When I first glanced at The Playhouse, NYC-based designer Tali Roth’s new office space, my mind immediately wandered to summer travel plans: lazy days overlooking the Aegean sea, sunbathing on the French Riviera, sipping rosé on Formentera, feeling the warm breeze, and taking cool dips in the Mediterranean sea.
In reality, I was sat at my desk on a particularly dreadful New York winter day. The temperatures had dipped below zero, the wind was howling, and the sky was low and gray. It made me wonder about the psychological impact that our surroundings have on our state of mind. If simply glancing at a summery interior could lift my spirits, what effect could living in such a space have on my permanent state of mind?
I vowed to put the theory to the test and searched high and low for small decorative accents that would bring carefree summer vibes to even the smallest and darkest New York City apartment. If traveling to warmer climes can lift the soul, could evoking the same warm places in your own living space serve as a placebo cure to the winter blues—all at a much lower price than a plane ticket to Tulum?
Can’t get to the beach? Bring the beach to you with this quirky Sunburned Pair pillow by K Studio. It’ll bring the carefree joy of summer days right to your apartment.
This Swirl candleholder by Tim Dixon is made of powdered marble residue in aqua and yellow hues. The cheery colors are reminiscent of the sand and ocean hues of a sunny beach day and will brighten even the darkest and coldest winter nights.
Elena Megalos’s 14k Dive print is painted with gold gouache on Bhutanese paper. Much of the Brooklyn-based artist’s work evokes scenes of summer, swimming, and sunshine in a Cocteau-esque style, perfect to add a cheeky dose of summer to any home.
The aqua hues of the knurled solid bronze knobs on this mirror by Yuca Stuff mixed with the curvy shapes is reminiscent of an underwater world that would brighten up any apartment with its unique character.
Add a dash of coastal flair to your home with this lilac seashell vase by Äventyr. Also available in pink, the 3-D-modeled vase will inspire you to add a few summery blooms to your space, no matter the season.
Few things in a home have the power to alter your mood quite like art, and this print by artist Marleigh Culver is like liquid sunshine. Featuring sunny shades of yellow offset by earthy greens and rust tones, it’s reminiscent of a pineapple and a piece of coral—all reminiscent of warmer summer days.
When the tree branches are bare and gloomy outside, bring some greenery inside to cheer you up. Even if your apartment gets little natural light, a faux tree can give your space the impression of evergreen seasons.
This Oo lamp by emerging designer Eny Lee Parker is built from ceramic and copper and available in clay colors in varying skin tones and terra-cotta hues. The warmth of the organic terra-cotta shapes is evocative of warm summers on the French Riviera.
Feeling a little retro? Add this earthy grass cloth nightstand to your decor. If it reminds you of your grandparents’ beach home, it’ll be just the dose of nostalgia you need to tide you over to the next summer season.
There’s nothing like an enviable summer beach scene framed dead center on your wall to give you a little perspective on the darkest and gloomiest days of winter. Dream of brighter days all year round with this Sunbathing in Nice print by Ivan Dmitri.
It’s not yet sangria season, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t add this cheery pink modern jug to your drinkware collection. Display it on your bar or shelf to remind you that warmer months will come again sooner than you think.
Bring the seashore into your apartment with this chandelier by Serena & Lily. Three tiers of tropical shells—each strung by hand—are attached to a ring hand-wrapped in natural abaca. The result? A romantic and summery piece that would brighten up any room.
Bring the beach to your apartment with this original artwork by artist Alice Quaresma. Inspired by the artist’s favorite book, On Photography by Susan Sontag, the work juxtaposes a cheery beach scene with a much grimmer black-and-white photograph on the right, adding a level of substance to a piece of work that is cheery and bright at first glance.
This cheeky Love Handles vase by Anissa Kermiche is inspired by sculptor Constantin Brancusi’s work. Fill it with your favorite blooms to remind you that warmer days are just around the corner, no matter how cold it is outside.
Inspire your next trip with this book on Mykonos culture and society by Assouline. With illustrated pages filled with white and blue landscapes, it’ll give you a bright dose of summer whenever you need it.
Think a beach chair is only meant for the coast? Think again. This beach rocker by Dutch designer Erik Stehmann featuring bold and bright stripes lends itself just as well to an afternoon at the beach as it does to a balcony or even the middle of your living room.
Already dreaming of summer travels? This embroidered pillow by Kilometre Paris features the address on a Mayfair townhouse in London and will make you look forward to the next escape whenever you glance at it.