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Style Your Vacation Home With Insider Tips From Homepolish

Brilliant decorating tips for the owners of vacation homes.

So you have a vacation home and it’s in a great location. You and your friends and family are thrilled to spend your off-season here, relaxing and letting the stress of regular life dissipate. The house is beautiful, clean, has great light, and a nice layout, but your mother-in-law just called and wants to know what kind of mattress she’ll be sleeping on. “Mattress?!” you think and drop the phone. You don’t have any furniture! A vacation house isn’t relaxing if the inside is decorated with outdoor furniture and badly mismatched wicker side tables. You need the decor to reflect the serene dream of a rejuvenating vacation. Never fear, vacation-home owner, we have some easy, brilliant decorating tips for you.

1. Be playful, not cheesy. If you have a lake house, work with some tasteful nautical accents, textures, or finishes – but skip the “At the Beach” or “Gone Swimmin’” sign. Please.  

2. Reference the outdoors. If your home is in a beautiful area (we hope it is!), bring in some of the colors you see outdoors, and maybe even include some of the materials! For instance, if it’s in the mountains, source some furnishings that use stone or wood accents.

3. Skip the plants. Unless you have someone to take care of your plants year-round, vacation homes usually do well without the greenery. Make up for the lack of leafy atmosphere with art and accessories to give the space some life.

4. Build in the fun. Add accessories that reference the outdoor activities available in the area. For example: pool toys for a house in Palm Springs or walking sticks and hiking gear for a Hudson Valley cabin.

5. Stock up on hosting essentials. Most people keep a sparse amount of dishware and utensils at their vacation homes when, in fact, they host more while on vacation than in daily life. Stock up on wine glasses, serving trays, and more to make your vacation celebrations more enjoyable. Keep them on a bar cart for extra design points.

6. Source art and furnishings from local makers. Your vacation should feel different from your life at home, so source from new artists and decorate with unusual, conversation-starting pieces that excite you and bring out your vacation self! Buying from local artisans gives back to the community and adds distinct character. Photo credits: Tessa Neustadt, Stephen Busken, Erika Bierman