South Dakota native and interpreter at Natural Beauty, Sara Benson, saw a need for more accessible hospitality in Sioux Falls. Benson took to creating an Airbnb that felt comfortable, affordable, and was unique to the area. 605 paid a visit to this Superhost to check out her revamped digs.
“i have learned a lot through this process, and i can do things i never would’ve been able to had i not become an airbnb hostess.”
Benson knew that first impressions were going to be key in the Airbnb business, so it was a no-brainer to keep the built-in flower pots.
“When we first started we planted fresh flowers, but then you start to realize how much work the process is, and we switched to succulents,” she said.
The home opens to a split level, which worked well for the host while she was renovating the upstairs.
“I partition the basement and put a lock on the other side. For guests that stay for more than three or four days, I allow access to the basement so they can do laundry,” said Benson.
The rest of the entryway lends itself to original wood paneling, and begins the artwork journey that flows through the entirety of the space.
At the top of the stairs is an eye-catching piece of artwork, courtesy of Benson’s sister.
“My sister, Kelsey Benson, is a local artist, and this is a piece she collaborated on with some other artists,” she said.
The local art doesn’t stop there, with pieces from Eli Show in the living room, and more of Benson’s sister’s work in the bedrooms.
Also gracing the living room are giant windows and eclectic details that lend themselves to the overall aesthetic of the home.
“We actually took out the wall that separated the kitchen and living room, and we really like how much light there is now,” she said. “I like to keep things simple, which is why I picked gray and white with yellow as the accent color. Having a simple base allows me to switch out the color when I get bored with it.”
With yellow acting as her current supporting color, the antique rotary phone on the end table couldn’t have been more appropriate.
“I’m not sure if the phone was originally that yellow, but it worked with the space, so we kept it,” chuckled Benson.
“we had the table custom built, which has been a cool little feature.”
Sharing the natural sunlight and overall sunny feel is the kitchen. With newly painted cupboards and crisp subway-tile backsplash, Benson keeps the kitchen fully stocked for her guests.
“The kitchen is cool. It should have everything my guests need for cooking, and my sister did that backsplash, which was awesome,” she said.
Though there is no formal dining room, there is a dining table off of the kitchen that sits in front of two windows that look into the giant backyard.
“In the summer we plant a bunch of produce and allow guests full access to our garden. This lets guests have fresh fruits and vegetables and makes sure I don’t waste any,” said Benson.
“i really love local art. it’s a great way to support the community i live in.”
Down the hall from the kitchen and living area are the two upstairs bedrooms and a bathroom. While both rooms are about the same size, each one has its own feel.
“This is our Victorian-esque room. The chandelier came with the house, so we just kind of went with it,” she said.
This “femme” room is complete with an oversized plush pillow and more local art.
“I think these pieces from Kelsey were up in Coffea for a bit. At some point I want to get name plaques for all of the art in the home because I’ve had a lot of people inquire about the artists and their art,” she said.
Walking into the next bedroom is like traveling back in time.
Painted a modish shade of green, the space exudes a ’70s vibe that carries from to walls to the décor.
“When Kelsey first showed me this color, I was like, ‘Oh, my…’ But as soon as she put it up I really liked how it looked in here,” said Benson.
Benson described all of the work that went into making this home a place she could be proud to present to travelers and guests, including replacing all of the carpet.
“I’m kind of upset we replaced the carpet in this room, because it was some funky green shag that went really went with the feel of the space,” she said.
The bed sits between two bedside lamps, both found at Target, and is beneath another piece of artwork, this one more on the nose.
“The Beatles piece is from Kelsey, too. The other piece is a map of San Francisco. There is definitely room for more local art, and we plan to put up more pieces,” she said.