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By Marla Caceres, Tribune Brand Publishing
When most people hear the word “getaway,” they think of a place just like the one where you live, in the state you call home.
With year-round sunshine and natural beauty in every backyard, many Florida homes are getaway homes.
“A getaway can be anything from a two-bedroom apartment to a 5,000-square-foot home,” says Lynn Goral, an interior designer with Baer’s Furniture, a collection of fine furniture stores with 15 locations throughout Florida. “Sometimes homeowners will go small, and then slowly they’ll buy a house. A getaway becomes a permanent home.”
Whether your Florida home is big or small, or whether you call the sunshine state home for a few weeks or year-round, there are lots of ways you can make your space the perfect getaway space. Here is advice from Baer’s Furniture designers to help you do just that.
1. Go light.
When it comes to furniture, textiles and paint colors, think light.
“When people come down here, they ask for light and airy and bright and cheerful,” Goral says. “They don’t want the dark colors they have up north. They want pastels, they want the colors of the ocean.”
Lighter colors can also make smaller rooms seem more spacious.
“Paint the headboard wall one color, and the other three walls a lighter shade. This tends to make the room look larger,” Goral says.
Dark, heavy furniture tends to drag a space down, too. When choosing furniture for your getaway space, light is also right.
“There is a lot of lighter furniture coming out — we have at least five bedroom sets at Baer’s Furniture that are cream, off-white or sand color,” Goral says. “There is also driftwood, which is really beachy looking. You can find this for bedrooms, dining rooms and in occasional tables.”
2. Be effortless.
Your getaway space is a place where you can unwind and relax, not a place to worry about cleaning and organizing.
Leave clutter out of the picture, and look for furniture that’s more simple, streamlined and easier to take care of.
“Getaway homeowners tend to want minimal things, instead of cluttering the room up,” Goral says. “They just want to come home, sit down and put their feet up — no cleaning and dusting and worrying about that stuff.”
3. Make the space multi-task.
A smaller getaway space might require rooms that serve dual purposes, like a second bedroom that serves as an office and a guest room.
Look for furniture pieces and organizational solutions that help you fulfill both needs cleanly. Again, simplicity is key.
“We have a lot of clients down here that are in condos, and space is always at a premium, so we are doing multi-purpose rooms a lot,” says Syril Lebbad, a Sarasota-based design consultant with Baer’s Furniture. “You need to have everything you need, but it also needs to be tucked away and tidy.”
4. Use your passions.
Think about what you like to do while you’re in your getaway space. Is it simply relaxing and unwinding? Or are there hobbies you like to indulge in? Identify your passion, and customize your space around it.
Lebbad has worked with clients who love cooking. She’ll help them design a space customized for exactly how they like to cook.
“Some people like to do the cooking outdoors, in which case we design and build outdoor kitchens on patios,” she says. “I have clients who love movies, and we’ll design a den to be more like an old Hollywood 1940s cinema.”
No matter your passion, keep the goal of a getaway space in mind: getting away.
“It’s about where people find their bliss,” Lebbad says. “In a world that is frenetic and high pressure and busy, we can find a way to work a space visually and functionally so they can come home and wind down.”
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