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Sure, you can check the ratings on a vacation rental, but the only real way to know if it will live up to your expectations is a recommendation from someone you know and trust. In Homes Away From Home, we roundup the best spots according to the coolest creatives; our favorite designer-owned stays; and more.

There are 61 potential filters on the home page of Airbnb.com. Caves, castles, A-frames, islands—all the options you’d ever need to narrow down your search are a click away. Well, almost all of them. If you’re like us and care as much about what your vacation rental looks like as you do the location, you’ll find there is a key button missing: designer owned. Of course, the platform’s Airbnb Plus option and other sites like Plum Guide make it easier to hone in on stylish stays, but if you want to spend your holiday in a house curated by a professional, you’ll have to do some digging. Luckily, we’ve racked up quite the list over the years, because we know that an actually comfy twin bed and cozy outdoor firepit spark zen. Ahead, you’ll find 10 destinations that are owned and operated by interior designers. 

Heather Taylor’s Grandma-Chic Cabin

Rate: $293 per night

Location: Idyllwild-Pine Cove, California 

Hosts: 6  

Why we love it: You’ll be a pro at mixing patterns by the time you leave Taylor’s gingham-filled alpine getaway that overlooks the San Jacinto wilderness. 

Nick Spain’s 19th-Century Gem

Rate: $1,079 per night 

Location: West Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Hosts: 12 

Why we love it: A sunny yellow front door, blush pink radiators, a blue porch ceiling—there is no shortage of paint ideas inside this Berkshires home. 

Anthony D’Argenzio’s Historic Hudson House 

Rate: $249 per night 

Location: Hudson, New York

Hosts: 5

Why we love it: When renovating his 80-square-foot bathroom, the Zio & Sons founder used only honest and natural materials (there’s no plastic, acrylic, or drywall). Even the medicine cabinet, which hides the thermostat for the heated stone floor, is an antique find.

Claire Thomas’s Nostalgic Mountain Getaway

Rate: $396 per night

Location: Big Bear, California 

Hosts: 8  

Why we love it: The groovy hits of avocado green and a retro-modern fireplace offer a step back in time and fit the Sweet Laurel cofounder’s specific vision for her rental: “I wanted it to feel like Annette Funicello could be eating fondue here,” she says.

Robert McKinley’s Seaside Escape

Rate: $3,500 per night

Location: Montauk, New York

Hosts: 8

Why we love it: It only takes a push to connect with fellow guests or the beachy landscape. The kitchen window that looks out onto the screened-in porch slides completely open, so you can easily chat with one another as you pass dishes through the space. 

Sara and Rich Combses’ Desert Oasis

Rate: $2,200 per night 

Location: Tucson, Arizona

Hosts: 14

Why we love it: With five cool suites, a sunken living room, and an epic outdoor firepit, this rustic stay is fitting for momentous occasions like family reunions and big birthday celebrations. 

Susana Simonpietri’s Breezy Hamptons Home

Rate: $1,964 per night 

Location: East Hampton, New York 

Hosts: 9

Why we love it: None of the kids in the crew will feel like they got cheated in their room assignment. One of the spaces has itty-bitty glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling, while another features a colorful mural by artist Tiffany Lusteg

Kelsey Duda’s Lake Haven 

Rate: $444 per night 

Location: Elk Rapids, Michigan

Hosts: 5

Why we love it: It may be a one-story home with a simple rectangular layout, but the rental makes smart use of otherwise routine spots (there’s an arched niche for a plant in the shower) and has adult-approved twin beds. 

Bobby Berk’s Mediterranean-Inspired Retreat

Rate: $2,166

Location: Palm Desert, California 

Hosts: 16

Why we love it: The Queer Eye host is all about little touches, such as a welcome basket filled with sparkling cider and a moody Spotify playlist that puts you at ease right when you walk through the front door. 

Jesse Rudolph’s Sleek Desert Lookout 

Photography by Lauren Moore
Photography by Lauren Moore

Rate: $751 per night 

Location: Palm Springs, California

Hosts: 8

Why we love it: Rudolph, of OME Dezin, and his partner, Jonathon Burford’s desert getaway stars 180-degree views of the Coachella Valley, but it’s the 1959 architecture that will fill your camera roll by the end of your stay.