A dynamic Dallas couple is promising some sweet dreams with their new dessert-themed vacation rental in Waco.
Jessica Serna and Ismail Mpiana, wife and husband behind My Curly Adventures travel blog and My Culinary Adventures food blog, respectively, have debuted an ice cream-themed rental home called “Casa Kumwesu.”
The name pays homage to Serna's Hispanic roots and Mpiana's Zambian-Congolese heritage. It roughly translates to “our place/our house/our village.”
The three-bedroom, two-bathroom house spans 2,300 square feet on several acres of land, and can accommodate up to eight guests.
Highlights from the listing include:
- one king-sized bed, one queen-sized bed, and two single beds
- kitchen with stainless steel appliances
- formal dining table and long island with seating reminiscent of a soda fountain
- coffee bar stocked with syrups and toppings in a nook with seating
- large soaking tub
- plush bedding in each bedroom
- four parking spots
- two outdoor security cameras
But beyond the nuts-and-bolts, it's the Instagrammy design details that make the house a whimsical wonder. It's sprinkled with ice cream decor throughout, from ice cream cone seating and bathroom wallpaper to dish towels and pulls on the kitchen cabinets. On the walls, bright pastel colors and quirky patterns (one looks like "melting" ice cream) would make Willy Wonka proud. A photo-worthy ice cream cart bearing the name "Casa Kumwesu" stands outside on the patio.
Other fun features include a full-size Ms. Pac-Man machine and a super trendy flower wall with neon sign that says, "Treat Yo' Self" over a bed.
Mpiana says the ice cream theme wasn't due to any great love of the frozen treat (although Serna did recently have an ice cream named after her at Picole Pops). It was essentially marketing presentation that came to life.
“Jessica was doing a keynote seminar to destinations about the importance of owning a particular niche and going all out with it,” Mpiana says. “She ended up using an example of an ice cream theme."
As she was researching, she ended up falling in love with the colors and fun of ice cream and "just ran with it,” he says, adding that they both ended up enjoying the design process.
It was important to them to fill Casa Kumwesu with pieces and products that support Texas businesses, they say, from beautiful custom artwork created by local artists to personal care items by H-E-B’s Field and Future line. Many items were sourced through Etsy and Instagram. For instance, kitchen towels were designed by artist Volta Voloshin-Smith (@colorsnack on Instagram), a fringe wall was done by Oh My Darling Party Co (@ohmydarlingpartyco); and Home Airbnb designer Erika Dike (@ericaoohdesigns) helped bring it all together, with a cherry on top.
But, why Waco? Serna says its proximity between Austin and Dallas made it the perfect location for them.
“We spend so much time passing through Waco on all our travels across Texas, and we just started to fall in love with it,” she says.
The home is located minutes away from a few of Waco’s most popular spots: Magnolia Shops at the Silos, Lake Waco, and Baylor University.
Casa Kumwesu has quietly opened for reservations via Airbnb and Vrbo. According to the booking sites, pricing starts around $550 per night (before cleaning and service fees), with a two-night minimum.