Second home

Photo Courtesy: Sarah Bernard Home Realty

I need to get away and not think about my everyday life and just relax! I am definitely ready for a vacation. It’s always nice to be able to get away from daily responsibilities and, if you are fortunate enough to be able to get away to your second home, that is even better! A second home is a great way to branch out and explore another design style that may not work in your primary residence. Maybe it’s something bolder with splashes of color or maybe something more serene and peaceful. Perhaps the house takes on a local style? It’s completely up to you! Let’s explore a few second home getaways and see what their most attractive features are.

Whether you prefer a getaway at the beach or on a lake or if you are so inclined to venture into the mountains, location is the first point that needs to be considered for a second home. Thinking about how much square footage is needed is another concern. Is this a home where you will host holiday gatherings or special occasion events? Making sure you are able to accommodate guests is a necessity. You don’t want everyone on top of each other and uncomfortable. That being said, let’s check out some beautiful designs!

Open living spaces or open floor plans are ideal for a second home. (In contrast, we’ve seen a transition away from this in primary homes as open floor plans can be tricky for those working from home after the pandemic.) They allow you to have different areas in the space to enjoy a large gathering and to have smaller more intimate conversations as well. A large sectional is a great way to accommodate five or six people comfortably and even be able to squeeze in a couple more, if necessary. Colorful throw pillows to lounge on and a soft throw or blanket to snuggle up in at night are ways to add pattern and texture. A couple of comfortable club chairs can be added for more seating. I always prefer a swivel. Swivel chairs allow you to turn your attention to a conversation, the TV or the outdoors with ease. Some swivels have the capability to be “memory” swivel which allows the chair to return back to its original position. I love them!

Include a large coffee table or upholstered ottoman in the center of your seating area. You can even have a couple of them, if the space allows. A coffee table with storage underneath wins bonus points for holding decorative baskets to place magazines or remotes or even some extra blankets. An upholstered ottoman has dual function. It not only serves as a coffee table, but also it can serve as additional seating. It’s another opportunity to add color, pattern and texture in the space. Upholstered ottomans are a win!

In the following photos you will notice some interesting lighting as well as ample seating arrangements. Lighting is a layer of design that needs special attention. We don’t want to just place a couple of lamps or a chandelier and be done. We always want to layer our lighting for optimal use in a space. It is best to have ambient or general lighting like a beautiful chandelier as a starting point. You can also achieve this look with big, beautiful windows that let natural light in. Additionally, you will definitely need some general lighting at night. Task lighting for reading a good book or magazine and accent lighting to highlight special art work or architectural features is another consideration. When you take care of making sure you address these lighting layers, it will ensure you have a properly lit space.

Rugs are another item that I feel is a must for the living spaces, especially if your great rooms are of substantial size. A rug helps to “ground” the furniture in the room. Otherwise, it looks like the furniture is floating. The rug also adds color and texture, and will complement the furniture. Remember: we intentionally want to design rooms in layers. I like to think about the layers as paint, lighting, floors, furniture, windows, art and accessories.

Take a look at the following photos of a few stunning second homes. They are open in space. They provide an abundance of seating. Plus, they wonderfully blend colors and textures to create a more interesting living space.

Photo Courtesy: Home Designing

Photo Courtesy: The Balance

Photo Courtesy: Pacasa

Until next time, let your creative juices flow!


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