here’s nothing like post-summer blues to spark daydreams of the next getaway. Luckily, designer Victoria Hagan provides plenty of inspiration in her upcoming book, Dream Spaces (Rizzoli). Infused with her signature take on simplicity and classic American living, this new volume focuses on second homes — think shingle-style beach cottages in the Hamptons, or Aspen mountain retreats with snowcapped views. We sat down with the designer to chat about her new book and tips on creating the perfect holiday.
The locations in Dream Spaces are amazing. How do you make each home suit its surroundings?
It’s always about the setting. I’ve been so inspired by nature in my work, and this book really opens a lid on the beauty of this country from coast to coast. For the home with those wonderful views of the Ajax mountains, the challenge was finding how to respond to that majesty. For me, it was about creating comfort – something soft, inviting and warm. For Nantucket, it’s all about the breeze. It’s never just about a color or piece of furniture.
We can only begin to imagine how fabulous these homes are for entertaining. How do you create spaces made for mingling?
The first thing I want to figure out is my clients’ idea of fun. Nine times out of 10, it means casually entertaining family and friends. Once I hear that, I know I need to make it easy. You need a big table, so everyone can share. In my home in Florida, I have an 11-foot table, and it works spectacularly for spreading out food. I myself don’t usually entertain formally. I love nothing more than sitting down to a pretty table with all the doors open, with a warm breeze blazing in. I think the book captures that same feeling. I wanted to press pause and share those special moments.
What three things do you need to bring on vacation?
I would say a great pair of sandals that can take you from breakfast to dinner, and a great hat. And I would definitely bring my iPad, fully downloaded with House of Cards, The Crown, and Homeland. You never know when it’s going to rain!
For your ultimate dream escape, where would you go? The mountains, the coast or the city?
Easy question — it’s definitely anywhere near water. I’m an East Coast girl for life. I have a home both in Nantucket and Florida. I’m always inspired by the water and how it changes in the light.
What’s one destination you always tell your friends to add to their bucket list?
We just went to Venice this summer for the Biennale, and it’s such a magical place. I was so struck with their traditions and history. The city has been an inspiration for centuries. And there is something about being inspired by the past that enables you to move forward. Seeing such artisans and the passion they had for their work makes you just want to keep growing and moving forward.
Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite on holiday and why?
My husband and my two sons – that’s what holidays are all about!