June 17, 2020
How to decorate to keep cool
Featured image: The Spruce
Your Design Questions Answered: How do I make my place feel cooler, temperature wise?!
Warm & Cool colours
Can colour make you feel warmer or cooler? Yes, absolutely it can, just like it can make a room appear brighter or darker. If you live in a climate that’s hot most of the year round, you will need to look at decorating with ‘cool’ colours rather than ‘warm’ colours to keep you from feeling flustered! This applies to everything from paint to accessories.
By cool colours, I am referring to blues, greens and light purples which overall evoke a calming and refreshing environment by giving a proverbial nod to the natural colours of water, sky, ice and snow.
At all costs, avoid the stimulating and enveloping ‘warm’ end of the spectrum. The reds, yellows and oranges which tend to evoke the heat of the sun and fire and, as a result, are generally used to create a cosier environment.
Pay close attention to colour tone
All colours also have cool and warm shades or tones to them. Just as there is no such thing as a colour that won’t suit you, there is no such thing as a colour that won’t work in your environment providing you opt for the right ‘tone’. I’m sure we have all heard of ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ whites, and although it all seems very confusing when trying to pick one of a million shades that all seem to look the same, there are actually very subtle nuances that make all the difference in a scheme.
‘Warm’ whites contain an undertone of yellow, which gives you that creamy look in varying degrees on a colour chart. ‘Cool’ whites contain a blue or grey undertone, which makes them more icy in appearance. This ‘cool’ family is what you should be looking to if you are trying to create the impression of a breezier environment in your home.
Invest in a good fan
Encouraging the circulation of air in a room is key. By opening windows on a sunny day we are often only succeeding in inviting the hot air inside. Instead, think about putting your money into a good fan and placing a bowl of ice in front of it. The fan will create a welcoming breeze and instantly cool down your surroundings.
A really simple trick is to make sure you are buying light bulbs which have a ‘cool white’ rather than ‘warm white’ glow. Cool white is described as a bluey white that delivers a clear and clean glow, with warm white emitting a yellowy glow for a softer and more relaxing warmer tone. Each one can totally change the look and feel of a room, and so influence how you feel within that space.
Bring the outside in
House plants are a real winner here as well. Through a process called ‘transpiration’, plants increase the humidity of the surrounding area, naturally adding moisture to stuffy rooms. So as well as looking good, they can be a real saviour in a heatwave. The most effective plants are thought to be peace lilies and rubber plants. Think about grouping them together to create your own microclimate.
Both cotton and linen are breathable fabrics made from natural fibres which can help regulate your temperature. They are therefore much better at keeping you cool during a summer heatwave than polyester and other man-made fabrics. It follows that choosing the right bed linen can have a huge impact on how well you will sleep. And indeed, having these heat regulating fabrics throughout your home will certainly help to keep things cool.