blogger home exchange only and is not to be used for financial gain.

Please have an active blog or similar web-presence (tumblr, Wordpress, website, etc.) that has been established for a minimum of six months and provides at least some information about yourself, your home, neighborhood, etc.

Submit the following information if you would like your house listed.  Let me know in the comments section if you think other things should be included on the list!

-Clear pictures of the interior and exterior living spaces and the immediate neighborhood (blur out addresses and street names-these shouldn't be provided until you trust the person you're working with and have a concrete swap agreement, and are within about a week of arrival!)

-List locations where you would be willing to stay, or are you open?

-Your contact email

-Links to your website, blog, and/or other media that will tell us more about you and your home

-Approximate dates your house might be available (summertime only, long weekends, flexible, etc.)

-Do you have pets and will they need to stay?

-Will you allow pets?  What kind/size?

-Would you allow (or is the house appropriate for) children?  Do you have children and will the house be equipped for visiting children (i.e., could carseat, crib, stroller, or any other items be made available?)

-Number and types of beds/bedrooms/bathrooms

-Is a car necessary to get around?  If so, are you open to swapping cars?

-Describe your neighborhood-are there restaurants/activities in walking distance, are you near trails, the beach, or some point of interest, etc.

-Any unique attributes you'd like to share (i.e., we have an organic garden, a huge vinyl collection you're welcome to use, an amazing espresso machine, hobos living in our basement, a creepy doll collection in every room, whatever).

I'll feature each submission in its own blog post, and it will also appear on a dedicated permanent link on my blog sidebar where others can find and contact you.

Please forward this post to any of your friends and colleagues that might be interested!


I can answer questions in the comment section below-since others might have the same question it would be helpful to make the answer visible to everyone.

So, what do you think?  Would you take advantage of this resource??  What blogger's home would you most like to stay at?  Maybe, just maybe, I can get them to participate!



  1. i am hesitant cause my pets are such a pain in the ass. were they not, i would likely participate! (since you asked: Would you take advantage of this service??)

    1. Of course...I was looking for this service! That's why I decided to do it myself!
      P.S., the pets might not be a problem for some people!

    2. My house is actually going to be the first sample submission. Want to swap? Always wondered what life was like a few miles away ;)

    3. too stressful. i would have to scrub the house and everything in it (including the pets) before i could possibly let someone come stay in it. WHICH would be worth it if it were saving me cash on a vacation rental. but you get where i am going? it isn't a casual thing for me?

      oh, and i wasn't ASKING you i was restating your question? never mind me....

    4. Totally get it. I'd probably buy all new linens and repaint.

      Sorry, I'm not "all there" I get what you were saying. Hoo boy. Is it happy hour yet?

  2. here's another question....
    would you just say what neighborhood you live in vs. an address? for me, i wouldn't want to go posting a bunch of pics of my place and give an address where you can come rob me. because i know you'd be first to break in MH.

    and does this mean i'd have to start blogging again? =I

    1. I was actually going to address that in the post above, but decided instead to provide a list of "common sense cautions" to people who submit their homes.
      Definitely no addresses or other private information until you've checked one another out, feel comfortable, and have negotiated solid arrangements. Then maybe trade addresses within a week of arrival? I believe that's how most places I've rented have done it, too.
      Pictures that show the front of the house and neighborhood shouldn't reveal the house numbers.

      I've already robbed you. In fact I'm in your house now and have painted myself like a Barcelona bench to blend in.

      Nah to the active blog question....basically just a good, verifiable internet presence don't you think?? You got that. In spades ;)

    2. I added it in-I thought it was important.


    3. i wonder if the neighborhood drug dealer is something i should include in the description. and no silly, it's not me....this time.

    4. Is it the ghetto birds?? Now I's a euphemism?

    5. police dept helicopter....get it...the "bird" of the ghetto

  3. I'd have to redo my master bath we're not ready...but like the idea in theory!

    1. Doh! I should have seen this coming! Design-oriented folks fussing over details and not wanting to list their house until it's perfect!
      Seriously, have you SEEN other rentals? Your house is a palace. SUBMIT!!!

    2. The parts I let the internet see are OK...but my 1970's master with no bathtub and nasty sliding shower doors that are mold traps...I know, I know, no one will care, but compared to the rest of the is a shocking "ew"!!!!

  4. Problem for us would also be that Nashville might not be quite as much a draw as SoCal or NYC...go figure?

    1. I am DYING to go to Nashville sometime!! But I don't think my house is ready for visitors here in SD yet. But seriously, Nashville looks amazing. And I want to get to Parnassus Books sometime.

    2. I think TONS of people both in and outside of the country would love to go to Nashville...

    3. Oh no! You guys are taking the "design-y" part of this too literally!

    4. Well that's good to know!!!! Guess locale won't be a problem after all...and of course we'd put together a lovely tour guide of things to do and places to eat etc...

    5. ppl DEF want to go to nashville! we can swap semi ghetto houses. ;)

  5. Except for the fact that NO ONE would want to visit Lowndes County GA, I think you are really on to something! So, yes, I would use your service if I thought anyone would be even remotely interested in my location -- oh, and I'd have to START blogging, which scares the hell out of me. Great idea and here's wishing you all the best!


    1. Granted I don't know where that is...but it sounds lovely! I think you'd be surprised!

  6. I love this idea! We did a house swap for the first time this year (with some relatives), and I learned a lot from that experience. (Main thing: set up a cleaning service at both ends. It's really stressful to clean yourself out the door both coming AND going.) I have a kinda long list of things that need to happen in my house before it's ready for a real swap, but we'll get there someday!

  7. If someone out there wants to swap Palm Springs for College Area, I'm all over that bizznizz.

    1. No no no! "Beach and mountain adjacent, in a vibrant, youthful academic neighborhood"!!!!

  8. this is cool! we are always here, so pooo
    plus my husband is really REALLY paranoid!!!

    new bedding, yes

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