Take a Vacation Without Leaving Home
With thrifty decor tweaks and easy DIY upgrades that evoke exotic locales, relaxing with a staycation can be just as fun as flying the coop
Don't have the time—or the free cash—to get away for your dream vacation? With some well-priced furnishings and DIY interior upgrades inspired by popular destinations, there's no need to go far. You can bring your favorite holiday spot, or even a far-off country you've never been to, right into your home. To get you thinking about your ideal "staycation," we picked some fun spots on the map, and gathered ideas and elements that evoke their flavors. So prepare to wake up in the Hollywood Hills, lounge apres ski, whip up a rustic Bolognese in a Tuscan-inspired kitchen, and mingle in Marrakesh.
Imagine waking up each morning in this subdued yet luxurious bedroom inspired by the City of Lights. To make a similar restful retreat of your own, swap the gilded crown for a section of salvaged wood or terra cotta cornice, and drape a couple of yards of rich-looking fabric over the Custom Rhonda Button-Tufted Upholstered Headboard. Now, enlist the kids to bring you a café-au-lait and pain-au-chocolat in bed…
About $399; JC Penney
Outdoor furniture carved from dark wood emphasizes the natural, indigenous theme. And cushions in bright jewel hues such as coral watery blue hues add drama, as well as plush comfort.
54-inch Sunbrella fabric bench cushions in Air Blue about $75 each; Cushion Connection
20-inch square Valencia Woodcut and Medallion pillows in assorted colors about $32 each; Restoration Hardware
Black outdoor floor lamp similar to shown about $120; Bed Bath & Beyond
Sabrina decorative wall mirror at about $149; Home Decorators
Furnish your living room with a classic Key West-inspired dark wicker sofa and chairs topped by cushions in "sun-faded" striped and floral fabrics. For the finishing touches, fill a vase with palm fronds, hang bamboo shades, and pour your seashell collection into a bowl to serve as a beachy coffee table centerpiece. All that's left is to fire up the blender, and invite your friends over for pina coladas.
Clad your walls and ceiling in pine to give your living room lakeside charm. Furniture that's low and long, and unexpected artwork, make it urbane rather than rustic.
Make your home Casablanca cool by glazing the walls a sun-bleached blue, and draping your furniture with white cotton slipcovers. Add touches straight from Marrakesh, such as colorful lanterns and pottery.
Wall paint, similar to shown: Big Country Blue, about $35 per gallon; Benjamin Moore
Glaze: Studio Finishes Latex Glaze 405, about $30 per gallon; Benjamin Moore
Slipcover: Simple Shabby Chic Cotton Duck Sofa Slipcover in white, about $100; Target
Lanterns: from $10-$25; World Market
Choose a couple of sturdy maples to stand-in for the palm trees, and string up a colorful hammock. Then while away the afternoon as gentle breezes rock you.
About $20; Texsport La Paz Cotton Hammock
Share your aloha spirit by furnishing a den or four-season porch with rattan chairs upholstered in classic barkcloth, and dressing lamps with grasscloth shades. Tropical plants, tiki mugs, and starfish round out the look.
If you'd rather be sailing, trim your galley kitchen with nautical accents. Paint walls a crisp white, and a put a porthole in a door to an adjoining room. A display of Nantucket lightship baskets and a model of a vintage vessel drive home the boating theme.
Create a rustic cucina straight out of Firenze's countryside. Coat your walls with faux Venetian plaster, in a warm, neutral color. And invest in a hand-cranked pasta maker (the pros say the electronic ones make inferior noodles).
Beadboard and the fresh whites and blues of the surf and sky say Cape Cod. Hurricane lanterns and images of old sailing ships found at flea markets add to the décor.
Repurpose vintage clawfoot bathtub to use outdoors as a stylish plunge pool. Put it on a patio or in the garden so it's easy to cool off—and refreshing to bathe—on the hottest days. Just fill with water from a hose.
Cast iron clawfoots like the one shown here start at about $250 at your local salvage yard.
Longing for the slopes? Recreate the rustic lodge look at home by covering your plain Jane fireplace surround with cast stone veneers. Today's veneers look a lot like the real thing, with styles ranging from stacked stone to river rock. And if its nicer price tag makes it an option that's hard to pass up, the DIY-friendly installation will seal the deal. Next, scour online auctions and flea markets for old wooden skis and perhaps even an elk skull. Now if you could just put a snow-covered mountain in your backyard.
Find out how to do it yourself in How to Install a Stone Veneer Fireplace Surround.
Fieldledge stone in Adante, about $10 per square foot (including DIY supplies); Eldorado Stone
Your house may not be from California, but that doesn't mean you can't have some serious L.A. style. Add graphic wallpaper, a bold rug, a touch of chrome, and bedding in bright pops of color for a bedroom that's both sophisticated and welcoming.