Making Your Vacation House a Home

When you want to finally build your dream vacation home, you have several things to consider. Whether you want a mountain getaway or a lakeside retreat, you’ll want the whole house to fit your aesthetic, both inside and out. Discover some ideas to help you start that journey to create a home away from home.

Meaningful Belongings

When making a house a home, having items around you that bring you joy and fulfillment is a key part of that. That can be anything from art to furniture to your favorite throw pillow. Perhaps you have a collection you love but don’t have the space in your current home to display it all. Consider bringing a few special pieces to bring a smile to your face when you see them in your new space.

Wall Art

In a second home, sometimes what goes on the walls is a last-minute choice, but what’s on the walls is one of the things that make the biggest impact. You can choose paintings from local artists, an old quilt that is a masterpiece of folk art, or a few pieces from home that are your favorites but don’t get to display because of limited space. Regardless of what you choose, they will be some of the things that define the space the most.


One simple way to bring warmth and a lived-in feeling is the textile choices you make. Wood floors make a beautiful backdrop to rugs that highlight both your current space and your design choices. Layering throws and pillows on your sofas or having a stack of floor pillows in the corner ready for a casual game night or movie watching can bring a level of comfort to areas that might otherwise feel too spare.

World Design

As you design your new place, you can infuse it with the different cultures and specific designs associated with places you’ve traveled or hope to travel.

Looking to create a peaceful retreat? Consider the pale, calm palette of Scandinavian design. Want cozy comfort after a day on the slopes? Think about the warm, rich tones found in Italian homes. Maybe you want something purely unique to you and your family? Layer different yet complementary patterns in your wallpaper, curtains, sofa fabrics, and pillows common in France.

Antiques or Repurposed Items

Being conscious of the history of the place you’re making your second home can lead you to add antiques or repurposed materials.

Reclaimed wood from barns makes a great focus wall for a dining room. Spending a weekend or two antique hunting might unearth a painted screen that brightens up a bedroom or a stained glass window that will fit perfectly next to the front door. Or maybe you have an inherited piece of furniture with sentimental value but needs updating. Reupholstering it can give it pride of place in your family room.

Natural Surroundings

When you’ve made the decision about your location, identifying what about the area speaks to you the most can help you refine your design choices for the interior.

Building a mountain home where you intend to spend the winter skiing might lead you to a log cabin feel with warm tones in kitchen cabinets and a rug with a cowhide print. Or maybe the calm stillness of a snowfall appeals, and you feel more comfortable in monochromatic colors that layer on top of each other to create that feeling of comfort.

Maybe you plan to build a lakefront home that has a wall of windows facing the view. Choosing colors that reflect and enhance the natural environment will give you that feeling of being immersed in your surroundings.

As you consider all of these factors, the architects at Stillwater Architecture will be with you every step of the way, making sure you see your vision when the project’s complete. Contact us today to start your journey to your new home.

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