The Full Story
Welcome to StayBham! Founded in 2017 by Emma and Lara Embry, we transform unique and historic homes into one-of-a-kind retreats, inviting guests to enjoy our favorite Bhams and vacation spots as locals in serene, beautiful, and welcoming homes.
We believe design should honor the history of a home and place, but it should also push a place forward. We want guests to feel at home, and we want them to engage with their surroundings. We hope our homes will invite guests to enjoy a moment of presence.
We also believe that vacations are a wonderful opportunity to experience a new place, so we try our best to share local tips, promote local businesses and products, and allow our guests to experience a place as a local.
Lastly, we love nature and seek to make sustainable choices. Whether its stocking sustainable toiletries or planting native gardens, we strive to do what we can to protect the world around us.
We created StayBham in 2017. The idea came to us on the deck of Avonwood. We had just finished restoring this charming1950s ranch home and were sitting, looking out over the backyard, when we thought -- 'This would be a great place to say if you were visiting Birmingham!'
We imagined guests really appreciating a local experience while enjoying a much more home-like alternative to a hotel. We decided to take a chance and see if we could turn it into a vacation home. Fast forward a year, and it was the top-ranked rental in the city.
In that time, we found Eden Brae, a beautiful, but neglected, Southern Gothic estate, just blocks from our home. We walked past it one morning while we were out with our dogs (we had 5, of course!) and noticed a 'For Sale' sign. We knew our next project was calling. Over the course of a year, we carefully restored Eden Brae, creating 5 unique apartments, each with its own character and style.
We loved the challenge and the gratification of each project, and as we shifted from design to operations, we enjoyed the opportunities to showcase our favorite products -- like locally-roasted coffee and sustainable home goods -- and local spots while creating comfortable, inviting retreats for guests.
In 2020, we moved to another Bham -- one across the country and a world away -- Bellingham, WA. We wanted to welcome visitors to this Bham as well. After months of searching, we found the perfect house -- a beautiful Victorian, just blocks from downtown. And, so, the next chapter began.
Since then, we have opened retreats in some of our favorite places to visit: the Great Smoky Mountains, New York City, and South Florida.
We hope you will enjoy our homes as much as we do!