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  • Amanda Arcone

Your Second Home and First Priority

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

How I can help transform your vacation home

Your home away from home should feel as comfortable and suited to your lifestyle as your primary residence. However, your life isn't lived inside a predictable, uniform template. Instead, your lifestyle changes depending on where you reside, the activities you choose, and the priorities you select.

I've found that my client's primary homes and secondary residences have vastly different design and layout needs due to how they live in each location. If you're wondering why one of your houses is less welcoming than the other, this might be the problem. Let's break down the solution into three simple steps...


If your secondary home puts you in vacation mode the moment you cross its threshold, you probably don't need the same exquisite home office, spacious laundry room, or chef's kitchen that you use in your day-to-day life. Instead, you need extra guest bedrooms with en suites, an in-home spa, and, if the climate allows, an in-ground pool surrounded by more outdoor living space.


Because you still spend most of your time living elsewhere, your secondary/vacation home should be as maintenance-free as possible. This will preserve your real estate's longevity while diminishing the fees from any property managers or repair services. I suggest:

  • Smart siding instead of vinyl or wood

  • Stone or brick accents instead of stucco

  • High-quality windows and exterior doors

  • More hardscapes and less lawn


Following the same low-maintenance philosophy on the interior means using intelligent home features that let you oversee and control your various functions at a distance. From adjusting the thermostat to checking your security cameras, you can safely leave your home unoccupied, but not unwatched, for weeks at a time.

Choose a decorating style that suits the purpose and location of the second home. For example, a beach house may benefit from a coastal or nautical theme, while a mountain cabin may look better with rustic or cabin-style decor.

A few other interior features that set a vacation home apart from a primary home include designing the interior so that it can become a successful short-term rental when you aren't using it if you are so inclined. This means selecting durable finishes that can withstand heavy use and frequent, vigorous cleaning and providing every amenity that one would expect to have when traveling.

Last but not least, remember to add personal touches to make your second home feel unique and reflect your personality. Consider adding artwork, family photos, or other sentimental items to create a warm and inviting space for you and your guests.

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