How To Bring A Vacation Vibe Home
Can you blame anyone for wishing their winter vacation would never end? We’ve rounded up some inspiring interiors that spell relaxation and embody the languor of easy living in sun-soaked destinations. Steal some style tips from beach houses and cottages to give your city home a weekend spirit which invites everyone to kick back, breathe deeply, and feel a million miles away — any time of the year.
Vancouver blogger Kate Horsman lives in a downtown condo, not a beach house, but her dining room does a credible Malibu impersonation. A convincingly beachy capiz shell chandelier sets the tone over a rustic, sun-bleached wood table. Lucite chairs, a silvery branch sculpture and white walls keeps things breezy.
A nautical theme will always make you feel like you are at the lake or beach house, even when a home is landlocked. Here, the tone is set by a handsome model sailboat, and supported by twin hurricane lanterns, framed maps, and a collection of shells and coral.
The power of texture plays a major role in how a space feels. A seagrass or sisal rug makes you want to kick off your shoes, while the chunky basket-weave pendant shades add a tropical touch. Folding camp-style chairs with canvas seats are a fun, unfussy alternative to more formal fare in the dining room.
Vacation spaces are about simplifying. In this Mexican kitchen, raw concrete counters, open shelving and Cantera stone flooring are supremely easy care. Natural materials such as copper light fixtures, wood bowls and baskets add warmth.
Not everyone has a lovely view of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, like actor David Cubitt, but you can borrow elements from his balcony once the temperatures rise. To strike a hacienda mood, just add Acapulco chairs, casual woven poufs, reclaimed wood palettes as a coffee table and some lush potted plants.
A white palette instantly turns down the visual thermostat. Lush, oversize raffia makes a bed into a destination. To drive the “off-duty pool cabana” theme home, display a few palm fronds on the bedside tables.
Some patterns are innately relaxing because they borrow from nature (anything that strengthens our connection to the outdoors makes us feel better). This Larchmont, New York, sunroom has it in spades, from the ocelot-print rug to the rose-print upholstered sofa. Ticking, a longtime cottage favorite, dresses the armchairs.
Instead of loading up a mantel with tchotchkes, a simple clutch of twigs looks freshly gathered from a walk in the woods. Consider displaying nature-inspired collections on a mantel that’s painted fresh white (or in this case, stuccoed).
No need to cover up: exposed rafters, framing and even plumbing (see the bathroom behind) creates humble charm in a pool-house guest bedroom. Horizontal boards serve as an ersatz headboard, while naif, nautical art is propped up charmingly on a wall support.
Board and batten is a classic wall treatment that can be repeated anywhere, not simply boathouses, as seen here. Painted floors are another charming touch to create a relaxed effect which looks better with wear.
A wall-mounted sink and porcelain tap faucet are timeless. Instead of towel bars, try hooks to hang towels to emphasize a beachy, laid-back effect.
Want to evoke a lakeside retreat? Try calming shades of blue, like in this cottage kitchen. The stone flooring mimics the rocky stone outcroppings outside: another style steal when it comes to evoking a Muskoka getaway.
In new homes, consider applying a beadboard wall treatment to add distinction and depth to plain drywall. A stack of awning stripe towels injects a hit of holiday-friendly color and pattern.
Vacations homes typically offer places to lounge, read, do puzzles or play a round of cards. A built-in window seat and wingback chairs are inviting and cozy.
A gallery wall of snapshots taken on vacation can be a simple way to conjure the freedom and exuberance of a holiday. Tie the photos all together but using matching frames and mats for a curated, cohesive look.
Bring a picnic feel to everyday dining with a bench in the dining room. In this Quebec country house, the owner opted for reclaimed-cedar barn doors to keep the vibe rustic.
You can’t miss nailing beach house chic with a surfboard. Large and graphic, it’s a surefire sign that fun is just around the corner. A color-blocked wall mimics wainscoting, with less effort and expense.
Who wants to iron on vacation? No one, so choose wisely and opt for linens that look gloriously wrinkled. Even the drapes are casually puddled, just waiting to be ruffled by a summer breeze.
White canvas slipcovers are a beach house staple. Why? Because they are easy to remove and can be bleached with impunity (a necessity for the perfect storm that is wet bathing suits, sand, and muddy paws). But the best part is that they get softer with each wash, just like your favorite jeans.
A giant bamboo stalk as a coat rack? Why not. Found branches that seemed to have washed up on a beachcombing spree have a soft patina and sculptural shape, making them a natural fit for unique, personal decor.