A few years ago, Kari Kadrmas and her husband decided to move to a smaller home in the historic district of Rapid City after their children had all left for college.
“I realized I had downsized too far because when all three of my adult kids came home someone would have to blow up the air mattress,” said Kari.
When the quaint 1917 cottage next door to their new home went on the market, Kari says the couple took that as the perfect opportunity to renovate it as a guest house and Airbnb. And the Cottage on Saint Cloud was born.
The rental is located only half a mile from Skyline Wilderness Area. The 150-acre park offers many secluded hiking and biking trails for nature enthusiasts.
“We are in the heart of the city, and yet in minutes it feels like you’re out in the wilderness,” explained Kari.
The rental is also only a mile from various restaurants and shops downtown.
“To me it’s a great location. It’s a great jumping-off point to access the attractions in the Black Hills,” said Kari.
Laundry in Unit
Because the home was built over 100 years ago, it needed plenty of “TLC.”
Kari says they renovated everything from the basement to the backyard to the bedrooms and bathrooms.
With the help of contractors, the couple expanded the kitchen, took out walls, and even vaulted the ceilings to add space for the loft, where there is room for four people to sleep.
One of Kari’s favorite renovations was the outside, where there’s a large pergola resting over a cozy seating area with a fire pit.
As Kari puts it, “It’s a brand-new house from [the past].”
Gone are many of the outdated features, but the original brick chimney tower in the center remains. Now the home is decorated in a modern minimalist style that Kari says has East Coast influence.
From the hardwood floors, the stairs to the loft, and beams to the matching detail on the stove range, the wood accents tie the spaces together. The wood inside even coordinates with the pergola and other features through the double patio doors to the backyard.
“To me it’s a peaceful little place. Even though it’s about a half a block away from a busy street in Rapid, it’s pretty quiet and peaceful.” -Kari
The neutral color palette is paired with navy blue to round out a somewhat nautical theme.
Next on the renovation to-do list is the garage in the back, according to Kari.
After purchasing the house two years ago and investing a year into renovations, the cottage is almost finished. And Kari says she loves being an Airbnb host, which is proven by her ratings. She’s a Superhost, after all.
“I was a teacher and then a stay-at-home mom for years. Then I went and took some interior design classes. For me, this is my first big project, and this cottage is kind of my résumé.”
Kari has had a steady 5.0 on airbnb.com since joining in 2019.
“I’ve been so busy with the Airbnb that my family doesn’t even get to stay there,” laughed Kari. “It’s fun to have a space that families can come and make really happy memories, and I was surprised at how joyful that is for me.”
And that’s what makes the Cottage on Saint Cloud all worth it for its visionary.