Summer Staycation Decorating Ideas

Summer Staycation Decorating Ideas


What is your ideal vacation? Is it a lush mountain retreat or is your dream vacation more of a tropical getaway? If you’ve decided to save thousands of dollars this year by staying home for your summer vacation, you can create a fun holiday atmosphere for a very little money. Just select a theme and let your imagination run free!

Apartment Dwellers

If you live in an apartment and are fortunate enough to have a balcony, then get busy turning it into a lush tropical paradise.


  • An inexpensive outdoor curtain is your first buy to hang on a wire for a bit of privacy.
  • Use a cheap crown canopy to drape lush gauzy fabrics from a corner.
  • Buy a few yards of a bold exotic fabrics to temporarily cover chair cushions and pillows. No sew techniques, such as Velcro will keep your tropical prints in place.


  • Add potted palms, some flowering hanging baskets, ferns and other smaller potted flowers and plants.
  • Inexpensive bamboo beaded panels are a great over a door or tied back.
  • For a romantic night ambiance, select paper lanterns, string lighting and candles.

Move Inside

Don’t forget to bring your tropical retreat inside your apartment.

  • Add more fabrics over pillows and for throws.
  • More lush plants can be scattered throughout.
  • Inexpensive sheers can be draped from walls in your dining area and living room corners.
  • Floor pillows transform a coffee table into an Asian style dining table for fun evening meals.

Bring on the beach:

  • Fill tall glass vases with sand, sea glass and seashells.
  • Don’t forget breezy scents through incense, potpourri and scented candles.
  • Buy a DVD of beach scenes complete with the sound of the pounding surf and seagull cries and play it on your TV.
  • Floating votive candles in bowls and vases of water set on tables and windowsills add an elegant touch.
  • Prepare exotic tropical drinks to sip while watching an ocean sunset on your TV.


Paradise in Suburbia 

It’s so easy to embellish an existing backyard with a few simple changes that will transform it into a paradise retreat. Play up on your existing landscape. 

For example, if you have a swimming pool, then it can become your paradise centerpiece. If you have a pergola, add breezy curtain sheers and paper lanterns.

  • Plan a different cookout theme for each evening complete with themed tablecloth, plastic glassware, paper plates and of course a centerpiece.
  • If you’re creative, carve up a fruit centerpiece.
  • Use coconut half-shell drinkware for exotic family drinks.
  • Carve up a few pineapples to use for drinkware one evening.

Bring Hawaii to Your Backyard

It’s fun and very easy to create a Hawaiian theme party with a few simple decorations. May is National Luau Month, so celebrate!

  • Create a bar area using a faux grass hut purchased from an online party supplier like Oriental Trading.
  • Watch online videos and learn how to hula dance as part of your family entertainment.
  • Go all in and make poi and barbecue pork.
  • Large banana leaf placemats and wicker plate chargers are a must for a luau.
  • Use Hawaiian prints to cover cushions and pillows with Velcro closures.
  • Purchase that long-desired outdoor rug.
  • Crisscross strings of bulb lights over the dining area.
  • Create a Hawaiian song playlist for dinner music.

Create Your Own Beach

Since you’re saving on a real exotic vacation, splurge a little and buy some sand to make a small beach area. Be sure to include a section for a volleyball net for a family volleyball game or two. 

If you don’t have a pool, make use of an inexpensive sprinkle for some water fun!

Spread the Fun with Neighbors

Make your vacation a fun way to know your neighbors better. Invite neighbors to your authentic luau. Select recipes and assign or allow neighbors to select the dish they want to bring to the luau for a different kind of potluck.

If your neighbors might not be up for a potluck, either cook the meal yourself or splurge by having it catered.

  • Add several inexpensive Tiki torches from a supplier like Party Supplies Delivered.
  • Present each guest with a lei purchased from Oriental Trading.
  • Add more string lights in your backyard, especially over the beach area.
  • Remove the volleyball net so guests can enjoy dancing barefoot in the sand.

Choose a Theme for Your Vacation at Home

A tropical theme staycation is just one of the many themes you may want for your family time together. You could use a different theme every day complete with inexpensive decorations, foods and games. It only takes a little time to plan and prepare for what may prove to your best family time ever! 

photos: ProFlowers and ProFlowers 


AuthorSally Painter

"Everyone can have a beautiful home decor. It just takes a little creativity," says author and freelance writer Sally Painter. This former commercial and residential designer is also a Feng Shui practitioner and believes that, "Everything you choose to put in your home should resonate with you emotionally. If it doesn't - get rid of it!"