Brainstorming ideas to win an Airbnb contest, Krista Hansen and her daughter, Whitney, thought of what brought them joy—flowers.
“We were taking a walk and thought a flowerpot Airbnb surrounded by a field of u-pick flowers was weird enough to win,” says Krista, a real estate agent, and skin care advisor.
“It would be ideal on land I own that my dad had once farmed near Burley,” she says.
The 2-acre field is just off South 50 East. The Hansens submitted their idea in June 2022 to Airbnb’s OMG! Fund—a contest Whitney happened to read about on the internet—and waited. “We were so excited when we found out we’d won in October,” says Whitney, a financial coach in Boise.
The Hansens were among 100 winners who each received $100,000 to build wacky rentals worldwide. More than 10,000 plans were submitted. Whitney invested about 40 hours into the application. She described their construction plans, planning and zoning approval, financial projections, and location. The flowerpot stands 24 feet tall with a 20-foot circular base. The first floor of the 430-square-foot interior will have a kitchen, sitting area, and bathroom. A spiral staircase leads to the second-floor bedroom, while the flat roof is a lounging area. The exterior is a terra-cotta-colored stucco, which makes it look like a clay pot.
After they were notified of their win, the Hansens had 10 months to complete their peculiar project. Whitney began searching for a builder.
“The local contractors were busy or not interested in doing a round structure,” she says. “I googled round vacation rentals and found grain bins in Lava. I called the owner and asked who his contractor was.”
Riley MacButch, of Pocatello, embraced the eccentric project and built it in about three weeks in May. “Riley was a lifesaver for us,” Whitney says. The build was challenging—it’s circular as well as slanted.
For the exterior walls, he used ¼-inch plywood that was flexible enough to form a curve.
While he was building, Krista began planting more than 4,000 flowers that would bloom throughout the growing season, including lavender, zinnia, cosmos, and sunflowers. For autumn, people can pick pumpkins, gourds, and Indian corn. The Idaho Flowerpot will tentatively be ready for reservations in September. Riley described the Idaho Flowerpot as “more like a giant wood sculpture than anything else,” he says. “The fact that people get to live in it is a bonus.”
Find more information and pictures and join the waitlist on the Idaho Flowerpot’s Instagram.