As inviting and comfortable as you’ve made your home, a change of scenery once in a while is still necessary, especially during vacation season. If a getaway is not in the cards for you this summer, there are some simple design tricks you can use to prepare your home for a summer staycation. Whether your dream vacation takes place in a tropical paradise or a chic Parisian apartment, here are some design-related staycation ideas you can use to vacation at home and invite a relaxing feel that’s different from the norm.

Make Your Patio Perfect for a Vacation at Home

The easiest way to transport yourself while staying home is to style (or re-style) your outdoor space so that you actually spend time in it. Whether you’ve got a big backyard, a small patio, a balcony, or a porch, your outdoor area can become your favorite place to relax. While these staycation ideas will prime your home for a vacation at home, you can implement them at any time to refresh your space.

Invest in New Outdoor Furniture

Well-made outdoor furniture built to withstand the elements and last is worth the investment, especially if you’re not spending money you’d usually spend on vacation. My advice is to ditch the idea of a set, and instead decorate with different pieces that complement each other. Tie them together with cushions that are the same color. Do you dream of an island getaway? Bring on the bamboo. Do you wish you were spending the summer in Bar Harbor? Add an Adirondack chair. Dining alfresco can feel like a delicious departure from the everyday, so make sure to get a table big enough to eat on. A patio umbrella (I love the tasseled ones like this) will provide shade and complete the look.

Hang a Hammock

Falling asleep to a good book, enjoying a cool breeze… sounds like vacation to me! All you need is two sturdy trees that are far enough apart. If you don’t have those, you could check out hammocks with stands, or even hang a hammock inside

Set Up a Fire Pit

Fire pits are an anchor for any seating area. Everyone loves to gather around them, and something about them starts the stories rolling and keeps the party going. Plus, they help keep bugs away. If you don’t want to break ground, a chimenea is a great alternative. I like this simple Mexican chimenea; it transports me to Tulum. 

Build a Fountain

It doesn’t have to be the Trevie Fountain, but the soothing sounds of running water can be your easygoing escape. Water will make your space more intimate and relaxing. Here are some ideas.

Start a Garden

What’s more rejuvenating than growing your own food? I learned a lot from Ron Finley’s MasterClass. If you don’t exactly have a green thumb, there are a lot of easy-to-care-for plants and flowers that will bring beauty and new growth (pardon my pun) to your home, making it seem like you’re somewhere far away. 

Set Up a Swing

Adding a swing to your porch completely changes the space and brings you a lifetime of relaxation. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy your morning coffee or chat in the evening with a cocktail in hand. Make sure you think about the details before installation: which direction is the most relaxing to be facing? Do you have enough clearance to swing your legs out? I like a swing’s color to contrast the rest of the porch, so that it pops. 

If you have kids, consider a tree swing instead. It’s the perfect way to add adventure to their summer and bring home summer camp vibes. 

String Up Lights

A simple string of lights can totally transform your outdoor space. They look cute even during the day, and provide dreamy illumination at night. Whether you intertwine the lights in tree branches or use the string as a border to delineate an area, they’ll help set the mood.

Don’t Be Afraid to Redecorate Inside

If it’s too hot to spend too much time outside, or if you’re fully committed to converting your home into a vacation destination, there are plenty of ways you can spruce up the inside to make it feel like a staycation resort.

Break Up Monotony In Your Bedroom

What’s your favorite part about staying at a hotel? Is it the plush bed, the dead-to-the-world window treatments, or the crisp sheets? Whatever it is, recreate it! Why not move the furniture around in your room? It will make the space feel new. Then, switch out your normal linens for your spare ones – you’ll be surprised the difference it makes. Better yet, if you have a guest bedroom, set a date for a staycation and spend your nights there! It will give you a break from your normal routine and give you a change of scenery. 

Switch Out Your Framed Photos

It’s time to break out the photo albums! Update your framed photos around the house with pictures from past travels, or even print out photos of places you’ll visit when you can. Evergreen forests, beaches with palm trees, whatever natural beauty you’re craving, seeing pictures around the house will bring you a sense that you’re already there.

Give Your Bathroom the Spa Treatment

This is an oldie but a goodie. After a thorough cleaning and decluttering, set the mood with candles or essential oil diffusers. Use scents that will bring you where you long to be. If you’d love to be at a real spa, lavender and bergamot will do the trick. For beach bums, use coconut and vanilla candles. Splurge on a luxurious robe and set of towels to really make it a retreat.

Build a Bar Cart

Or stock up your existing one. Let’s be honest. Part of what’s great about vacations is all-inclusive drink deals or the ability to enjoy a cocktail before 5pm. Indulge yourself at home during your staycation by gathering the ingredients for your favorite vacation cocktail. 

Bring the Restaurant to You

Turn your dining space into a restaurant for a staycation date night. You’ll need: a centerpiece, your formal dishware, and a bottle of wine. Make it fancy by ordering a flower arrangement from a florist in town and ask for flowers that are local to your favorite destination. By using your nicer plates, it will feel like a special occasion. If you have a formal dining room, set up in there to further distance yourself from daily life.

In order to turn your home into a staycation resort, add elements that remind you of your favorite getaways. Seashells, pine tree scented candles, or whatever it is, it’s okay to play! Take these staycation ideas and schedule a well-deserved vacation at home. Redecorating doesn’t have to be permanent, but it does have to bring you joy!