Are you ready for the summer?
Summer is here! Can you feel the heat? I do! But I absolutely love the warm, sunny weather. I’ll take it over gloomy, rainy days anytime.
This change of season also means a change of lifestyle, and with that, a bit of tweaking to make the warm months more enjoyable at home. How do you get ready for the summer? Here are a few insights and tips for a pleasantly wonderful summer season.
Check your roof insulation
We often forget that the roof makes up as much heat-absorbing area as the walls do. In some cases, even more! Take a peek at the insulation inside your ceilings and check to see if there is enough air space between roofing and insulation material. This prevents heat from going down into your ceiling void which in turn works as the heat buffer from insulation to ceiling. If you have an old home with a high roof pitch and have enough working space inside the ceiling, consider a second layer of insulation. This will help enormously in keeping heat from radiating down into your living spaces.
Upgrade airconditioning units
Are you still using old, outdated airconditioning units? It might be time to upgrade your old model into a more energy-efficient one, especially that most units in the market are of the inverter type and they have become more affordable too.
Install ceiling fans that have settings to either bring air upward or throw it downward—the former which brings cool air up for circulation, rather than continually blowing warm air downward from the ceiling. Remember, warm air rises and blowing it down defeats the purpose of cooling. Instead, bringing air upward allows the vacuum to draw cool air from ground level and simultaneously blow out hot air from ceiling level, thereby cooling the entire room.
If you have a view of your outdoor spaces, use it to your advantage. Open up curtains and blinds to let in natural light, create an airier feel, and allow hot air to dissipate.
Study the solar paths
I use an app called “Sun Seeker” for my projects. They help me determine where the sun will be at any given time of year. This helps me regulate heat through sun-shading devices like curtains, blinds, or films. From the outside, retractable awnings or sail-like awnings help keep the heat out before they even touch your window surfaces. You can keep your windows open to allow heat to dissipate.
Plant shade trees
If you have large outdoor spaces, consider planting shade trees. They provide additional outdoor lounging spaces without requiring a more permanent structure. Moreover, they cool your home when their shadows are cast on your walls, hence, insulating you from the heat of sunlight. But if you’d like that space for the rainy days, consider building a garden shed or a gazebo.
Re-assess your outdoor lighting
Create visually friendlier and more inviting indirect lighting. Direct lighting gives out strong glare, and harsh shadows are reminiscent of sunlight. Hence, they can appear hotter. Indirect lights project a softer, more relaxing ambiance for your outdoor spaces, which you can enjoy during warmer evenings.
Introduce a water feature
Aside from a swimming pool which would be nice to have but may not be practical for everyone, small ponds, waterfalls, fountains, or even stand-alone water features can add that extra element of relaxation, freshness, and tranquility to both your indoor and outdoor spaces. The sound of dripping water is known not only as relaxing but mentally refreshing as well. Enhance the summer holiday mood in your spaces
Plants such as palms, ferns, and other tropical varieties can provide a lush, exotic feel to your landscaping, and can lend a resort-like vibe to your spaces. Use them inside your rooms as leaf cuttings or as potted plants to bring in the outdoors.
Introduce natural stone
Take the resort vibe further and introduce natural stone to your outdoors. Garden foot paths, walkways, and walls can have a more natural and organic feel that is reminiscent of resort-style landscapes in Southeast Asia when finished in natural stone materials. Use them as accent assemblies in gardens, or in the pockets of landscape right outside your living areas.
If you’re up for the maintenance, green walls are absolutely cooling and refreshing. Best to seek the help of a professional landscape architect to set up one. This works especially well when under direct sunlight, and when your outdoor floor areas aren’t enough for lush greenery.
Install an outdoor kitchen
Do you enjoy barbecues? Installing an outdoor kitchen or bar offers convenience and functionality, enabling you to better enjoy your garden or deck spaces as you’ll have on hand everything you need for cooking and entertaining. Perfect for family lunches and dinners, outdoor kitchens with lounging and seating areas can provide a creative, comfortable, and inviting space to relax and unwind.
Consider light colors
Make your interior spaces feel more outdoor-ish with light colors. Consider painting walls, introducing accent wall covers, or adding light-colored textiles or choosing light-colored furniture. Sunlight means outdoors, and what better way to enjoy the summer than by bringing the brightness of the summer days indoors.
Before the rainy season arrives, you can also paint your house exterior with lighter colors to reflect sunlight and heat instead of absorbing them. You’ll keep the heat out and allow natural light to bounce off your walls and fences, drawing the light indoors. You’ll be ready for next summer too!
Use natural materials
Use natural materials like wood, rattan, and wicker to lend a summery resort feel to your spaces. Incorporate these materials in your furniture pieces or other decorative elements including accent furniture pieces, rugs, and accessories. Adding texture and pattern to your spaces can provide visual interest and create a more inviting summer feel. Consider adding decorative pillows, throws, and rugs with different materials like cotton, linen, or jute. Consider nautical stripes and leafy tropical patterns.
Incorporate summer scents
Incorporating fragrance and summer scents like ocean breeze, floral or citrusy scents can create a fresh, summery atmosphere. Use oil diffusers or oil-based scents to create a light and pleasant summery scent.
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