Taking a stroll around the Butchertown neighborhood in Louisville, Kentucky, feels a lot like walking around other Southern towns experiencing a bit of a downtown revival. Renovated shotgun houses mix with new boutiques, eateries, and breweries that seemingly popped up overnight. One such home feels like stepping into another world: a moody Old World apartment in the heart of Italy to be more specific.
The house, designed by duo Jaclyn Journey and Amanda Jacobs, is actually a rental property upstairs, with a curated boutique of their favorite products downstairs. Called Paire Hospitality, the space came to be during the pandemic. The Journey + Jacobs design studio is located next door, and they jumped on the chance to lease and convert the building.
"Our concept and goal is that guests would experience 'philoxenia,' a Greek word, which loosely translates as 'hospitality,' but the ancient word is much more far-reaching and is based on a culture that considers kindness toward the stranger or traveler as a moral code," Jacobs tells MyDomaine. "Both Jaclyn and I grew up with, or married into families with roots in Greece, Russia, Lebanon, and Syria, and we have experienced hospitality as a natural thread woven throughout our lives. We wanted to bring that emphasis, mixed with a well-designed and thoughtful atmosphere, to our rental."
The rental is filled with sweet personal touches and an all-around vintage feel.
"It is personal to us, and we want our visitors to feel as if they're being invited into our own homes and for them to see the city through our eyes," Jacobs says.
It is personal to us, and we want our visitors to feel as if they're being invited into our own homes and for them to see the city through our eyes.
Step inside this welcoming oasis in the heart of downtown Louisville.
As the home was built in the 1800's, there was plenty of history and vintage details for the pair to showcase while making the space feel like home for future visitors (peep the hanging luxury robes).
"We wanted a place for our guests to stay in that felt like an extension of home," Jacobs says. "We wanted it to feel as if it's been lived in, loved and filled with items from a well-traveled and sweet beautiful life."
The entire rental is filled with vintage details to make the space feel like a true escape from the city and the current era.
"The lime wash paint is probably our most favorite design detail," Jacobs and Journey reveal. "Its color was wrapped on the walls and ceiling of almost every room. The warmth that the velvety texture the paint provides, along with the aged look of Old World plaster was perfectly fitting. And the lavender tone in the bedroom is just stunning!"
The bedroom also boasts several vintage pieces (including the gallery wall and every single light fixture), most of which was sourced from antique malls, Etsy, or Facebook Marketplace. Every piece seems intentional and curated when the designers take time to collect their favorite finds.
"The gallery wall was made piece by piece as we shopped through vintage flea markets and shops," Journey says. "We also took our favorite prints and put them in vintage frames rather than buying something new. It saved us money and gave us the collected look we were going for."
The kitchen combines a touch of Scandinavian modernity with narrow wood paneling, but it fits the rest of the space with a retro fridge and plenty of details, like a European-inspired painting and vintage pottery.
On the other side of the roomy kitchen, a breakfast nook is the perfect place to enjoy morning coffee and a pasty from one of the bakeries dotting the streets. The mix of a bistro table with more traditional chairs is a hallmark of Journey and Jacobs' eclectic style.
"The iron cafe table in the kitchen is my favorite furniture piece," Jacobs says. "The pop of blue and classic Parisian style design was the ideal centerpiece for the two chairs flanking on either side."
The bathroom combines an old-school vanity with equally old-school toile wallpaper in classic blue and white. We would be remiss if we don't mention the penny tile on the floor, making the room feel as if you're getting ready for your day in 20th century Paris.
"It was important that we embrace the age of the building rather than try to make it feel new," Jacobs says. "If we ever questioned if an item was appropriate for the space, we'd ask: 'Would an elegant grandmother from Europe have it in her home?' And if the answer was yes, then it fit!"
Though there are many places to rent an Airbnb in Louisville, Journey says "the intentional way we are bringing people into our lives through the space and design curation" is what sets their space apart from the rest.
If we ever questioned if an item was appropriate for the space, we'd ask: 'Would an elegant grandmother from Europe have it in her home?' And if the answer was yes, then it fit!
"It is truly an escape," Jacobs explains. "We want our guests to find peace and relaxation while appreciating the beauty that is offered in this unique town and all without the feeling of being a tourist."