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7 Ways to Make Shelter-in-Place More Enjoyable

Social Distancing: How to Stay at Home and Enjoy It Like a Resort


The current Coronavirus pandemic – the worldwide spread of Covid-19 – seems to have changed the way we all live, at least for the short term but probably in many ways for the long term as well. Sheltering in place and social distancing when you must venture out has become the way to avoid contracting the disease, so we all have spent more time than ever at home working, home schooling the kids, distance learning if were in high school or college, and just trying to avoid going stir-crazy stuck at home.

Turning your home into a enjoyable getaway to make sheltering in place bearable is much easier than you may think – most of the elements you need to work on are probably already there – enabling you to enjoy your home almost like a "staycation," which is basically a vacation at your own home. And these tips will help you in the future as we all may spend more time at home with family and realize it really is "where the heart is." Check out these creative ideas and start planning your home as a shelter-in-place “resort.”

3-bedroom, 2-bath vacation home on a lake

If youre lucky enough to have a house like this 3-bedroom, 2-bath vacation home on a lake, you are most of the way to having your own resort at home (Plan #160-1015).


1. Give Your Bathroom the Spa Treatment

One of the easiest ways to make your home feel like a luxury vacation resort is to transform your bathroom into your own private oasis. Draw inspiration from the designs at your favorite spas so you can incorporate everything you love about it into your home. Features such as vessel sinks or decorative soap dishes and towel racks can add an air of sophistication to the room, making you feel as if you’ve been transported to a luxury spa in no time.

This type of bathroom redesign also allows you to add in additional storage, which is key to creating the type of Zen tranquility that you want in a spa setting. Hidden storage areas or shelves built into existing fixtures allow you to keep your toiletries and other items out of site, so the bathroom can maintain a clean and open feeling. All that’s left is to add in some accent pieces to tie the atmosphere together.

Spa-like bathroom in a 4-bedroom, 4.5-bath Contemporary style home

Looking for all the world like a resort spa, this bathroom in a 4-bedroom, 4.5-bath Contemporary style home exudes a Zen tranquility in its sleek design (Plan #107-1015).


2. Flex Space for Variety

Having a multipurpose room can go a long way to making your time at home interesting, functional, and ultimately enjoyable. It’s often called “flex space,” and depending on your needs at any given time, it can be a

  • Hobby room for scrapbooking, knitting, crocheting, or sewing – or doing arts and crafts with the kids.
  • Study space for home-schooling the children or distance learning for you or your older high-school or college-age kids.
  • Family fun center for pursuing activities like games, puzzles, Netflix parties, Zoom gatherings with friends and family.
  • Or just a lounge area for family members to relax, read, or catch up on social media on their smartphones or tablets.

Floor plan showing flex space for plan #141-1239

This flex space (circle) in a 3-bedroom, 2-bath contemporary Craftsman style home is easily within reach at the front center of the house but can be closed off from the open floor plan Great Room living space when needed. It can serve multiple purposes from studying or crafting during the day to evening family fun (Plan #141-1239).


If you have a home with flex space in your home already, great – and start using it! If you don’t, maybe you can repurpose an unused dining room or living room or parlor or sitting room. If you’re building new or planning to soon, be sure to incorporate a flex space in your floor plan


3. Start Cooking Outdoors

Everyone enjoys a good old fashioned barbecue from time to time, but nothing quite compares to the joys of cooking in a fully-stocked outdoor kitchen. Creating this type of outdoor living home is easier than you think, as it doesn’t require that much space to get started. One the basic end, you can create a dedicated grilling space that includes a small prep area, such as a table or even a tiny cabinet for storing tools and spices. Placing a table and chairs nearby allows you to experience a seamless transition from cooking to eating.

Outdoor cooking is among the more popular and effective home staycation ideas because it’s something that homeowners can use frequently. Depending on your needs and future plans, you can even add additional kitchen features to your outdoor cooking space, such as a dedicated sink, a dedicated cooktop or a hutch to store more utensils, spices or anything else you need.

 Fully equipped outdoor kitchen to serve alfresco meals

If you lived in this fully equipped outdoor kitchens 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath European style luxury home, you could serve up almost any meal alfresco for your staycation (Plan #106-1156).


4. Create Your Own Lounge

Relaxing is a key component of any vacation, so think about adding more lounging areas to your home to help encourage ample relaxation. Lounging areas are among the least complex home resort features that you can add, since you can create them almost exclusively through the placement of furniture.

Whether it’s a new reclining deck chair places by the pool or a hammock slung between trees in your backyard, you can easily create inviting spots throughout your home that will beccon you to unwind with a good book or a glass of wine. If your home has a beach view or an area that allows you to watch the sunset, work the sights into your lounging areas for even more soothing moments.

Relaxing covered patio in a 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath Country style Ranch home

This relaxing covered patio in a 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath Country style Ranch home has a large-screen TV and an outdoor fireplace for extra comfort on nippy nights (Plan #106-1274).


5. Transform the Backyard into a Campground

The whole concept of having a vacation at home is to bring the vacation fun to you, and many homeowners do this with backyard camping. A fire pit allows you to safely enjoy the campfire experience of roasting marshmallows or telling stories. Setting up strategic outdoor lighting allows you and your family to enjoy your backyard even after sunset, especially if you plan on spending the night in tents and sleeping bags.

Fire pit at a 5-bedroom, 5.5-bath Craftsman-style luxury home

Imagine yourself on a staycation, roasting marshmallows around this fire pit, at your 5-bedroom, 5.5-bath Craftsman-style luxury home (Plan #165-1077).


6. Enhance Your Landscaping

Paying a little extra attention to your landscaping is a great way to give your home a vacation resort feel, allowing you to enjoy the peace and quiet of your yard all year round. A fountain can add a sense of grandeur to your backyard, a pool is an unmistakable sign of "vacation," even if its just an evenings vacation, while some exotic plants can make you feel like you’re exploring an entirely new location. This is also a great way to enhance a destination theme, or to add more color and variety to an outdoor lounge.

Resort-like pool in a 6-bedroom, 7.5-bath luxury Mediterranean style home

This pool in a 6-bedroom, 7.5-bath luxury Mediterranean style home certainly looks like a resort area. Wouldnt you like to staycation here? (Plan #107-1085)


7. Add a Home Theater Room

Enjoying the comforts of your own home is what staycations are all about, especially when it comes to settling in for a movie. A home theater room doesn’t have to be as elaborate as your local megaplex, and it certainly doesn’t have to be as expensive. Mounting a flatscreen on the wall, positioning your sound system around the room and placing a cozy couch in the middle allows you to take “movie night at home” to a whole new level.

Media room that takes "home theater" to the next level

Talk about pampering yourself on a stay-at-home vacation! This media room in a 5-bedroom, 3-bath Country style luxury home takes "home theater" to the next level (Plan #153-1021).


On the hunt for additional features to make sheltering in place more fun? Dont forget to check out our selection of vacation and outdoor living house plans for even more creative ideas. You can also share your best social-distancing features and renovation projects in the comments below.


Footnote: The lead image is of a 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath Vacation style home (Plan #132-1313). For more information, click here.

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