An Informal, Opinionated, and Brief History Of The Business Of Bed & Breakfasts

The 1980s

The 80’s saw the rise of Bed and Breakfast’s as home owners who enjoyed entertaining, decided to earn some extra cash by opening up their homes as B&B’s. Hallmarks of the owner’s quirks included staying in a room with pictures of the owners family on the wall – or worse – their dolls on the beds. While some did an excellent and professional job, a huge part of the charm was that it was run by amateurs and “not corporate.” Travelers sacrificed convenience for a unique experience.

The 1990s

As the rise in popularity of B&B’s continued, they became more organized – and corporate. “Homes” were built specifically to be B&B’s and they became more organized as income-generating businesses. In some cases, they were also seen as a tax shelter for upper middle class people who were looking for a write off for whom it didn’t matter if they were a viable business or not.

2000’s and beyond

Corporatization and technology came to B&B’s. Booking became more sophisticated – and online booking became an expected part of even a very “low key” B&B operation. Public ratings from Yelp, TripAdvisor and similar crowd source reviews became extremely important. Google search placement and Google Maps meant the difference between a successful business and failing. It became harder for small B&B’s to compete without having a strong online presence. All of these conveinances come at a high price for a small B&B. The advent of added a new player to the field.

“Those little soaps that you saw… those are cookies!”

Portlandia: Bed and Breakfast – Inspection

Businesses that facilitate travel, and work as liaisons between hotels/B&B’s and their customers have also consolidated and become much larger and – own many smaller online travel agents such as  Airbnb .com,  Trivago and Home Away. If a small business wants to compete, they need to work with these huge companies which take a hefty percentage of any room that is booked.

At the same time, savvy travelers also became more wary of “fake positive reviews,” photographs that looked “too professional” and obviously paid for advertisements by large companies to boost their web presence. The internet had transitioned from being a level playing field for all businesses to compete with equal access to an increasingly corporate environment with priority given to the paid advertising and those who could pay to optimize their website to be found by search engines.

Dungeness Barn House’s location on search pages had become buried. It was past time for an update. An update on every level and to make it a more streamlined process for our customers, and let us focus more on offering great experiences for our customers – like gourmet breakfasts. And tend our organic vegetable garden.

The website needed to not look like “Grandma’s B&B” and more modern, yet rustic to reflect what the Dungeness Barn House looked like now.

Clare researched different designers and options… Should we go DIY – “Do it yourself” That was quickly ruled out as a “Do it yourself – DON’T” or what Melissa likes to call a “DIYD.” Should we try and slowly update what we have just by swapping out old pictures for new ones? No. The format isn’t right… and it would have to be redone sooner or later. Sooner much rather than later.

Trina Packard of Packard Design Works was clearly the best fit – she understood that we wanted something clean, but warm – to reflect the “high touch” elements of the Barn House. Modern, but also honored the traditions we value. She and Clare did a deep dive into educating Clare about all of the elements that needed to go into the revamp. Clare’s brother Michael Monnin who is a competitive photographer and avid birder supplied many of the photographs. Terms that were initially unfamiliar but now roll easily off of Clare’s tongue: SEO (search engine optimization), OTA (online travel agent), VBRO (vacation rental by owner). She says: “Acronyms… It’s been painful…”

We also wanted the website to be a resource for both locals and visitors to the Olympic Peninsula. While the beauty of this location is breathtaking – many people are not aware of all of the hidden gems and options for inexpensive – and creative day trips.

Some transitions happen gracefully…

Trees turning color in the fall are a beautiful example of that…

Daisies are not…

But in the end…

totally worth it.
Just make sure that you have plenty of chips, candy AND the right designer!

Weekend Art Retreat and Class with Elizabeth St. Hilaire @ DungenessBarn House

Event Overview

Come to the Olympic Peninsula with Paper Paintings Collage Artwork to rip and glue! Learn the art of painterly, impressionistic collage in this amazing setting. The Barn House offers stunning views and accommodations for this 3-day workshop. (see payment information at the bottom of this page.)

