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Staycation home: How to design your space after your favorite travel memories

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So you’ve just returned from the vacation of a lifetime, hiking the waterfalls and cuddling the sloths of the Costa Rican rainforest. As you try to get back to reality, you can’t help but recall the relaxation of the open-air spa, the exhilaration of the mile-long zip-line, or the feeling of dining al fresco just after a refreshing rainstorm.

How do you recreate those amazing experiences — and the joy that came with them — now that you’re back to reality? Read on for ways to bring your vacation home with you.


What is it about vacation that makes us sleep so well? Part of it may be the total lack of responsibility, but we think you can get that well-rested feeling of luxury in your bedroom, even during the workweek. Some easy ideas:

  • Get cozy with upgraded bedding. There’s nothing like slipping into fresh, crisp hotel sheets. Keep that feeling alive at home by splurging on cotton percale linens in a high thread count — and invest in pillows that really let you rest your head.
  • Block out the world. One of the best things about vacation is the feeling that you control the sun. Not ready to rise and shine at the crack of dawn? Simply draw the shade and envelop yourself in total darkness. Just be sure to use this feature sparingly or you might find yourself dozing right through the workday.
  • Just say no to distractions. While it might seem like a good idea to set up that new Peloton in your bedroom, your workout gear, home office equipment, and TV can really detract from the relaxing sanctuary you’re trying to create. Find non-sleep-related objects a new home, or store them in a way that leaves your line of sight (and your mind) clear when you’re trying to sleep.
  • Keep the memories alive. Whether it’s fresh flowers like the bouquet that adorned your suite, a sound machine reminiscent of those soothing ocean waves, or the local chocolates that made turndown service so sweet, bring some of the little luxuries that made vacation so special into your everyday life.


Just because you can’t relax poolside at home doesn’t mean you can’t relax outside. Even without a swim-up bar, there are several ways to evoke that vacation feel in your backyard:

  • Treat yourself and seat yourself. Show your patio some love with updated furniture. Use your vacay as shopping inspiration, and remember, you don’t have to break the bank — a cozy hammock full of breezy memories might be all you need.
  • Just add water — or fire. Depending on the vacation you’re hoping to relive, a water feature or fire pit (or both!) are relatively easy backyard additions. A fire pit is an outdoor feature for every season, so whether you go DIY or prefab, you’ll be able to enjoy summertime s’mores and warm winter cocktails by the fire. Speaking of which...
  • Pour yourself a drink. It’s hard to get into the zen zone when you have to keep going back to the kitchen to refill your drink. Enhance your outdoor experience by adding a dedicated space for libations. The sky is truly the limit when it comes to ways to create your outdoor bar, so whether you want to harken back to your wine tour of Napa Valley or your visit to the tiki bar on the beach, there’s something for you. Complement your outdoor bar with your indoor bar cart for a truly cohesive look.
  • Throw an al fresco dinner party. Food and memories are inextricably linked, so a dinner party is a surefire way not only to relive your vacation, but share it with friends and family. Plan your meal around a favorite dining experience from your trip and set up your backyard accordingly. Add trinkets, souvenirs, or photos from your trip to accentuate your outdoor seating arrangement, and complete the scene with themed music, flowers, and lighting. Repeat as often as necessary (or move it inside when the weather’s bad) to stay in that vacation frame of mind.

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