Living it up at Home

Something about spending a week at a fabulous resort makes us giddy. It could be the fact that we’re taking a break from our mundane routine or our eagerness to be surrounded by beauty and pampered to our heart’s content. Maybe it’s a little of both.

“The world’s most well designed resorts do more than take you away from the ordinary—they inspire you to appreciate the beauty in every day,” hospitality designer Stacy Garcia says. “From the gentle curve of an armchair to the graceful arch of a doorway, from the exquisite detail in an ornate carpet to the subtle texture of a beautiful wall covering, every careful touch conspires to inspire your senses and ignite your imagination.”

Sounds dreamy, right? So how can we achieve this at home?

“There are many product choices and accessories that homeowners can use to bring the resort feel at home,” Garcia says.


When shopping for accessories, especially fabrics for seat cushions and drapery, it’s smart to think about function as well as beauty. Manufacturers such as Chella Textiles and Sunbrella have worked hard to bring fashion-forward designs such as graphic patterns, metallic threads and bold hues to fabrics that are also easy to care for.

“Our fabrics stand up to red wine, newspaper ink, dirty shoes—even wet swimsuits,” says Marcy Graham, VP Marketing at Chella Textiles. “You can put your feet up on your outdoor chaise and indoor sofa with total peace of mind. Our fabrics are durable, solution-dyed acrylics that are lightfast and machine washable.”

In addition to adding key furnishings, Garcia also recommends the following tips to help set that relaxed mood at home.

imagePay attention to lighting
Lighting should reflect a mood. Sheer draperies can be used for natural lighting. If you want the room to be dark, use blackout curtains so you can sleep like you are in a luxury hotel. When you are not sleeping, bedroom lighting should be warm and ambient. Try connecting a dimmer to your bedside lamp. Candles are another nice way to light the room and they play to other senses.

Play to the senses
Scent is the most powerful sensory stimulant for memory and it’s a great way to bring the resort feel home. Make your home smell like your favorite vacation destination using diffusing oils and candles. Fresh flowers are always welcomed and they awaken the senses and give life to a space.

Another way to appeal to your senses is with color and pattern. For an inexpensive solution to color change, freshen your palette at home by painting. Try blues and greens, which are known to be relaxing and calming, and then accessorize with warmer tones. If you want to be bold, try wallpaper as an accent.

Know your space
When designing a space, try to promote conversation with a sitting area. Always have a clear intent as to the function of a space before designing. The biggest help to making a room feel more relaxed is less clutter. Once you clear the clutter you will have a more peaceful space.

Build a better bed
Little conveniences go a long way—don’t be afraid to spoil yourself in the bedroom especially. Make your bed with lots of pillows and a throw blanket and use higher thread count sheets. Add texture with different pillows and cozy throw blankets. It should entice you to jump in and relax.

Finally, remember that it’s okay to treat yourself to small everyday luxuries like lotions, soaps and shampoos that remind you of your favorite travel destination. Garcia even suggests treating yourself or your partner to little surprises, such as providing your own “turndown service” by making your bed and leaving little chocolates by the bedside. Sounds heavenly!

lauren debellis

A former magazine editor, Lauren DeBellis has been writing and producing stories about home decorating and design for nearly ten years. She resides in East Northport with her husband.