Summer is upon us, and we’re all getting into vacation mode. Everyone I know is buying tickets, booking hotel rooms and taking time off. Me? I’m reminiscing about vacations past, making checklists of where we’ve been and a new list of where we’d like to go. Like everyone else, though, I often feel remorse, nostalgia and longing for those days back. The time spent during those breaks are some of my best memories with the ones I love, in the places I love, but like all of us, I had to say goodbye and return to reality. That’s just a shame.
So, as we remodel our home, I’ve considered ways to incorporate our memories into the design, making our favorite vacations a part of everyday life. Whether it’s on a grand or minor scale, I encourage everyone to take inspiration from their favorite destinations. It could be elements from a favorite resort or ideas stemmed from street performers in Spain. I’d like to dive into some ideas I came up with during my vacation-renovation-contemplation.
When I think of vacations, I think of luxury and leisure, two adjectives that bring whiskey lounges to mind. What’s a whiskey lounge? Exactly what it sounds like: a place to lounge, drink whiskey and chat (or not chat). These are often located in hotspot cities or even hidden for only the dedicated to find. Definitely found in destinations for good whiskey, these lounges are the perfect inspiration for a man cave or office. Think dark wood, rich browns and reds, and plush leather chairs. Mood lighting via lamps, chandeliers, sconces and a focal-point fireplace. Lots of shelving with under lighting, plenty of seating, and a decently sized mini bar.
Similarly, library bars are great for an office or writer’s studio. Places like Dublin, London or even Los Angeles have these destination library bars, which bring book lovers from all over together for good conversation and good drink. It’s easy to envision a luxurious office with a wall entirely made of books, with a spiral staircase or floor-to-ceiling ladder by which to get the topmost leather bound read. Tall ceilings are a must, as well as nook and window seating for the daydreamers.
Ironically, one of the best parts about vacation can be the resort or hotel suite itself, sometimes even causing vacationers to stay in a few days during the break. Why not recreate that on some level for your home master suite? It’ll be different for everyone, depending on what brought them the most joy, but find that similar canopy bed with flowing drapery or maybe design a large, private balcony or patio with an outdoor shower. Put in large windows for a large view, and don’t skimp on that ensuite; integrate your favorite elements from the resort bathroom. Overall, use similar color schemes and charming design elements to get the full effect.
A common one that I see is log cabin inspiration. Many couples take their honeymoons in the mountains or forest to get away from everything, so it’s also a very sentimental remodel. This design can be done in a way that actually makes a homeowner question if they ever left the Rockies. With high ceilings, rustic accents, wood floors, exposed beams and a tall stone fireplace, the living room could feel like a ski lodge.
On a broader scale, take inspiration from the distinctive city or landscape itself. For example, Greek inspiration comes in the form of clean whites and bright blues, while Europe makes me think of cobblestone streets and extravagant castles. Bed and breakfasts in the English countryside are generally full of rustic cottagey charm. A New York loft inspiration is more modern, sleek and minimalistic with painted cement floors and extremely open concept floor plans. For the trip to Miami, take all the colors and throw them in the sunroom, from bright yellows and reds to oranges and bold greens.
What if you went camping? How do you draw a vision based on a camping trip? Easy! Take it outside. The back patio is the best camping ground, especially if you install a fire pit, a water fixture for the reminiscent sounds of the Brazos river, and great landscaping with foliage from the vacation destination (if that’s possible). Hang a few hammocks between the trees, and your senses are set for memory recalling and memory making.
After working hard all year round with only a few vacations in that time, it’s only fair that we go home to a place we consider almost equal to a getaway. In this case, a particular getaway — or rather, a time machine. Bring your memories to the surface and into your home.