Holiday homes are popular, and it pays to ensure they are decorated well. In this guide we look at researching decor, furnishing and decorating a holiday home.
These days, a holiday home isn’t something reserved for the rich who can afford to visit exotic places. Many people choose to invest in a holiday home when they retire, and spend much of the year enjoying it. Some people have holiday homes they go to every other weekend, and families might have holiday homes they spend the summer holidays, Easter and Christmas in, based in a location the entire family loves.
They’re a great investment, and many happy memories can be made there in different seasons. What a great asset, to have somewhere beautiful you can escape whenever you want.
Lets face it, holiday homes aren’t cheap and we owe it to ourselves, and our bank balances to make the most of them. There will be general maintenance you pay for to keep the holiday home clean and kept between visits, and to keep it well managed if you do use the holiday home for making a bit of extra cash throughout the year by renting it out.
Aside from that, there’s every reason for you to decorate your holiday home in a way that makes it just as personal to you as your own home. You’ve paid for this addition to your life, so you deserve to enjoy it in the same way you would a luxury hotel or a high cost AirBnB. Decorating and furnishing it to your standards is so important, and it is also extremely fun because it isn’t a home you live in all the time, so you can definitely be a little more daring!
Decorating your holiday home is going to be a lot of fun, but there is so much to think about. In this guide we will be looking at all the different aspects of decorating your holiday home, from the research stage, to finding contractors to do the work, or indeed preparing to do the work yourself. The more prepared you can be, the more likely you are to increase the value of your holiday home, and get good value for money when it comes to sourcing materials and contractors for the work.
Before you do anything, you should be researching every single aspect of your decorating. You should have had a survey and relevant checks done on the property so you now you have nothing extensive to do in terms of repairs. If you’re right at the beginning of your journey, then you may have some repairs to do. Do make sure you get them done first because any new decor might be ruined if you have to do extensive repairs, and so you will have to decorate again.
Researching for your holiday home decoration is going to be a lot of fun. There are lots of different avenues for you to explore when doing your research. Here are some suggestions as to where to look for inspiration:
The area local to your holiday home could serve as a huge source of inspiration. If it is by the seaside in Cornwall, there are lots of lovely British seaside colours and themes to follow. From the obvious nautical theme with seagulls and beach huts, to the less obvious sea glass and beach pebble neutral tones. If it is in a forest there are macro shots of leaves you could take to turn into art, or perhaps take the influence of the materials, with wooden furniture and wood effect floor tiles. A holiday home in Spain, Portugal or France has a rich selection of cultural influences to incorporate into your holiday home.
Pinterest, Instagram and other social media channels will offer you a wealth of inspiration. Take a look at what other people have done to their holiday homes, and get screenshots of things you really like. Look at professional accounts and also look at accounts from amateurs who have done things themselves. Make a folder so you have all of your inspiration in one place, and don’t be afraid to have a physical folder as well if you have ordered samples of paint or flooring.
Friends and family may well have some great ideas for you, especially if they are handy or they are into interior design. You might even have friends near your holiday home who have gorgeous holiday homes themselves that you can take inspiration from. They can also recommend contractors who carried out the work. Speak to them about their own experiences and recommendations, and get all the free advice you can because, it costs nothing to pick their brains and it could save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.
DIY stores have mock ups of different rooms, and they often have displays of different paints or wall tiles, so you can see how they look in a real environment. This is useful as it exposes you to real life environments and scales so you can get a better idea of what different tones and textures will look like in the different areas of your holiday home.
Just make sure you do take your time and you enjoy yourself researching because the more you know, the better equipped you will be to make those important decor decisions.
