Our clients own second properties for many reasons, whether due to international work, overseas family ties or simply the desire to spend vacation time in the comfort and privacy of a holiday home.

At Extreme, we design for homes across the UK and internationally, and our projects span a combination of primary residences, second homes and holiday homes. While every project demands the same level of design refinement and quality, there are nuances to how we approach each design, driven by how the home will be inhabited. So, what are some of the kitchen and furniture design considerations for second homes?

Creative Comfort

A holiday home is often more informal in style and function than a primary residence, with open spaces focusing on comfort, relaxation, and escapism. These holiday retreats offer the opportunity to embrace bolder and more creative design choices, creating an entirely different atmosphere and environment that signals a departure from daily life in the primary home. For many people, a holiday home is a place to reconnect with ourselves, to recharge and rebalance. Embracing design choices that express our character, personality, and creativity can help in this quest to feel more at peace. By refining our design choices and genuinely focusing on how each material, colour, texture or form makes us feel, we can create a space where we feel truly at ease.

A sense of comfort is also achieved through design that functions effortlessly. Whether the holiday home is used for multi-generational gatherings of large extended families or relaxing escapes for two, the home’s design should respond accordingly. Kitchens are the heart of a holiday home, just as they are for a primary residence, and the design should be tailored to suit each client’s needs. For instance, for families that enjoy preparing meals together, emphasis can be placed on cooking space and function that facilitates multiple generations sharing the space. Or, for party holiday homes, the design can revolve around style and creating a ‘wow factor’ space with a sociable layout for cocktail parties and evening entertaining.

open plan living with kitchen and bar with direct access to patio and outdoor pool

Five-Star Haven

As designers, we pay close attention to the design choices and influences that inspire our clients, and hotels are often a source of inspiration. Many people desire to emulate features from hotels they have visited within their homes, especially for second homes and holiday homes. If the property’s purpose is a holiday retreat, why not create an elevated haven befitting a five-star hotel? It is an opportunity to indulge in extravagant design choices, amenities and technology that may feel out of place in our primary homes. Perhaps the property would benefit from a statement champagne bar for apres-ski parties or a complete outdoor kitchen for alfresco dining as the sun sets.

luxurious outdoor kitchen with Wolf outdoor oven

Harmony with the Surroundings

A holiday home should balance the comforts of home with the escapism of a retreat. Design can signal that we are somewhere new and far removed from life back home, whether the holiday home is a few hours’ drive or a plane journey away.

Reflecting the surrounding environment, local landscape and culture in the holiday home’s design can enhance the feeling of escapism whilst creating a home that works in harmony with its location. Whether a centuries-old farmhouse in the South of France or a coastal villa with panoramic views, the architecture, culture, and landscape should seamlessly integrate into the interior, including the kitchen.

luxury holiday villa antigua

Leisure Meets Home Working

With home working on the rise, more people are embracing their holiday homes as second properties where they can live and work for extended periods. For these people, their holiday home must function for both work and leisure, and a dedicated home office can be an excellent feature.

Designing a home office isn’t just about creating a practical workspace; it’s about crafting an inspiring environment that enhances vision and productivity. Owning a holiday home is an achievement that our clients have worked diligently to realise for themselves, and a home office should reflect these accomplishments along with future ambitions. This custom home office in West Sussex features bespoke finishes and handcrafted details that draw influence from the coastal location and sea views.

holiday home office with sea views

To learn more about Extreme’s kitchen and furniture design service for second properties and holiday homes, please contact the team at one of our studios.