Are you looking for ways to cool down? Besides a trip to the beach, a dip in the pool, or hitting the air conditioned mall, try these tips to cool down your home.
A cool colour palette will lend a sense of coolness, as well as brighten your home, without adding heat. White walls and beige fabrics, for example, cool a room by tempering the light. Cool colours – hues that are on the cool side of the colour wheel – range from seaside cottage blue to relaxing mulberry purple and serene foliage green. Darker browns and gold accents in fabrics, window treatments and flooring add warmth without adding heat, like in this bedroom vignette by Attica.
A monochromatic decorating scheme and fabric choices that have a smooth texture and visual coolness will calm a space which, in effect, cools it down. Accents, such as seaside accessories, cool-hued area rugs, and water features contribute, as well.
Awnings, shade trees and porch roofs will keep the direct heat of the sun from the house. They also block the natural light and can result in drab rooms. Use shimmering colours, like sea green or ocean blue, to brighten without adding visual heat. These colours attract light without bouncing it around the room, creating a more open, lightened feel in a shaded space.
If an outside wall gets hit with direct sunlight, your room’s temperature may soar on a hot, sunny day. For hot temperature rooms, consider strategies to improve air flow, such as opening up a wall, re-positioning windows and doors to allow a cross breeze, using fans to create a breeze, installing an air conditioning unit, or installing a water feature to mist the air. You can also cool things down with décor. Fresh colours and smooth textures will add the feeling of a cool breeze. Lighten and cool the floor with white washed or light grey planks, cool coloured carpeting, or a smooth, hard surface, such as tile. Choose whites with a blue undertone for walls and trim, and accessorize with blue and white fabrics with smooth textures. Accessorize with darker tones of blue and green for visual interest, as in this living room by Pier 1. Stick to three or less colours if you want to cool down a room. Think of it this way: more colours generate more energy which generates more heat.
Visually cool down sunny, bright rooms by using creamy yellows and pale sandy pinks. Accents of dark greens or reds will be needed to add visual depth. Soft yellow walls tone down the flood of natural sunlight, however details can become lost in the ‘sameness’ of the light in the space. Mossy green, red and sunny yellow touches in fabrics, artwork and accessories will provide interest.
If you tend to prefer warm colours in your home, consider a quick alteration just for our brief hot and humid season. You can easily dress a neutral palette with a touch of cool colours for an instant cooling refresh, like with these cushions from Wicker Emporium.
Favourite New Find: Portable Mist Hose
If you are minding the heat, get yourself one of these. I vacationed in the Okanagans this summer with 40+ degree temperatures. As much as I love the heat, it challenged even me.
One day we were on friends’ back patio and they hooked up their mist hose. Amazing! It attaches to your garden hose and turns the water flow into a refreshing mist. Place it off to the side to cool the air or pull it in close to really cool down.
Available at Canadian Tire for $16.99.