It’s that time of year when if we’re lucky, we go off on holiday and come back wishing we could extend that holiday feeling and bring a little bit of our Greece, Spain or France back home… well it’s possible with some thoughtful interior design.
One of the things we love – possibly subconsciously – about holiday homes is that they are devoid of CLUTTER! Holiday homes are often only used by their owners for holidays, and sometimes not at all, so they have been furnished minimally and don’t contain all the rubbish and useless stuff we fill our own homes with…
Draw inspiration from this. Have a purge. Strip back your home and see how revived and refreshed you feel – just like you do on holiday!
When we go to places like Spain and Greece and Mediterranean spots, we are always blown away by the colours… blue shutters, pink bougainvillea, terracotta rooves, bright white houses, red hibiscus, turquoise waters, bright coloured tiles and ceramics. When we get home, we walk into our beige and grey, neutral homes and go from feeling marvellous to “meh”.
Take your home back to white (try one room first). Then bring in the bright colours. Paint up some old furniture (with chalk paint – so easy), accessorise with pink, red, orange cushions and throws, linen or bedspreads and liven up the place a bit.
If you’re doing a new kitchen or bathroom, experiment with colourful or patterned tiles. You can always change them a few years down the line.
You may not be able to rebuild your home put in new windows and doors, but you can add some holiday style to them with shutters; either wooden exterior shutters if you’re going for the French or Mediterranean look – which you can either buy new or find in reclamation yards – or louvre shutters which both add privacy and a sense of breezy coastal living or Cape Cod or Hamptons chic.
Convert your patio or deck into a Mediterranean patio. Bring in coloured tiles, coloured plant pots, paint a wall section white and add some decorative French salvage (shutters etc) to pop on your garden or house wall and recreate that little piece of patio where you loved having your coffee and pastry.
Florals & Scents
One of the things we love about holiday are the plants – both for their look and for their scents – orange blossom, geraniums, jasmine, basil, lavender, rosemary and thyme, cinnamon etc…
Use plants as bookends or pop them on top of kitchen units and shelves. Buy herb pots from your local supermarket to sit in your kitchen in terracotta pots or bring some authentic pots home with you; and buy some holiday scented candles or diffusers. Lavender, Neroli (orange blossom), jasmine and lemon verbena are all fairly common and easy to find. Fill your home with the scent of holiday and you’ll feel so much happier.
Finally, and this is nothing to do with interior design, adopt a couple of holiday habits. Give yourself half an hour with a coffee and a holiday book; have an aperitif at 6pm! Get out the sharing plates and have tapas or a mezze plate of Greek /Italian goodies once a week with family and friends… it’s the little things that make such a difference and transport you to your happy place!