The world may call it a 'holiday home' or a 'weekender home', but here in New Zealand, the word 'bach' brings to mind a relaxing vacation in a home away from home.

Designing and decorating a bach is a right of passage for many Kiwi families, especially since some of the fondest memories with loved ones are created while spending time together at the bach. In a country blessed by golden sandy beaches and shimmering blue oceans, it's not hard to imagine why spending a coastal holiday at your own bach is the ideal lifestyle choice. 

While many modern baches around the country are examples of luxurious architecture and sumptuous interior design, the base idea of a 'bach' means that it need not be the most glamorous house on the dunes, but rather a warm and welcoming space for a holiday all-year-round. With this in mind, let's delve into the classic features that make a great bach. 

A great bach has quality living and lounging spaces
This is crucial for ensuring you can spend quality time with your loved ones. Did you know that spending time with friends or family was voted as the best way to alleviate stress by 81 per cent of people in a wellbeing survey by the Australian Psychological Society last year? Here in New Zealand, it's likely that national research would find similar results. 

To provide the best living and lounging areas, start by selecting soft, plush upholstery for your sofa and armchairs, inviting everyone to sink into the cosy fabrics and unwind. The Bend sofa by Matisse is a great option for a bach due to its playful curved shape and dark, neutral colour. Sofa, so good! Another key living space is your bach's kitchen and dining room. Delicious meals are shared here, so make the dining table and seating as much of a feast for the eyes as the food by choosing quirky chairs such as Signal Seating by IMO

Optimise the liveability of shared spaces through outdoor showers, bunk beds and large sliding doors that open the whole bach up to the landscape outside.

Your bach is in many ways a haven – an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, a chance to get sand between your toes after a quick walk to the beach, a space to lounge on the sofa with your favourite people and laugh as you play cards. In a nutshell, it's a retreat for stress release. In fact, a study sponsored by Nuffield Health, one of UK's largest healthcare charities, found that taking regular holidays was a form of "preventative medicine" because it was so effective for stress relief. Your bach is literally your clinic! This is why quality living spaces enhance the healing nature of a bach. 

A great bach injects fresh, colourful accents into the decor 
Bright pops of accent colours bring a joyous, fresh feel to any bach. Don't go overboard, though, as this can look overpowering and cluttered. Instead, follow a tried-and-tested rule from interior design colour theory: the 60-30-10 rule. This means that you decorate 60 per cent of a room in the dominant colour, 30 per cent with a secondary colour and only 10 per cent using accent colours.

An ideal way to inject accent colours is in decorative objects such as vases, candle stands, fruit bowls, throws, blankets, cushions and artworks. For example, the Tropical Paradise Cushion Collection by Limon from Furtex is perfect for vacay vibes on outdoor furniture. 

A great bach is welcoming even in the winter 
This is extremely important. Don't plan just for the hotter months, instead get maximum return on your investment by using the bach throughout the seasons.

Cosy fireplaces are fantastic in winter, but you can bring visual heat to any space by using warm colours such as red, yellow and orange. Large floor rugs in these tones are a simple way to bring warmth, such as Disc by Cloth from Designer Rugs in its vibrant crimson hue. 

Complete the snug feel by adding sheepskin throws and rugs, or other faux fur fluffy fabrics as blankets. If your bach has wooden floors, consider leaving warm slippers in each bedroom for guests and adding heated towel rails.

A great bach brings your family personality to the space
Last but by no means least, make your own stamp on the bach by hanging framed family photographs or decorating shelves with heirlooms and personal mementos. Such homely features make it feel special and unique to your family. You can also make a personal statement by selecting stand-out pieces in your own stylistic tastes. Artwork collections, pendant light fixtures and coffee tables are examples of items that tend to stand-out more, so put your personal spin on these.