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Airbnb recommendations: London, Paris, Rome

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Hi all,
My husband and I are planning our first trip to Europe this summer (July), and after months of debate, we've decided to forgo the "tour" route and plan the whole thing ourselves. While we're really excited about the whole process, we're terrified that we're somehow going to mess things up royally planning it on our own. But we're forging ahead anyways!

This is our plan so far:
Dates: July 8th-22nd (14 days)
Cities we're visiting: London, Paris, Rome (fly into London and out of Rome)
Budget: $8,000 (including airfare)
Accommodations: Airbnb???

In wanting to keep our accommodations as budget-friendly as possible, but still wanting to experience the "charm" of Europe, we're hoping to go the "Airbnb" route for our lodging. I've read mixed reviews on Airbnb, but I think that the good has outweighed the bad, so that's what we've decided on.
Does anyone have any overall advice in regards to Airbnb? Or have any recommendations for specific Airbnb homes that they've stayed in in the cities listed above? Or any thoughts in general on our very basic plans thus far? I would really appreciate any feedback. Thanks in advance!!

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