The interior design brief for your second home may differ from your main residence.


Words by Charlotte Pasha


A second home overseas is a true luxury – but how do discerning clients choose to decorate?

Mathilde Allibe is CEO at Secretcape (60 Brook Street).

“We believe that homes should reflect those who live in them, regardless of the location.

“A main home tends to perfectly define what comfort means for the client, whilst the destination home combines both comfort and practicality.”

For a second home abroad, Allibe says: “Accessories, materials and colours chosen should complement their appreciation of this destination whilst also respecting their sense of solace.”

She adds: “In Malibu, we designed a very serene Scandinavian retreat for a client from the Middle East using a range of light colours contrasting with wood textures to emphasise the panoramic views of the sea.”

“Our goal was to create a space that instantly relaxes you, giving you a sense of escapism,” she adds.


Luxurious but liveable

Charlotte Green is the co-founder of interior design studio Sixty3 London (63a South Audley Street).

“Surprisingly, the design requirements don’t change dramatically for a client’s second property,” she says.

(Picture left: Sixty3 London.)


Comfortable but ritzy

Green adds: “Most of our clients desire uber-luxurious yet liveable finishes and bathrooms with a ‘spa-esque' feel wherever they are in the world.

“Second properties are expected to be a comfortable home away from home but also ritzy enough to trump staying in any top hotel.

“We have found that this consistency extends to colour schemes and materials. Although, some clients are a little more adventurous with colours and prints in a home they don’t use all the time.”

Nik Parmar, founder of Aura Interior Design, says it is how the home will be used that is crucial.

“Will the client be staying weeks, or months?

“Does the client need to store a full wardrobe or will they bring clothes each trip?

“If a studio flat for work purposes is enough, then there is no need for a formal dining room,” Nik says.


Covenience and personality

Guy Oliver is the managing director at Oliver Laws (47 Conduit Street).

“The main point of a second home is convenience, but also to demonstrate a permanent commitment to a place where you spend time,” he says.

(Picture right: Oliver Laws Connaught Princes Lodge)


He adds: “The brief will be to reflect the owner’s personality, with their personal effects and belongings demonstrating their education and interests and, perhaps, the owner’s own culture.

“I once created a Moroccan room within the second home of a client in Tokyo. It made him think of a favourite place,” he says.


London as a second home

Of course, London is the second home for many ultra-high-net-worth individuals.

Green has found that proximity to town is key when purchasing a second home in London.

“The closer to the centre of town, the better,” she says.

And Sixty3 London offers a turnkey service for its busy clients, making the second home experience that much more seamless.

After all, when one walks into one’s second home, one should feel, well, at home.