Life's a Beach at Work: From Summer-Inspired Desk Decor to Happy Hour

Interior Design

A 9-to-5 Guide To Bringing The Beach to Work

August 18, 2017

We partnered with Blue Point Brewing Company to bring the best of the beach to your everyday work life—even to your cubicle. After all, it's five o'clock somewhere, and a crisp, clean lager always has the power to transport. Wish you were here!

On vacation in Montauk, I've gazed longingly at fishing crews hauling in nets at the dock. While my desk job is in many ways cushy in comparison, there's some romance to clocking in and out of a marina and letting weather rule the day. Back in the city, I've spent my subway commute with eyes closed, daydreaming about my next life as a fisherwoman. More than anything else, my favorite part of that vision is popping open a hard-earned beer at the end of a long shift. With the sound of waves crashing softly through my headphones, I imagine the spray of saltwater on my face, and the squawk of seagulls heading into sunset as I count my catch. You, too, can bring big-sky boat vibes to your work life all summer, and all year, long.

Below this guide to the real (vs. conjured) Montauk, find your 9 to 5 guide.


Start your day off right by staying hydrated. We love to sip coconut water from this pineapple tumbler while nibbling on sliced cucumber, watermelon, and other snacks high in water content.

Bring summery flavors to your desk by squeezing fresh lime juice on sliced nectarine. For a touch of ocean brine, sprinkle with flaky sea salt.

Jazz up plain yogurt with sliced cantaloupe, strawberries, and granola.

At your desk, store beach-inspired pantry items in mini gear hammocks, often used as clever storage solutions on space-constrained live-aboard boats.

With your conference call on mute, or during a late-morning lull between projects, tend to your desk decor. Invest in a glass terrarium and master the art of its interior assembly. Mix it up in there by switching out starfish, beachgrass, and seashells from your travels, all resting on a bed of sand. For a portal to memories of Montauk, include as many oyster shells as you can.

Through headphones or amplified at a not-annoying volume, listen to songs that mean summer to you. For evoking coastal Long Island, Billy Joel is always a good call. It's no stretch at all to imagine him hanging out with the Montauk baymen he brings to life in The Downeaster 'Alexa.'

Lunch Hour

Recruit a few coworkers, or meet a friend and find a patch of grass for a beach-inspired picnic. Stretch out on a beach throw and unpack any of these summery sandwiches.

Don't forget to stick your non-edible essentials in a bright carry-all: sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat and shades for incognito people-watching, and a beach read if you're dining solo.

Mid-Afternoon Break

Play Popsicle Fairy: Deliver these homemade blueberry coconut frozen treats to your wiped-out coworkers. They just might reciprocate by bringing you an iced matcha or cold brew, fresh from your local coffee shop.

Ready to wrap up your summer workday? Start the party at your desk. Photo by Bobbi Lin


Close any drafts-in-progress, shut down your computer, and slip into that pair of flip-flops stashed under your desk. Throw some beers on ice in a galvanized metal bucket, make some extra noise, and your coworkers will come running.

If your company has a yard or other outdoor space for happy hour, you're in luck. If not, no worries—just take over the lobby or a conference room. To loosen things up, swap stories tied to prompts about best and worst summer camp memories, or ask your boss what spots she has left on her summer vacation bucket list.

No raw bar spilling over with oysters on the half shell at your office? Until you convince H.R. to add that game-changing perk, satisfy your coworkers' appetities with a steady supply of homemade Curried Coconut Cocktail Nuts and Homemade Potato Chips, and watch your stock soar. The salty snacks pair perfectly with smooth, malty beer.

For all things summer, we look to Blue Point Brewing Company as a guiding light. With their boatyard brewery on the south shore of Long Island, a world away and a short train ride from the high-rises of Manhattan, they know a thing or two about balancing modern life with timeless pleasures. Whether shucking oysters, making sand castles, or popping open a cold beer, you're in good company with Blue Point.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Cara Cannella

Written by: Cara Cannella