Meet Sarah Ghorbanian, the proud owner of the Sophisticated Retreat in Three Oaks, Michigan. Sarah has created a beautiful and inviting Airbnb that combines her love of interior design with her desire to provide guests with a luxurious experience.
After purchasing the property, Sarah set out to make her vision a reality. She remodeled the space from top to bottom and filled it with high-end furniture, art, and décor from some of the most renowned brands in the industry: Society6, Crate & Barrel, Article, Williams Sonoma, Ace Hardware and more. By taking advantage of HostGPO’s partnerships, Sarah was able to purchase all of her furniture, art, and décor at discounted prices, allowing her to create a truly unique and luxurious atmosphere for her guests. Guests who choose to stay at the Sophisticated Retreat can expect to be surrounded by comfort and beauty while they experience all that Three Oaks has to offer.
The Story of the Sophisticated Retreat
It’s a turn of the century home I lovingly updated during the pandemic. It had a dark and moody interior to match the goth exterior. When I say dark, I mean the hardwood floors were painted red and the walls dark green. Some doors were painted black. Honestly, it was depressing. So I talked my usual designer into helping me remotely, and she made a plan to make the interior feel light and fresh, but not precious. The first thing she did was pick new paint and floor stain colors. Did I mention I purchased the home furnished? That sounded great in theory, but the reality is I spent a lot of time distilling it down to what was usable and worth keeping. I hauled out a whole house worth of cheap decor and personal items one blue Ikea bag at a time.
I oversaw the flooring and painting contractors, then did the rest of the install myself using a local handyman. I don’t think he knew he’d be making beds that day, but he got pretty good with a duvet! Later came the sauna (life goal unlocked), and most recently the hot tub. Now it’s always rented and I never get to go there.
What do you like most about being a host?
I love all the problem solving that goes along with renovation. STR was a new challenge because you also have to think through how a person uses a space, how the space lives. When our reviews say “it felt like home” or “it was so well stocked! Loved all the amenities” I die with happiness.
Secondly, if something I have done can inspire someone else, particularly other women, to throw their hat in the ring and do this thing, I feel incredibly humbled and proud. I stand on the shoulders of giants. Many people helped me get this far and I am happy to help someone else. A career in real estate is a ticket to freedom.
What are 3 tips you have for other hosts?
- Check the HostGPO partner list first before ordering elsewhere!
- Don’t assume these brands are too expensive! With the discount it ends up being similar to other big box stores you’re thinking of using.
- If it separates a person from the floor, buy contract grade! This means chairs, bed frame, couch, even outdoor furniture. West Elm and Pottery Barn have it broken out on their sites to make it easier.
Which products did you purchase from HostGPO?
All the art is from Society6. Furniture is a mix of Crate and Barrel, CB2, West Elm, Pottery Barn. Some kitchenware is from Williams Sonoma. Bedding from Crate, West Elm, Brooklinen! Solo stove in the back yard. Google nest thermostat and video doorbell. We exclusively provide Public Goods shampoo, conditioner, lotion, body wash, hand soap, and even ground coffee! Ace hardware for Benjamin Moore paint.
Why do you love HostGPO?
They have all the brands I love to shop, the discount is usually better than the trade discount I get as an individual, and the dedicated rep at some of the vendors is a huge plus! Chloe, the Society6 rep, pulled the art together. This saved so much time and helped me feel less overwhelmed by all the amazing options.
Nick, the Ace Hardware rep, answered when I called from an Ace store and walked them through how to apply my discount at the register. Later, he showed me how to use the site to order my paint, cleaning supplies, and paper products for shipping or local store pickup, which my handyman loves. The HostGPO team itself has excellent customer service and is always quick to respond.
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