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The Ultimate Guide to Furnishing Your Vacation Home

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Furnishing Your Vacation Home

Your vacation home should be an extension of your personality when it is at peace – so furnishing your vacation home should be much like impulse shopping at the grocery store: go with your gut, and pick items and furniture that make you feel good — whether it be a cottage, cabin, chalet, or condo, your vacation home’s furnishings should make you feel like you’re at your home; you should feel comfortable, relaxed, and like your time goes by a bit slower.

When you’re furnishing your vacation home, remember to think in terms of how you’re aiming to use your spaces – not just the aesthetic of the pieces you place within the home. A living room is for living, a kitchen is for cooking, and a bedroom is ultimately for sleeping – your furnishings should be an ideal reflection of how you do each of them.


The Bedroom

Chances are, you first began researching and getting interested in the prospect of owning your own vacation home, cottage, or condo so you could have an unwavering sense of relaxation; a special place where you can unwind and put your feet up, sleep like a log and enjoy your time away from it all. For many of us, this feeling will manifest itself in the bedroom more than anywhere else.

The vacation home bedroom should be a reflection of yourself, but also a reflection of the place you’ve chosen to occupy. A lakeside cottage in the forest should feel fresh, warm, comforting, and nostalgic – all at once. It should be a reflection of the relaxation you envisioned when you made the decision to purchase.

A condo or chalet bedroom could reflect your love for the outdoors, the sport of skiing or an active winter lifestyle. It should feel warm, rustic, and inviting.

Consider plush duvets, comfortable throw pillows that accent your bed with a warm, lively colour palette, consider materials like wood as opposed to metal or ceramics, for a solid, yet organic feeling.

Adding an area rug, or a tapestry under the bed will give you a plush, rejuvenating feeling when you first put your feet on the floor every morning.

Adding accents to the walls in the bedroom give a sense of home, and of identity. Furnish with large family photos encased in bold, thick frames. And don’t worry too much about matching your frames or wall accents, variety is the spice of life, and your space will feel more spontaneous and lively as a result.

The trick to furnishing a vacation home bedroom is to make it feel like an escape from your home – investigate colour palette’s first, discovering which hue catches your eye. From there, consider materials that compliment your choice, and from there investigate the style of furnishings that best exemplify your tastes.

Ask yourself what the focal point of the room will be - perhaps the bed, or a large mirror. When you have your focal point in mind, accentuate with furnishings that compliment the size and placement of the piece within the room. Use tall end tables and lamps to add a border to your focal point and draw the eye inward


The Kitchen

The kitchen is a real balancing act. Many studies suggest that we spend more time in the kitchen than any other room in the house. In your vacation home, chances are besides the deck, dock or lakeside hangout, the kitchen will be a close second – so it had better stack up in terms of your love for the space.

When furnishing your vacation home kitchen, think in terms of comfort, ease, sanitation, and sleekness. When you’re working in the kitchen, furnishing it with bulky chairs, and lots of clutter on the counters detracts from your ability to prep a great meal – another way to enjoy your vacation home.

Instead, furnish this space with a more minimalist approach. Opt for lightweight chairs or barstools, stainless steel, marble, or a butcher-block countertop that can serve as both an elegant aesthetic, and as an easily cleanable, functional space for cooking.

Furnishing your kitchen with heavy, large seating can inhibit your enjoyment of the kitchen by making it difficult to navigate. Keep your furnishings to a minimum without neglecting to realize that real living tends to happen in the kitchen a lot. Consider opting for a set of light bar stools for guests to sit at the kitchen island on, instead of a small kitchen table to free up some space. Maybe you’re fortunate enough to have some extra space where you could benefit from a small couch or a comfortable seating area so your guests or family could enjoy conversing while a meal is prepped.

Colour palette’s usually take a back-burner position in this room, and modern design aesthetics are currently promoting a clean, crisp energy that promote efficiency, functionality, and cleanliness over comfort – the reason being the kitchen should be enjoyed as a kitchen as well as a space for entertaining. Consider a clean colour palette, whites, creams, and neutral colours that reflect a bright, fresh aesthetic.

Light in the kitchen is another natural benefit you should aim to take advantage of, so furnishing your windows with coverings that allow for light to saturate through and into the room are essential. Try sheers, a bamboo or reed shutter, or a light canvas window covering that compliments your choice of colours and lets light flow into the room.


The Living Room

The living room of any vacation home is arguably one of the busiest spaces in the cottage, chalet or condo – it’s where people come to relax together after a long day of exploring, swimming, or being out and about. The living room has to have ample furniture for sitting, lounging, and laying - for entertaining, conversing, and unwinding. The first go-to furnishing of the vacation home living room should always be a solid couch, or living room set complete with a loveseat and an oversized comfortable chair.

But this isn’t set in stone, a good option for a family home dedicated to a larger family or group could easily toss the love seat and opt for a second couch, sitting parallel across from a sleek, large coffee table designed for chatting the night away. Perhaps a couch with a chaise lounge is more your speed.

Think both in terms of comfort, and practicality: choose fabrics that are easily cleaned, or resist water and stains if you have younger family members running around. Consider choosing a darker colour to help accentuate a look of effortless clean.

Comfort is a no-brainer, don’t bother choosing a rock hard couch that’s not going to allow you to sink in and enjoy your hard-earned weekend vacation.

When choosing a coffee table, a striking minimalist live-edge wood slab makes for a unique interpretation of rustic nostalgia and postmodern design aesthetic. Another viable alternative for you could be a tempered glass piece, or a chest design that allows for storage of magazines, board games and blankets – the perfect vacation home rainy day trifecta.

Balance your living room with warm lighting fixtures to follow through with your vibe of effortless comforting energy. Consider a good standing reading lamp for that oversized chair, and end table lamps for a bit of couch ambiance. A set or two of basic cork, or stone coasters goes a long way as well – and not only provide a tasteful accessory, but also hints to your guests that you wouldn’t mind protecting your pieces.

Alternatives

Another alternative to the traditional vacation home living room is the deck. For many, the deck or patio serves as the preferred choice for lounging during the late morning and after dinner. Interestingly enough, think backwards here in terms of colour. A dark outdoor living room set can fade and streak in the sun over time, so go for something bright and airy, maybe a print is more your style. But keep with your already existing penchant for durable, cleanable materials. A Plexiglas table can keep the space feeling open and large.

Whatever your space, and whatever your design preference, thinking with your personality, hobbies, and attitudes in mind is the perfect way to furnish your vacation home; brainstorm with your family over the ways you spend your days, and simply build to suit. 



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