Just like your first home, second homes are not just a fruitful property investment, but a home investment. Having said that, Invest-Gate sums up the latest design trends to make your property a home for you and your family. As we have spoken to some design experts in Egypt, most second homebuyers do not much care for their second homes as they do for their permanent residences. So take it seriously, invest wisely and make it your home.

“The main difference between a first and a second home is that owners furnish their first homes based on their daily activities and necessities, while their second homes according to what will be more convenient for social gatherings and having good times,” Ahmed Atef, CEO of Golden Ratio Designs, speaks to Invest-Gate to tell us how his customers deal with their second homes.

Go Big But Stay Simple

Don’t go big on money or excessive designs, but consider large reception areas for social gatherings with your loved ones. According to Atef, social gatherings are one of the main factors second-home owners consider when designing their homes by the sea; most people would like to have a wide reception area that can host the maximum number of guests.

Osama Saeed, a property owner on the North Coast, says that he shares his summer home with some relatives, and they all agreed to furnish their reception in the simplest way so as to have a wide place for gatherings.

Atef adds that reception usually takes the biggest area in any summer home, as well as, landscapes -in case it exists. Chairs, sofas, and dining tables are the main elements when furnishing a summer home, “whereas in permanent residences, the essential elements include bookshelves, chimineas, and formal salons,” he notes.

“Most of the gatherings in summer houses are more of informal. It is all about dining, so no need for formal salons and luxurious furnishing,” Atef explains.

Extra Bedrooms For More Convenience

Have a bed popping out in wherever space is available. The more bedrooms the merrier, advises Atef when it comes to furnishing your rooms and ditch living rooms.

Bedrooms are the most important feature in any second home to cater to the maximum number of guests as well. “Our unit has three rooms, all of which are changed to bedrooms so as to host the largest number of people,” Saeed adds.

But “in some cases, owners make private spaces or allocate special rooms for reading or children and they pay a lot for designing and furnishing,” Atef states. According to his years of experience in that field, in rare cases you find owners creating a replica of their permanent residences. “Some people deal with second homes the same way as their first,” he determines, focusing on their usage especially if they have children.

When designing second homes, some prefer going very simple yet minimal by just adding the essential furniture like beds, cupboards, and mirrors. “They exclude the extras, including commodes and dressing rooms to cut costs,” he clarifies.

Kitchens, The Warmest Of Them All

Known to be the warmest room in any household, where family members gather, kitchens are the vital or focal point in any home. When designing kitchens, the American-style open kitchen tops the latest in interior design trends. “Kitchens are now small for simple and fast cooking,” he explains.

For kitchens being an essential feature of a house, most developers today deliver finished or semi-finished units, which is a highly received feature among clients. “Our unit was delivered ready-to-move in with kitchen cabinets and bathrooms all in place… and their quality was good,” Saeed notes.

However, Atef believes that most of his clients do not like the finishing carried out by developers neither for first homes nor for second homes. “They prefer to do the finishing themselves to guarantee sustainability and give their homes character.”

Regarding choices of colors, Atef determines that light pastel colors are mainly used in second homes, unlike darker colors including brown and black that are used in the first homes, are popular today.

Luxurious-Less Finish

Finishing is a very important aspect in any home, whether it is a main or seasonal house. Given today’s prices, most go simple to cut cost on their frequently used properties.

Unlike permanent residences, second homes stay elegant of course but very simple with less designs and expensive materials, “and comfort comes in first,” Atef adds. For example, when it comes to the quality of floors and walls used in second homes, “people use ceramic instead of wood, marble, or granite to avoid extra costs and to guarantee comfort ability and relaxation.”

Homes By The Sea Essentials

Of course design and style are very subjective, differing from one person to another and whether you opt for a finished unit or prefer to do it yourself, there are some rules to follow to minimize pop-up problems and guarantee efficiency.

Recycle Furniture

To cut costs, you can use some of your old furniture that are found suitable for your seashore unit. “This is a practical trend suitable only for bedrooms, while it is not recommended for receptions because old furniture pieces are mostly made of wood that might be worn out; and thus can be badly affected easily by water and humidity,” Atef advises, adding that it might consume large spaces. “Avoiding using huge furniture generally will allow a good air flow and having a good space for relaxation.”

New Furniture At Its Best

If you choose to buy new furniture and are more comfortable with wood, make sure that the type of wood material in of a high quality and humidity friendly. Atef advises, “Avoid placing wooden furniture in gardens and large façades to avoid peeling.”

Climate Control

If you are going to cut costs on everything, you still can have a beautiful house and enjoy your vacations. However, when it comes to weather change and humidity control, spend it wisely and don’t go cheap. Insulated windows and doors are a must to protect your interiors and the condition of your house from year to year. And that’s our final advice. Enjoy your summer!