Escaping to Your Dream Holiday Home
24 Mar 2023

In today’s fast-paced world, the dream of having a perfect holiday home, providing an ideal escape from the trials and tribulations of daily life, can be a driving force for many. With a vast array of locations and design options available, everyone’s dream holiday home can look quite different – be it a sunny coastal retreat, a cosy mountain chalet, or a rustic countryside retreat. No matter your preference, one aspect remains crucial: creating a space that reflects your personality and passions in a truly unique way. Holiday homes come in many different shapes and sizes. In this blog post, we will explore different design approaches to holiday homes.


Blending architecture and interior into the natural landscape

Key to a relaxing and inviting holiday home is maintaining harmony between the built structure and its natural surroundings. Carefully considering the placement and orientation of your house to maximise views and natural light ensures a strong connection of the interior with the outside environment. Incorporating native plants and trees in your landscaping plan will integrate your holiday home seamlessly in its natural surroundings. Utilising external spaces, such as decks, patios and verandas not only extends the living space but it provides ample opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature without leaving the comfort of your holiday home.


One of the most stunning features of our Devon project are the fabulous and far-reaching views across the Jurassic Coast. By opening up the house to the outdoors we were able to integrate the living space almost organically into this spectacular landscape.

We utilised outdoor areas to extend the living space of the home into nature, providing an opportunity for the owners to enjoy outdoor life literally from the moment they arrive.

ocean rug

Ocean Noir Rug, Devon Project

Newly built holiday homes offer a unique opportunity to start blending the properties organically into their natural surroundings from the earliest stages of the planning process. The lay of the land together with the owners personal interests and style preferences should play an important part in the architectural design concept.


holiday villa

Our studio developed an eco-lodge concept for contemporary holiday villas. Inspired by dunes, the softly curved lines and organic shapes of the buildings give the impression of naturally formed structures. There are also subtle architectural hints pointing to the owners passion for kite surfing.

Reflecting personal passions and hobbies

Designing your own holiday home allows you to create designated spaces where you can indulge your passions during your precious time off. There are many ways of incorporating rooms or areas that celebrate your interests and favourite hobbies, be it a home cinema for film enthusiasts, a yoga and meditation room for those seeking spiritual fulfilment, a wine cellar for connoisseurs or an extensive library for bookworms. By considering personal interests and preferences during the design process, here at O&A London we create holiday homes that are genuinely tailored to our clients’ individual leisure needs.


Yoga and meditation room in a country house

Indoor meditation garden, villa in Montenegro

Personalised spaces inside and outside

In particular, high-net worth individuals with a busy career and social obligations look for holiday homes with access to secluded private areas as well as spaces for entertainment. While the need for privacy remains a priority, there is also an increasing desire to share special moments with others, making it essential to strike the right balance when designing these homes. Many clients now opt for outdoor porticos featuring a fireplace as well as a private pool. This combination is perfect for both, relaxing in private or entertaining guests in the comfort of your home from home.


The uninterrupted transition from the living room to the study and the garden beyond is testimony of the thoughtful approach of O&A’s designers, whose aim it was to maximise the impact of the charming garden view through the panoramic windows. Villa in Montenegro.

Embracing local culture and traditions

When building your dream holiday retreat, it is essential to consider the location and embrace the context in which your home will sit. Researching local architecture and building materials helps to ensure the design of your property respects its surroundings and pays homage to the region’s history and traditions. Engaging local craftsmen to work on your project not only supports their livelihood but also guarantees a higher quality finish and an authentic representation of the area’s character and charm. Decorating your home with regional furnishings, artwork and textiles is a great way of immersing yourself and your guests further in the local culture.


Most of the paintings in Devon project were bought in local galleries, mainly in the ancient fishing village of Beer, where the art lover can find many interesting shops and galleries.


Sustainability and environmental responsibility

With today’s growing global awareness surrounding global environmental issues and the need for sustainability, it is more critical than ever to consider the environmental impact of your holiday home. Investing in sources of renewable energy, such as solar panels or wind turbines to power your property, minimises the impact on your surroundings. We always recommend incorporating energy-efficient appliances and insulation materials to reduce consumption and waste. Where possible, locally sourced, eco-friendly, and reclaimed building materials can be used to lessen the environmental footprint of your holiday home, without sacrificing style or comfort.


Balancing comfort, functionality and luxury

When creating a holiday home that caters to both relaxation and indulgence, striking the right balance between comfort, functionality and luxury is paramount. Consider how you will use the space during your vacations and plan accordingly. Maintain a level of luxury in your finishing touches and furnishings while ensuring your home remains liveable and easy to maintain. Creating a purpose-built holiday home that is practical and functional doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on luxury, style and elegance. Ultimately, it’s all about achieving the perfect balance.


Finding the right partners saves cost

There’s a million things to consider when your heart is set on creating an exceptional holiday home. For example, it’s a common misconception that hiring an architect or a designer is too expensive. In reality design professionals can save you a lot of money by saving time and avoiding costly mistakes. They understand which design style works best for a particular property and they are also experts when it comes to sourcing quality materials and products at the best price.


Designing and building your dream holiday home is a uniquely personal journey that requires a lot of thinking and careful consideration. By gently embedding your home into the natural landscape, incorporating your individual passions and hobbies, integrating local culture and history, prioritising an environmentally friendly approach and balancing functionality with luxury, you can create a truly bespoke sanctuary that provides the ideal escape from everyday life.

If you are yearning for your perfect holiday home our team of experts at O&A London could be your perfect partner. Let your imagination run free and allow us to help you realising your dream.


Photo: O&A London design studio