When the temperature climbs, we’ll do almost anything to stay cool – air conditioning, ice cream, cold drinks, window fans, lightweight clothes, more ice cream… but what about your décor? It’s true: how you decorate your home can actually influence how warm or cool you feel. If you’d like to create a room that helps you feel cooler when the temperature rises, here are a few tips:

  • In terms of color, the best advice is to stick with light colors on the walls. Light colors reflect sunlight (and heat), as opposed to dark colors, which absorb and retain heat, even after the sun goes down. Painting you walls white, soft grey, pale yellow or light sand will help keep the temperature down. For accent colors, choose shades of cool blue, especially paired with crisp white. The effect can seem like a beach cottage — you can almost feel a breeze!
  • Instead of carpet or rugs, consider tile or light-colored wood floors. The beachy, tropical feeling will make you think the sand is just outside the door.
  • At the windows, super-sheer panels will move with the slightest breeze (even if the breeze is artificially created by the A/C). Another alternative is shutters – they can be adjusted infinitely to keep out the sunlight and add a soft, filtered light. Plus, they always remind us of tropical resorts.
  • A table-top or small, free-standing fountain will add the soft, tinkling sound of falling water – guaranteed to help you relax, and the sound of water tells your brain there’s a cool, shady brook nearby.
  • Décor details, including leafy houseplants, wall art that features ocean or lake landscapes, plus seashells or starfish, can all enhance the shore cottage ambiance. Wicker furniture – even if it’s just an accent piece here or there – is a guaranteed winner that will help fool your mind and body into thinking you’re on a breezy veranda.
  • Finally, a ceiling fan can be a better (and smarter!) investment than you think. The sight of a languidly turning ceiling fan certainly helps you feel cooler and more relaxed. And it’s not an illusion! A slowly turning ceiling fan circulates the air and helps lower the temperature during the summer. What you may not realize, however, is that a ceiling fan turning in the opposite direction can help your home feel warmer in the winter. That’s because the fan forces the risen hot air back down toward the floor. That means better temperature control and more efficient energy usage. Now that is cool!

When the temperature climbs, a few strategic décor changes can help you feel (or help you think you feel) cool and comfortable!