In Manitoba, we love our summer vacation homes. Every Friday, weekend warriors take to the highways in droves, enroute to their retreat spaces. With our short summer season, we cherish our cottages, cabins, yurts, trailers and tents.
In last month’s blog, I unpacked various types of outdoor summer spaces that Manitoban’s own and enjoy. This month, I thought it would be fun to explore how the rest of the world lives and share some trends in vacation homes from around the world.
During the pandemic, there was a common global theme with vacation homes – they transitioned from part-time to full-time vacation home-living. Many dual-home owners left their primary residence in the city for more remote, isolated locations. The vacation home is no longer a luxurious retreat, rather it has became a more permanent dwelling. As such, homeowners are looking to upgrade their existing fixtures and element with higher quality materials, so their space feels more like their primary residence. So, what are some vacation home trends around the world?
Here’s what I found…
Freedom to experiment with colour, pattern, and themes. Even though vacation homes have been elevated from mere secondary residences, many people are more willing to let loose and take risks that they wouldn’t in their main home. There is more willingness to use bold colours in riskier places… such as, the cabinetry. They are willing to mix styles like traditional with a bit of “wonky”, to be less serious and take more chances – the result is a space that evokes imagination and exudes personality.
Rough conversion architecture. This means that old buildings (and there are many in Europe… much older than here in North America) are stripped down to their foundational structure and then refitted with modern finishes and furniture. Barns are very popular as they create a sense of old-world simplicity. Many Europeans are redefining the term luxury to reflect a return to the bare essentials, whereas in North America, luxury generally means extras and excess.
Harmony with nature. Australian designers are using nature as their source of inspiration when designing vacation homes. Concepts like Biophilic design (incorporation of natural materials, natural light, vegetation, and nature views) are at the forefront. Healthier, greener lifestyles and the well-being of the user are paramount. Hopefully this is not just a trend, but a mindset as we continue to design the buildings that surround the environment around the world.
Colour and texture. Tropical and colourful prints are very popular within the Latin American vacation home community. They instantly create a seaside vibe and allow for “themed” interiors. But it’s not just about bright and bold in South America, neutrals consist of summery yellow and cream tones which resonate with rustic brown woods… but don’t forget to layer texture and colourful textiles over those neutrals to add some spice!
Environmentally thoughtful building practices. A new trend in African architecture is to pay homage to traditional building techniques. This is occurring in primary and vacation home design. With the scorching temperatures of an African summer, using abundantly available materials such as earth, timber, grass, and wood to create cool interior is predominant. African décor also embraces the beauty of nature and wildlife which is unlike anywhere else in the world.
Clean, simple minimalism… with a bit of drama and nature. Asian interiors are generally simple. They do not over-stimulate the mind and mood; rather, it helps one to relax. This tradition has not changed. Asian vacation homes are sanctuaries. Furniture and finishes tend to be solid in colour and lighter in hue. This creates the perception of expanded space, in spaces that generally have a smaller footprint. Clean-lined interiors also allow one to breathe and feel relaxed; however, Asian designers like to zhuzh things up with hints of colour through accent walls and textiles. Personality is also introduced through nature. Indoor plants add beauty and eye-catching focal points.
I hope you enjoyed this short tour of vacation home design from around the world. Whichever design trend appeals to you, it’s good to start thinking about how you’d like to implement them into your space. Exceptional, thoughtful design takes time to unfold, so if you’re spending more time in your vacation home this summer and you’ve been dreaming of the possibilities – contact us, we’d love to help you uncover more of its potential!