Creating a holiday at home

create a holiday feel at home

Darren Palmer has a broad portfolio, having studied fine art & graphic design, originally working in advertising and owning his own graphic design company. After succumbing to his true passion, Darren now operates his own interior design studio and has been a judge on numerous seasons of The Block.


Staycation isn’t a word that existed until recently. The idea that you could enjoy and even luxuriate in your home likely didn’t occur to anyone before we started to fall in love with real estate and interiors as a nation, which led to falling in love with your own home.

Having a great house that you enjoy spending time in is one thing but creating a getaway feeling even if it’s temporarily for the holidays is quite another. You will need to mix it up, shake it up and even freshen it up to create that home away from home – at home – feeling.

Start with a nice clean base

Tidy everything up, put things away, order paper work, get boxes to store things, get your families stuff up off the ground and put into sensible places that can allow them to be enjoyed but contained or tidied when the occasion arises.

Then you might want to do a little spring clean. Just do that extra level of moving a couch to get the dust bunnies or taking the covers off your sofa (if they’re removable) or throw rugs to give them a new lease on life.

Now you can layer

Get some cushions from other rooms or out of the cupboards if you have some options and play around with how you can style them in new and comfortable ways. If you have some spare cash you might consider buying a few new statement cushions that will give your room a fresh new look, layering in comfort and texture as you do so.

Look at the art in your home and see if you can locate it in a new way to transform a tired space. You might be surprised that when you create new vignettes with existing things how different you can make your home appear. Consider playing with colours in palettes, tying together elements like décor, lamps, art and books to dress up consoles, tables or niches.

Then introduce some life

Go to the garden and get some big leaves such as palms, monstera leaves or elephant ear leaves, or any fresh flowers you might have growing in your place. Potting small succulents, mother in laws tongues or ferns can give you some much needed greenery indoors without costing more than a few dollars for pots and potting mix. The little touches of green liven up book shelves, side tables and bedsides beautifully.

If you are wanting to spend a little money you could always go for some fresh arrangements whilst you’re holidaying at home, or a good long term bloomer is an orchid, several Phalaenopsis orchids look great and very resort appropriate in a large white bowl en masse, or for a more voluminous bloom have a look at the colours and variation of Cymbidiums.

Pay attention to lighting your home

Low level lighting like side table lamps and mid-level lighting in the form of standing lamps will give you new opportunities to highlight your home, cast interesting pools of light and shadow and even add much needed variation in height for your spaces.

Consider what you want to do in your home on your holidays too. If you want to play with your kids and build forts then best to ignore every word above and clear out the lounge room and get your sofa cushions and blankets ready. If you want to read while the kids potter about create yourself the perfect spot with an upholstered reading chair or sofa that you can claim a corner of. For that really holiday getaway feeling consider a hammock tied somewhere connected to the outdoors. There are some beautiful, handwoven options on the market that will take you away to somewhere more tropical. Find yourself a coconut and a straw and you’re away, whilst not really being away at all.