Décor tips to beat the summer heat

Private Property South Africa
Veronica Logan

While we often associate home décor with making our homes more aesthetically pleasing, there are ways to make décor both pretty and functional when it comes to beating the summer heat.

Summer is here and in full force! Given the sweltering temperatures of late, no one can be blamed for looking “outside the box” when it comes to finding some respite from it all. So, if the heat got you beat, don’t worry…. With these handy tips, we’ll show you how you can use décor to your advantage in helping to keep the temperature indoors as chilled as it can possibly be.

Keep it natural

Our homes are often full of all kinds of textures and materials – from wool and cotton to glass and wood. Opting for natural alternatives to these could work wonders for keeping the heat at bay. For example, natural materials like bamboo, cotton and linen work wonders in allowing air to move freely and easily in and around your home. They also tend to reflect light and not retain heat. Wood, glass and heavily synthetic materials (like cushion covers) on the other hand tend to absorb or magnify the sun’s rays so be sure to keep these out of direct sunlight if possible.

Sticking on that point, it’s never too late to reassess and upgrade your bedding if you are able to. Percale or linen sheets are a great option for keeping things cool come bedtime given their light and breathable nature. Also consider purchasing a Summer or lightweight comforter or duvet inner for those cooler but humid evenings.

Another clever trick to keep cool at bedtime is to place your linen in the freezer before you go to sleep. Honestly! Simply fold and place your pillowcase and/or sheets in plastic bags and leave them in the freezer for a couple hours before you go to bed. Take them out just before you’re ready to hit the sack and enjoy a refreshing dive into those sheets. If that sounds like too much work, use your cute hot water bottle as a cold water bottle – same logic for it warming you up applies to cooling you down.

Re-dress the windows

As per the above, ditching the synthetics and opting for more natural fabrics can do wonders in fighting those soaring temperatures! Make sure your curtains and blinds are made from fabrics that are as breathable as possible and ensure that airflow isn’t blocked by any furniture. Bear in mind, you’ll want your blinds or curtains to be as light in colour and fabric as possible in order to keep things light and breezy. It’s also worthwhile considering the use of light block out like window tinting or a pretty awning on windows that face the afternoon sun. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, consider strategically planting tall trees or shrubs in front of those windows.

Bring the outdoors in

While it might seem counter intuitive, nature really can help assist with keeping your home cool (and looking beautiful too)! House plants such as Bamboo Palms, Rubber Trees or Monsteras are great at creating shade and blocking light when placed around particularly sun-affected windows. Just be sure to use neutral-coloured ceramic or stoneware pots or even a woven basket for additional light reflection. A further benefit for having these plants indoors is that they, along with others, act as natural air purifiers!

Beat the kitchen heat

Sometimes not using those fancy (and “décor-esque”) appliances when it’s hot can make a lot of a difference to the overall indoor temperature of your home! Thing about it - any appliance that creates heat when in use is NOT your friend! Your oven, for example, can quickly raise the inside temperature by 10 degrees when in use, so opt to use it only if or when necessary during the sweltering Summer months. Rather, opt to cook outside on the braai - once the sun has gone down of course! Save cooking (especially baking) for cooler hours or cook outdoors on your grill. It is also a good idea to run the dishwasher and clothes dryer at night.

Make light(s) work

Many of us don’t consider how much heat our lightbulbs generate. While they don’t add that much more heat to our homes than an unshaded window does, they do contribute to the overall indoor temperature of your home and can even raise the perceived temperature. With this in mind, opt for LED’s if you haven’t already as these will reduce the amount of heat given off during use. Extra bonus – they are easy on the wallet which is another win!

Stick to the essentials

Finally, if like many of us, you’re the proud owner of a beautiful oil diffuser but never really put it to use, Summer is your chance. Essentials oils such as Peppermint and Spearmint both contain the ingredient menthol which has amazing cooling properties. Be sure to add a few drops of either of these to your diffuser and you’re on your way to a refreshing sense and scent

At the end of the day, our homes can either be a refuge from the Summer heat or its very ally so consider this whenever making a home décor choice. Furthermore, look at where you can make small improvements to your existing home décor. One thing is for sure… armed with tips like these means keeping cool at home this Summer won’t just be reserved for those with aircons and pools!

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