Get set for a long hot sum­mer with our ex­pert tips

Get set for a long hot sum­mer with easy sea­sonal swaps and a change of lifestyle, writes Chelsea Clark

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - More Home Im­pact, home­im­pact.com.au; HomeSorted, homesorted.com.au; The Home, the­home.com.au; Vault In­te­ri­ors, vault­in­te­ri­ors.com.au

Sum­mer is com­ing. While it doesn’t evoke the same sense of fore­bod­ing as the Game Of Thrones motto ‘win­ter is com­ing’, it’s worth putting in some time now to pre­pare your place for the warmer months.

Sim­ple things such as swap­ping your bed linen or choos­ing more breath­able fab­rics for win­dow cov­er­ings can make a lot of dif­fer­ence when you want to keep your cool.

Larger changes such as im­prov­ing air cir­cu­la­tion or giv­ing your deck a makeover will al­low you to en­joy the sun­shine while still stay­ing cool.

We spoke with the ex­perts about the best ways to tackle the on­set of sum­mer.

Boost air cir­cu­la­tion

Some­times switch­ing the air­con on for a few hours is un­avoid­able but there are changes you can make first to avoid hav­ing to run it con­stantly — and heat­ing up your en­ergy bill.

Turn your ceil­ing fan to coun­ter­clock­wise (the blades are tilted up­ward as they spin) to push air down­ward cre­at­ing a stronger draft.

If you’re at home dur­ing the day, keep doors and win­dows shut when it’s re­ally hot and open up the house when the out­side tem­per­a­ture is lower than the in­side to let the cooler air in.

You could also plant trees and bushes to help chan­nel breezes to­wards the house.

If you’re build­ing or mak­ing big changes to a house, use brick walls and a con­crete floor slab to even out the tem­per­a­ture of north­fac­ing rooms in sum­mer and store the sun’s en­ergy in win­ter. Make sure win­dows and doors are aligned to let cool­ing breezes flow through the house in sum­mer.

If you’re get­ting new win­dows, go for ones which open wide and avoid alu­minium frames where pos­si­ble, be­cause heat passes through them eas­ily.

Make the deck your favourite room in the house

Get­ting out­side can ac­tu­ally help you cool down, pro­vided it’s not the mid­dle of the day.

On sum­mer evenings, when the tem­per­a­ture has dropped, ditch the stove and head out­side for a BBQ din­ner in­stead.

Us­ing your oven or stove­top in the sum­mer will make your house hot­ter so avoid it if you can, es­pe­cially if your home is al­ready feel­ing on the warmer side.

If you have an out­door area that you rarely use, cre­ate an ex­ten­sion of your in­door liv­ing space to make it more com­fort­able.

It could be as sim­ple as ad­ding a cou­ple of chairs and cush­ions or you may con­sider new deck­ing or paving.

Cre­ate a moon­lit mood with out­door lights, and punc­tu­ate the space with flow­er­ing planters, can­dles and cush­ions.

Lighten your tex­tiles

Get rid of any heavy tex­tiles in your home for an in­stantly cooler feel.

“Nat­u­ral fi­bres like silk, cot­ton and linen are my picks to help cre­ate a cooler in­te­rior space,” says Jus­tine St­ed­man, di­rec­tor and prin­ci­pal stylist at Vault In­te­ri­ors.

“Es­pe­cially con­sider swap­ping out fab­rics on large sur­faces such as your couch cover, win­dow dress­ings, rugs and bed linen.”

For rugs, change to sisal, jute or thin­ner flatweave mats or take the rug off the floor al­to­gether to ex­pose the floor­boards.

“Chang­ing the cur­tains is also an easy up­date. In­stead of thick win­try block out cur­tains, swap for soft look­ing lux­u­ri­ous sheers for a calm space,” Jus­tine says.

“Cot­ton and linen sheers are great and have good air­flow through the fab­ric. Se­lect warmer colours like stone, beige or cream for a sum­mery look.”

Free your­self from clut­ter

Rid­ding your home of clut­ter can im­prove air­flow in­stantly mak­ing your space feel fresher and, in turn, cooler.

“Your home will feel cooler by tak­ing away the ‘bulk’ of a heavy, cold win­ter,” says Nina Rosace from HomeSorted.

Nina sug­gests go­ing one room at a time to avoid feel­ing over­whelmed.

“Use an empty suit­case or buy some vac­uum sealed space bags to store those bulky items and win­ter clothes,” she says.

“The kitchen can also be de­clut­tered so re­move and store any large pots used for win­ter warm­ing soups and place them out of reach as your sum­mer cook­ing usu­ally re­quires salad bowls and grill pans.

“De­clut­ter your medicine cab­i­net of any ‘cold & flu’ reme­dies too and re­place with ba­sic items, such as a prac­ti­cal first aid kit.”

Keep your cool in bed

A cool bed­room, around 18C to 20C, pro­motes a more rest­ful sleep.

A well-ven­ti­lated room is es­sen­tial so try open­ing win­dows to take ad­van­tage of lower night tem­per­a­tures and fresh air.

If you want to keep cool in bed dur­ing a hot sum­mer night, the ma­te­rial mat­ters.

“The best bed sheets for both kids and adults are made from nat­u­ral fi­bres be­cause they al­low breatha­bil­ity, let air cir­cu­late and draw mois­ture away from the skin,” says Stacey Kas­trou­nis from on­line home­wares re­tailer The­Home.com.au.

If you pre­fer a doona in sum­mer, Stacey says look for quilts in nat­u­ral fi­bres such as cot­ton, ten­cel or bam­boo. They will ab­sorb any mois­ture and keep you cool as you sleep.

“If you’re still strug­gling to stay cool, con­sid­er­ing in­vest­ing in a cool­ing mat­tress top­per or a gel pil­low,” she says. “The cool­ing gel sys­tem of­fers a re­fresh­ing night’s sleep and is ideal for warm sleep­ers.”

Add an al­fresco

If you have an ex­ist­ing house con­sider ad­ding an al­fresco din­ing and en­ter­tain­ing space so you can get out­side in the evenings as the tem­per­a­ture drops.

“Think about po­si­tion­ing your al­fresco space ad­ja­cent to an in­ter­nal liv­ing or din­ing space to al­low for more flex­i­bil­ity,” says ar­chi­tect Ann Botrell from Home Im­pact.

“You might also want to think about hav­ing an al­fresco space on an un­used drive­way to the side of your home.”

If a ren­o­va­tion or ad­di­tion is out of the ques­tion Ann sug­gests defin­ing an area in your gar­den with some paving.

“Even ad­ding an um­brella will make the space more friendly,” she says.

The wo­ven Noosa chairs, from Globe West can be used in­doors or out,

Use nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als from Fen­ton and Fen­ton in your al­fresco area to chan­nel a trop­i­cal re­sort.

The Somers bed­cover from Linen House is a cool al­ter­na­tive to a doona.

New out­door fur­ni­ture from Vavoom Em­po­rium (above) makes al­fresco spa­ces invit­ing while a jute rug like this one (below) from Sage & Clare is a great op­tion for sum­mer.

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