Mount Maunganui design store develops Airbnb to showcase homewares

Mount Maunganui design store develops Airbnb to showcase homewares
Ever been taken by the design elements of your Airbnb accommodation?

In a new approach, if you book to stay at Mount Maunganui’s Kayu Casa you could take the furniture and homewares with you. That’s because the one bedroom apartment has been furnished to showcase the stylish, neutral-toned selection available at adjacent design store Kayu Studio.

The immersive experience was developed by founder James Mitchell as a way to display the brand’s offering beyond a recently expanded store and showroom.

Mitchell launched Kayu Studio in 2021, offering contemporary furniture and homewares with coastal-inspired charm to shoppers in the Bay of Plenty. The focus is on accessibly-priced designer furniture crafted with fair trade practices, from both an in-house brand and a selection of other like-minded brands.

“When I created Kayu Studio, it was to step away from trends and offer timeless, well-crafted pieces that elevate any space,” says Mitchell. “I’m passionate about great design, and quality and functionality are just as important to me as aesthetics. Every item we stock or create embraces these principles.”

The idea for the Airbnb was simply to further the extent of possibilities for displaying the range of Kayu Studio goods, that includes dining, lounge and bedroom furniture, decor elements and homewares.

“We loved the idea of truly showcasing all our favourite pieces in situ, for people to get a genuine feel for what it would be like to use them and live among them,” explains Mitchell.

‘Kayu Casa is an immersive experience, a sanctuary of style and comfort where you can rejuvenate, awaken your senses, and embark on a journey of exploration and inspiration,’ the listing on Airbnb reads. ‘Kayu Casa is loaded full of unexpected extras for your stay with almost everything available for purchase from Kayu Studio downstairs’.

A Mount Maunganui local and keen surfer, Mitchell previously travelled the globe following the waves, before settling in Bali and founding interior design and property management company Salt Villas. Renovating and decorating
boutique accommodation gave him the background and inspiration to establish his own design brand and retail offering back home.

He now spends over six months of the year in Bali working closely with the makers of Kayu Studio’s in-house brand, as well as sourcing further décor, furniture and homewares items for the store and Kayu Casa accommodation.


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