3 Sun-Filled Interiors to Inspire Your Summer Retreat

Fusing natural materials with site-specific details, each of these bright, vibrant projects offers a vacation for the senses.

Bringing natural light into a space has many benefits: For one, its a bona fide mood-booster that increases productivity while lowering energy costs. Here, we spotlight a trio of projects—a hotel, a home, and a restaurant—that embrace light in remarkable ways while providing a summery sense of escape.

Each one is by a firm thats a member of The List, the destination for all things Surface-approved. Want to join The List? Contact our team to find out how to apply.


The Drifter Hotel, Nicole Cota Studio
For this revamped 1950s New Orleans hotel, interior designer Nicole Cota dreamed up a retro concept that comes through via modern furnishings that complement floral accents, tropical textures, and clean, natural finishes.

A wall of faux roses, created by artist Carlton Scott Sturgill from upcycled dress shirts, spills into the sun-filled lobby bar. (Photo: Nicole Franzen for Design Hotels)
Cota’s interiors play with vibrant textures and warm, muted hues. (Photo: Nicole Franzen for Design Hotels)
A hand-painted mural by artist Alexandra Kilburn anchors the lobby bar. (Photo: Nicole Franzen for Design Hotels)


Amagansett Residence, Ronen Lev
We wouldn’t mind spending a long weekend in this charming open-plan beach house in the Hamptons. The home’s soaring windows usher daylight indoors while the interior designed by New York–based firm Ronen Lev includes furnishings and materials that reflect the surrounding environment.

The master bedroom features clean lines and bright, sandy hues. (Photo: Nicole Franzen)
An airy atrium with two-tiered windows; an open dining space with furnishings that reflect the outside environment. (Photo: Nicole Franzen)
A lounge-worthy living room brings the beach vibe inside. (Photo: Nicole Franzen)


Pacific Standard Time, Parts and Labor Design
A California coastal vibe emerges from this sun-drenched eatery and bar in Chicago. The exposed kitchen opens up the space, while a Midcentury-inspired pitched roof lets light and air inside. Tableware, made of brass and colored glass, mingles with foliage to imbue the restaurant with an fresh, organic quality.

An exposed kitchen brings diners closer to the restaurant’s chefs.
The restaurant features warm woods, lots of plants, and Southern California colors.
Light spills onto the Terrazzo floors of the banquet area.


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