Taking a different kind of staycation
One of the most enjoyable aspects of taking a holiday somewhere completely different is the sense of immersion in a new culture.
After a while, though, what seemed so exotic can start to feel kind of normal, so normal in fact that it suddenly seems compatible with life at home.
Watch any South Pacific cruise ship roll into port and you’ll see evidence of this particular phenomenon as people disembark with corn-row hairstyles and an abundance of tropical print dresses. I mean, of course it’s totally suitable for the office on Monday morning.
Where it gets more problematic is when you fall in love with some specific decorating style and start making plans to recreate it at home.
At various points, I’ve been deeply enamoured of Greek island design, the Spanish hacienda look and traditional English farmhouse rusticity.
Fortunately, funds have never allowed me to carry through with my plans to completely overhaul my home, although I still have a rug on my bedroom floor that I bought on the Greek island of Rhodes — which I loved so much I lugged it all over Europe.
But it’s not that unusual for architects and interior designers to receive requests from homeowners with bigger budgets than mine looking to recreate that resort experience they loved so much in Fiji or Bali, or to make their home feel more like a French chateau than a suburban bungalow.
And if you’re looking for that sense of escapism or sanctuary, then more power to you. In truth, I’ve seen some beautiful — and extravagant — examples of homes where the design aesthetic is in total contrast to its local backdrop and yet, somehow, it still works.
Just start planning early to get the product you want when you want it. Customs can be a drag.