How To Make Home Feel Like a Vacation

It’s the first official morning waking up in our new home. A space sought to capture a slice of what it feels like to be on vacation. 

Now, if you’re asking what that even means?! Let me explain. 

If you have found yourself here, it’s likely that you have been touched by the magic of travel. Like much of life – it’s the depths, the implicit that leave the most profound mark on us. It is what elevates an experience. I am talking about – beyond the visual, it’s the feeling. Touching all of our human senses. When we travel, it’s not just the act of being in a new place, rather:

  • Feeling alive in our cells, yet so content all at the same time.
  • Oftentimes, it’s the space we wake up in on vacay. An extremely comfy, plush bed, a thoughtfully decorated property, awe-inspiring sites such as the sea, mountains, an incredible view over a big city or a vast vineyard.
  • Taking a bite of delicious food, the first sip of that perfectly brewed cup of coffee, tasting something new for the first time. 

Whatever it is for you – it’s a journey, an opportunity to pause and feel gratitude. Everything feels heightened when we travel. And, since we know everything good must come to an end…sort of – the most significant thing we can do is to figure out how to take it beyond the trip itself, infuse it into our lives every day…allowing travel to change us for the better.

Over the past year of designing and building our new home, I have reflected on my passion for Travel and Design, and what the common thread is between the two, when in fact they might seem quite the opposite. 

Here is what I’ve come up with so far (as we know, it’s ever-evolving). Both travel and intentional home life, encourage and invite us to discover more about ourselves. Whether it is in the excitement and energy of exploring near + far away places and cultures. Or, the stillness and serenity we can find in our home[base]. It’s the delicate dance between the two that allows us to uncover our layers, or rather learn what we like, long for, hope, and dream of. 

We need education and exploration as much as we need the quiet and retreat. Both are inspirational in their own ways. That feeling we get when we travel – where every cell of our being is alive – we are awake, inspired, and present. We breathe a little bit differently…I don’t know about you, while it’s not ever quite the same and I will always yearn for adventure in new places  – I want those feelings in my every day and I think with intention, they can be cultivated. 

So, let’s chat about the ways travels magic can be infused into our home…


During our travels: I am quite picky about my accommodations on vacay. As I said – it can completely elevate an experience. And, it does not have to be spendy. Whether it’s a well-designed Airbnb or rental property, found on sites such as Plum Guide or Boutique-Homes, or a cute hotel. The aesthetic of where I stay is absolutely part of the inspiration and creativity sparked by travel.

How to capture at home: In these spaces, I have discovered amazing artists. From those artists (usually via email or Instagram), I meet other artists! Every piece in my new home is curated to remind me of my travels. I know who made it, what city it’s from or it’s there to simply spark a memory or a feeling.

We love to be in nature – often our trips are filled with hikes, time spent on the water, or simply enjoying an incredible view. I knew my home design would reflect this…earthy, natural, serene. Neutral colors, organic, playful textures, lots of windows. Really infuse your interiors with what you love most about your travels.

I love sites such as Pampa (rugs, pillows + incredible prints) and Katherine Moes who makes beautiful cairn sculptures out of clay that remind me of some of our favorite hikes. 


During our travels: Any other foodies out there? Let me preface this by saying – I do not like to cook, but I LOVE to eat good food. Thankfully my husband is the “chef” in our family. Finding good food is THE first thing I do before I travel. I scour the web for the yummiest places and I have SO many highlights of amazing meals we have experienced around the world. These are usually my most vivid memories from our travels. I can recall meals we had several years ago –  from a cabbage pancake in Nola, to the most amazing meal of my life in San Fran, even down to the smallest details from this tiny restaurant, in a basement with 11-seats at a chef’s counter in London. WHAT!? I mean – how cool is that?

How to capture at home: Life gets crazy – with three kids and several businesses, we are always up to something. Having meals together, getting creative in the kitchen – FOOD – this is what brings us all together. Allows us time to slow down, have good conversations, fuel our busy bodies! It feels very worldly to me – not so much American where we rush through our meals – but cultures that take their time, enjoy good wine, care about the quality of their food – to sit and really be intentional about mealtime.

I shop at the local co-op – I think I shop more European-style. I like to get my food fresh and based on how I am feeling that day. Sure – this takes more time, but I think it’s worth it. 

I love picking up a new cookbook. One of those favorite meals I mentioned previously was at State Bird Provisions in San Fran. They actually have a cookbook. Just looking at it in my home makes me smile. 

I recently invested in handmade Japanese ceramic dinnerware, beautifully made by Japanese artist Nobuhito Nishigawara in Southern California.  My gorgeous friends, who own a favorite local shop called Gray Home + Lifestyle, introduced me to W/R/F. Whether it’s dishes or a handmade mug that you pick up during your travels – I believe that it’s the little details that can make every day feel special, like a vacay.

Really savoring how our food tastes, knowing where it came from, and enjoying how it’s plated! Doing these things remind me of the tastiest experiences I have had – in Asia, Europe, and right here in the states. 


During our travels: this one is more broad – but, it goes back to the tiniest of details. What gets you excited when you travel?! Think about it – write it down. Let it inspire your home life. 

How to capture at home: I totally geek out over the robe found in some hotels and rental properties! I FINALLY got my own robe for home – I mean, why not?! 

I also love this handmade sunhat made by West Perro. It reminds me of a trip to Joshua Tree. So, I hung it on a hook in my dining room. Again, just looking at it transports me to the California desert. 

Similarly –  wall hangings and art can provide a mental escape or spark fond travel memories. I love the texture of husband/wife artists and owners of Art De Avalo. We purchased a piece titled “Topanga” – as you might have noticed a theme here 😉 and I brought a little slice of Cali to our home in Minneapolis! 

I also love a good surf shop, don’t know what it is – but, I love ‘em. So, I picked up the book Surf Shack, obvi. I’ve got my Katherine Moe’s clay cairn sculpture sitting right on top. Giving me all the ocean/nature/hiking vibes in one cute curated spot in my house.

So, my suggestion – throw out any preconceived “interior design rules” and like travel itself, go with how it makes you feel. As you explore our gorgeous planet, discover what you like, long for, hope, and dream of, and find a way to bring it home – to your every day. Never underestimate how the smallest detail can make a home feel like a vacation – from a plate to a piece of art. A scent of a candle, a new cookbook, a stack of rocks! 

It’s all a journey. Ever evolving. But, if there is one thing, one feels, I want to capture from both our travels and our home, it’s a chance to take a deep breath – to feel alive and serene all at the same time. Living inspired, intentional, and more present.


The U.S. – 

The Joshua Tree House, Tucson:

The Merchant High Desert, CA:

Terracasa, CA:

Farmhouse Inn, CA:

Rancho Valencia Resort + Spa, CA:

Alpenglow Cabin, CO:

Hotel Jerome, CO:

Ten Thousand Waves, NM:

Cuyana Cove, MN:

Under Canvas, Throughout the US:

Palisociety Hotels, Throughout the US:

Stewart Mountain Lodging, UT:

The Russell, TN:

Blackberry Farms, TN:

The Willow House, TX:

Colombia –

Gitana Del Mar:

Mexico – 

La Valise:


London – 

Henrietta Hotel:

Cambodia – 

Shinta Mani Angkor:

Kenya –  

Karen Gables:

Mollie Krengel

Mollie Krengel