You might be choosing to do the work yourself, in which case you will save a lot of money. If you aren’t that handy, or you just don’t have time to do the work, there is nothing wrong with finding contractors to do the work for you. The problem is, finding a contractor that will offer good value for money. If you’re hiring contractors in this country it becomes easier because you can rely on trusted reviews and general rules of thumb when it comes to finding honest workmen. When it comes to finding contractors abroad, you have got a tricky job ahead of you. You must do your research properly and don’t hand over any money unless you are absolutely sure the company is legitimate. Here are some useful guidelines for popular European destinations for holiday homes:
Now that you have contractors lined up, and you know exactly what you want doing to your holiday home, you can prepare for the work to be done. It may be that you have to have somebody at the property act on your behalf, but if you can supervise the work yourself so that you know what you asked for is actually being completed. There’s a lot to think about in terms of preparing for the work if you are currently living in the property and whether or not you have to stay somewhere local to the property during the work depends on what is being done. Anything to do with floors like laying floor tiles, anything to do with amenities like the toilet, or kitchen, that you can’t work around means you will need to stay somewhere else whilst the work is being done. If you already have ornaments and furniture in there, then you may want to remove it whilst the work is being done to protect it from dust and debris. It is a good idea to let any close neighbours know what you are doing so they know there will be more traffic in the area than usual, and there will be people coming and going that they do not recognise.
Once you have had the work done, you get to enjoy the finishing touches. The walls are freshly painted, or you have your new wall tiles put up, your have your gorgeous new locally sourced floor tiles, and your beautiful new wallpaper feature wall. Everything is as it should be and it is time to add the finishing touches. Here are some ideas for completing the look of your holiday home:
Figure out what you need in there to make it your home. The decoration has your stamp of approval now, but what about all the extra bits and pieces that make it home to you? Would some personalised art add that homely touch, or how about a comfortable arm chair, or some kitchen gadgets you love to use at home? You want to feel you’re coming back to a second home when you go on holiday, not like you’re stepping into a cold, unfamiliar property. Think about the home comforts you love in your permanent home and try and replicate that in your holiday home.
In your permanent house at home you are likely to restrain any true creativity with decoration because you have to think about things like seeing the pattern everyday, or trying to please the whole family, or having a design that will stay ‘classic’ for years. The best thing about decorating a holiday home is, that these rules do not apply! Quirky, fun, dramatic, loud; whatever you have always wanted with interior design you can go for in this property! Plus, it is worth noting that properties in sunny climates can ‘pull off’ more creative decorating anyway. For example, bold and bright colours might be a bit much for a conservatory in the UK, but set amongst tropical fruit trees, natural seating and more tropical birds and insects, they really do look right at home. So don’t restrain yourself, have that floral sofa, or that rainforest feature wall, you can let loose in this property!
When accessorising your place you should go local to support the local community and to make your decor more authentic. For example; if you have a property in St Ives, consider buying some local art from one of the many local artists who sell in the town, or perhaps some of the chiselled slate pieces created from local Cornish slate. In Portugal you might want some local cork (if you haven’t already invested in cork floor tiles) which make stunning table mats or other accessories. There’s inspiration to be found locally with every holiday home, so do shop around for unique bargains that will bring your property to life.
Don’t forget that you will be spending time in this property, you won’t always be at the beach or in the local town. With that in mind, go comfortable with your furnishings and accessories. Have a sofa you could actually lounge on, a bed that suits your style of sleeping. Keep some special ‘holiday toys’ for the kids in their room, and have the cooking utensils you always use at home. You need to be comfortable otherwise you won’t want to spend time there.
With a holiday home there is always room to be a little bit flashy if you have the cash. This could mean installing a hot tub or swimming pool, or it could mean investing in some designer outdoor furniture, or perhaps a state of the art barbeque. If you do have the budget, and you always like to holiday in the best hotels and properties then putting money into this property being just as flash, is certainly worth it.
Now you know how to research, what to do when it comes to preparing for the work, and how to approach accessorising, you are all set to have the most amazing holiday home. Just remember that it is so important to take your time, in order to enhance your investment. Rushing the job could result in wasted money, wasted time and at worst, actual damage to your property that you might struggle to fix. Be patient and you will be left with the most beautiful holiday property to make memories in for many years to come.