Decoding Design

Airbnb's A-lister wish lists offer curated digs

Posting in Design

Where would Yves Behar stay? Airbnb's wish lists offer celebrity-selected peer-to-peer rentals.

You can't be the Swiss design phenom Yves Behar, but you can spend your vacation as he would, in a fabulously-designed 3-bedroom modern home in the Hamptons, surrounded by trees and just a short walk from Sag Village, for example. Or maybe set up camp in a sweet house on the shores of a fjord, near Reykjavik. Or choose one of the other four "Designer Retreats" on Behar's Airbnb Wish List.

Airbnb is an online service that connects travelers with private accommodations -- be that a cheap futon in an extra bedroom or a luxury villa on a private island in France (really). This summer it launched a series of curated wish lists to help users narrow in on the types of digs they're looking for, and to garner itself some series design and savvy travel cred.

Meg Mateo Ilasco, designer and creative director of Anthology Magazine, also offers a list. As do musician Chazwick Bundick (Toro y Moi) and filmmaker Jacob Krupnick, whose list is exceptionally global.

Jack Dorsey (co-founder of Twitter and CEO of payment scheme Square) offers a collection of 15 houseboats.

Robert Reid, travel editor for Lonely Planet, suggests a dozen off-the-grid hide-outs, from New York's Fingerlakes to a solar-powered beach palapa in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico.

Any user can create his or her own wish lists, as well. And more than 25,000 listings are being added to a wish lists each day, the company reports.

Airbnb has had some seriously bad growing pains, but it seems to be finding an even keel and charging ahead. However, some are still questioning the long-term viability (and legality) of its business model.

Mary Catherine O'Connor

Contributing Writer

Mary Catherine O'Connor has written for Outside, Fast Company, Wired.com, Smithsonian.com, Entrepreneur, Earth2Tech.com, Earth Island Journal and The Magazine. She is based in San Francisco. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure