January 11, 2018 10:00AM
It was when the owners of Signet Coffee Roasters were discussing with Bertoncino, a customer, their plans to add an Airbnb above their newly-opened and completely renovated historic shop at 109 N. Broadway, that she jumped at the chance to involve her students.
Airbnb enables people to lease or rent short-term lodging such as vacation rentals and apartments. It now has more than 3 million listings in 65,000 cities and 191 countries.
For the one at Signet, Bertoncino suggested her students come up with interior designs, including fixtures, furnishings, a layout for the space, and a color scheme.
“We thought it was a great idea,” said Leah Posterick, who owns Signet with her husband, Dennis, and is a member of the Downtown Advisory Committee.
The three students, Madison Vincent, of Springfield, Missouri, Lindsey Kearney, of Atchison, Kansas, and Chelsea Oliphant, of Erie, Kansas, met with the Posterniks to tour the space, take measurements, and get a feel for their tastes.
Last week, the students returned to make their presentation to the Postericks and their customers at Signet. It included fully-realized renditions of a kitchen and dining area, bedrooms, bathroom, and living room, as well as blueprints that included closet, utility, and laundry space.
The style was a blend of vintage, mid-Century, and industrial — a look that’s trending right now, they said. They drew their color inspiration from a large, 100-year-old advertising sign that runs the length of a brick wall in the space: navy, gold, and black.
The students also came up with a name for the Airbnb, Another Time, and designed a logo for it that combined elements of modern and vintage: The outline of the downtown cityscape and an antique car and a watercolor background popular now.
The Postericks were impressed and said they plan to use many elements from the interior design and perhaps the logo.
They have a tentative open date of Summer 2018.
"I love what they chose and the style they used," Leah said. "I can see us using a lot of this."
All three students said they loved the project because it gave them the first chance to interact with a real customer and see in person the space they're designing.
"And having this involvement gave us pride, to be able to impact the community in this kind of way," Kearney said. "When we come back some day, we can say 'We designed that'."
Vincent said she "definitely plans" to bring her family one day to stay in the Airbnb.
"It's great to be able to help grow Pittsburg," she said. "I feel like this is going to be a really great addition to the community, and to be able to say we're sort of leaving our mark here by being part of it is really special."