Wherever you are, take a slice of summer with you.
Summer is 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 home and work 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.
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. It just so happens that the Pantone Color of 2017 is green, so choosing green makes you on trend and environmentally aware. Pantone colors are chosen yearly and symbolize what is taking place in our culture on a global level. So, when opting for colors, select shades of green, and bring in colors that work well with green, such as soft blues, yellows, and pinks. Then, take a deep breath, and enjoy your cruelty-free expression of conscious living.
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 up to 25 ducks are plucked alive to make one down comforter?) 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).
When adding summer touches, treat an office just as you would any other space. Place colorful, leafy, real plants on desks next to sandalwood scented candles, and add a few colorful cotton throws over desk 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. So, placing a throw over your desk chair is a wonderful addition to an office space that helps recreates that comforting feeling of your bed. Next, 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.
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.”
The beach is a versatile destination perfect for fun, sun, exercise, meditation, solitude, and group activities. 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 soaking up the rays, spread the word about saving animals with your beach towel. Also, make sure your beach bag is vegan. I love this cruelty-free straw bag with a bright shade of green.
Deborah Rosenberg is the founder of the ultra-luxury vegan interior design firm DiMare Design and Certified Cruelty Free, an online accredited educational course and cruelty free licensing company that builds awareness and teaches individuals and companies globally about vegan, cruelty free materials and alternatives. She is a leader in vegan and wellness/healthy design as well as a PETA advocate. She’s passionate about animal rights, has been a featured designer on TLC, and has appeared on The Today Show. Deborah lectures and writes articles on humane and wellness design.