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'The Tower' now open to guests

Rinners open Washington's latest airbnb

GTNS photos by Gretchen Teske

Rachel and Troy Rinner have spent the past few years renovating the apartment space at 208 S. Marion Ave. in Washington. The two-bed, two-bath apartment has laundry, a galley style kitchen, dining room and living room perfect for entertaining guests. The space is available for rent on airbnb.
GTNS photos by Gretchen Teske Rachel and Troy Rinner have spent the past few years renovating the apartment space at 208 S. Marion Ave. in Washington. The two-bed, two-bath apartment has laundry, a galley style kitchen, dining room and living room perfect for entertaining guests. The space is available for rent on airbnb.
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Troy and Rachel Rinner are Washington’s version of Chip and Joanna Gaines. Together the couple took the apartment space above Rachel’s business, Knee Deep Solutions, and turned it into a modern-industrial style airbnb.

The space, which they have dubbed The Tower, is located at 208 1/2 S. Marion Ave. in Washington. The apartment is located on the second and third floor of the building, has an open floor plan, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, laundry room, free parking and Wi-Fi included.

The Rinners purchased the building in summer 2015 because they were looking for a place to hold Rachel’s business, Knee Deep Solutions. After purchasing, they spent the first several months renovating the downstairs into an office before spending the next several years slowly but surely working away at completing the upstairs apartment.

“We took it all the way down to the brick,” she said, explaining they installed new dry wall, flooring, windows, reconfigured the layout and even added a second bathroom. “I think at the time when we laid out the upstairs we were thinking we were going to rent more long-term, because we laid it out with one big bedroom and a smaller spare, guest bedroom.”

She said the original idea was to rent it out as an apartment but after staying at an airbnb in Chicago, they decided to give owning one a try on their own. They knew of other airbnb spaces in the area, but did not worry about competition because they felt theirs would be a unique space and suitable for larger gatherings.

“This one you have to climb stairs, but there’s a ton more space,” she said. “I think it can function really well two ways. It would work well for business people because you could have two separate people because you have two separate bedrooms with each their own bathroom, plus you have a space down here where you can host meetings and it wouldn’t be in the bedroom area ... It would work really well in a business satiation, but it could also work well in a family situation.”

The Rinners said their own family situation became a game of balancing as they worked to complete renovations while Rachel ran her business downstairs, Troy ran his farm and they worked to create time to spend with their two kids.

Rachel said the kids were not as excited about the renovations until they realized the couches were perfect for napping and the TV excellent for video games. However, Rachel said the pair also helped and acted as the official “trash carrying-out people” and also tried their hand with insulation.

“I think they learned a lot but you don’t know much they learned,” Troy said with a laugh.

Rachel said the kids have picked up on design elements as well, sometimes commenting on things they see on other buildings or homes that could be changed. She said for the design of the space, she wanted it to be both homey and comfortable with a modern, industrial vibe.

“I just want it to be relaxing and comfortable for people just to be able to focus on whatever they’re here in town to do,” she said.

All the walls are painted neutral with pops of color coming from area rugs and the occasional painting. Rachel said she wanted the space to feel inviting but not overpowering and opted for a simplistic look.

Reflecting back on the project, Troy said his favorite part of it all was “getting it finished.”

“I think it’s just fun to watch it,” Rachel said, commenting that she enjoyed getting everything into the space and completing the final product. “The little details come together so quick at the end.”

The Tower is now available to book for up to seven days on airbnb.com.