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Design Tips for Creating a Serene Vacation Home

Interior Design Tips

Having a vacation home you can enjoy half of the year sounds like a fabulous idea, right? The summer season is typically when families spend their time in a second home, especially in Florida where the weather and its countless attractions make our state a favorite vacation spot for many international travelers.

The design of your vacation home is what will make your summer property feel like a true retreat. Perfectly decorated and functional interiors are important to disconnect from your everyday life and enjoy time off.

Our team has worked with many families to design their vacations spaces. From waterfront condos to beach homes, the interior designers at DKOR know how to transform these properties into our client’s’ dream home away from home — always our goal when designing vacation homes!

Style and function are equally important when designing this kind of property. Our Miami design team has prepared advice and design tips on having a well-designed vacation home. In this post, we’ll also share interior photos of our recently completed second-home projects, where you’ll see each of their unique styles with common throughlines. Let’s dive in.


Over and over we heard these two little words from our clients: “guest space”! Originally, your vacation home is for you and your family to enjoy, but you know this amazing apartment or home will attract your larger family as well: grand-parents, uncle, sister, cousin, mother-in-law (yes yes that one too!). Hence, you have to plan space to host, receive and entertain them.

This means first and foremost having common areas that have plenty of seating space. Notice in the picture below how we use a round dining table. Oval and round shaped tables are easier to squeeze in a few more chairs when needed.

Modern Coastal Condo - Vacation Homes Design Tips
Modern Coastal Miami Condo – Design project by DKOR Interiors

If you can, think about adding a bar seating area in your kitchen. Just as in the photo it is ideal, so that you may entertain even while prepping a nice meal for your guests.

In the photo below check out the long sofas that our DKORistas selected for this narrow TV room. Don’t be afraid to use large pieces, if you place them correctly, it will make the space feel bigger and you will be able to accommodate more guests!

Family Room Design - Vacation Homes Design Tips
Modern Coastal Miami Condo – Design project by DKOR Interiors

The same situation happens in the room pictured below. This open living and dining could feel narrow and small, but our design team made it cozy and elegant. It can host all of your favorite family members. Gather more chairs around the dining table, and you have a seat for everyone!

DKOR's Brickell Project - Vacation Homes Design Tips
Dream Vacation Home in Brickell, FL.

Not only these spaces will accommodate your guests, but they all feel warm and relaxing. Notice in the photos above, their unique charm and style, but see how all of them have a soothing color palette. The cool greys mixed in with warm woods are the perfect combination for your getaway home!


To make sure your guests feel at home, there is nothing better than to have a beautiful guest bedroom ready for them as they arrive. What is the secret of a cozy bedroom? It is quite simple actually: the bedding! Did you know that having soft linens combined with a few accent pillows are the key to making your guests want to stay forever?!

Guest Bedroom Design by Miami Residential Interior Design Firm
Guest Bedroom Design by DKOR Interiors

Now, you may feel overwhelmed… where to start with bedding? please do not panic: read all about selecting bedding and creating the perfect bed in this post here.

Another design tip we use to create a soft and warm space is focusing on accessories. We all know how these can make or break a room. However, don’t be scared to try things out of the box, like this amazing paper mesh that our designer customized for a bedroom. They wanted a different element over the headboard; something new! The mesh brings rhythm and textures to the room, warming it up. Check out this amazing piece in the picture below.

Guest Bedroom Interior Details - Residential Interior Design
Interior Details – Guest Bedroom

Notice also how the hints of blue in the bedside table accessories give just the right amount of color to finish this vignette. Lastly having a flower or something green is a nice touch; it always brings a space to life!


When thinking about your dream retreat, our designers always pair it with comfort and luxury. And in the end, isn’t comfort the ultimate luxury?

We were just reviewing your guest bedrooms, but do not forget to treat yourself. Make sure you have nice quality linen, comfortable fillers, and comforter, as well as plush accent pillows! Go to your local accessory store and try out some new decorative pillows to spice up your bed. Add a throw in the same color tone to tie it all together.

Select a bed with a wide and/or tall upholstered headboard. Our Miami designers love to make it look even larger by painting or installing a wallcovering in a similar tone on the wall behind the headboard. The entire wall becomes the headboard, making the bed look even more inviting and comfy!

Luxe Brickell Apartment Design by DKOR Interiors

Still, feel that your master bedroom lacks that luxurious feel? Try to update your window treatment, and go for light and airy sheers with a heavier blackout drapery in the foreground. Having plush window treatments will truly add luxury and warmth to your bedroom. Design tip: Try to install these wall to wall, in order to trick your space and your windows to look much wider!

Sunny Isles Residential Interior Design

Also, when thinking about comfort, the ultimate “must” is a spa-like bathroom. Our designers love to use light materials to illuminate the bathroom and make it feel brighter and larger. If you have a large center area and do not know what to do with it, check out what the DKORistas offered our client in the master bathroom below.

The center vignette with its tufted ottoman and side table create a mini lounging area that contrasts with the colder materials in this space. See how our interior designers used accessories and greenery to finish this gorgeous master bathroom. We love the overall look!


The final and maybe most important space to take into account in your vacation home is the outdoor area. Yes, a nice balcony will do… No need to have a huge parcel to create the perfect outdoor lounging, dining, entertaining and simply relaxing area!

Outdoor Spaces Design Tips for a Serene Vacation Home


Have you read our previous article “Designer-Approved Tips for Decorating Your Outdoor Living Spaces”. This will help you in assessing your space and uncovering its potential. Take a look at it and notice how in the end, it is all about choosing the right pieces that work for you and your family.

Looking more to relax outside? Then go for lounge chairs, exterior sofas, and chaises. Want to entertain there? Make sure you plan a space for exterior dining that is covered whenever possible. If you have the budget and love to cook for your guests, you can even install an exterior kitchen!

We hope you liked our interior design tips! Are you planning to decorate your vacation home in Miami? Contact us, we’ll be happy to help you and make sure we meet your needs and expectations for this special project.

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“Our ability to truly listen and understand our clients’ needs and style is what fuels our creative process which evolves into the innovative designs that we have become known for. “Human centered design thinking always reminds us that we’re designing for real people.” – David & Tom Kelley

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