The Enviable Vacation Homes of 10 Top Designers
Designer’s own homes are always reflections of the impeccable taste that got them to where they are. And while we love seeing the permanent residences of these industry stars, it’s their vacation homes that we find particularly striking. Whether tropical retreats or peaceful country homes, the vacation abodes of these designers all have a bold, fun style suited to kicking back and relaxing with friends. Keep scrolling for a peek into 10 designer homes that we’d gladly visit—invitations welcome!
Alessandra Branca’s Harbour Island home is decked out in the designer’s signature red color, but thanks to plenty of tropical influences and natural textures, the hue is happy and light rather than bold and dramatic. A block-printed canopy in the master bedroom projects a decidedly island vibe.
In an American colonial home on New York’s Finger Lakes, designer Thom Filicia has created a masculine yet tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Natural, all-American details reign supreme in the main house, while the separate boathouse was transformed into an open entertaining space, perfect for hanging by the waterfront.
It would be hard to call Celerie Kemble’s tropical retreat a home—compound or resort would be more like it. Comprised of a main residence, clubhouse, cabanas, and bungalows, the property, known as the Playa Grande Beach Club, is shared among Kemble’s friends and co-owners, including actress Mariska Hargitay.
British designer Kathryn M. Ireland maintained this South of France estate for years as a place for her family to escape for the summer and enjoy living in a small European community. The property features expansive grounds, including a barn that was converted into an entertaining space.
Bold patterns and accents are paired with an overall pale color palette in the Sag Harbor home of New York-based designer Michelle Smith. Funky wallpaper in one guest room demands a double take, while a covered side porch enables Smith and her guests to dine al fresco without insect intruders.
The Bahamas home of India Hicks features classic colonial style with bright white textiles and deep woods. The color palette is kept muted throughout the home, so the lush exterior surroundings can take center stage.
Bold colors and fun artwork add personality to the South Florida escape of designer Robert Passal. Indoor/outdoor living ensures the home’s back patio area is as thoughtfully designed and decorated as the adjacent living room.
Kelly Wearstler’s Malibu retreat is both bold and serene. Showcasing Wearstler’s signature combination of unique furniture, deeply veined marble, fascinating artwork, and layered textures, the home still feels like a peaceful retreat thanks to its limited color palette and calming ocean views.
In the Napa Valley escape of designer Ken Fulk, timeless pieces and Americana accents harmonize to create a bold but relaxing space. With furniture and decor sourced from a variety of diverse places—from L.L. Bean to Parisian flea markets—the home’s resulting design is a collected and cohesive combination of seemingly disjointed parts.
Midcentury architecture meets traditional décor in the Palm Springs, Calif. home that designer Michael Smith shares with partner James Costos. Smith completely renovated the Mayan-themed home, restoring it to its original ‘70s splendor while staying true to his classic tastes.
Shop the look of these homes below and then tell us: Which of these designer retreats would you most like to escape to? Share in the comments.