25 Jul Your Home away from Home
A weekend home is something of a luxury, it’s a place to escape the drudges of your week and indulge in your favourite pursuits. The ideal is to create a perfect environment where you can feel comfortable, relax and have the means to do all the things you enjoy doing. Unlike your main home, it’s nice to make an atmosphere where you feel like you’re on holiday but unlike being in a hotel, where you don’t have the personal style and comforts that reflect you.
It’s important to really consider what you will be using the property for. Will you be doing lots of entertaining? Who will be using it and how often? How will you maintain the property when not in use? These questions are important as it determines the layout of the rooms, the type of furnishings you will need, the equipment and appliances you require and any staff you may need to look into hiring.
Having another home is a great opportunity to try another style of decor you might like. Where as your primary home may be decorated in keeping with a certain style, with a weekend home you have the chance to experiment with other ideas. Assuming the house needs fully furnishing it is important to avoid looking like you’ve just bought everything at the same time and from the same place. Search around and build a reasonably eclectic mix of pieces to give the house the feeling of a home that has developed over time with personality and character.
If you love to entertain and have guests to stay, the focus could be on adjustable lighting for mood setting, plenty of seating and ample sleeping space for overnight guests. Games rooms and home theatres are great additions too. You can also tie in your decor to the activities which you will be pursuing, so if your second home will be used for hunting, fishing, or the such, you could incorporate decoration which fit that theme, like the photo below which I designed for a client who was hosting a shoot from their weekend retreat.
Think about sleeping arrangements and, if you ever plan on inviting friends to join you or even loaning the house to friends without you, allow for different combinations of people to be staying. Bunk beds and fold down or pull out beds are great for additional guests especially in children’s rooms. These integrated bunk beds are a great way to host guests (especially those of the younger variety, although what grown up doesn’t love a bunk bed?!) and they also sit neatly flush against the wall to maximise the use of the room space.
If parties are your thing, large dining areas, lavish seating areas and glamorous cocktail lounges are all stunning additions. Professional kitchens able to cater for your gatherings is an important thing to include, taking into consideration the space required for storage and preparation.
If your home has outdoor space where you will be partaking in sports or water activities, you will want to consider storage for equipment and appropriate facilities. If you have a pool, you will need an area for people wanting to change and shower whilst in wet clothes, avoiding lots of soggy people traipsing through your home! Outdoor bars and cooking areas are fantastic for entertaining or just for you and your loved ones to indulge in.
Remember to include items such as art, books accessories and photographs, after all this is a second home not a holiday property. These things will make you feel instantly at ease as you will be surrounded by items of personal significance and sentimental value as well as it adding to the range of activities you can enjoy.
Lastly, security and staffing. As you will not be at the property all the time, security is vitally important. There are all kinds of security above and beyond the traditional cameras and alarms. There are now remote access systems that allow you to control all the goings on in your home from anywhere in the world. You are able to look at each room through remote access cameras whether you are in your home or not. Even when you are at the property this is a great little function – if you want to check on any kids you might have with you whilst you are there, you can ensure the little monkeys are behaving in another room, perfect right! This is also a great addition to have if you wish to prepare the property for your arrival, as it controls many household functions like lighting and heating.
Finding trusted staff for your home is an important practicality. Although computers can take care of a lot of things these days, they still can’t fill the fridge, stock the bar or clean the home… Sadly 🙂 Research local companies or individuals who will be able to take care of the home, the maintenance and any other services you may require. It’s a good idea to do this whilst your home is under construction, so that when the work is complete you already have a team ready to help you with your needs. Check out things like catering companies, party planners, local amenities and attractions too, having a directory of these things will be a brilliant time saver and an invaluable thing to have. If you will be having anyone living in then you need to consider their requirements at the same time that you are considering your own and design them into the house’s layout and specifications.
This is a home, so putting in the extra effort and taking all the above elements into consideration early will provide you with a comfortable and special living space. The key is attention to detail, follow that and you will have the perfect weekend pad!