Making Your Home A Getaway – House Proud, Toronto Sun

So your badly needed vacation has been downsized to a staycation.  And now you’re faced with fooling yourself that the same four walls you see every day can become a worthy substitute for the sandy tropical beach your toes were going to explore and the breezy resort suite you had been dreaming of treating as your personal sanctuary.  Creating a holiday-worthy atmosphere in your home doesn’t require a truckload of sand or a complete change of furnishings.  There are several inexpensive and easy ways to lighten up the look of your home and bring the sunny outdoors inside where you can enjoy it.
Start with a critical look at your window coverings.  Heavy fabrics that block the sun’s rays have their purpose but they don’t lend themselves to a staycation state of mind. Think breezy and free-flowing with gauzy fabrics in sheers or pale colours.  Floor length curtains in a see-through material will give you instant lightness-of-being as they puff out in front of an open window.  Search through department store white sales for bargains or if you’re the sewing type, check the sale bins at fabric stores for deals. Raise heavy blinds and put puffy valances and roped tie-backs away for the season.  They add weight to the look of the entire room and your staycation environment needs a light and airy touch. 

Now let’s look at the floors.  Heavy wool rugs are a welcome sight in winter but if they’re busily patterned or in a darker hue they might be too contradictory against your new, flimsy curtains.  Give some thought to sisal or some of the wonderful synthetic sisal imitators that are soft underfoot but tough enough to stand up to high traffic areas.  They’re also easy to clean and come in a variety of soft browns and other natural shades that say “beach house” or “villa”. If you have hardwood in reasonably good shape that you normally cover with a large rug, consider opting for a smaller sisal mat. If you’ve ever stayed in a resort near a beach in Cuba, Jamaica or just about any of the other popular hot-spots for tourists, recall the sparseness of the space.  That’s what we’re going for during this staycation.

Put away the ebony bust of Bach and the encyclopedia collection and pull out a clear glass vase to fill with inexpensive seashells.  You can get them in bags at a dollar store. Go a little Bohemian.  Drape a sheer scarf over a dark or tired looking lampshade.  But a word of caution; don’t leave the light on for hours on end with the scarf touching the hot bulb.  Please save the flames for an outdoor chiminea or fire pit. 

Lighten up in the bedroom, too.  You don’t necessarily need to make a wholesale change of bed linens.  A duvet cover and pillow shams in crisp white, sky blue or fresh stripes would be enough of a change to alter the mood of the room from serious to fun. 

Giving your home a fresh fruity or tropical scent with a hint of coconut will surely help your staycation state of mind. A few candles (never leave a burning candle unattended!) or a reed diffuser would help trick your senses into thinking you’re on an island.  Add fresh flowers, or good-looking fake ones, to as many tabletops as you can afford. Day lilies in particular give off a beautiful perfume.

With the staycation atmosphere set, pull out your blender and spend a few minutes making yourself a Pina Colada or another drink that ends in “ita”. Cut up a mango or a kiwi for a snack.  Kick back and enjoy every minute you spend in your staycation ambience until it’s time to go back home.