Creating a cozy home, even if it's a temporary one, is an art form, and Myranda Grulke is holding the paintbrush. The woman behind the lens of Myranda Randle Photography grew up with a love of literal home-making, but it wasn't until she and her husband were in the market for their own place that they discovered a passion for breathing new life into old homes.

To date, Grulke has flipped six properties, including her own downtown Little Rock home, with another in the works, a houseboat dubbed "The Little House on the River." Some properties they resold, but many serve as popular Airbnbs for locals and out-of-towners alike, each with its own personality: The Tiny Cottage (their guesthouse and first foray into the rental world), The SoMa House, The Modern Rock, the aforementioned houseboat, The River House in Pine Bluff that her parents own and The Ivy Cottage, which they also sold.

Not only has the popularity of the properties earned her the title of Airbnb "Superhost," but the company itself took notice, installing her as an ambassador who helps newbie hosts across the globe find success.

And the internet has taken notice, too. As Grulke documents her adventures in DIY, gardening and design, curious followers have joined the journey to see what she'll tackle next. 

This summer marks a lot of changes for the couple. They recently moved into a new home in the Cammack Village area, both have passed exams to become official builders, they have plans to try their hand at new construction and Myranda is stepping into the home field full time. 

But first, she welcomed us into The Modern Rock in SoMa to give us a look into her world, sawdust and all. 

 

 

You've shared on social media how your love of having your own space started early, including the kid-sized house your dad built when you were 4. How did you get from there to the house-flipping, Airbnb Superhost you are today? 

MG: It's crazy how one of my earliest passions turned into what I do for work today. Honestly, I give my amazing parents so much credit for this. They’ve always encouraged entrepreneurship, but they also taught me how to make wise choices and to save and spend my money wisely. 

I watched my dad growing up, he’s also a builder, and I loved seeing the jobs he worked on from start to finish. I never imagined myself stepping into construction, but when my husband and I bought our first foreclosure property back in 2019 (finished in 2020), that’s when it really hit home. 

My husband, Lamonte, and myself were, at that time, just a young broke couple looking for a way to find an affordable and beautiful place to live. After many hours spent on YouTube and reading numerous DIY blogs, we tackled almost all the work together on our historic home. This home taught us so much. Each home project taught us different construction skills, every finished room gave us the satisfaction of seeing what hard work got us. When it was all said and done, we had a home we were so proud of, and in our early 20s we had a home that was fully paid off. 

After that point we shifted our focus to turning our detached garage into a 300-square-foot tiny house. Our original intention was just to rent it out to traveling nurses, but we thought it’d be fun to try it out on Airbnb for a few months first just to see what it was like. It took off like crazy! The space ended up staying booked 90-100% of every month up to this date.

After that we pretty much tackled and finished a renovation project every four to six months. Our first two — The Modern Rock and The Ivy Cottage — we both listed as Airbnbs, and now we're shifting our focus more to getting into new construction.

 

 

With your first home as your first project, how did you decide a foreclosure property was the way to go, and how did you land in downtown Little Rock?

MG: Prior to landing a foreclosure, we looked at tons of homes on the market and we just were not satisfied with the quality of work or the price of any home we saw. After searching for about six months we gave up and started digging around into different foreclosure options, and after losing at a couple bids, we finally landed our home. 

Most of the properties we went for were in the downtown Little Rock area because we both have always loved the thought of downtown living, we were highly interested in historic structures and, although downtown is quickly growing in value, we were able to find neighborhoods where the entry price was very attainable for us.

 

Most of your renovations have involved you rolling up your sleeves. Were you nervous going in? And if so, how did you tackle that fear while also adhering to restoration guidelines in a historic neighborhood?

MG: Was I nervous? Heck yeah. Thankfully I’m married to an amazing husband who, although he had no real construction experience at first, picks up everything so quickly. There was no way I could have done any of this without him. I typically pick the properties, design and lay out everything, but when it comes to the technical and structural parts, that’s pretty much all Lamonte. Without trying to sound too corny, he’s definitely the Chip to my Joanna.

When it came to historic guidelines, we thankfully lived next door to some very knowledgeable and informative neighbors who helped point us in the right direction whenever we had questions.

 

 

In your Airbnb properties, you often feature artwork and decor that reflect the neighborhood. Why is that a priority for you?

MG: I remember when I first started photography how hard it was to get my foot in the door when it came to certain areas. Oftentimes local artists have a difficult time finding places to display their art to the public. Having the opportunity and privilege to own multiple places, I wanted to support local artists and businesses as much as possible. Not only does it make my spaces all the more beautiful having local artwork, but it's a fun way to show traveling guests the amazing talents in our community.

 

What can you tell us about the atmosphere of The Modern Rock and how it differs from your other properties?

MG: I love naming the projects we work on. The aesthetic of this property lends to its name. The interior and exterior are both extremely modern and contemporary in design. It features smooth surfaces and tons of natural light brought in by commercial grade windows. I wanted to complement the space with rocky, desert-y landscaping. 

As a lover of historic properties, this home is by far the most modern in design of all our properties. After refreshing this home with paint, new landscaping and new decor, we have fallen in love with modern-designed homes. As we look at our plans for new construction, we plan to build homes with a similar ultramodern design. 

 

 

Your properties are not only for overnight Airbnb guests, but also available for photo shoots, company retreats, meetings, etc. What does it mean to you to be able to meet community needs in a business savvy way?

MG: I love the Airbnb platform, but being able to host these events and photo shoots in my home has been such a fun way to optimize usage of my properties and offer unique and fun venues for local businesses.

 

What have been some of the biggest challenges and rewards of your remodel and Airbnb work?

MG: Working for myself and staying disciplined and organized is something I’m constantly coming to grips with. Also, when it comes to investing in property, so much time, creative energy and money goes into these projects. You have to be very strategic and thoughtful when choosing what projects to take on next. That part can be very stressful because you have to choose projects that not only speak to your heart, but that are also sound business decisions. 

After each project there are always things I’ve learned to make the next project more efficient.

But the best part is seeing a creative idea you’ve had in mind come to life. It's such an amazing feeling to walk through a finished project after months of planning.

 

And finally, what upcoming projects are you most excited about?

MG: Finishing up the floating home (The Little House on The River) and breaking ground on our first new construction.

 

 

LIGHTNING ROUND

► How long you've lived in Little Rock: I’ve lived in LR for 7 years, but I was raised in White Hall.

► Your favorite thing about Little Rock: The natural beauty and the food!

► You're shopping for decor. Where do you go? Midtown Vintage Market, Howse, South Main Creative

► Favorite social media platform: Insta

► Favorite local account to follow: TBD. There's too many to count!


HAIR & MAKEUP
LAVONNE BEAUTY

LOCATION
THE MODERN ROCK 

Follow along on Instagram and check out her Airbnb listings here.