4 Ways To Transform Your Home Into The Ultimate Summer Retreat

While summer trips to the tropics may be out of reach, it’s time to embrace the staycation trend and transform your home into a luxurious sanctuary. 

Creating an oasis within your home isn’t as hard as it may seem, says interior designer Simone Mathews. Focus on the aesthetics and pull together a cohesive look that champions light and freedom of movement throughout the space.

“I am a big believer that the key to achieving that holiday style is to mix it up, that’s how you create your own unique look and feel,” she explains, pointing to her latest project, The PAUSE, a stunning light-filled home in New South Wales.

Clever styling

The starting point to create this summer retreat was to combine three key styles together; minimalist, organic and a classic layer to finish.

“By taking the best bits of each style I’ve created contrast and depth to add visually to each of the rooms, complementing the entire design of the property.”

Welcome in nature and embrace simplicity

“We are simplifying the way we live, and a key factor of that is integrating nature into our lives and appreciating how nature makes us feel,” says Simone.

To create an atmosphere that feels like a calm oasis from the outside world, try a ‘less is more’ approach when choosing colours and materials.


“Using a base palette of coastal white against natural timbers and brass, the key is to mix the materials, natural fabrics and textures in similar colour palettes to create the final look,” suggests the interior designer.

In the PAUSE home, Mathews merged the indoors and outdoors with the use of textured timber furniture and rattan, wood and linen in the design and accessories.

Natural light

Natural light will add the most visual character to a room, she explains.

Sheer curtains are a great way to achieve a soft light and provide a certain mood to a space,” says Mathews. “We used the Sheer Wave Curtains from the new Luxaflex® Curtain Collection to create our look. Luxaflex curtains create a light show; moving against the concrete floors, combined with the morning and afternoon light, it really creates a magnetic energy”.

Soft layers and smart functionality

Balance functionality by layering curtains with other treatments to create a feeling of soft luxury.

“We layered the curtains with Luxaflex® Duette® Shades to create a cohesive and functional combination. The balance of light control, privacy and the energy-efficient qualities, makes it perfect for an Australian home,” says Mathews.

Creating an outside area to entertain, play and relax in will help create the free-flowing feeling that’s key to a summer retreat at home.

“I wanted everyone who came to The PAUSE to feel as if they were suspending ordinary life and enjoying a breather and focus on rejuvenating.”

Interior design trends to look out for in 2021

2021 is set to be all about and earthy and raw interiors predicts Justine Wilson, leading property stylist and founder of Vault Interiors who believes interior styling in 2021 will come back to nature.

2020 Houses Awards Cremorne Point Apartment by Studio Plus Three Photography BEN HOSKING

Whether it’s broken stone to natural elements of rattan and cane and the use of recycled materials, next year it’s all about embracing raw-looking designs with crisp white interiors. Justine Wilson says, “There has been a major shift over the past 12 months to getting back to nature, looking for ways to be more sustainable and generally becoming more minimalistic when it comes to styling. For many that feeling of nature combined with neutrals creates a sense of calm and prosperity, at least it does for me! When it comes to interior accents colours, these will remain inspired from natural elements and earthy tones so think olive tones, rust tones, soft blues and beige and sand tones,” adds Justine.

Justine’s top five interior trends for 2021 include:

1. Broken stone/eclectic paving

This will be a big trend, it’s where slabs of stone like terrazzo, terracotta, marble, or slate tiles are broken into random pieces and laid in a haphazard way creating a natural-looking pattern. It’s an earthy look that’s was popular in the 80’s, and that I see it used in modern boho-style homes, hotels, and retail spaces.

The Blue Lagoon Build is the latest home by Kyal and Kara (and a great example of crazy paving). The home features building material from James Hardie to help achieve the Australian-Mediterranean coastal look.

2. Natural elements

Rattan, cane and woven materials will continue to dominate, especially in furniture and lighting design. These raw-looking natural designs will be paired with crisp white interiors.

Bismarck House by Houses Award_Andrew Burges Architects Photography PETER BENNETTS

3. Rendering interior walls

Rustic wall treatments, similar to what you would find in the Greek islands or externally like on a Spanish revival style home will become increasingly popular. Think white or beige as the colour of choice, but this will be applied inside in main living areas and bathrooms.

Photography & styling by Bureaux

4. Curves and arches

These will be very popular, especially in furniture and joinery design. New build homes will have arched doorways and windows as key design features.

Penthouse M by CJH Studio Photography Cathy Schusler Australian Interior Design Awards

5. Recycled timber beams

These will be big, I see these being integrated in ceiling design to create the look of a rustic warehouse or farmhouse style but paired with modern colours and joinery. They will also feature in external architectural elements such as pergolas or outdoor breezeways.