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Relax with these vacation home design tips

Vacation homes offer a relaxing getaway, but finding the right floor plan, furniture and overall design can be stressful.

Decisions range from what couches can be flopped on while wet and sandy to how much of a bear motif should fill a cabin. Designers, owners and builders offer tips, whether you are decorating a home on the water or in the mountains — for yourself or to rent — or a bit of both.

A living room in an Atlanta couple’s vacation home in St. Petersburg, Fla., presented bay views and design challenges. The furniture needed to fill the spacious room, which offered views of the bay on one side and a fireplace and TV on a limestone wall on the opposite side. Canon design consultant Kohl Sudnikovich selected an upholstered sectional that could be used to see both sides of the room.

“It was a fairly large piece I centralized in the room,” he said.

Two mirrors on the limestone wall reflect the water. The removal of wood paneling opened a wall to showcase four large pieces of original art.

Other furniture can serve a purpose, such as storage pieces to hide games or a bar cabinet, said interior designer Jay Jeffers, author of “Jay Jeffers: Collected Cool,” in an interview at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center during the annual Design ADAC series of events. Using large rugs also can encourage people to gather.

“Chances are the kids are going to bring friends along with them or you’ve got people coming and visiting, so I love to sit on the floor and sit around the coffee table on the floor and play games,” said Jeffers, who owns San Francisco-based design store Cavalier by Jay Jeffers ( and is launching a home accessories line with Arteriors.


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