And you thought your local coffee shop was your favorite place to chill outside of your apartment. Just wait til you use Breather, a new space-sharing service that rents out hiply-furnished urban rooms that registered users can unlock with their iPhones. Why stalk the cafe walls for a free outlet or even try to squeeze into that communal table space anymore? ‘Scuse me, barista, we think we’ll take our latte to go today.
The startup turns empty private dwellings into useable space the same way Zipcar does with vacant parking spaces. Designated locations are pimped out with comfy seating, desk space and supplies, WiFi and electrical outlets, giving each space a conference room-meets-lounge vibe. Decorated simply, but with a sharp eye for modern design, Breather transforms these interiors into completely workable on-demand spaces that are as stimulating as they are tranquil.
The service is super flexible: You can reserve a Breather space for as little as 30 minutes, for a few hours (your first hour is FREE ps!) or up to an entire day. Plus, the app makes reservations possible even when you’re on-the-go. Minty green pins show the location of nearby Breather rooms (currently, there are 10 available properties scattered throughout Montreal and New York), which you can easily browse and book for varying per/hour rates. There’s no key exchange involved, which might be our favorite part of this entire process. Just enter the provided door code into the app to unlock your peaceful paradise. Then, make yourself at home.
Update your blog earphone-free. Host a brainstorm meeting (yes, guests are allowed!). Or just sit solo. Breathe. Even fall asleep. The few mandatory house rules only require users to have a basic level of social decency (ahem, you’re banned from partaking in “questionable activities.” As Breather’s FAQ page states “This isn’t that kind of place.”). But nuisances exist: Rooms aren’t pet-friendly and toilets are only on-site, NOT en-suite, though ins and outs are permitted.
Breather rooms are routinely cleaned to ensure that each “guest” can fully enjoy the brief escape from the bustle — an Om away from home. Since many of us are stretched thin day-to-day — that 9-to-5 is more like a 9-to-7, huh? — having the option to pause with Breather seems rather refreshing, especially for people who pay to zen out on the regular anyway. But private peace and quiet on demand? THAT’S priceless.
Would you pay for private quiet space with Breather? What would you use these communal rooms for? Tell us in the comments below.