Paper Painting
Elizabeth St. Hilaire
Sept. 29th – Oct 1st. 2017
Class meets 10am–4pm each day
One-hour lunch included

Download the 3-day Workshop Schedule here.

For the supplies that you will need during the workshop, download the Supplies Information .pdf document.

Event Description

Let the Magic Of The Pacific North West Feed Your Creative Process

Elizabeth St. Hilaire’s Paper Paintings Retreat for September 2017 will be at, the Dungeness Barn House Bed and Breakfast at Two Crows Farm, located on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in Sequim, WA.

In addition to an exciting, fun-filled artisan retreat, you will be nurtured and feel that special “something” that surrounds the property.  Some have called it a “vortex”.  We call it a place to rest and relax, and totally immerse yourself in your art and creative process.  Lunch will be served for this 3 day retreat and you’ll be able to take in the beautiful gardens or beach while enjoying your stay.   You can book one of our rooms and fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the ocean.  Then start your day with a gourmet farm to table breakfast or stay with our co host the Green House Inn By the Bay just down the street from us. This is a retreat that is in an inspirational setting – a place that will inspire artists with its beauty and nature all around.

Open to participants of all artistic levels, each day brings new lessons with Elizabeth on using hand painted and found papers to develop imagery and form using light, shadow, and directional ripping – similar to traditional painting techniques. You’ll also have fun experimenting with hand painting, staining, stamping and patterning your own papers. Although some painting experience is helpful, it is not imperative.

Paper Paintings is an intense workshop in which students are taught a unique figurative collage technique. Students will learn to make a beautiful palette of colors with various papers and create an under-painting and collage with paper for a final finish. Working with photographic reference, students will explore drawing, composition, proportion, value, color and collage application. Emphasis will be on developing form using light and shadow, just like in traditional painting techniques. No prior collage experience is necessary. Some painting would be helpful, but not imperative.

Places to Stay

Although there are many lovely places to stay near by, there are only a few rooms available at the Dungeness Barn House Bed and Breakfast for over night accommodations. Be sure and request overnight accommodations on your registration form.  Our co-host for this event is the Green House Inn by the Bay.

Visit Olympic National Park

We also invite students to book additional days (before or after) the event in order to have time to visit the area including the incredible Olympic National Park which is just minutes from the Dungeness Barn House. Don’t miss this opportunities to see one of the jewels of the Pacific Northwest!

Check out the video by National Geographic Channel

About the Artist

Meticulously torn bits of hand-painted papers, delicately put together, form the exceptionally vibrant collages created by Artist Elizabeth St. Hilaire. Richard Colvin, executive director of the Lake Eustis Museum of Art says, “Elizabeth St. Hilaire’s artworks have a fresh quality that belies the way they are constructed.”

I am proud to have published my first book with North Light this summer, available on book stands internationally as of August, 2016. Elizabeth’s work has also been published in Acrylic Works 3: Celebrating Texture (2015) and Incite 2; Color Passions (2014), both by North Light. A feature article on her work appeared in the April, 2014 issue of The Artists Magazine, she was also a finalist in The Artist’s Magazine Annual Art Competition (2014 and 2015) and took first place in the category of Collage/Mixed Media for The Artist’s Magazine All Media Competition (2010).

St. Hilaire was an award winner in the National Collage Society’s Signature Members Exhibition at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, in Mesa AZ (2013). Online, Elizabeth was a Finalist in The Richeson 75 Annual Art Contest (2013).

Born and raised in New England, Elizabeth has lived in Central Florida for the past 20+ years. She holds a B.F.A. in Advertising Design from Syracuse University, which prepared her for a dual identity as both graphic designer and fine artist–these days she’s a full-time fine artist who’s only graphic design client is herself. St. Hilaire has earned Signature Member status with the National Collage Society and crisscrosses the country several times a year to take her paper tidbits on the road. Teaching and sharing her collage technique through an intense three day Paper Paintings workshop has become a passion.

