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A lazy Sunday reflecting upon Edwin Heathcote's FT article, "The curse of The AirBnB aesthetic." This is why I'm building The Origins Guide.

The Origins Guide - Finding a cure to the curse

I was reading the Financial Times House and Homes section this morning and I came across an interesting piece by Edwin Heathcote, the FT’s architecture critic, “The curse of the AirBnB aesthetic”. I wanted to share a few sections from the article that I found quite interesting.

“If time is money, we have become ridiculous fools trying to save a few pounds while whiling away invaluable and un-retrievable hours. Those apartments, that style, that distinctive banality seeps into our consciousness and it becomes, paradoxically, aspirational.”

Banality and endless scrolling - the antithesis and reason why the Origins Guide exists

Downbeat and scathing of the design aesthetic that’s come to represent the ‘Instagram’ nature of the vacation rental industry, it also reaffirmed why we exist and why the Origins Guide wants to showcase homes with a story to tell. We’ve set out to help you discover a collection of authentic and unique homes.

“There might be an inspirational message in big, chunky, faux driftwood letters standing in the kitchen. “Live, love, laugh” always strikes me as particularly profound. Or it might be written on a message board in diner-style letters, perhaps spelling out, “But first, coffee”.

“There might be a row of golden gnomes or a model vintage car that isn’t quite a toy. There will be house plants everywhere, including some drooping down from a little wooden shelf with black brackets and a small terrarium on it. These are for Instagramming. They are Moments.”

I love design forward, unique holiday homes. The opportunity to embrace a different lifestyle, to experience design and a unique take on a destination, however the cliché look, the endless searching and the fear of the unknown has always been quite a drawback for me. I always end up asking “what exactly have I got myself into?”

We’re developing the Origins Guide to help people who appreciate authentic and unique homes, to limit the endless scrolling and to celebrate the people, passion and stories behind great stays.

Our Meet The Makers features, in our small way, are trying to help connect you with inspiring homes, the host and owner behind the home and provide a glimpse into the inspiration and experience.  

“The irony is that in looking for a trip, a change of scenery, we have found anonymity repackaged as cool and now we aspire at home to the place- lessness of a reimported global banality”

Do you know how many active vacation rentals there are in Australia?

According to AirBnB in 2017 there was 137,900 active AirBnbs in Australia and according to academics at the University of Queensland there were approximately 346,581 unique properties in Australia listed at least once between July 2016 and February 2019. Now that’s a lot.

If only we could help!

“We long for escape and travel, for a different city, for new experiences and we have ended up remaking the world in a continuous landscape of comfortable banality.”

We exist precisely for this reason. For the pains and frustrations of Edwin Heathcote. Helping to separate the chalk from cheese, the authentic from the banal and the top percentile of homes that truly have a story to tell.

Thanks for being a part of it.

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Brett Diedrich

Brett Diedrich

Prior to creating the Origins Guide Brett was a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group where he worked across Europe and the Middle East. Originally from Australia Brett has lived in the USA, Denmark, Hong Kong and the UAE. These days you'll find Brett in Melbourne and regional Victoria shaping the Origins Guide and meeting hosts of unique homes. Brett enjoys spending time with his partner Johan, visiting friends and family (including his gorgeous niece Charlotte), exploring new destinations, places to stay and of course food.

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