Airbnb Hosting / Interviews

Airbnb Superhosts | Drew & Tarah:​ The Lofthouse

Tucked inside a vast Ponderosa Pine forest, just a few minutes from Colorado Springs, you will find Drew and Tarah’s adorably modern Lofthouse. These newly minted Airbnb Plus Superhosts have not missed a single detail in creating a retreat that is rich in charm. Any guest who is luckily enough to find themselves in this oasis has the opportunity to exhale and enjoy the extraordinary beauty of the Black Forest.

The Lofthouse, Black Forest, Colorado

The Lofthouse

It’s inspiring to discover Airbnb hosts who have found a way to create unique experiences at their property. Drew and Tarah not only have transformed part of their property into an Airbnb, but they also offer an open-concept event space event that offers 1200 square feet of beautiful usable space.

Retreat Into the Woods

The private lower level is a cozy retreat in the woods, offering a space for guests to stay, unwind, and enjoy the city. The interior offers a Scandinavian modern charm inspired by the surrounding ponderosa pine forest. The Loft House is stocked with everything guests need and the property is nestled in the beautiful backdrop of Colorado’s Black Forest.

Primed for Versatility

The Loft is an open concept space. With a high vault ceiling and clean modern design elements, The Loft is primed for versatility. As a natural light studio, The Loft provides countless options and angles for photographers and videographers seeking a distinctly modern production site. The airy interior also provides a luminous environment for small events. Outfitted with a large television and custom, high-quality sound system, The Loft has what you need to create an exceptional audio/visual experience. For offsite meetings, clients will find the bright, natural space is the perfect venue for intimate and productive gatherings. A large, walkout deck paired with the indoor amenities provide space and versatility for breakout sessions. In this scenic setting, your team will experience a break from routine that invites creativity, collaboration, and fresh motivation.

Nordic Nights

The Lofthouse has inspired local artisans to connect and share their talents in an evening of creation. Only five minutes from “city living”, this inviting space offers a getaway experience in a convenient location! Check out The Lofthouse on Instagram to discover any upcoming events.

The Lofthouse, Black Forest, Colorado

The Loft House – Interview

Instagram | Website | Airbnb

How Did you Guys Meet?

We met when we were 16. I was new to town and our close friends introduced us in the lobby after a church service.  We went to different schools and lived different lives but always smiled and laughed when we talked to each other. We dated other people in high school and early college, but pretty much looked up one day and said “Oh HEYYYYY!”  The rest is history. Life together is really a joy, and we’re best friends. PS: Those friends that introduced us are still some of our best friends, and we still go to that same church. Now with our four little munchkins in tow. It’s funny when life sends us full circle. 

The Lofthouse, Black Forest, Colorado

What Drew you to Black Forest?

Drew is a Colorado Native and I’ve spent most of my adolescent and adult life in Colorado. We love Colorado Springs and hope to stay put for a very long time.  For as long as we’ve been married (11 years), we had always talked about a house in the woods. I grew up in the trees of the Midwest and hoped to raise our children in a place where they could explore and know adventure and freedom in a special way. We kept our eyes peeled for a couple of years and never found a lot that was right for us. When we saw the lot and existing home that we have now, we knew we had found our home.

There is a long and drawn out story that I’ll spare the readers, but short of it is that we have a very special connection with the original owners of the home. We feel like we have been brought into their special story, and we love our land and home in a special way. Our home, built-in 78’, has all the bells and whistles that a good 70’s house should have. Shag carpet, wood panels, moss rock fireplace and a lot of linoleum. It’s also got a beautiful wall of windows and the most perfect mountain view. We plan to spend the next couple of decades reimagining and bringing new life to our home.

The Lofthouse, Black Forest, Colorado

Why Did you Decide to Build the Lofthouse? 

The Lofthouse was part two of our dream to live in the woods. The focus of part one was our children and family. The focus of part two, The Lofthouse, was to create a versatile space where we could work, meet and host our guests!  Internally, we wanted to have a private space away from our house to do the work we do, but in the setting of the forest that we love. With four kids, working from “home” was never an option, but we did the math on how many hours of our life we would get back commuting to work if we worked 400 paces away, instead of 30 min.. and turns out it’s a lot of time.

Although we have a lifetime worth of renovations to do up at our house, we decided that there is no better time than the present to move forward with the Lofthouse dream. We wanted to have as much overlap as possible in our day to day with our kids and each other, and The Lofthouse has provided this opportunity for us.

On a more external level, The Loft has become a really fun space for us to collaborate and work with fellow entrepreneurs and creative leaders in our community. The lower level, The House, has been an amazing way to showcase this city we love, in a classic “Colorado” setting. We love hosting as much as we hoped we would! Airbnb has been a special community for us. 

The Lofthouse, Black Forest, Colorado

What Was your Favorite Part of the Design Process?

The Lofthouse is two separate spaces under one roof. The Loft, and The House. The Loft has high vaulted ceilings, an enormous amount of natural sunlight, and is open and versatile. The Loft is where we work. The House portion is a 2 bedroom one bath 1200 sq. ft. space that we wanted to feel cozy and safe. The spaces do not connect internally, so we are able to operate separately with minimal overlap/interruption to our guests or our clients. 

My favorite part of the process was diving deep into Scandinavian design. Before we began the project, I knew I loved the Nordic style. I gained a much deeper understanding of both the style and the way of life, though the process of design. Also, working as a team is something Drew and I really do enjoy. I think we are lucky in that our skills naturally complement one another. We are able to collaborate while having clear lanes to run in! Building things with Drew is one of my favorite things! 

