Summer has unofficially begun, the world is opening back up, and we’re all eager to get away from daily demands. If you’re lucky enough to have a second home, you may be looking at it with fresh eyes this year after so long feeling cooped up.

This summer is the perfect time to refresh your vacation home’s interiors. But where to start? How do you create a vacation home that feels like a true retreat yet incorporates your family’s unique personality?

The ideal summer vacation home is beautiful, but also requires minimal upkeep so you’re able to be relaxed. And while you want it to be cheerful and playful, it can be easy to veer into cliché when decorating holiday homes. It also doesn’t have to cost a fortune to design a vacation home design that’s fresh, modern, and appealing!

Read on to learn how to make your summer vacation home a place you and your family can’t wait to come back to time and time again.

Think bright + light

The easiest way to avoid creating an interior that may end up looking dated is to avoid wallpapers with vacation-themed motifs. Even if you want a tropical vibe at your vacation home, it’s better to achieve this with plants, accents, and pops of color that are easier to swap out if you ever tire of them. That’s why I suggest painting walls and even furniture in light colors like white, cream, and sand. These colors invite the summer sun inside.

When pulling in other colors, try to match the outdoors. Think blue skies and bright yellow sun. Something as simple as a bowl of citrus goes a long way to make a room feel summery.

But leave room for bold

Maybe you can’t quite commit to a bright accent wall in your everyday living room. A second home gives you the opportunity to push past your comfort zone and be adventurous. While light-colored neutrals will give you a timeless look as new trends come and go, you can be bolder in accessorizing with pieces that you may not want front and center every day. While on vacation, check out local antique shops and galleries and find art that you like, but maybe don’t absolutely love. You may be surprised that decorating with them opens you up to new aesthetics.

Be careful with coastal

With beachside properties, especially, it’s easy to go, ahem, overboard on the nautical themes.

A lot of us long for the ocean on vacation, but try to limit any coastal decor to statement pieces that you really love instead of purchasing pieces because you feel that’s the way vacation home design has to be. Leave the anchor wallpapers and wooden casks alone, unless of course, they float your boat.

Rein in the rattan

Rattan furniture is immediately recognizable as summer, island-related decor. But if your entire house is full of rattan, it can feel a little dated or unoriginal. I love to add touches of this material, instead, like a rattan bar cart or simple headboard.

Invest in an outdoor shower

If you’ve got the time and the money to build one, an outdoor shower is the best investment you could make for a beach vacation home. It’s not only refreshing, but rinsing off sand, salt and sweat before going inside will help you keep your vacation home in good condition. Plus, if you have pups, an outdoor shower will save you time and money spent cleaning by protecting your home from dirty paws.

Designate a gear area

Interior designers love mudrooms. If you have a home on the beach, you need a sandroom! This designated area where you can dump your beach gear, dry off if you’ve just hosed off, and keep sand toys, beach towels, and the like. A garage is a perfect place for this, but any spot by the back door or a corner by the front door will do. Use a woven basket to organize your gear and prevent messes.

Lightweight textiles

Summer is all about linen and breathable fabrics. Avoid decorating with anything heavy and dark and opt for flowy curtains and airy fabrics. These textures will help you feel laidback and neutral colors will help emphasize the natural beauty around you instead of competing with it.

Plan your shared space

Function plays a big role in vacation home design just as it does for everyday spaces. The whole point of a vacation is to spend time with loved ones, so make sure you create a space big and comfortable enough to hang out together. Oval or round dining tables lend themselves better to extra chairs, and ottomans that double as extra seating and storage space are great multi-functional pieces for shared social spaces.

Create a napping nook

Vacations are all about relaxing, and nothing screams “I’ve got nothing to do” than a peaceful midday nap. Whether it’s a hammock, a daybed, a chaise outdoors, or a corner of the couch, create a go-to space for when you feel sleepy from a day spent in the sun. Make it extra cozy with more pillows than you’d think and a lightweight blanket.

Love the luxurious

Last but not least, add some luxury. Vacations are meant to be an out of the ordinary experience. What do you love to indulge in when away from home? Let yourself indulge. It might be a spa-like bathroom with both a tub and walk in shower, or it may be as simple as silk sheets.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money, just add thoughtful touches that make you feel like you’ve made an escape. Extra fluffy towels, a comfortable robe, or even a $3 dollar pitcher from a thrift store that’s always full of fresh lemonade or sangria is just the type of thing can be just the thing to aid you in reaching relaxation nirvana.

Call Olamar for your vacation home design

Are you planning on re-doing the interiors of your vacation house? Do you have your eye on a second home? Give us a call for a consultation and we can design your personal paradise together.