For a portfolio, visit, for collage work in progress visit You will always get a timely response via email at

Artist Statement

My love of collage started with a scrap box of mementos from my childhood. These small sentimental pieces of my past came from my father, who rescued them from the attic about seven years ago. Stuffing these tidbits into a box beneath my bed seemed anticlimactic. I remember standing there, after my father left, looking at the hospital bill from my birth, my Mom’s nursing school graduation cards from 1967, and thinking what should I do with this?

I decided to find a way to incorporate these memorable papers, notes and snippets of my family’s past into something both memorable and beautiful. Thus was born a representational collage “painting.” This piece, Looking in on Jane (a portrait of my mother), won Best of Show for the first time at Orlando Visual Artists League in 2005, and for a second time at the Women’s Caucus for Arts’ Matriarchs and Madonnas exhibit in 2007. The success of this piece plunged me head-first into my love affair with collage.

My technique has evolved as a result of experimentation with hand-painted, hand-made, and a wide variety of textured and patterned papers. Layering and weaving, pushing and pulling the colors, patterns, and values makes collage liken to music. I go back and forth, alternating and overlapping until the rhythm creates something I love. In my work I highlight the extraordinary within the ordinary, focusing on intense and vibrant colors combined with a sensibility of design. My collages invite the viewer to look, and having looked, to linger.

Visit her on the web at or see her collage work in progress visit

Travel, Payments, and Cancellations

Maximum 20 students, Minimum 10 students or the class will be cancelled. Make travel arrangements after class is confirmed with enough students.

Cancelling within one month, after August 29, 2017, is non refundable unless you find someone to fill your spot.

Payment Options: Students may pay in full using the PayPal button below, or contact us directly regarding the payment-plan option during registration. The payment plan requires a non-refundable $125 deposit with the balance due 30 days before the first day of the workshop. Please call us if you wish to use the payment plan (360) 582-1663. Full payment is due one month before the class dates, by August 29, 2017.

Make Event Reservation

Please fill out the following form and submit payment to complete your event reservation.

[Form id=”14″]

Pay Via PayPal – Class Tuition Only

Call Dungeness Barn House for room reservations or for payment plans.

Cost: $475.00
Tax:     $39.90
Total: $514.90

Mandala Drawing Retreat @ DungenessBarn House

Event Overview

Give yourself an inspiring, creative experience to celebrate the Spring Equinox and Full Moon — a Mandala Drawing Retreat. Contemplate issues you would like to manage more gracefully or things in your life that need healing. Meditation and mandala drawing have the power to shift energy and bring you peace of mind.

With instruction, you will learn how to draw an illuminated mandala.

Mandala Drawing Retreat:

  • Facilitated by Ruth Marcus, Author of Haiku & Mandala: The Wedding of Ancient Art
  • March 19, 2017 • 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • $125, includes drawing materials, lunch at the Dungeness Barn House and evening Equinox Celebration 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Equinox Celebration will include making bath salts to take home
  • Beach celebration and evening meal

Book one or two nights stay at the Dungeness Barn House and save $50 on the Mandala Retreat Contact Dungeness Barn House for details.

Event Description

Drawing mandalas is a powerful experience, individually and in a group setting. Ruth facilitates mandala meditations/training which include instruction on how to meditate and draw this particular style of mandala using black charcoal paper and Prismacolor pencils. The class fee includes art supplies and lunch at Two Crows Farm.

Spiritual communities, groups of friends, forward-thinking businesses and those who are drawn to creative art forms benefit from the process. The introspective experience often frees participants from worries and tension.

After a day of Mandala Art and relaxation, we will move into the celebration of the full moon and the spring Equinox with Dr. Celeste and Tari Atkinson. Winter has been about stillness, grief, processing, collecting data and inspiration. Spring is to spiral into movement, like a bulb waking up and stretching towards the sky.

We will enjoy a casual meal, make herbal bath salts to take home. Then we will head down to the beach for a campfire and setting your intensions for the new year afloat in a sky lantern.

Places to Stay

Although there are many lovely places to stay nearby, there are only a few rooms available at the Dungeness Barn House Bed and Breakfast for overnight accommodations. Be sure and request overnight accommodations on your registration form.

