How We Make Your Seasonal Residence Feel Like Home
By Jody Keene, ASID
Many of our projects in Southwest Florida, as well as around the globe, are seasonal or vacation homes that our clients enjoy sporadically through-out the year. Some of our projects are finished without the client seeing the home until their arrival. Working in a highly seasonal area necessitates that we perfect ways to ensure that these residences feel like home for our clients, as opposed to a rental or high-end hotel.
Our first step is to develop a close relationship with the client and their family – to learn how they live and what they like to do in their home. After all, a beautiful home is irrelevant if it doesn’t connect with the client’s lifestyle. Some come here to forget the world and relax, some to entertain friends from around the world, others to host large family gatherings and holiday celebrations – no two clients use their home in the same way.
We use this lifestyle guide to first create spaces and furniture plans that suit their needs. For example, someone that hosts Thanksgiving dinner for their family of 20 needs to have an impressive Kitchen and Dining Room to accommodate all their guests. If those guests are traveling from out of town and staying at the client’s home, we also make sure that the Guest Bedrooms accommodate accordingly. A great home makes its guests feel just as comfortable as the home owner.
In addition to customizing a layout for function, it is vital to personalize the space by incorporating artwork and accessories that evoke the feeling of home for the client. This is first accomplished by using family photos or mementos through-out the home. Utilizing the standard picture in a frame, to collages, large prints, and shadow-boxed items, can help give the sense of warmth and family.
We also utilize local artists to create unique pieces, in the form of painting, photography, or sculpture, that speaks to the local landscape, but also embraces each client’s unique lifestyle. We make sure to blend these new pieces with existing pieces from the client’s collection, which could include awards, a family crest or heirloom pieces. A new compilation of personalized artwork and accessories can alter the overall feeling of a space and help transform a house into a home.