Airbnb Swing House in Cincinnati offers a unique overnight experience


The Swing House is exactly what it says.

When you walk into the home and living art rental space in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Camp Washington, you immediately see three things: the kitchen, a bed, and a swing.

The three-story Italian house built in 1880 has been converted into a single, wide open room.

Although the interior is modern, with updated appliances, light fixtures, lighting, and heating, the house still looks old.

General view of an Airbnb rental building known as the Swing House, with a large swing hanging from the ceiling, in the Camp Washington industrial district in Cincinnati, pictured, Thursday, December 2, 2021. The Italian-style home of three floors built in 1880 has been converted into a massive and wide open room.

And it is intentional. Everything about the Swing House is intentional.

Inspiration for the house was a long-time goal of artist and owner Mark de Jong, who for years dreamed of designing a house with a giant swing. He bought the property in 2015 and began renovations the same year, finishing the house in 2018.

He grew up in Cincinnati and went to school at the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning at the University of Cincinnati. He also owns a number of other art-centric homes around Cincinnati, including the Circle House in Camp Washington and the Square House in Northside.

“What art is in Nashville, art and architecture are in Cincinnati,” said de Jong.

Artist and owner Mark de Jong of an Airbnb rental property known as the Swing House, with a large swing hanging from the ceiling.  The house is located in the industrial Camp Washington district of Cincinnati, pictured Thursday, December 2, 2021. The three-story Italian house built in 1880 has been converted into one massive, wide open room.

People have come from all over to stay at the Swing House, including from Switzerland, Morocco and Japan. de Jong said he has had couples and singles travel to see the house, some to Cincinnati just to stay there.

The day before my visit, a couple drove nine hours from New Jersey to stay overnight at the Swing House.

The house itself has gone viral a few times – check out #TheSwingHouse on Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms – and Airbnb featured it.

During my stay in early December, the house only had a few openings the rest of the month and January. Now I understand why.

House designed to give a floating experience

During the renovations, de Jong removed the upper floors of the house to make room for the 30-foot swing.

View of the bed in an Airbnb rental building known as the Swing House, with a large swing hanging from the ceiling, in the Camp Washington industrial district in Cincinnati, photographed, Thursday, December 2, 2021. The Italian, three-story home built in 1880 has been converted into one massive, wide open room.

Like other parts of the house, the swing seat was created with found materials, as were the rooms in the small basement art gallery. The original plaster, brick and paint layered over the years and the previous owners peek through the walls.

The furniture – wardrobes, wardrobes, counters, bed – are all either attached to the wall or made to appear as if they are not touching the floor, all floating to mimic the swing and its movement.

General view of an Airbnb rental building known as the Swing House, with a large swing hanging from the ceiling, in the Camp Washington industrial district in Cincinnati, pictured, Thursday, December 2, 2021. The Italian-style home of three floors built in 1880 has been converted into a massive and wide open room.

After the Swing House debuted at the Contemporary Arts Center in the spring and summer of 2018, de Jong began renting it out through Airbnb.

Since then, it’s been a box. Currently listed on Airbnb for $ 204 a night, the one bed and one bath house is for short-term rentals, typically one to three nights.

I was fortunate to have great weather during my stay which highlighted the number of windows in the space.

Including the two doors, there are 10 windows on three sides of the house’s first floor, with eight more on the second floor open and seven on the third. During the day, light passes through the place, bringing it to life.

At night he feels more vulnerable. Kind of like sitting in a fish bowl.

Fortunately there are nuances to be lowered.

As I wake up before sunrise the next morning, I opened the blinds a few minutes before and watched the light slowly come in.

View of the bathroom in an Airbnb rental building known as the Swing House, with a large swing hanging from the ceiling, in the Camp Washington industrial district in Cincinnati, pictured, Thursday, December 2, 2021. Italian, three storeys the house, built in 1880, has been converted into one massive, wide open room.

The headboard of the only bed in the house has a dual function, also serving as the side of the spiral staircase leading down to the basement. This is where you’ll find Jong’s only bathroom and art gallery created from found materials – including the Kermit the Frog toy that fell on him during the renovations.

And of course there is the swing.

It gives you all the joy you remember from the playground, but in a much more interesting setting. I resisted the urge to swing as high as possible and take to the skies like I would as a fearless kid.

But swinging made this stay a unique experience.

General view of an Airbnb rental building known as the Swing House, with a large swing hanging from the ceiling, in the Camp Washington industrial district in Cincinnati, pictured, Thursday, December 2, 2021. The Italian-style home of three floors built in 1880 has been converted into a massive and wide open room.

Overall the Swing House was a very pleasant experience and de Jong was a great host – I can see why Airbnb listed him as a “superhost”.

If you’re looking for an overnight stay for one or two in a unique, art-filled home within a short drive of many things to do around Cincinnati, the Swing House is your place.

It’s also great for photos and bragging rights.

Swing House, 1371 Avon Place. For more information, visit www.swing-house.com. To book a stay, visit the Swing House on Airbnb.

About Gene Schafer

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