Sometimes, a great hotel is worth the trip all by itself. If you’re looking for design-focused accommodation—as opposed to just booking a hotel for utilitarian reasons—there’s a rental service that should be on your radar: PlansMatter.
Conceptualized by co-founders Connie Lindor and Scott Muellner, the company follows a business model that's comparable to Airbnb. The difference, however, is that with PlansMatter, you won’t be paying for a tiny, no-window back room in someone’s apartment—you’ll be renting a beautiful home in which architectural innovation is at the forefront.
“We were inspired to create PlansMatter by our love for architecture, combined with seeing the need for a tool to help other people who love architecture find incredible places to stay while on vacation,” says Muellner, who met Lindor on the design duo’s first day of architecture school at the University of Minnesota’s College of Design. “We are driven entirely by the design quality of the property. Our selection criteria is based solely on architectural integrity.”
The idea for PlansMatter came about in 2013, when a fire nearly destroyed the historic duplex the two co-founders owned in Minneapolis. Somewhere along the two-year renovation, the duo rekindled their love for architecture and design, and had the idea to start a rental company focused on design in order to help cover the costs of the renovation.
Fast forward four years later, and the company has listings available worldwide. Guests have their pick from a selection of distinct architectural styles, including a “House of Light” in Japan, a Frank Dixon-designed “Pole House” in Australia that's suspended 40 meters above the beach, and completely cylindrical structures in Denmark.
In addition, each space was specifically chosen by the team at PlansMatter. Some even have personal significance to Muellner and Lindor, so you can be sure each listing on the site has been carefully selected to adhere to the highest standard.
“We will always love Sawtooth Cabin in northern Minnesota. Designed by Julie Snow—she was our professor while we were in architecture school—its simplicity and siting is beautiful. And our initial stay actually helped inspire PlansMatter!” says Muellner of one of his favorite properties.
Another standout? A stunning home in the historic city of Porto, Portugal. “Eduardo Souto de Moura has long been an architectural hero of ours, so when we found out his Casa 1015 was available for rent, we were super excited,” says Muellner. “We are staying there over the upcoming New Year holiday.”
Beyond the inherent focus on architecturally relevant properties, that personalized feel is what really sets PlansMatter apart from other vacation rental services. Under every rental listing, customers get an in depth report of exactly what they'll be able to expect, as well as hi-res images.
There'll also be a “Host Note” section, where guests will get answers to commonly asked questions, and recommendations will be provided for their stay. Some rentals even have a “Truths” section, in order to warn guests about anything from a lack of W-Fi to the prevalence of mosquitoes.
While there is already an impressive array of rentals available to suit every architectural style, there is so much more to come. Muellner and Lindor hope to have every architecturally significant property available for rent listed on PlansMatter, as well as foster a community of travelers—which, if you love architecture and travel, is really the best of both worlds.
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