The vacation home market remains strong, with 2012 purchases up 10 percent from 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors. Whether you’ve just purchased a vacation home or are a veteran second home owner, prepare your home for this year’s vacation season by redecorating with 2014 trends in mind:
Honor the location
There’s no law that says an estate by the beach needs to have a seaside aesthetic, but tailoring your decor to your surroundings does help create harmony. Get inspired by your vacation home’s natural setting, whether it’s wine country, alpine ski terrain, or the beach, and select upscale, natural pieces that contribute to the vibe. A leather sofa looks more at home in a mountain escape than a beach home, and a plush white sofa is much more beach than ski lodge, for example.
Your geographic location also sets the tone for the colors you can use with the home interior and exterior. Funky brights work well in tropical and subtropical locations (think Miami, Key West, the Caribbean). Pastels work well for beachy locales (Hilton Head, Newport, Kennebunk) and rich autumnal hues honor the rugged aesthetic of a mountainside ski home (Vail, Tahoe). It’s always a wise idea to stick with a neutral color as your base hue, and add pops of dramatic color to set the tone for your home. This way, changing your decor is as easy as recovering your furniture, getting new throw pillows, and picking up some new accent pieces.
Choose quality furniture
Your second home does not deserve secondhand furniture. Invest in quality, one-of-a-kind pieces in your vacation home so you can relax in true comfort. Personalized, bespoke pieces are a design trend for 2014. Consider adding handcrafted bed frames or farmhouse tables, sculptural furnishings, woven rugs and textiles to add personalized luxury to your home. Then, show off your one-of-a-kind pieces with luxury accents. Select a new duvet cover for your hand-hewn bed, show off globally sourced treasures on that side table or custom bookcase, or use carefully placed accent lighting to highlight your investment. Custom bespoke pieces are a wonderful investment and can become a valued family heirloom in time.
Expand your footprint with an outdoor living room
As vacation homes are becoming smaller in general, home owners are making wise use of their land to expand their home’s footprint and harmonize with the environment. After all, the property itself is the main reason you chose that vacation home and that setting, so maximize your enjoyment of it through patios, decks, rooftop gardens, or outdoor living rooms. Before you break ground, think about how you love to spend time in your second home, then design outdoor living areas that let you take advantage of those passions. You might consider a tennis court or pool addition if you love sports, a stable if you enjoy riding, a kitchen garden if you’re a passionate cook, or a meditation nook if you relax through yoga. Work with an architect to design an outdoor kitchen, put in a hot tub, or create a privacy garden to screen out neighbors. Then show off your new asset with a garden party or a summer’s eve dinner party.