If you are lucky enough to have a second home at the beach, in the mountains or in the woods, now, in advance of the season, is the time to get it ready for the upcoming year. The first priority is to make sure all major systems are in good repair: the roof, heating/air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems should be inspected annually with any needed repairs and updates taken care of right away.
Once these major items have been attended to, your attention can turn to the interiors with an objective eye. Simplicity and ease of maintenance is key to the décor of second homes: who wants fussy interiors at the beach? After all, you are there to relax, recharge and decompress from the pressures of everyday life. A good room by room de-cluttering and deep cleaning will reveal if there are worn items that need to be repaired, replaced, donated or tossed out. Have the beach towels seen one too many seasons? Is the upholstered chair by the fireplace threadbare? Do rooms need to be repainted? Have area rugs, pillows, or window treatments seen better days? Update these items with fresh colors and materials and soon.
Take this advice and your vacation retreat will be in tip top shape for the upcoming 2014 season. If you have any before and after photos of your second home, please share them. I would love to see your ideas!