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How to Design Your Perfect Vacation Home



Vacation homes are—or at least should be—a dream destination for you. Literally! The home away from home that you go to to escape the stresses of your everyday life. The functionality of this home as opposed to your residential one is to be a place of relaxation, gathering, and overall enjoyment. To create such a home, here are a few things to consider for your design.

Build Extra Rooms

Vacations often involve gathering with friends and family. This means you will need plenty of space for those people you love. Build enough rooms for your own family, plus a few extra. Or, if that many bedrooms is unappealing, build rooms that can be used as lodging. It may be a good idea to stock bedding options like air mattresses or cots in your storage space, for when you have more guests than bed options.


Even if you have a smaller family or don’t intend on having large numbers of guests, you may want to build these rooms anyways. Vacation homes can also be a lucrative investment if you choose to rent them out as an Airbnb or rental condo. Having enough rooms to house a large number of people makes your property an attractive option for other families looking for a place to stay.

Build a Stable Structure

“Vacation” often connotes a location farther away from metropolitan areas, which also are often areas prone to natural disasters like earthquakes, flooding, severe storms, or blizzards. Your vacation home should be able to withstand these disasters if (and when) they hit! Whether the foundation needs specific precautionary measures or the home just needs to be outfitted with features to keep residents safe during storms, you will likely need the help of local contractors with the experience to understand the needs of homes in the area and how to build a safe, reliable structure for precarious circumstances.

Add Fun Amenities

This is your opportunity to be creative and treat yourself to fun, extra amenities that you wouldn’t otherwise have in an average home. Some amenities are necessary for a standard stay away from home, but other amenities may be purely for enjoyment—pools, hot tubs, game rooms (stocked with board games or card games or any type of interactive game), televisions (also stocked with movies or access to TV shows). Finally, keep in mind the location of your vacation home. What is nearby that you may want to have your own tools or toys for? For your guests, provide maps or recommendation material informing them of those fun to-do’s around town!

Create a Relaxing Outdoor Area

Design an outdoor area that invites relaxation just as much as the inside does! Comfortable outdoor furniture and a pleasant aesthetic are also important in your backyard or your porch. You will need some sort of hardscape for this area to provide a solid, unerodable surface for your outdoor amenities. Concrete is more affordable for hardscaping your backyard than some other options like gravel or artificial turf. You may also want to look into shading options for your outdoor area like pergolas, umbrellas, or shade sails and screens.

Don’t Forget the Necessary Amenities

Some amenities are more functional—a full kitchen, air conditioning, WiFi, laundry appliances. Access to normal things you may need daily is also a good idea.  You should have things on hand like linens and towels or bathroom tools and cleaning supplies. While it may seem unnecessary to have two of everything—one at home and one at your vacation home—it also helps you feel confident that you will have access to everything you normally do without the stress of wondering if you remembered to pack every utility. Make sure each room has appropriate access to electrical plugs and helpful additions like fans and light fixtures.

Make Privacy a Priority

It’s easy enough to reach out to the neighbors if you want to; most vacation homes are built with the intent to have some alone time, time to enjoy company with just the people you invite. Consider how your location choice or the floorplan of your home offers that level of privacy. This is another reason that keeping amenities on hand is helpful. It allows you to do everything you want without relying on outside resources and locations.


Speaking of location as a means of privacy, it can also be a means of enjoyment for private viewing. As you consider locations for your home, think about the immediate area around the property and whether or not it provides a good view for you to enjoy!

Safe Storage

Vacation homes are also an opportunity for a lot of storage. It may not be plausible for you to transport some of the valuable things that you use to decorate, the amenities you own, or any other high-risk items back and forth from your home (where you may not need it) to the vacation home. Because you spend more time away from your vacation home than you spend in it, you will want the tools to keep your possessions safe from intruders or the wandering hands of renters. Look into safe options that you can feel confident will secure your property. And/or, provide a safe option for guests also to store their valuables while they are out and about.

Take the Time to Decorate

Put the “home” in “vacation home”. Decorate it to feel like yours! An empty, barren room is hard to feel relaxed or comfortable in. Make your vacation home feel distinct but also a place you can feel at home in. Ideally, look for a balance between your décor adding to the “uniqueness” of your space and the “home” feel. Add pictures, comfortable furniture, and never underestimate color as a tool to create a mood.


If you want your time away from home to be as enjoyable as you intend for it to be, create a space where it is easy for you to do so! Amenities, layout, safety, and the feel will all contribute to a place you will love to be in.

Read this next: How to Get Ready for Your Next Big Vacation