Antler chandeliers. Moose heads. Rustic timbers.

These are probably the things that come to mind when you think of the décor of a ski retreat. But you won’t find any of them in the Airbnb Haus, which has been set up on Main Street in Park City for this year’s Sundance Film Festival and is open every day from 10am to 3pm. Anyone can come in, relax, recharge, and make new friends in the community.

The Haus distinguishes itself even before you cross the threshold: A colorful mural adorns the side of the two-level structure and is in full view as you walk up Main Street. It was designed by Airbnb and painted by a local artist.

Inside, the walls for the long and narrow quarters are mostly white, with a couple of accent walls (stripes, chevrons) for graphic punch as well as an array of patterned rugs to soften the concrete floors. Vintage furniture and accessories lend a warm patina and a slightly industrial vibe.

The seating areas in front of the windows that flank the front door offer great people-watching—and perhaps celebrity-spotting—opportunities. Additional hang-out spots can be found throughout, appointed with chairs and cozy pillows to facilitate conversations.

Inside the Airbnb Haus at Sundance

Inside the Airbnb Haus at Sundance

Interaction is key in the Ivan Cash art installation and The Booth’s stop-motion station. The former, entitled Strangers Drawing Strangers involves having a Polaroid taken, pulling a stranger’s Polaroid from a card catalog, drawing that stranger, and displaying your creation on the wall. The latter station allows people to “Send a note to a friend who was once a stranger. Or a stranger who should be a friend.” You’re given 15 seconds to write your message, which is recorded and then turned into a video that can be shared. (Intrigued? We’ll provide a closer look of the two projects soon.)

A gallery with an eclectic mix of objects—including old black-and-white photos, screenprints, embroidery, paintings, and a vintage wooden Chinese checkers board—lines one side of the space. Headphones and wall-mounted iPads offer a chance to listen to and watch the two short films that won Airbnb’s “When Strangers Meet” contest: To Your Place or Mine? by Sylvia Bussmann and You Smile. I Smile. Collect Smiles. by Christina Ienna. (We’ll introduce you to both filmmakers and their contest entries in a later blog post.)

Ivan Cash's Strangers Drawing Strangers exhibit at the Airbnb Haus

Ivan Cash’s Strangers Drawing Strangers exhibit at the Airbnb Haus

Nearby the gallery wall, a long table is topped with a roll of butcher paper that features a series of “Dialogue Starters” by writer Mike Sacks and presented by McSweeney’s. Visitors are encouraged to fill in the blanks for myriad starters. For example:

“Excuse me.”


“I see that you’re admiring my __________. I bought it at the dollar store.”

Here’s one that was filled out:

“Tell me honestly: Do I look like a frog to you.”

“No, you look more like a princess.”

Towards the back of the Haus, caffeine-seekers will be pleased to find a coffee bar. But not just any coffee bar—it’s a Four Barrel Coffee outpost. Like Airbnb, Four Barrel is based in San Francisco and is in Park City to help keep folks toasty with complimentary mochas, lattes, and more.

It’s just one more reason to stop in and stay a while at the Airbnb Haus.

This is a guest post by Anh-Minh Le who  is the editor in chief and cofounder of Anthology Magazine, as well as a regular contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle and SFC&G. She is also an Editor at Large for California Home + Design. Travel and design are among her passions, and browsing Airbnb listings never fails to give her a serious case of wanderlust.