  • Make a reservation at Dungeness Barn House Bed and Breakfast

Visit Olympic National Park

We also invite students to book additional days (before or after) the event in order to have time to visit the area including the incredible Olympic National Park which is just minutes from the Dungeness Barn House. Don’t miss this opportunities to see one of the jewels of the Pacific Northwest!

Check out the video by National Geographic Channel

About the Artist


Ruth Marcus is a dreamer and explorer. Many know her as a counselor, writing coach, graphic designer, poet short-story writer, publisher, spiritual mentor, friend, sister, mother, and grandmother.

In 1969, she hitchhiked from Wisconsin to San Francisco and within two years, at the age of 25, she started her first graphic design business in the South of Market area of San Francisco. A bold move for a young woman from a small town in southern Wisconsin. What did she know about running a business? I was not what she studied in college.

As well as being a dreamer and explorer, Ruth views life as an adventure. Ten years later, she sold the successful business, moved to Marin County and earned a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. Then, another graphics business in Sausalito and was offered an adjunct faculty position, teaching once a week at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. As if that wasn’t enough fun, her partner and she started a clothing design/mail order business for large size women’s outdoor wear. Yes, she employed a staff of creative-types, implemented flex-hours, full medical coverage, paid vacations, holidays and wellness days off.

As you can tell, she loves to experiment and “play” with possibilities. The last venture before moving to the Northwest was the Imagination Center—a well-received, creative experiment for adults who felt their creativity was stunted as a child. The curriculum included open-studio painting, drawing classes, improv theater, singing, hula dancing, and writing workshops. Two amazing years with inspiring results.

In 1999, Ruth moved north where the Olympic Mountains and small town life inspired her passion for writing. She became a columnist for the Sequim Gazette and opened a small counseling practice while volunteering grief support through Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County.

Her new book, Haiku & Mandala: The Wedding of Ancient Art, was inspired by the Muse whispering at 2:00 am, “Publish a book of haiku and mandalas.” For years, she has drawn mandalas as a meditation practice for introspection and quieting the mind. Ruth has accepted the Muse’s invitation and wrote 32 haiku inspired by 32 mandalas. The process was challenging, exhausting and exhilarating.

Ruth’s wish is that you enjoy the contemplative nature of this process… and the ancient-art-cum-modern. She encourages you, no matter what age, to live your dreams. It’s your life!

Dr. Celeste is a naturopathic doctor, practicing in Seattle and online for satellite patients.  She specializes in the old-time naturopathic medical practices which includes a balance of botanical medicine, homeopathy, clinical nutrition whether be food or supplements, flower essences, naturopathic manipulation, lifestyle counseling, craniosacral treatment, and constitutional hydrotherapy that involves alternating hot and cold towels applied to chest and back, along with low-volt electrical stimulation. Dr Celeste is a weaver and will always encourage her patients to integrate all aspects of health that include body, mind, spirit, and that spark we call the unknown. You can visit her at for more information and scheduling.

Tari Atkinson LMP, has an integrative bodywork practice in Seattle for the last 16 years.  She specializes in Craniosacral Therapy while including modalities specific to each individual and their needs for healing using the 5 Elements & Spirits Acupressure, Myofascial Release, essential oils and aromatherapy.  Her website is currently under construction, but you can email her at

Make Event Reservation – Mandala Art Retreat

Please fill out the following form and submit payment to complete your event reservation.

[Form id=”15″]

Pay Via PayPal – Class Tuition Only

Call Dungeness Barn House for room reservations or for other payment plans.

Book one or two nights stay at the Dungeness Barn House to extend your retreat and save $50 for this event! Contact Dungeness Barn House Bed and Breakfast for details, 360-582-1963.

Cost: $125.00 (Class Only)
Tax:     $10.50
Total: $135.50

Pay Via PayPal – Class Tuition (When also making a Room Reservation at Dungeness Barnhouse)

Call Dungeness Barn House for room reservations or for other payment plans.

If you’ve decided to book your room at Dungeness Barnhouse, you should use the “Buy Now” button below for your discounted Class Tuition.

Cost: $75.00 (Class Only)
Tax:     $6.30
Total: $81.30