If you could build your dream vacation home, which fun features would you add? That’s a question that has been on our mind ever since we shared this Family Playhouse under construction, which will eventually include a half basketball court and 9-hole mini golf course! When designing a vacation home — especially one in a rural area — many families are finding creative ways to keep the fun in-house. So what would we put in our ultimate vacation home? Read on for a little inspiration…

Outdoor grill stone work

Design by TMS Architects  

A Party-Ready Grill

Vacation homes, guests, and dining outdoors all seem to go hand in hand, so a party-ready grill is naturally #1 on our list! Plenty of surface space is key, because it allows you to prep, cook, and serve in one area instead of running back and forth between your grill and indoor kitchen. We especially love patio designs that incorporate the grill seamlessly into the patio design, like the one pictured above. The stone backdrop creates an interesting focal point, and surrounding counters are great for prep space. This patio is ready for a party!


Design by TMS Architects



Design by TMS Architects

Pools, Hot Tubs & Outdoor Showers 

Whether your vacation home sits on the ocean, on a lake, or is entirely land-locked, swimming should be on the agenda for any getaway. An in-ground pool is a great place for everyone in the family to relax, and can offer more privacy and convenience than the beach. If you’re really looking to unwind on vacation, a hot tub (either adjacent to the pool or solo) is an ideal addition as well. And you just can’t beat an outdoor shower after a dip in the ocean!

TMS Wolfeboro_20111024_9583

Design by TMS Architects


Design by TMS Architects

Boats & A Boat House

If your lucky enough to have a vacation home with some waterfront real-estate, then a boat is an excellent investment. If you prefer to keep things simple, dock and a couple of kayaks is all you need for a relaxing paddle on your vacation. For the avid boater, a spacious 3-door boathouse like the one pictured above will accommodate your every need.


Design by TMS Architects

Lawn Games for the Whole Family

Bocce, croquet, badminton & more! A section of the yard dedicated to lawn games is always fun, especially if you have a large family or lots of guests to entertain. As with any yard feature, you’ll want any lawn game area to blend in with its natural surroundings as much as possible. We used natural stone, wood, and layers of landscaped gardens to accomplish this in the example above.


Design by TMS Architects

A Fire Pit For Summer Evenings

After a day full of lawn games, grilling, and fun on the water, there’s nothing more relaxing than spending an evening sitting by the fire pit. It’s the perfect way to take in your beautiful surroundings (perhaps admiring a lake view like the home above), chat with friends and family, and keep the kids entertained with s’mores. If you seek a simple addition to your vacation home that will help you relax, a fire pit is the way to go.

Now that you’ve seen some of our vacation home essentials, we want to hear from you! Is there anything you would add to this list? If you’re feeling inspired, or are ready to add some fun features to your current vacation home, reach out to us online or at 603.436.4274.