7 Tips for Decorating Your Vacation Home
So you bought that vacation home — an amazing getaway on the beach, in the mountains, or maybe just near far-off friends and loved ones.
Now, it’s on to the fun part: Outfitting that new home with decor and furnishings, and prepping it for the first big trip.
Ready to get started? Let these handy tips guide the way.
Decorating your vacation home: Tips for getting started
1. Focus on low-maintenance items.
You probably won’t be at your vacation home more than a few times a year, so make sure you choose decor and furniture that are low maintenance — items that won’t gather too much dust or rot in the rain (like wood patio furniture, for example). You want items that require little upkeep and can stand the test of time.
You should also consider durability — particularly if kids will be visiting the property. Choose materials that hold up to stains, spills, and dirt, and steer clear of anything flimsy or breakable. You’ll likely just end up replacing those a year or two down the road.
2. Think all seasons.
You’ll also want to make evergreen choices when you’re decorating your vacation home, meaning ones that aren’t seasonal or tied to a specific holiday or theme. It may be May now, but choosing spring-themed decor probably won’t be as welcoming when you return around Christmas. Try to aim for all-season decor, and choose color palettes that will look great no matter what time of year it is (or what the weather is outside).
3. Keep your location in mind.
Your vacation home’s location should be front and center when making your decor decisions. If you’re near a beach, you want items that can repel sand, stand up to moisture and humidity, and flow with that coastal theme. If you’re in the mountains, warmer, cozier furnishings are more fitting, as are materials that can warm you up after a long day at the slopes.
Your location should also play into your exterior choices too. The right types of siding, paint, and other exterior items will depend largely on your climate, so consult a local contractor if you’re not sure what’s best.
4. Diverge from the norm and get creative.
Your vacation home doesn’t have to mirror your primary residence. Have fun with it! Diverge from your typical decorating style and try something new. Pick a more modern aesthetic, opt for a different color palette than you’d normally choose, and get the whole family involved. It should be a place you all feel at ease in and excited to visit. (Maybe even let the kids decorate the guest room!)
5. Maximize your space when you’re decorating your vacation home.
There’s a good chance you’re going to have guests with you at some point — maybe friends, family members, or friends of your children as well. To ensure you have room for all those tagalongs, make a concerted effort to maximize your space.
That might mean picking couches that also have fold-out mattresses within them or opting for a pair of bunk beds rather than just two twin bed frames. You can also use loft areas as extra rooms, and invest in a few cots or a pack-and-play to stow away in the attic just in case.
6. Create dedicated areas.
Since the property will likely cater to a number of different people (or even groups) at some point, it’s important to create various spaces within your vacation home — spots for congregating and socializing, areas that are quieter and more private, etc.
In the living room and dining room, for example, you’ll want to create a group-friendly space — one with lots of seating, plenty of pillows and blankets, and maybe a good surface for playing games, sharing snacks, or just sitting by the fire.
On the flip side, you can also carve out a workspace (maybe put a desk in the loft area or in a quiet corner of a guest room?) or add a reading nook to the kitchen or back patio. Think versatility and variety when you’re decorating your vacation home.
7. Get comfortable.
You’re going to visit that vacation home to get away from the real world — to leave all that stress and worry behind and get some true rest and relaxation. The best way to do that? Create a home that’s comfortable and inviting.
Forget high-end touches that you’re going to fret about breaking or scuffing. Instead, focus on items that you can feel at home in — that you can kick off your shoes and prop your feet up on. If it doesn’t give you that laid-back, easy-breezy feeling, it’s probably not the right investment.