Sunshine is a wonderful thing. It improves the mood, the view and opens up a whole world of fun outdoors from long rambles to surfing that the faint hearted amongst us wouldn’t consider when the chilly months arrive. But after a long day of activities (or sun lounging) the heat can feel like an oppressive and unwelcome guest. If you want your home to feel like a soothing, cool respite rather than spend endless sleepless nights wishing the summer away, follow our tips for keeping cool when the heat is on.
1). Seek The Heat
So where exactly is the heat coming from? Might sound like an obvious answer but there are lots of potential sources that could be adding to excess degrees in the home. Have you been using the oven? The residual heat can really push up the thermometer (great excuse to BBQ or to set up an outdoor kitchen). Technology sources kept on standby might also be adding to discomfort as they emit heat. Unplug them if not essential. And pretty as sunlight pouring in through large unshaded French doors may be, it will allow thermal gain to build up over the day whilst you are out at work, making inside hotter than out.
2). Work With Nature, Not Against It
Harnessing the natural qualities of the seasons will save money, energy and strain on the planet. Managing your windows properly can make your windows around 50% more efficient, by keeping in heat or keeping it out. Adding a low e-film will help keep out thermal gain, or a more versatile option is Day & Night blinds, which allow maximum light through a more transparent fabric whilst Topar® Plus coating will block the UV light that can make the room uncomfortable. At night the room darkening section will aid a deeper sleep, increasing comfort by creating a cross breeze. Open a lower window on the cooler side of your home and an upper on the hotter side. If you will be out all day close South and West facing blinds, and resist the temptation to open windows; let air out at night but keep windows closed during day so you only allow the nocturnal, cooler air in.
3). Water, Water
Hot water bottle? No reason you can’t covert it into a cold water bottle, (or a similar drinking bottle with a secure top). Add in some ice and pop in your bed for some super icy sheets, or for general use, apply to your wrists or rest your feet on them to cool the blood. Looking for more ways to keep your rooms cooler with water? Place a bowl of water in front of a fan to increase the soothing effect and help with air that can feel arid and stultifying.
4). Cold To The Touch
Take a look at the fabrics around your home. Make sure any materials that add to the heat, and are used close to the skin are packed away until Autumn. Cotton and linen sheets are the best options for the bedroom, as they take moisture away from the skin and help regulate body temperature. How to stay cool in the heat even when it feels too hot to dry off? Swap regular towels for something lighter, such as slimmer linen towels or quick-drying microfibre. Less bulky than regular towels but just as effective, taking up less space and making the bathroom feel more airy.
5). Automatically Cool
The best way to cool a room if you have tried natural methods is to bring in some technological help. A cold air fan can add some Noir glamour to your design, whether freestanding or in a smaller desk version. If you are planning to use them in the bedroom check the noise levels as some models are less ‘soothing hum’ and more ‘aircraft taking off.’ In a kitchen or home office, a desk fan can be disruptive whipping papers and homework around, so for fans that blow cold air with less chaos try a ceiling fan. Make sure you choose the right setting; summer setting blows the air downwards at a higher speed, so should run counter clockwise. Try our PowerView smart home system to time the movement of your window coverings, set to protect against the hottest hours of the day. As each blind can be set independently, they can be programmed to change position as the sun moves around your home. If an unexpected super sunny day hits, the smartphone app can be operated from anywhere to close the blinds and protect from thermal again and UV damage to fabrics.
6). Go Wild
Plants can help reduce the feeling of heat in a variety of ways. They can make an artful arrangement on a window ledge that partly obscures the suns rays whilst synthesising them for growth. They also purify the atmosphere improving air quality and a sense of wellbeing. For a guide of the best plants for creating healthy arrangements read our guide to the best houseplants for the home.
7). Rest Easy
Often how well you cope with the heat depends on how well you slept. A good night’s sleep makes you more tolerant whereas a restless miserable night can make a sweltering day seem unbearable. If you can master bedroom paint colours, fabrics and lighting you are half way to happiness. Bedroom colours for a good rest work well if soothing and avoid hard contrast, as the wrong room colour can be over stimulating. Homes in hot countries often draw on the airy feel and reflective benefits of white for cool rooms, and it’s an easy decorating discipline to follow. Keep blinds drawn during the day and surfaces uncluttered bar a few pleasing trinkets, so that your room feels like a soothing, cool retreat when you are ready to unwind.
8). Get In Neutral
However, white living room spaces may seem an almost impossible, or simply undesirable, option. Cool houses (rather than cold houses) often turn to neutral shades as an elegant way to create a relaxing, clutter-free design option. There are warm and cold colours within the neutral range, but if you want your room to also feel cosy in winter, plump for options that have a softer, yellower tone. Wall paint colours such as a gentle taupe or a mid tone sand shade create a chic, low-key background whilst feeling very calm and airy. Highlight cool colours with black, such as these window frames or simply with picture frames.
9). Get Out
When looking for ideas on how to make a room cooler it’s also a good idea to look outside. An awning will stop the sun’s rays from penetrating inside the room. They can also help make the transition space from inside to out more comfortable by preventing patio slabs from becoming uncomfortably hot, and allowing the dining space to extend outside. Exterior paint colours, like interior paint colours, can either help or hinder your aims. Darker colours will attract and hold the heat, but painting the walls white will reflect back the heat of the day. So you can heat up your space or cool it down. The only question is, can you handle it?
Inspired? Our best ways to keep your home cool might tempt you to consider Outdoor Kitchens To Love All Year, to make the best of beating the heat.