The dog days of summer are upon us. It’s that time of year when the blistering heat seems like it never will fade. In between humidity-induced tears, we imagine the cool air of Autumn and wonder if we’ll ever feel its soothing winds against our sun-kissed skin. The answer is yes. In less than a month, we’ll be begging for warmth again. But in the meantime, we’re here to offer you designer-approved tips on staying cool the stylish way. Whether you have air conditioning or not, these heat-killers look good in your home and can even save you money on that high energy bill. You can thank us when the temperature drops ten degrees and you can think clearly again.
1. Block the sun
We’re all for natural light, but on those really hot days it doesn’t help. Block the sun by closing curtains and blinds. Using white on the window side helps naturally deflects the heat. Plus, white brightens rooms even if the blinds are closed. Shades and awnings on the outside of windows are also incredibly helpful in shielding any unwanted sun. If you have shady trees or other plants that are located on the west and east sides of your home, then they should provide even more natural shade.
Though less design-worthy, this heat-diffusing trick comes from the dry desert. If the air feels moister inside than outside, open the window and hang a damp sheet over it. Incoming breezes will be cooled by the evaporating water.
Ventilate, A LOT. The more air you can have blowing throughout your home, the better. Run a fan and an air conditioner on low power simultaneously. The air conditioner removes humidity from the air while the fan evaporates sweat and helps the heat move away from you. If you don’t have an air conditioner, that’s a serious bummer in the summer. But there are some surprisingly stylish ceiling and floor fans out there. The air they blow on you may not be cool air, but any air at all helps.
3. Change your sheets
Sweating all through the night even with the air conditioning on? The problem is your bedding. In the summertime, swap your sheets and pillowcases with lightweight, breathable materials like linen and percale. If you’re one of the many people who must sleep with a blanket regardless of the temperature, then try lightweight quilt instead of a duvet or comforter. Your bedding should also be light in color. Nothing beats a cool, white bed in the summertime.
4. Stay hydrated
When the heat hits record highs, nothing’s as important as staying hydrated. Keep a container of water in the fridge at all times and try to drink at least ten glasses per day. You can even try jazzing up your plain old water by adding things like cucumber or strawberries. Refreshments are a good way to distract yourself from the heat, so have some friends over, and gather round a fruit plate and some ice cold drinks.
5. Make your home less heavy
When you have lots of stuff packed into your space, it will retain more heat. Abolish heavy fabrics in exchange for light ones, clean out corners and shelves, and use soft, bright colors as a way to lighten up your space. When your home is clean and visually less heavy, it will feel less hot.
6. Get shady
No matter how hot it is, no one really wants to hide inside all day. Set up camp in a shady spot outdoors. If you have a yard, a hammock in a tree or a chaise lounge under an umbrella will be your shady saving grace. Got a pool? Even better. Grab a book, a spray bottle for frequent spritzings, and embrace the last warm days of the year.