These restful hideaways just might be the soundest escape plans of all—no overnight bag required.
1 of 5Photo by Annie Schlechter; Styling by Matthew Gleason
Keeping tabs on tides and passing boats far out-ranks to-do lists on this sweet window seat over-looking Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts. But maybe you’ll spy a new idea or two peeking over the horizon.
Soften Your Perch: A double-welt cushion stretching the length of the bench and a bevy of throw pillows give this seat enough plush comfort to lounge as good as it looks.
Frame the View: A box-pleat valance and draperies in Raoul Textiles’s Pasha pattern frames the water vista and mellows the graphic grid patterns on the windows.
Go Monochromatic: Simple color schemes win when it comes to playing up ocean views. Think of the water as one-half of your palette, and find hues that continue, rather than disrupt, its tranquil vibe.
Minimize Distractions: Built-in storage beneath and flanking the bench keeps clutter contained—a must for no-stress sanctuaries. Simple detailing, like single knob pulls, gives the millwork a low profile.
Interior design by James Radin; architecture by Mark Schmid. The wallpaper is by Farrow & Ball.
2 of 5Eric Piasecki/Otto Archive
Retro Reading Nook
Never underestimate the power of nostalgia as an escape route. On Nantucket, nods to the freedom of summer make a subtle sofa alcove a journey to the water’s edge.
Go Big on Color Cues: Youthful red and blue accents offer an instant connection to warm, relaxing days by the water. A pastel backdrop adds nuance to the palette, keeping it from feeling kitschy.
Hang a Big Hint: Artwork—especially a piece with a clear, captivating focal point—is a simple way to shift gears to sand and sea. This painting of a vintage postcard even takes the room a little retro, which is an instant mood lifter.
Loosen Up: The sofa’s soft, relaxed profile and overstuffed cushions are just right for tucking in, and match the beach’s informal, easygoing ethos.
Panel the Walls: Beadboard walls are a dead giveaway to this haven’s salty spirit, giving the seating area the character of an old summerhouse.
3 of 5Photo by Peter Frank Edwards; Styling by Ginny Branch
Sunny Private Spa
With streaming light, a screen of palms, and a tub for soaking away the world, even a five-star resort can’t beat the serenity of this corner bath on Spring Island in South Carolina. We’ll hold your calls.
Channel the Ocean: Four-by-four glass tile ooring makes the room feel as if it’s oating above the sea’s aqua surface (and creates a colorful counterpoint to the bright white palette). Each tile is slightly varied, mimicking the appearance of moving water.
Let the Light In: Café-style plantation shutters leave the upper windows clear to usher in plenty of light; the surrounding palms are like graphic natural art.
Add Character: The cast-iron claw-footed tub is be tting an island manor house. Its carved mahogany legs contrast the floor’s sleek glass with a bit of age.
Clear the Air: Greenery helps connect the bath to the landscape. Plus, houseplants such as devil’s ivy and Boston fern are air-purifiers—fitting add-ons for a proper spa.
4 of 5Photo by Annie Schlechter; Styling by Karin Lidbeck
The natural wood paneling in this discreet den on Fire Island in New York recalls the old-school character of classic beach-bar haunts, but with a bit more polish and none of the noisy crowds.
Cozy Up to Nature: Indigenous white oak on the walls and ceiling wraps the room in organic warmth. The wood is cut in a rift-sawn pattern, which gives the graining its refined appearance.
Keep It Fluid: A pair of sliding barn doors hold the key to the most essential element of a great hideaway (privacy!), but they also keep the space exible. When open, the cozy nook rolls right into the flow of the rest of the house.
Relax the Seating: When it comes to private lounges, keep it loose. Built-in banquettes with woven cotton cushions net more stretching-out space than traditional sofas, and don’t corral occupants in a single corner. The white leather poufs are like the sophisticated cousins of ’70s-era beanbag chairs, and just as cool.
Dim the Lights: Glass globes in colorful fishing nets mix with recessed lighting to cast a mellow glow.
5 of 5Photo by David A. Land; Styling by Meagan Camp
Covert Nap Quarters
This built-in bed alcove in Centerport, New York, has the tucked-away feeling of a sleeping berth on a boat, and double the design potential—not a bad spot to set yourself adrift.
Give Yourself Some Space: A queen-size bed (as opposed to a king) means extra breathing room under low-sloping ceilings. Bonus: it leaves just enough space for a slim nightstand built right in.
Create Striking Slopes: Patterned wallpaper turns tricky wall angles into room-defining design elements. Patterns with a symmetrical repeat such as this one help create a feeling of equilibrium and harmony.
Hit Mute: This dusky shade of blue paint (Labrador Blue by Benjamin Moore) is restful and quiet, ideal for dialing down energy and instilling a sense of peace. White bedding gives deep nooks like this one a feeling of openness and light.
Include the Top Brass: Step up the ship’s-cabin sensibility with unlacquered brass accents, such as a flexible reading light and a sconce reminiscent of a porthole window.