Although we find ourselves quarantined, that doesn’t mean we can’t (safely) enjoy our favorite season: summer! Each year, June welcomes the season of sunshine, exercise, beach, and fun. The textures, sights, and smells of summer increase our natural, feel-good serotonin and boost our immune system, while the feel of sand on our bare feet stimulates our nerve endings and heightens our awareness. 

These are just a few reasons why you should consider adding summer-inspired vegan décor to your different summer spaces, as doing so can mimic the season’s mental and physical health benefits. Here are five of my favorite tips to incorporate vegan design for a summer makeover so that you can safely enjoy the season of fun in the sun. 

1. Color
Bright, positive, summer colors and patterns stimulate the senses and can add energy to a room. If you’re super hip (which, of course you are), when considering colors, think nature and shades of green. When opting for colors, select shades of green, and bring in colors that work well with your chosen shades, such as soft blues, yellows, and pinks. From Living Coral (a bright pinky-orange), Serenity (a pastel baby blue), and Rose Quartz (a light, blush pink), Pantone’s colors of the year are a great place to start when color pairing. Then, take a deep breath, and enjoy your cruelty-free expression of conscious living.

2. Home
An easy place to begin is with decorative soaps and body lotions. Then, go natural (and vegan!) in all your body products because dousing yourself with chemically created lotions is toxic. My favorite is CoCaBee, which is certified cruelty-free and produces inexpensive soaps and creams that have “summery” packaging. Another easy space to go “faux” is in the bedroom, so replace your down pillows and comforter with a vegan alternative. Faux down is not only ethical (did you know ducks and geese are plucked alive to make down comforters?) but is also healthier for those who suffer from allergies. Finally, choose heavier faux bedding because the weight is therapeutic and puts pressure on the body, which in turn relaxes us (similar to digging your feet into the heavy sand).

3. Home Office
This year, thousands of companies across the world found themselves transitioning to telework. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t give your new office space a summertime look. Once you’ve given your bedroom and living spaces a vegan makeover, it’s time to tackle your makeshift home office! When adding summer touches, treat an office just as you would any other space. Place colorful, leafy, real plants on desks or dining room tables next to sandalwood scented candles, and add a few colorful cotton throws over chairs.

Many of us love to work from our beds because there’s nothing better than being cocooned in a blanket that relaxes the body and allows us to open our minds to new thoughts and ideas. If you’re trying to limit your work-from-bed time, place a throw over your work chair; this makes for a wonderful addition to a makeshift office space that helps recreate that comforting feeling of your bed.

If you have an in-home office, rearrange the furniture so desks are facing windows to feel the sun on your face during the day. Moving furniture is a positive step for your mental health, as we feel good when we create new spatial arrangements. Finally, get a foot roller to place under your feet during the afternoons when you need a bit of stimulation, and fill a clear glass bowl with sand and small pebbles, and run your fingers through it throughout the day. And don’t forget to place Pantone-colored notepads and desk accessories throughout your office.

4. Backyard
Pillow covers are easy, inexpensive, and one of my favorite decorative items to replace in a space. Also, they’re simple to make—you don’t even need a sewing machine! So, with this in mind, replace your outdoor pillows with vegan fabric covers with happy, nature-inspired colors and shapes. Kravet is a leader in the textile industry, and I have been using their fabrics for years. Choose fabrics printed with shells, fish, greenery, or beach designs, or maybe go for a grouping of bright bold colors such as blues, greens, and yellows. Whichever you choose, think “nature” and “bright.”

5. Beach
The beach is a versatile destination perfect for sun, exercise, meditation, and solitude. The beach relieves stress, provides your daily dose of vitamin D, is proven to give you a better night’s sleep, naturally exfoliates your body, and reduces pain. So, while you’re running laps in the sand or going for a refreshing swim, spread the word about saving animals with this soft beach towel you can use time and time again. Also, make sure your beach bag is vegan. I love this cruelty-free straw bag with a bright shade of green. And remember, before you lace up your running shoes or suit up in your newest swimwear, make sure to check restrictions at your favorite local beach!

Deborah DiMare is the founder of DimareDesign.com, an ultra-luxury, 100-percent vegan interior-design firm.

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