The ‘British Summer’ – you either love it, or you hate it. Whether you’re a sun worshipper who basks in the heat, or you’re a lover of the cooler, autumnal weather – there’s always bound to be a heatwave on the way.
And while we’ll leave the tips on staying hydrated and healthy to the health professionals, we do know a thing or two about how to keep your homes cool – and how you can paint and decorate with this in mind!
Ready to beat the heat? Here’s how to do it…
All the best interior designers know that every colour contains heat-conducting properties – in that darker colours tend to absorb and soak up heat, while lighter ones reflect the heat and can help to keep a room cool. Opting to paint your walls in paler shades for example, cream, beige, mauve, oyster, pale pink, etc. can help to create a light and airy feel to your living spaces.
If you’re leaning towards repapering choosing wallpaper, consider steering clear of patterns that are overly busy or complex/intricate as they could potentially make a room look smaller and therefore it might actually feel hotter and stuffier. Instead, choose patterns that come in simple designs that leave a room feeling fresh, crisp and cool.
Walls aside, you could also incorporate design choices such as furniture and artwork in cooler colour schemes, such as blues and whites, as these can often give a cooler, ‘icier’ feel to your home. Bear in mind, though, that opting for furnishings in these tones has no tangible effect on the actual temperature of your room – but being surrounded by pieces with a ‘wintery’ accent might just help you to feel calmer and cooler.
Take it outdoors
In the same vein, you can take your cool interior vibes outdoors to help you feel calm, composed, and less likely to overheat, wherever you go. Outdoor fabrics, accessories and garden furniture in light colours can help to keep your living spaces feeling cool, whether you’re indoors or outdoors.
If you’re looking to refresh your outdoor paintwork, then whites and pale pastels for the roof, and exterior walls can help reflect more heat and keep buildings and gardens cooler in the hot summer months. You could even add sunshades to the outdoor areas in front of your windows and doors, which should ultimately help to cool down your balconies and terraces.
Let the air flow
While your interior design choices can help to create the illusion of a cool and airy living space, the key to keeping your home cool is by keeping it well-ventilated, with air that flows through your house or flat and doesn’t simply stop at one enclosed area.
To create a well-ventilated home, you should make use of windows or doors that form a regular air tunnel. If you’re living in a flat then the layout of your home will most likely be fixed – but you can optimise and enhance the airflow by being careful not to obstruct the natural flow of air though your home. It’s worth noting, too, that stagnant air can make homes feel stuffy, especially if there are high levels of humidity too.
If you’re in a house, you could consider knocking down some walls for a more modern, open-plan concept that will provide maximum space for good air circulation. And if you’re inspired by the current minimalist movement, then decluttering your rooms (and home) also helps to improve airflow.
Aim for cool to the touch
Choosing the right surface materials can make a major difference in keeping your home cool and fresh too – a prime example of this is when you choose your home’s flooring type.
Parquet floors may be popular due to their stylishness, but all forms of wood retain heat and can therefore make your floor and home feel warm. The same is true of materials such as vinyl, fibreglass, carpet and cork. To keep your home cool, you could aim for other materials such as natural stone, marble, cement or porcelain tiles. These feel cooler to the touch as they are able to dissipate heat quickly – and this principle also applies to your choice of materials for cabinets, panels and furnishings.