The Lofthouse, Black Forest, Colorado

What does an Ideal Weekend Spent in Black Forest Look Like?

This is one of those questions that should be really easy to answer but just isn’t. Since we have lived in Black Forest, we have dedicated just about every spare moment to “tackle” a project. From our kitchen renovation to building a new deck, and an amazing treehouse for the kids, over to the Lofthouse…. We’ve kept very busy.

We finished The Lofthouse in late May 2019, and have been busy running the Airbnb and working all summer/ fall! We’ve determined that now is a great time to pause on the hard work and really enjoy the things we’ve made so far. Instead of looking towards the next project, we have tried to just enjoy the moment and the work we have already done.

We’ve tried little disciplines like sitting on our deck to watch the sunset or unplugging for the day to eat good food and have good hangs with friends in the kitchen we’ve renovated. When I wipe my counters off, I pause and remember what the kitchen was a couple of years ago, and smile thinking about picking out the new countertops. The little acts of gratitude and rest have been restorative for us and our kids. As parents, spouses, and entrepreneurs we’ve laid a lot of groundwork these last 10 years. Our hope that this next season continues to reveal adventure and fun in some new ways for our family and our business!

The Lofthouse, Black Forest, Colorado

What Extra Amenities do you Provide that Guests Have Appreciated the Most?

We provide homemade banana bread which is literally amazing. Drew’s mom has graciously partnered with us, and we provide each guest with one of her perfectly baked loaves of banana bread. We have a good selection of family games, books and a record player!

We have one TV in the master bedroom, and have a really cool projector in the family room for a movie night. We opted to not have a traditional TV in the main space, to make room for our window seat and bench area. We thought guests would be disappointed but wanted to give it a try. So far, not a single person has had a negative remark about that decision. In fact, we have had a lot of positive feedback about how guests end up talking or playing games, instead of watching TV. That was our hope, so it’s been fun to see that well received. We really do hope to give guests permission to unplug and live a little different for a moment or two.

We’ve got lush linens, robes, and a bathroom stocked with shampoo, conditioner and body wash. We’ve got a bin filled with extra essentials that people can take if they forgot something. We always have coffee and tea and some refreshments in the kitchen for guests, and caramels on their pillows at check-in.

The Lofthouse, Black Forest, Colorado

What Advice Can you Give to Hosts Looking to Decorate an Airbnb in a Minimalist style, on a Budget?

Minimalism is not scarcity. In my opinion, minimalism is paring utility with design, and being selective in what you allow in your home.

Questions I ask myself: Do I like this because it’s trendy, or do I really like it? Do I like it because it’s on sale, or do I really like it? Does this add function and beauty to the space, or does it take up space? Is this piece versatile, or will I be stuck with it forever, in one spot. 

We were very frugal and mindful of guests’ needs when furnishing The Lofthouse. I wanted the space to feel elevated but also inviting and cozy. There were a few things I knew I didn’t want to compromise on, and they came at a bit of a higher price. But most of what we purchased was very affordable and accessible. Curating is all about hand-selecting items with a specific purpose/place in mind. There is nothing wrong with Ikea or Target. In fact, a lot of what we have purchased came from those places. However, I tried to pair unique or more custom accessories along with those pieces, to give a more elevated and original look. It’s nothing genius, but there is definitely an art to a well-curated house, on a budget.

How Do you Keep your Airbnb so Sparkling Clean?

People really discouraged me from picking white and neutral textiles for The Lofthouse, but for me, it was the only way. We have had a lot of bodies in and out of the space, and so far, no mishaps! That’s not to say things won’t eventually wear, and yes, white is unforgiving, but I wanted guests to feel like they were in a clean and well-curated space.  We’ve been honest with guests about our desire to keep the space clean and orderly, and they have been incredibly respectful and appreciative of that! 

The Lofthouse, Black Forest, Colorado

Your Instagram Account has a Wonderful Mix of Interior Photography and the Local Landscape; Do you Find Having a Solid Social Media Presence has Increased Your Bookings?

Thank you! Our goal is to attract people to our space who want a unique, peaceful, and really lovely Colorado experience. In some ways, we have found our Instagram feed to be a better way to tell our story, than the actual Airbnb listing. We decided early on that we wanted to communicate in our own voice, with our own images. So far, our Instagram feed has mostly reinforced the brand we are beginning to build and the story we are beginning to tell! We hope that in the future, we can bring more people to our listing via Instagram, but we have had some great connections with real people via Instagram thus far! 

You Became Superhosts in your First Quarter! What an Achievement, any Advice on Running an Airbnb and Raising Children within the Same Property?

Thank you! We’ve told our kids from the beginning, that our hope is that this Airbnb funds their college one day! They were active participants in the process of building it, and remain a part of the process still. It makes it a little easier for us because we have some acreage, but we have given them some very clear boundaries. We also want to empower our kids to be an extension of hospitality and kindness to guests! They are getting a little bit older, and can understand those boundaries and what we are aiming for with our guests. It’s been a fun thing to explain the “why” behind what we are doing, and make it a family mission to make guests feel welcome and at home at The Lofthouse. 

On a practical note, we have separate cleaning supplies, washer and dryer, and storage in The Lofthouse, which minimizes the amount of back and forth in the cleaning process. 

Drew & Tarah of The Lofthouse, Black Forest, Colorado

Thank you, Drew and Tarah, for sharing your amazing tips and helpful advice on Airbnb Hosting! For more tips on becoming an Airbnb Superhost click here!

The Lofthouse, Black Forest, Colorado

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