9 Ways to Make Your Home Feel Like a Modern Resort

Newport Beach designer Raili Clasen shares her go-to ideas for making your home feel like a vacation.

<p>David Land</p>

Want to bring the relaxing feel of a vacation home with you? We asked Newport Beach interior designer Raili Clasen to share her favorite tips for making your home feel like a modern resort. The former surf industry executive turned coastal designer is sharing her insights for blending indoor and outdoor living, dining alfresco, and adding thoughtful touches, like a poolside shower for a quick post-dip rinse. With her advice, your family and friends may be booking their next getaway at your house.

1. Get Away in Your Own Backyard

There’s nothing like a good meal to help transport you to another world. Clasen recommends creating a space in the yard (back, side, or front) that feels akin to the most magical getaway. “Under the patio, hang multiple paper lanterns or woven pendants and they’ll float in the breeze. Or place your table in the lushest part of your garden and string lights over the table and from the trees,” she says.

<p>Carmel Brantley</p>

2. Bring the Outdoors Inside

A surefire way to create a seamless link between indoors and out is with bi-fold windows and doors. Whether in a living room, dining room, kitchen, or bedroom, opening a wall of doors to a sprawling patio or garden will make your home feel bigger, brighter, and totally breezy. Another option is placing bi-fold windows in a kitchen that links to a backyard and placing an outdoor bar and stools under the window. This makes passing cocktails and popsicles from one location to another fun and easy while making the spaces feel connected.

Related: How to Decorate with Biophilic Design to Bring Nature Indoors

3. Plant a Picture-Perfect Garden

A narrow space between a window and a fence might seem like a lost cause, but Clasen has a tip for transforming it into a room with a view. “All too often, people have a beautiful window over their tub and they’re just looking at their neighbor’s fence.” Depending on the depth of the space, she advises a tall cactus, blooming succulents, a lofty native flower bush, or even a tree.

<p>Karyn Millet</p>

4. Open Up the Bar

Don’t hide your bar away; make it a focal point in the living or dining room for a hotel lobby look. “Dedicate one half of the wall to open shelving,” says Clasen. Add bottles of your favorite beverages, colorful glassware, easy-to-access tools, cocktail napkins, and garnishes on trays. Incorporate color or pattern by painting the wall behind the shelves or adding a graphic wallpaper that lets guests know the bar is always open.

5. Layer in Some Stripes

Nothing says seaside resort better than stripes. To get the look inside, Clasen suggests adding wood siding to a communal living space. “A budget-friendly way to pull it off is by purchasing MDF panels or plywood planks,” she says. Paint every other plank in your choice of blue for a graphic look. Or install a striped wallpaper for a similar look and feel.

<p>Jay Wilde</p>

6. Add a Warm Welcome

“I always love a good greeting, whether it’s written onto a penny tile floor or a big ‘Hello’ painted onto a deck,” says Clasen. But she has other go-tos for an inclusive welcome, such as “”Helloha,” “Glad You’re Here,” or even your family’s name (in her case, “Casa Clasen”). If you opt to paint words on your deck or another exterior wood surface, Clasen suggests using a stencil and oil paint, which won’t wash away so quickly. You can also use metal house letters to add words and phrases to your home’s exterior. If any of the above options seem like too much of a commitment, you can also add a framed poster with a fun greeting or even a farewell.

7. Make a Wall Feel Magical

Oversized art also lends itself to a resort feel, says Clasen. Consider adding a mural, but not necessarily in the traditional sense. Blow up a photo that speaks to your location or a destination you’d like to emulate. All you’ll need is a high-resolution image and a service such as Canvas Champ to transform a photograph into a major wow moment.

Christina Schmidhofer

Christina Schmidhofer

8. Take a Dip in a “Spool”

You don’t need a large pool to feel like you’re relaxing at a resort. In fact, a “spool” (a small-scale combination spa and pool) can be heated in the winter and cooled in the summer. Best of all, the small footprint means it’s more economical and can be accommodated even in small backyards. That doesn’t mean you have a pass on the amenities, such as pool floats, lounge chairs, and umbrellas. But if you want to give it an extra touch, add an outdoor shower with hot water and hooks for keeping fresh towels handy.

9. Don’t Skimp on Seating

There’s nothing like plopping down on a comfy sofa as soon as you arrive at a hotel. Think about including seating throughout your home in soft, light fabrics, including wall-to-wall sectionals and sofas. And don’t forget to layer in smaller, flexible furniture pieces, too, such as low ottomans and plush poufs, which guests can move around for more intimate conversation.

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