Holiday houses: how to get that vacation vibe at home
July 4, 2018
We’ve all got those favourite holiday houses we’ve either stayed in or admired from afar; domestic or far flung, they’re the special places we’d love to pick up and bring back home with us to keep us going for the rest of the year. This month, to get into the holiday vibe, we visit a few of our favourite holiday house looks and provide the tips on how to achieve them in your own home.
Quality not quantity: de-clutter
All the old adages apply when putting together a feel for a room: “quality not quantity”, “less is more” and all those things our mothers say! It’s all about creating an idea of a holiday house, rather than re-creating it entirely and ending up with a theme park bedroom dedicated to all things Greek or Balearic! A lot of the time it’s actually about what ISN’T in the house…holiday houses tend to be very sparsely furnished, with minimal accessories and ornaments, so perhaps first up, a de-clutter is in order!
When it comes to Greek island getaways, Sardinian stays and Ibizan idylls, the backdrop to most holiday houses is, of course, crisp white! Nothing screams sunny holiday home like a whitewashed wall! If you’re going for more of a French or even Cotswold or Cornish look, then you can substitute white for pale neutral off-whites.
Once you’ve got your backdrop, it’s all about the accent colours. Accent colours tend to reflect the landscape and native flowers or traditional colours. Depending on your favourite designation, here could be bright pinks and poppy reds; azur blues and turquoise; sunny yellow, rich terracotta and burnt orange; lavender blue and olive greens; lush tropical greens or rich purples.
Paint window frames, shutters, or furniture items like side tables or sideboards; mix with colourful soft furnishings like voile curtains (which evoke that lovely breezy holiday feel), rugs and cushions. Use accent colours for a few accessories such as ceramics, glassware or artwork.
Each place has its own special shapes and patterns and prints that you find everywhere in architecture, such as the curves of Moorish arches or fretwork of your Moroccan Ryadh or Andalusian village house. Choose some fabric or cushion covers that use those patterns. Printed bedspreads, cushions, rugs or table cloths look best on a neutral / white background.
Often holiday homes have very minimal lighting – downlights are definitely out. It’s all about strategically-placed pendants, table or standard lamps and wall lights or sconces. Informal and low-level lighting instantly relaxes your mood and will help you feel calm and at peace in your space.
Whenever we see a white, blue, pale green or lavender painted louvred door or shutter, we instantly think of sunny holiday homes! And louvres are easy additions to rooms – either as faux shutters or as your wardrobe doors. They’re practical, because they allow air to flow through a space or a cupboard keeping everything fresh. Crisp and newly painted or aged and distressed, painted louvres always give a hint of holiday.
An easy way to bring in holiday is to use plants and flowers that evoke a holiday feel. These can be real or faux or brought in as wallpaper on a feature wall. Depending on your favourite holiday destination, think hibiscus, geranium, lavender, bougainvillea, bird of paradise, cheese plants, palms or even pineapples!
See some of our favourite holiday inspired style boards featured on the Decology online interior design home page this July.