Have you ever walked into your hotel room or vacation rental home and thought, I love that sofa! Or, that lamp would look amazing in my living room! We bet the answer is yes.
It was for Lauren Richardson. In fact, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native once tried to buy a coffee-table book from a hotel she was staying at in Chicago, and it sparked an idea: She could decorate short-term rentals and develop a way for guests to buy the products they were using, reading, and sleeping on.
Thus, the Sursy was born. (The name is a made-up Southern word that refers to a small trinket brought back from a trip.) Richardson calls it an “experiential hospitality startup,” and she launched the concept’s first rental—a two-bedroom, brick-walled home in Lincoln Park—in June.
This isn’t Denver’s first exposure to shoppable homes. Guest House is based on a similar idea, except founder Alex Ryden stages high-end, on-the-market houses instead of guest rentals.
In total, there are more than 100 pieces—representing more than 70 makers and brands, including many from Colorado—for sale inside the Sursy’s inaugural home. “It’s a gallery-like experience in a home,” says Richardson, who focuses on small businesses and handcrafted, locally made (whenever possible) items. “I want every product to have a story,” she says. “People appreciate knowing where things come from.”
While a few pieces, like a couple of wood masks on the walls and a side table, are the homeowner’s, the rest were picked out for the space by Richardson. (She also swapped out the painter’s ladder the homeowner was using to reach the lofted second bedroom for a chicer—and sturdier—version.) She calls her style eclectic-meets-modern-bohemian.
Everything from the sofa to the kitchen table to the shower curtain to the bedding (eucalyptus sheets from Sheets & Giggles in Boulder) to the paint on the walls—yes, really—is for sale. Interested guests can simply scan the QR code on the attached wooden tag using their smartphone cameras, and a webpage opens that lists all the product and maker details; guests simply input their payment information and Richardson ships their purchases the same day they check out. In the case of a book or other small item, such as soap or silverware, guests can simply pack them up in their luggage (after paying, obviously).
Richardson charges a monthly staging fee and takes a percentage of the overnight rate. The home is rentable like any other Airbnb (check out the listing), with the rate averaging between $185 and $235 per night. People are clearly drawn to the space: The house already has bookings in November. Of course, you don’t need to book a night to incorporate Richardson’s style into your own home: Simply hop on the website and shop the items online. Or, follow the company on Instagram to stay abreast of pop-ups and other events.
The Sursy is currently Richardson’s side hustle—by day, she’s a brand strategist for Denver7—but she’s already working on finalizing details for her second home, in Sunnyside, which she plans to unveil in September. “My passion is design,” she says. “I like homes with character.”
And the Lincoln Park home has plenty of it. Take a spin through its offerings to see what you might want to include in your own home.