Whether you can’t wait for summer that you already want your condo to look the part even if you can barely feel the sun’s warmth, much less bask in its brightness; or it’s already summer in your part of the world yet you’re almost always cooped up indoors, it might as well have been winter—there’s a way to bring summer’s heat and sunshine into your living space. Here are a few ideas:
1. Make your space brighter. If your condo doesn’t get much sunlight—either because there’s another building right across or it’s just really barely hit by the sun—there are practical ways you can maximize the amount of light that does get through, according to Buzzfeed. One of them is to “mount shelves perpendicular to a wall that has a window” to let more sunlight flow into the room. And the easiest trick? Just clean your windows and lampshades! Getting rid of all the dirt and dust that accumulated on them over the months (or years!) will bring in more precious light. You may also want to remove the drapes and change your curtains to some light and transparent ones that will let more light into your apartment. Adding mirrors are also a tried and tested brightening trick.
2. Add plants—including large ferns and palms, if you have the space! If summer for you means going on vacation on some tropical island, hiking up a mountain, or just enjoying the great outdoors—but for some reason you can’t do that yet—just bring nature to your own home, suggested designer Justina Blakeney, who manages the popular Instagram account Jungalow and is the author of The New Bohemians Handbook: Come Home to Good Vibes, to The New York Times. Watch and nurture those plants until before you know it, you can finally go on your much-anticipated vacation. Don’t have a green thumb? Just have a regular supply of fresh flowers in your flat.
3. If you can, update your condo’s color scheme into summer colors. Think yellow, mustard, beige, sky blue, teal, and sea green, but you may also think of adding pops of orange, copper, and even red. The living room is the best place to make this seasonal update. The warm colors will definitely bring the warmth of summer into your condo, while the cool colors will bring the sea and the outdoors to mind, especially when you can’t easily go on a beach or nature trip. Combine these colors with white to make your home even more open and inviting.
4. Decorate with items that bring summer to mind. Vogue got five swimwear designers to share how they bring summer to their homes (even when it’s freezing outside), and most of them shared that they incorporate summer-y vibes into their decor. These involve having a collection of wicker baskets around your space, using linen for your window drapes and beddings, hanging a photo of the ocean or a beautiful summertime landscape, and other pieces that remind you of past travels (i.e. seashells)—so you have visual encouragement for when you can finally go on vacation next.
5. Curate your summer playlist on Spotify—and play it whenever you’re home. Whatever tunes bring summer to mind—be it chill-out EDM, laid-back reggae beats, or pop and hip-hop tracks about sunny California—should be compiled in your soundtrack that you can play whenever you’re cooped up in your flat doing take-home work so you can finally go on that beach trip. You might also want to have a different summer playlist for various activities: dance beats for when you’re working out in the living room (for that beach body), lounge music while you’re chilling out and having your own staycation in the bedroom, or some Latina tunes while you’re whipping up some Mexican fare in the kitchen. Better yet, choose from Spotify’s playlists to match your summer vibe.
6. Make your own fruit shakes—or tropical cocktails. Nothing brings summer to mind—and cools us in the summer heat—faster than having fresh fruit shakes and colorful Tiki cocktails decorated with tropical fruit slices and tiny paper umbrellas. Pop fruits in the freezer and once frozen, throw them in a blender so you wouldn’t need to add either ice or sugar to your fresh fruit shake. And to make fruit-based ice cubes for your cocktails, freeze fruit juice in an ice tray, then use these fruity ice cubes for a below zero boozy drink. Check out this list of Tiki drinks you can make in your condo from Food & Wine. Why wait to drink exotic drinks by the beach, when you can make them in your own pad?