5 most important considerations when designing a holiday home

5 most important considerations when designing a holiday home

Tips and Advice, Lifestyle, New Homes

holiday home poolIt’s the holidays and as such our minds turn to getting away and relaxing. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about investing in your own holiday home. That little bit of paradise that you can set up for yourself and perhaps your family and friends, where you can escape and unwind, whilst making some good rental income when you’re not using it yourself.

Or perhaps you just want your permanent residence to have more of a resort/sanctuary atmosphere.

Well here are some tips that you might want to consider when getting your holiday home built or renovated, or doing a tropical makeover on your own home…

Who is the holiday home for?

Before we get into the 5 tips, you need to be clear on who the home is for. Yes, obviously you are the main person it needs to cater for, but do you holiday alone? Do you have children? Do you intend this to be a holiday home for the family as your children get older? Do you envisage spending time with your children and grandchildren at the home in future years?

Or perhaps you like to holiday with friends. And if so, do those friends have children etc, etc.

Of course you may just want it for yourself, however if you intend to rent it out then you need to consider who is going to want to rent the home. Do you want families to rent the property? Or are you aiming for couples only? These are important considerations before the design can even begin.

For the purpose of this article I will focus on family groups, but even if that’s not your desire there will be points that are relevant to your design.

TIP 1: Cater for many

If this is going to be the family holiday home, or your intend to holiday there from time to time with friends, then having enough sleeping accommodation is vital.

The design should allow for privacy in sleeping areas with shared communal spaces. This way families can have their own space – bedrooms, bathrooms etc, whilst still being connected when it’s time to socialise.

The design should not require compromise where communal areas suffer to make way for more beds. Clever design allows for both.

TIP 2: Design with relaxation in mind

You’re on holidays, so chances are you’re looking to spend more time outside than inside.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re looking to be hugely active. Just that rather than sitting inside watching TV you’re more likely to want to spend time outside taking in the views and relaxing with nature.

Therefore, you might prefer a design that has less focus on electronic media and more focus on your outdoor spaces such as BBQ areas, indoor/outdoor rooms, swimming pools etc.

Chances are you’ll be looking to get away during summer so it’s important that the design of your home allows for it to be kept cool naturally with cross ventilation and elements of passive solar design. But you’ll still want to be able to circulate air when the breeze isn’t blowing, so fans and air-conditioning are still important design elements.

art deco queenslander outdoor garden seating

TIP 3: Maximise views

If your property has a view worth looking at then it’s important that the design of your holiday home takes full advantage of it.

The design should draw your eye to the view and enable you to take it in as you relax and unwind with friends and family.

Equally as important is privacy, so any design should ensure that you are free from prying eyes as you kick back and let your hair down.

art deco queenslander deck at night brisbane city lights


TIP 4: Minimalist is best

It’s hard to unwind in spaces that feel cramped or cluttered. Furnishings need to cater for larger groups or multiple families but beyond that keep things spacious and roomy. Colour schemes should suit the environment but be relatively neutral to allow you to relax you mind.

Obviously if you’re looking at renting the property out, particularly to families, furnishings should be comfortable but hard wearing.

TIP 5: Low maintenance landscaping

Let’s face it, you’re there to rest, not to work. The last thing you’re going to feel like doing is yard maintenance. If you wanted to do that you could have stayed at home!

Low maintenance yards and garden areas are the key. Small sections of lawn that are quick and easy to mow with low maintenance plants.

But keep in mind the design of your yard and garden areas must suit the design of the home. And this is why a holistic design approach is crucial.

At dion seminara architecture we can look after your building, interior and landscaping creating an holiday home that works perfectly, both visually and from a functional point of view.

art deco queenslander street garden


The number one tip we can give you is to talk to us first. Not only do we offer a complete service both inside and out, but we also understand the nuisances of holiday home design. PLUS we’re currently offering free 20 minute phone consultations where you can discuss your project needs.

Dion Seminara Architect


We are experts at home design, renovations and new homes and ensure good value for money outcomes.

Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 30 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.