Photos by David Ellis
Texas-born Tamara Waterston has the preternatural polish that’s a byproduct of being raised by strong women who take such things seriously. “It’s on another level, and I didn’t realize it wasn’t that way everywhere until I left,” she says, laughing. “My 84-year-old grandmother is dressed to the nines by 7:30 in the morning, ready to go with perfect bouffant hair, nails, makeup, and a plate of doughnuts.”
As a lifestyle blogger and influencer whose Instagram account, Champagne and Macaroons, has more than 100,000 followers, that sense of style has served her well. A chronicle of her personal life, travels and, more recently, parenting (Leo, 3, and Rolf, just shy of 2), the blog was a creative outlet Waterston started when she relocated to Minnesota, where her husband is from. “Before we got married, I moved here to see if I could handle the winter and fell in love with it—the seasons and how active people are.” And while she admits a part of her heart will always be in Texas, she now considers herself a Minnesotan—so much so that she has rolled out the welcome wagon in the form of a cute Airbnb in Linden Hills.
The urge to become a host came from their extensive travels and experience of staying in home rentals versus hotels. “We love how it really makes you feel a part of the place you’re visiting and how people live, and we wanted to re-create that here,” Waterston says. The 560-square-foot cottage, which the couple purchased and gut-remodeled last year, had the benefit of being close to the family’s house. (Of course, all of this coincided with both the birth of their second son and the pandemic.) They stripped back the dated cabinetry, tiles, and fixtures to expose the house’s bones, including the original brick chimney and ceiling beams. Waterston envisioned a calm, soothing retreat, so she kept the color palette neutral and incorporated lots of natural materials and textures. A bar cart and retro-style refrigerator are two examples of the fun touches found inside.
Since its completion in late 2020, the unit has been busy, providing refuge to plenty of visitors. “We’ve had all kinds of people: brides-to-be, moms who need a few nights away, and visiting in-laws,” Waterston says. “Connecting with all these wonderful people and sharing the great local places to visit is one of my favorite aspects of being a landlord.” The list of places includes restaurants, parks, trails, museums, and even a few salons. You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take the Texas out of the girl.
Influencer | Tamara Waterston
Your style—Southern polish with California ease—reflects where you’ve lived.What has Minnesota contributed to that equation? Pants [laughs]. I don’t like pants, but moving here required it. I love dresses, and I love heels, but with kids, you have to figure it out. I’ve come to appreciate a good mule and sneakers with dresses. With two toddlers, I’m never not running.
What are some of your favorite destinations? The Netherlands. We went there during tulip season a few years ago and stayed at a farm outside of Amsterdam. I love the way people live there, their aesthetic, and how things are made with such craftsmanship.
What about your favorite local spots? I love Patina. They do such a good job. I always bring out-of-towners there. The Foundry is really special, too. Anna [the owner] is a beautiful person and finds wonderful things. For restaurants, we like Martina, but my absolute No. 1 is Bar La Grassa.
What’s your dream project? I would love to do another Airbnb!
How do you unwind? I pour a glass of wine, sit outside with my laptop, and respond to emails. When things are getting out of hand with the kids, we go for a walk—moving, being in nature, and seeing people and dogs changes the energy, and we come back refreshed.
Follow Waterston on Instagram at instagram.com/champagneandmacaroons.