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    Coastal design often includes wicker furniture and soothing shades of blue. Photo: Stanley Furniture

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    Keep your vacation home design low-maintenance. It’s a place to relax and recharge, not work. Photo: Stanley Furniture

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Keep your vacation home design low-maintenance. It’s a place to relax and recharge, not work. Photo: Stanley Furniture


Keep the “Vacation” in Vacation Home

To ensure your home away from home is a relaxing, restful place, make sure the design is simple and easy to maintain, but don’t skimp on luxuries like premium mattress quality.

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  • Decorating Your Home Away from Home

    When it comes to decorating your second home, cool off, warm up and relax!

    by Deanna L. Thompson

    Whether it’s at the beach, in the mountains or in another tranquil setting, your second home should exude an aura of relaxation inspired by its setting. “The interior design should reflect the outdoor scenery,” says Zeina Halwani, an interior designer in Michigan.


    Make Your Beach House a Cool Oasis

    Think light, airy, cool fabrics when you decorate at the shore, recommends Jerri Woodle, IDS, a South Carolina-based interior designer. Three popular beach house palettes are:

    • Coastal: a soothing blend of blues, greens and browns (“the color of beach glass,” says Woodle), accented with painted woods and wicker. 
    • Tropical: an energizing mix of bold greens, salmons and golds, with accents of tropical leaves and bird prints.
    • Nautical: a crisp, traditional look in red, white and blue, reminiscent of a New England style.


    Create Warmth in the Mountains

    For hideaways in the hills, create a cozy feeling by choosing darker hues and heavier fabrics, says Cherie Rose, ASID, IDS, a licensed interior designer in California’s Silicon Valley.

    She suggests plush sofas, down pillows and layered window treatments for warmth—and making the fireplace a true focal point with a plasma television mounted over the mantel and encased in a rustic driftwood frame that blends with the decor.


    Remember Relaxation

    Wherever your vacation home is located, keep the “vacation” in it by following these tips:

    • Keep your design low-maintenance. “It’s a place to relax and recharge, not work,” says Woodle.
    • Use slipcovers to protect sofas, or purchase fabric protection.
    • Include a sleeper sofa for spillover guests. 
    • Don’t skimp on mattress quality. “This is your place to luxuriate, to sleep in,” says Rose.
    • Have a set of twin beds for guests who don’t want to sleep together.
    • Choose washable, durable flooring such as tile and stone.
    • Focus your decorating budget on living areas, where you will spend most of your time.