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Time for a stay-cation

Need a getaway but can’t afford an island retreat right now?

Blanche Garcia, interior designer and star of the Travel Channel’s ‘Hotel Impossible,’ has a

simple alternative to booking a flight: Turn your apartment into a summer stay-cation. Here’s how.

The best R and R starts with the bed

“The bed is really important when you want to feel like you’re in a hotel,” says Garcia. The first step: upgrade to hotel-quality sheets. “All the sheets should have at least 500-800 thread count,” she says. Also, stay in a neutral color palette.

“Whites on whites, creams on creams. You’ll never go to a really nice resort and they have all different pattern sheets. White and crisp is always best.” Another key trick, she says, is to layer your bed. “Make sure you have a duvet insert or a coverlet on top of the sheets.”

Your spa appointment awaits

“In the bathroom, candles are really important for ambiance,” stresses Garcia. She also suggests stocking up on accoutrements for a bubble bath. “Normally people take a shower because everyone is in a rush, but when you’re going to lounge, you want to make sure that you’re taking bubble baths. They make you feel way more relaxed.”



Edit your stressful junk

If you want to feel like you’re somewhere far from your reality, eliminate your usual clutter, says Garcia. “When you’re at home, you don’t notice all the papers piling up because you’re used to seeing them every day, but if you just ran in and put those things away, got really colorful pillows, pop in your iPod, you would feel like you’re not in your space.”

Bring your dream vacation to your home

“If you’re going to stay home for the week but you really want to be in, say, Italy or Jamaica, plan it so for that week, everything that you’re cooking is from that country,” says Garcia. “If you want to be in Italy, make sure to play all Italian music.”

Scents

Add drawer sheets within the drawers of the dresser with relaxing scents like lavender, says Garcia. “Or if you want to feel beach-y, use an ocean scent.”



Feng shui away




Your outdoor space can use a little vacay makeover, too. “I like using mini fountains; they are really pretty and bring in the water element,” says Garcia. For the fire element, she suggests adding a mobile fire pit.

Welcome!

Garcia’s tips for setting up a guest room:

1. Keep a basket in the room with notepaper, sewing kit, magazines, incidentals, eye masks, slippers and earplugs for their comfort.

2. Keep layers of sheets, a duvet and a throw so they have options.

3. Place an inexpensive dimmer on the bedside lamp so your guests can adjust as they see fit.


 
 
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