What Keeps Our Deputy Editor Chill at Home When It’s This Hot Out

No ugly AC unit in sight.
Julie Vadnal Avatar
mood board of products for staying cool
Photography by Melanie Acevedo

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Home Front is a twice-weekly deep dive into the rising—and returning—trends, decor, and teeniest of design details fresh on our radar. Last week, Julie, Domino’s deputy editor, quite literally chilled out.

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This just in: It’s hot outside. Especially in New York City, where sun meets concrete meets humidity meets my entire body feeling like a wet sponge, and not in a good way. (Is there even a good way?) I recently ran a four-mile race in 80-degree weather—do not recommend. I’m no meteorologist, but after living in a heat-baked city for 17 years, I’ve learned a few things about staying (and looking) cool, and thankfully, none of them involve a portable neck fan. 

On Board: Just Play It Cool

My secret to being somewhat comfortable when the mercury rises? Surrounding yourself with icy products—that are still stylish, of course. Cold-plunge pools may be all the rage, but I have yet to find one that I’d actually want in my walk-up apartment. So until then, I’ll be relying on these cooling methods.

Here are 11 ways I stay chill:

  1. Make fun of me all you want, but sitting on a metal chair—I have this iconic chrome one—with the AC blasting is a fast way to chill out. 
  2. My July, an actually stylish window AC unit, recently got a glow-up thanks to Xavier Donnelly, who designed a painterly cover that doubles as wall art. Now I live in the clouds.
  3. There are fancier ice cream makers on the market, but I’ve had this one for nearly a decade and it’s still the best for summertime sorbets and sherbets. (Always keep the bowl in your freezer!)
  4. If there’s a more stylish and hardworking tabletop fan out there, I’m unaware. On my dresser, it’s unobtrusive—and so much chicer than a box version. I also love that it comes with a remote, because I’m not getting up in this heat.
  5. Also in my freezer: cool-girl aesthetician Sofie Pavitt’s Nice Ice pods, which are skin-care–packed cubes you run along your face to soothe inflammation (and recover from a non-AC subway ride). 
  6. For years, this has been my go-to ice tray. It doesn’t just hold ice—I can pop the jewel-shaped cubes into the attached container so that I always have a stash when it’s cocktail o’ clock on my brownstone’s stoop.
  7. When it’s this steamy out, I just want to be Outdoor Voices founder Tyler Haney, diving into my Austin home’s pool (never mind that I can’t dive). 
  8. Cold brew is the only way to go when it’s this warm out, and Explorer makes my favorite concentrate. It doesn’t hurt that the bottle is bar cart–worthy. 
  9. W+P’s new stackable and transparent freezer cubes are perfect for storing fruit, my go-to snack on sweltering days. 
  10. The color of these chambray linen sheets, made from a mix of cotton and linen, reminds me of a pool, so yes, it’s the only bedding I’ll be using in this heat.
  11. I’m just going to say it: Most water pitchers with filters are essentially germ containers. And yet, cold, clean water is all I want in the summertime. Enter the Aarke Purifier pitcher, which has zero plastic and instead of filters relies on refillable granules to clean your H2O. Plus it’s dishwasher-safe.
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Julie Vadnal Avatar

Julie Vadnal

Deputy Editor

Julie Vadnal is the deputy editor of Domino. She edits and writes stories about shopping for new and vintage furniture, covers new products (and the tastemakers who love them), and tours the homes of cool creatives. She lives in Brooklyn.

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