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Summers are a great time to spruce up the look of your home and bring in some cool elements, to escape the scorching heat. “The easiest way to keep a house cool, is by using heavy curtains and shutting the windows and drawing the curtains at 11 am, sharp. One can go in for blinds and bamboo curtains, to keep the excess heat out and keep the space cool. One can keep small pots filled with water in the corners, to cool the space, especially in areas where there is breeze blowing in. Also, in the evening hours, ventilate the house by opening the windows and allowing some air in,” says Lekha Gupta senior architect, L.A.B. Language Architecture Body.
Opt for cool and soothing colours
Use light colours as much as possible within the house, as it will reflect light and heat and give a pleasant ambience to the living space. In summer, let light colours be the base of your interiors. “Work with neutral colours like ivory or shades of green, to retain the cooling effect. Warm tones like olive, lilac or burgundy can be soothing, without seeming overwhelming. Blues, greens and beige, are all ideal colours to use during the summer,” states Sandesh Dhanraj, founder and CEO of Noah Interiors. Accent pieces, inspired by nature, can also brighten up the home, adds Gupta. “Prints that are abstract or floral and bright can remind one of the better side of summer and not just the temperature,” she explains.
Spruce up the home with natural fabrics
Cotton is by far the best natural fabric to use in the summer, for bedding and sofas, followed by linen. “These fabrics are ‘breathable’ and have great insulating properties, allowing you to remain cool when it is hot. Natural fabrics are skin friendly and environmentally friendly, as well. Moreover, changing the bed linen according to the season, also livens up the décor,” Dhanraj maintains.
Cool the home with indoor plants
Keeping indoor plants, is a simple way to cool a space and purify the quality of air. Indoor plants or plants on the window sills, not only bring the temperature down but also add style to the house, when arranged in fancy pots. “Some house plants like English ivy and peace lily, absorb moisture from the air and reduce humidity. Plants that are tolerant to heat, such as sunflower, lemon grass, banana and palm, give a cooling touch to the house, while areca palm, aloe vera and baby rubber plant are known for removing toxins from the air,” explains Dhanraj. Home owners can also grow plants on the terrace, to protect the house or building from the sun’s rays.
Choose energy-efficient and cool lights
Artificial lighting tends to add heat to a space. Home owners can counter this, by switching to cooler lighting fixtures, such as compact fluorescent or LED lamps, in place of incandescent bulbs. In addition to reducing heat, these lights also help to save energy. For a pleasant ambience, you can even experiment with mood lighting.
Décor tips for summer
- Insulated walls and roofs and double glazed windows can substantially reduce the heat gain and reduce the loan on air-conditioning units.
- Ensure that the air-conditioners in the house are serviced regularly and their filters cleaned, to maximise efficiency.
- Rexene, leather and other artificial materials should be avoided for sofas. Instead, opt for ‘breathable’ materials like cotton and linen. You can even use cotton slip covers on the sofas, for a quick seasonal makeover.
- For beds, do away with heavy duvets, velvet satin silk and opt for lighter cottons.
- Clutter makes a space appear smaller and therefore, more overwhelming, adding to the heat. Think minimalistic and weed out unwanted things.
- Avoid silk carpets for the floor and instead use stylish dhurries or let the floor remain bare.
- Bamboo blinds can be installed on doorways, balconies and verandas, to keep the house cool. Use natural materials like rattan and teak, for a relaxing feel.
- Use shading devices over the windows, to reduce the heat gain. Allow for ample cross-ventilation at home, by opening the doors and windows on opposite directions, in the evening.
- In summer, the bathroom can be a relaxing space to beat the heat. Hence, dress it up in colourful and stylish accessories, soft bath linen, fragrant oils and refreshing bath products.