WHEW! Summer is surely here, in all its exuberance! Many of you non-mountain dwellers have air conditioning or attic fans or “swamp coolers”—but it still seems hot! Aside from bathing, swimming, and drinking iced beverages all day, what is YOUR best method to create a cooling environment? Please send in your responses, and I’ll share a couple of the best ones with our readers.
What do I do? Well, I use a lot of my mom’s old techniques. I block some of the sunshine from coming into the house. It’s hard for me to live in a dark environment, but even simple sheers at the windows are a help. We have light-blocking top-down / bottom-up shades for the 6’ high bedroom windows, and set them to give us early sunlight only, while still having some daylight in the rooms through the entire day. It’s amazing how only 18” of opening in each window will give plenty of daylight in the summer.
Our mountain home doesn’t need air conditioning, but we do keep the hottest window exposures closed until evening. We’ve always planted or had a few shade trees in the yard, shading some part of the home. We save MUCH energy by these few tricks.
This is the time to get the cooler colored accents through the home, those in sky blues, ice blues, grass greens, mint greens, and purples and blue violets. Be sure to have live plants around, perhaps a water feature or two, and take the extraneous out of the space to give a spacious, airy feeling.
Have cooler-evening or under-shade-trees get togethers. Splash the table with bright, colorful summer prints and foods. Set a garden atmosphere. Again, have a water feature.
Summer is a wonderful time for enjoying our homes as havens of relaxation. Create the environment, and then give yourself a little down-time daily to enjoy them. Remember–YOUR home should fit you like a favorite shoe. Ask yourself, “Does the Shoe….FIT?” And, give me a call if you need some help adapting your spaces to your lifestyle.
I look forward to your comments!–Sharon Breay, Breay Design & “Does the Shoe….FIT?” Workshops