Creating a home from home for either yourselves or for your guests, is surpringly simple. Any property can be made to look like the ideal home and relaxation spot with a little bit of TLC and some careful planning. So, to help you design that tranquil, cosy and beautiful space, we have put together a simple guide featuring the best tips for decorating a holiday cottage.
First impressions are important. Guests especially, are likely to be tired after a long drive, and will want to experience that instant feeling of relaxation on arrival. Before even unloading their bags, visitors to the property will look to have their brochure expectations met by the property. It is therefore essential that the property is easy to access, there is ample parking space and the cottage’s exterior is visually pleasing. To encourage a smoother journey for your guests; ensure that the property is sign-posted as well as possible. Your garden should be well-maintained and attractive, so it is worth considering employing a gardener who attends the property on a regular basis to keep the garden looking its best.
Opt for a splash of colour. Red roses against sandstone or white brick makes for a stunning contrast and promotes a classic and natural beauty that is timeless and charming.
A holiday home should act as an escape and retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern day life. For this reason, less is actually more. De-cluttering the property will encourage visitors to simplify their own lives and let go of the stresses and tensions that seep into our subconscious. A bright, fresh and airy colour scheme which maximises natural light, by allowing sunlight into the property, will also help lift spirits. Choose off-white, warm colours such as orchids, magnolias, pastels and creams; and these will compliment a range of furnishings and can be easily accessorised.
Don’t be nervous when it comes to celebrating the property’s character features such as oak beams, hard wood doors and open fireplaces. Log burning fires are a fantastic focus point for your lounge area and are often sought by holiday makers looking to relax in front of the fire on chilly evenings. Fire safety is key, so make sure that a fire guard is available as well as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors which are tested on a regular basis.
Creating that ‘cosy’ feel
To further add to the ‘cosy’ feel of the property, accessorise your room with chunky knit blankets, rugs and fairy lights. Rustic décor can also add to this calming effect as well as being low maintenance and timeless. Choosing items themed around nature will help to promote tranquility. For example, jugs of flowers, pebbles, sea shells, pine cones and products made from wood all offer a natural beauty. Having a choice of areas in which to relax around the house is also beneficial, as it is important to promote relaxation throughout. If the property is intended for yourselves, you may want to accessorise key areas with candles.
Welcome door mats are not only a friendly touch; they aid in keeping you property clean and fresh, which will also help in maximising the lifespan of your carpets and furnishings. Look to buy hard wearing (synthetic) carpets and furniture that are easy to clean. Rental properties especially will benefit from furniture which can be repainted or that looks authentic when a little worn. Dirty properties are enough to put anyone off and do not encourage the occupant’s ability to de-stress.
Properties with a view carry a significant advantage over those located in less attractive surroundings. However, with a little work, almost anywhere can be transformed into a tranquil and attractive outdoor space. If your property is set in an area of natural beauty, it is important that you optimise and promote the view. Situate any fixed chairs or benches in a location that would best encompass most of that view. Alternatively, deckchairs allow guests to choose where they wish to sit outside and are a relatively cheap option. However, it is important to ensure that they meet approved safety standards.
Providing a BBQ area is another outdoor touch that may encourage more holiday seekers to your property and is a popular option for those looking to relax on summer evenings. The addition of solar lighting is also beneficial. To achieve that feeling of your garden being a haven; why not encourage wildlife, such as birds and butterflies, into the greener areas of your garden through the addition of certain flowers, bird feeders and bug hotels?
Painted pebbles can be used to mark areas of the property’s exterior, such as ‘the garden’, ‘the barn’ or ‘the cottage’. Boot cleaners are also a good idea for both rented and non-rented properties.
If the property is being designed for yourself; why not incorporate a swing, hammock or even a hot tub for the ultimate chill time?
When choosing the style of your holiday home, owners may also want to consider the location in which the property is set. A Devonshire cottage with coastal views may be better suited to seaside décor than it would be to country themes of cushions embellished with stags and fur rugs.
Think about your colour scheme
Whereas it is still good to use pastels and creams for the majority and the base of your property’s décor; with coastal cottages, owners can afford to be that little braver and incorporate more seaside hues of aquamarines, teals and deep blue.
Peaches and pinks can also echo the colour of seaside shells, and offer a warmth to the property. Candles in lanterns can also add to the cosy seaside effect and counterbalance the somewhat colder blue shades.
Coloured glass vases and jars can make for beautiful feature points, and can be filled with seaside items such as shells, starfish and fairy lights. Rustic wooden fish or seal ornaments also add a continuity to, and echo the seaside theme.
Scatter cushions can really add to outdoor seating areas as well as the sofa or bed. You should therefore try to source ones where the cushion covers are easy to clean or are machine washable. Darker covers, are prone to staining less however, try to remain in the same spectrum of your colour scheme.
Fresh flowers can create a cheeriness on drearier days and allow for a sweet and gentle scent to fill the cottage.
Finally, it is important to consider that if you are a family with younger children looking to decorate a holiday property; all of the products, ideas and tips that have been featured should be evaluated in terms of safety. Many places now offer child friendly alternatives, with non-shatter vases and wall-mounted furniture.