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Going on vacation takes a lot of preparation. In our case, there’s the last-minute packing ritual, making arrangements for the dog and the house and the mail and so on. For me, making lists of all these details before we leave is part of the effort.

Then comes the time-consuming travel part, but once you arrive at your long-awaited destination all that, along with the necessary prep, is soon forgotten. Last month, we stayed at the Margarita Beach Resort in Hollywood Beach, Florida. Inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett, we were treated to a little slice of paradise.

As usual, there was plenty of inspiration to take home.

The resort goes all out to create a laid-back, tropical, “no worries” vibe and that’s exactly how you feel upon entering the lobby where a giant blue flip-flop sculpture seems to symbolize carefree living.

The message I received was clear. Sit back, relax and enjoy your stay, which we did.

So, I purchased some little flip-flop tins filled with mints from the coffee shop to remind me to unwind at home.

One of my favorite features was the massive chandelier adorned with upside-down margarita glasses that were suspended in the air. This unique piece made me smile every time I walked by. When I showed it to my cousin’s wife, she wanted to try a slightly different take at home with wine glasses.

Seats that simulate porch swings with the clever attachment of rope were part of the main lobby, while some cozy sitting rooms off to one side provided a more intimate setting.

Even the keycards to the rooms were embellished with palm trees.

The breathtaking view of the ocean from our suite made me feel like I was on a cruise ship, while the steady breeze and crashing waves created a calming effect.

The tasteful decor throughout was incredibly refreshing. In the rooms, pops of blue surrounded by neutrals with whimsical accent pieces scattered about made me want to try some variation of this approach at home.

Even the basics, like the alarm clock and the cordless phone were aesthetically pleasing, proving that practical pieces can still contribute to the overall beauty of the space.

On the balcony, painted Adirondack chairs emphasized the low-key vibe. The combination of the natural elements and the casual atmosphere could lower anyone’s blood pressure.

As to be expected, there was great music to be heard everywhere, from the live entertainment on the boardwalk to the tunes that played in the restaurants and the elevators at the resort.

I’m hoping this will inspire me to create a new playlist to enjoy at home.

While we know the friends and relatives we saw don’t get to the beach often even though they live in Florida, it was still hard to return to the gloomy weather that awaited us in Michigan.

For now, I’ll have to take a slice of paradise home with a few tropical touches and some Jimmy Buffett playing in the background.

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at jeaninematlow@earthlink.net.

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