Rest and reset with a summer staycation
Enjoy a hassle-free break and make the most of lazy summer days by treating your home like a hotel
Your house has been working hard of late, but if it’s also set to be your holiday home this summer then it’s time to take a new approach. Forget the chores, the working from home and the niggling jobs. Treat your four walls like your favourite stay-away and prep a few relaxation spaces where everyone can relax in peace.
Love your great outdoors
Outdoor pursuits are often high on the holiday agenda. Whether it’s action sports, Alpine hikes or nothing more taxing than cocktails by the pool, being out in the sun and closer to nature has an instant feel-good factor, not to mention providing a good dose of vitamin D.
Get your garden relaxation-ready by creating a dedicated chill zone with an outdoor sofa or armchairs plus a separate dining zone with table and chairs, then slow the pace of your day down to a gentle meander between the two. Spending the day outside, away from tech and the screen, will help you tune into the natural rhythms of life. Add cushions and throws for comfort and some garden lighting to take you all the way into evening. Setting up an outdoor home cinema using a projector will bring everyone together at the end of the day. Just add popcorn.
Start the day the lazy way
Few holidays are complete without at least one decadent lie-in with breakfast in bed. Stock up on your favourite goodies, make a pot of coffee or tea and head back to bed with a book. Don’t forget to turn off the alarm. Waking within your natural rhythm will get you off to a refreshing start to the day.
Make yourself at home
On the run up to a staycation, consider a few treats to make it feel like a holiday away. If new bedlinen is already on your wishlist, now is the time to invest. If you fancy changing the furniture around, go ahead and try something different. Hang some new art on the walls. Take inspiration from favourite places you have stayed or aim for the boutique hotel look with layers of comfort and accessories.
If you’ve been working from home, pack away all reminders of work and reclaim your space. ‘Ask yourself “Is it as comfortable as it can possibly be?”’ says Wil Law (@johnlewis_wil), Partner & Home Design Stylist. ‘Comfort is key to a happy home and, when in holiday mode, you need to put the formality aside. Rearrange certain spaces, even if just temporarily, so that they feel new, exciting and relaxing. You could, for instance, create a cinema zone, positioning seating facing directly towards the TV and layering up as many soft furnishings as possible, so that evenings indoors are a lazy treat.’
Create a great escape
In a busy household, a few hours of peace can feel like a vacation in itself. Pick a place where you can relax undisturbed and find time just for you. A pod chair makes a wonderful cocoon for starting a book, listening to new music or daydreaming about your next adventure. You don’t have to travel far to experience new worlds and find new inspiration.
'Invest in portable speakers for your garden too,’ says Bethan Harwood (@johnlewis_bethan), Partner & Home Design Stylist. ‘Create a holiday playlist of your favourite feel-good tunes.’ Dot a few side tables around your garden too, ready for a G&T or summer cooler. ‘Trying new cocktail recipes and creating fun garnishes is a great way to bring summer holiday fun to your staycation,’ Bethan adds. Outdoor lighting can also transform the space for your holiday vibe. ‘Festoon lighting will create a warm glow, then add lanterns around your seating area for a romantic evening,’ she says
Dress for dinner
Use your staycation to try out new dishes. Love to cook? Spend some of that free time getting experimental in the kitchen. Not so keen? Book a delivery from your favourite restaurant. Lay the table with a proper tablecloth and your best tableware, cutlery and glasses for a restaurant-style vibe and recreate that amazing seafood place you happened upon the last time you went away.
Relax into a home spa
A little pampering is sure to help you unwind at the end of the day so turn your bathroom into a home spa for an hour or so. ‘It’s the perfect excuse to try those beauty products that have been on your list,’ says Bethan. Add fluffy towels and a robe, move some house plants into the space for a natural refresh, light candles, and enjoy the peace and quiet. Shouldn’t all holidays be this relaxing?