5 Design Tips For the Perfect Mountain Vacation Home
Whether it’s an expansive retreat or a ski-resort condo, these tips ensure a dynamite space for relaxation and recreation.
Vacation homes in the mountains can serve numerous purposes and come in all shapes and sizes. You have the expansive retreat with wraparound decks for breathtaking summit views and ample square footage for multigenerational gatherings. You have the ski-town condo for snow-sport getaways, and then you have the fishing cabin for picturesque summer adventures. But when it comes to designing your vacation oasis, there are a few rules of thumb that apply—no matter the brand of mountain vacation in mind.
1. Set a floor plan.
When designing a home, you should always start with space planning. Create a floor plan with the pieces and furnishings you’re planning on using, so that you can ensure everything fits to scale and works in a space. For example, if your lofty mountain abode boasts a 600-square-foot kitchen, you’ll want to make sure your chandelier doesn’t look wimpy hanging from the 23-foot vaulted ceiling. Same thing goes for the ski condo—that sofa may look great in the showroom, but it might overpower the living area once it’s in there. Avoid the hassle by planning ahead before purchasing anything significant.
2. Take a vacation from your typical style.
It’s a vacation home for a reason. You chose it because you wanted to have a completely different experience in a completely different location from where you are every day—so why default to the same design vibe as your home base? Being and feeling different is part of what makes the vacation-home experience truly special. It’s time to get out of your comfort zone. Choose different colors than you’re used to and get a little less formal, but make sure to…
3. Consider the location and the established styles of finishes.
You don’t want your vacation retreat to be a carbon copy of your main home—and for good reason. Your vacation retreat is likely in a different environment and will be used in a different way, and its design should not only reflect a different attitude but also one that feels appropriate to its setting. For example, if you love contemporary style and your vacation home is in a ski-resort town where you plan to vacation predominantly in the winter, then a good direction to take is a modern-day rustic style. If the home’s finishes are natural and earthy—with flagstone floors and warm woods, perhaps—then a great solution is furniture that has those clean, sleek lines you love but with more rustic touches—an Italian leather sofa with a cowhide ottoman, for example.
4. Make sure to capitalize on common areas.
Prioritize gathering spaces for friends and family to spend time together. This can sometimes be tricky in mountain towns with strict building regulations. If you’re having a difficult time deciding between allocating square footage to gathering spaces or to a certain amount of bedrooms, there is a third option: multifunctional furniture that can easily transform a gathering space into additional sleeping accommodations (think sleeper sofas, bunk rooms, etc.).
Also, a lot of vacationers have basements or additional gathering spaces they never use. When asked why, it’s usually because of how they’re designed—with hand-me-down furniture, or they serve as just another living room. If you transform this area into a rec room, then it’s more likely to be used. Bonus points if it includes something that you’ll enjoy but that you don’t already have back home—a pool table, for example.
5. Don’t forget the small details.
Artwork and accessories are the pieces that really distinguish a style—and yet, vacation-home owners often glance over these elements. Make sure to include these small-but-mighty details in your budget and planning, as they are a fantastic way to punctuate your interior design. Vintage ski posters are a great example of contemporary finishing touches.
Now that you have these design tips in mind, your mountain getaway will be calling your name year-round. Happy vacationing!
Gina D’Amore Bauerle is partner and interior designer at D’Amore Interiors, an interior design firm and showroom based in Denver, Colorado. Contact them at 303.422.8704.
Content for this article provided by D’Amore Interiors.