Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Making a Home Away from Home


This week we are on Marco Island in southwest Florida. Notwithstanding a few family Disney trips, this is my first time in the land of palm trees and pelicans.

And it is adults-only. Which is good because our arrival (after nearly 24 hours in the car) coincided with warnings about Hurricane Isaac. Lucky for us, we just got a little rain.

Our room at the Marco Resort and Club is a small suite, nearly 500 square feet in size. The screened porch area, which faces the pool, opens into the living area through a large sliding glass door. The living area is part of a larger room that also has a full kitchen. Through another door, heading straight back is the bedroom, and the bathroom is at the end of the unit.

There is one large drape in the living area. It goes all the way to the ceiling which creates a nice dramatic effect. The pattern repeats on the bedspread and window valance in the bedroom. It is sea-themed with images of fish and shells on lots of blues and greens. For such a small space, repeating the pattern does a great job of unifying the different spaces. 

As nice as our room is, a place doesn't really feel like home to me without a few elements. To make this home-away-from-home a bit more homey, I would add the following:

1. Throw pillows and a blanket
A couch just feels cozier with some throw pillows on it and a blankie to snuggle under. It's also another way to add visual interest to a space. For our unit, I would add a few pillows in a solid citron. It picks up on one of the colors in the drapes yet doesn't contrast with the pattern of the drapes.

For the snuggling blanket, I love everything about this cashmere throw from One Kings Lane. It is bright pink, which is a great tropical color reminiscent of pink flamingos (read this great history of the yard ornament). Pink makes a nice contrasting color against all the blues and greens in our unit. A small bit of a contrasting color in a room can be unexpected and fun!

2. A rug
Our unit has tile floors, which surely is meant to keep the place cleaner with all the sand that is tracked in from happy beachgoers. But I like the way a rug feels under my feet. A rug can soften a space, which otherwise can feel hard and sterile without it. The right colors can also tie together two separate spaces (as in this case where we have a living area and kitchen together).

I would choose the reclaimed indigo Oriental rug from Viva Terra. Made from recycled plastic bottles and packing materials this pretty rug doesn't absorb stains, can be easily cleaned with a garden hose or sponge, and won't trap water or mildew. Pretty awesome for a room that will see up to 52 different residents in one year alone!

3. Art
There is something about the way the bed in this unit fits against the wall that reminds me of being on a ship. There is a soffitt over the bed and swing-arm lamps on either side of the bed, which creates a compartment-like feeling. A fun addition to one of the bedroom walls then would be a wood-cut anchor, painted navy blue. 
It should be fairly simple to download a clip-art file of an anchor, increase the size and trace it onto wood, and then have someone handy cut it out. But since I haven't actually tried doing that, I think equally cute would be a wooden wreath form with stripes painted on it to resemble a life preserver. Here is a sample for sale on eBay (perhaps we'll skip the message on ours. Sounds a little risque to me ;)

4. Stuff that smells good
We bought a strawberry shortcake-scented candle and hand soap during our hurricane stock-up shopping trip. While the candle was a necessity if the power had gone out, it reminded me how much I like things that smell nice. Other options are scented cleaners like Mrs. Meyers' Clean Day Counterspray, fresh fruit, or a vase of fresh flowers. 

5. Collections ... and extra storage
It occurred to me last night that I am homesick for my books. There's something about having stacks of well-loved books that makes me feel at home. We did, however, collect lots of shells at the sugar-sand beach yesterday, and this makes a lovely collection all laid out to dry on our counters. 

Extra storage in this space could be an ottoman in the bedroom to hold a suitcase or a basket for the chargers for all of our gadgets in the living area. 

We have a few more days here before we head back home. I'm sure I'll be ready once we leave, but for now it's fun pretending to live in paradise.


  1. very nice post! Hope you are having a great time

    1. Thank you! we are having a great time!!!


Thanks so much for commenting! I love to read what you have to say. ~Carrie


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